Dear Idlewild members,
Since our last update in early October, the Idlewild PNC has met regularly. We are in conversation with ministers who are discerning whether they sense a call to Idlewild. We trust in the process which has led us to this moment, and we trust our direction.
Our PNC meets at 6:00pm on Mondays at the home of our chair, Betty Louis Sheppard. We held our very first meeting in the old Session Room, which is just to the northeast of the sanctuary, but we have met at the Sheppard home since. We always know to expect hors d’oeuvres and a weekly helping of brownies—based on a family recipe—to sate our early evening appetites. The in-home weekly meetings have given us the opportunity to know each other extremely well, but they have also taught us love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Our discussions are productive, and our unity of purpose is genuine.
As to the work of discerning the next head of staff for Idlewild, we are in serious, productive conversations with ministers. We are making progress. Visits to ministers have already occurred, and more will happen in the coming months. We are excited about the possibilities opening to our church in this interim period.
Having an interim period between ministers is typical for most PC(USA) churches. For many, an interim minister is needed to bridge the timeline between a senior pastor’s departure and the completion of a new search. For others, an interim minister provides space for the church to grieve after the departure of a pastor and to prepare the congregation and staff for the transition that lies ahead, often implementing administrative and other changes. While potential heads of staff may differ in their opinions on the need for an interim minister, nearly all view the work done during the transition as an important part of having a successful start to their new ministry.
We continue to be grateful for the work Anne Apple is doing in her new role to set the table for our next Head of Staff. Anne’s pastoral gifts and familiarity with Idlewild’s vision and direction are blessings both for our church and for our search. We are also thankful for Sara, Elizabeth, and the rest of our staff’s commitment to our church. Pastors around the denomination have already begun to take notice of our interim period and the good work of transition at Idlewild. We are confident that the Idlewild which emerges from the interim period will continue to be the strong, vibrant church it has always been.
We invite you all to persist in prayer for our PNC and for our church. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us as a group or individually with suggestions or concerns. We are truly blessed to be doing the work of the church and to be serving alongside one another. Thank you for your continued trust.
“Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11
The Idlewild PNC
Betty Louis Sheppard (chair), Jeanne Marie Cummings, Albert Johnson, Julie Markham, Cindy Moore, Mitchell Redd, Jeremy Sykes, Jeff Thompson