My dear family and friends of First Pres,
The Session, at its June 28th meeting, heard a report from the Personnel Team regarding staffing issues in the area of congregational and pastoral care. We have had several departures in the area of Congregational Care with Tricia Young and Tim Dobbins pursuing seminary and retirement respectively. Furthermore, we are feeling the absence of pastoral coverage with the departure of Rev. Benek in June. Personnel recommended, and Session unanimously approved, to request the Presbytery of Tropical Florida for permission to hire an Associate Pastor for Congregational Care. The scope of this position is to spearhead the pastoral care for the members of First Pres through home and hospital visitation, in worship with funerals and weddings, in coordination of care with the Deacons, teaching, and developing a comprehensive pastoral care strategy to ensure that our members are being adequately cared for from all of the pastors. This individual will have impeccable pastoral skills, advanced pastoral training, and be a warm reflection of the grace of Jesus.
Some will ask if we have money in the budget to pay for this position, which is the first question I asked! The answer is “yes!” There have been three significant staff losses in the area of pastoral and congregational care since January of this year and the money already budgeted will cover the expense of bringing in one full-time pastor with the theological, pastoral, and missional talents our community can benefit from immediately.
Another question you may have is the timeline in which this all occurs. The Committee on Ministry from the Presbytery of Tropical Florida will meet to respond to our request on August 11. Should the way be clear, we will then have a congregational meeting on Sunday, August 19 at noon to hear the Congregational Nominating Committee’s recommendation for five people to serve on the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC). Once approved, this group will begin in earnest in vetting and securing a new associate for us. This group will be charged with the hopeful desire that their work will be completed before the first of 2019.
These are exciting times in the life of our Church! God is actively present, and the Holy Spirit is afoot! Please include these items in your prayers for the church as we move forward making faith come alive in Broward and beyond! I am
Your pastor and friend,