Thank you so much for your warm and gracious welcome to JIPC. It was great to see so many familiar faces and to meet several others for the first time on June 13. Standing in the pulpit and looking out at so many smiling faces surely gave me the sense of coming home again. Thanks to all of you who made it such a special day.
It is also exciting to have begun my residential service as your Bridge Interim Pastor. While I have been engaged with members of the staff and other lay leaders since the first of the month, my wife Carol and I are now living among you and are excited about physically joining you in your ministry. As shared previously, we expect be among you for a couple of months, providing worship and pastoral leadership on a part-time basis. In the event the search team finds the right candidate before the first of August, we will step aside so that he or she can begin that important ministry among you. If not, we will gratefully share our time with you as fully as possible.
The purpose of this bridge interim is to provide continuity of leadership while the session searches for the person who will serve as your longer-term interim pastor. Towards that end, I will preach and lead worship each Sunday, provide pastoral care as needed and desired, support the ongoing ministries of the church through your committee structure, and serve as the acting head of staff. I will likewise be serving as the moderator of the session during this time. In other words, I will do all the things you would normally expect of your pastor as fully as I am able within the context of my call.
My agreement with the church calls for me to give 24 hours a week to this ministry since I also have continuing responsibilities working with Pinnacle Leadership Associates as a consultant and coach. The practical implications of this is that I will routinely be at the church on Sunday morning and all day on Monday and Tuesday with the rest of my time reserved for focused ministries including committee meetings, pastoral care ministry, and other special needs at other times during the week. Nevertheless, I certainly understand myself to be “on-call” throughout the week as ministry is never simply “on the clock.”
Thank you for your willingness to trust me with this special opportunity for partnership. I have been blessed to work with this congregation in the past and am deeply grateful for the chance to do so again during this season of transition. Please don’t hesitate to call on me if I can be supportive of you in your faith journey. And please know that I am here because I believe so powerfully in Johns Island Presbyterian Church. This is a wonderful church with a remarkable history and a bright future. Thanks for letting me join you in your journey.
In Christ’s Service,