Our Future

To contact our Pastor Nominating Committee directly, please email us at smbpnc2020@gmail.com.

Pastor Nominating Committee Hard at Work

In order to begin writing the next chapter in the Southminster story, we are actively seeking our next Pastor. On July 19, 2020, the congregation elected a committee of 12 members, chosen to be broadly representative of our community. The PNC Committee is meeting weekly and will provide periodic updates on our work. See below for past issues of the “PNC Chronicles.”

PNC Committee Members (and leadership roles):

  • Marylou Belknap-Jones (Corresponding Secretary)
  • Wally Carey
  • June Carlson
  • Kirstin Fredrickson (Meeting Secretary, Budget Manager)
  • Kathie Huddleston (Vice-Chair, Session Liaison)
  • Vicki Lukich (Chair)
  • Christine Mouzong
  • Amanda Olson (Zoom/Technology Lead)
  • Dave Pierce (Session Liaison)
  • Aron Racho
  • Dan Rasmussen (Congregation Communications)
  • Val Schulze

PNC Chronicles Vol. 7 (3/23/2021)

Success! We are very pleased to let you know we have selected a candidate to present to the congregation. We are not naming names today, to give the candidate time to communicate with their current church, but we are making plans and setting dates. April 11th will be the date for the congregational vote, after hearing the candidate preach. There will also be a Zoom session meeting between now and then so folks can start getting acquainted. May 16th is the anticipated start day for our new Senior Pastor.

You will learn more about this person in the days ahead, but for now, I’d like you to know this: We are a committee of 12, chosen for our diversity within the Southminster community. We started with different priorities. We had a wide variety of church experiences, positive and negative. We wondered whether we would be able to come to some sort of consensus. But this choice is as unanimous as it can be. In the end, no one on the committee expressed any doubt that this person would be a great fit for our congregation. In fact, some (mostly facetiously) threatened to move to the candidate’s current city if we didn’t call them to come here.

We look forward to all of you hearing what we heard and seeing what we saw, beginning April 11th. Don’t miss it!

PNC Chronicles Vol. 6 (3/1/2021)

It’s been a while since we checked in with all of you. That’s because we have been very busy: coming in early, staying late, working weekends, and doing our homework. There’s no playbook out there for how to do this search during a pandemic, so we are making a lot of the process up as we go. Representing our diverse congregation, we have 12 strong-willed Southminsterites on the committee, and there are at least 12 opinions to be considered during each decision. Fortunately, we’ve collaborated well and been mutually supportive.
Here’s what we can say at this point: We have some excellent candidates, with whom we’ve shared some in-depth, in-person (in-Zoom) conversations. We are committed to hearing all the diverse opinions from committee members and others, to help us find the right pastor for all of Southminster, and one who can welcome and support our various spiritual paths. We are hopeful that we will have more to say before too much longer. So stay tuned, and keep praying.

PNC Chronicles Vol. 5 (1/18/2021)

On Sunday I was chatting with some folks who were optimistic that 2021 would be better than 2020, but who were finding it hard to be hopeful amidst so much turmoil in the country and uncertainty about the pandemic. I realized that a lot of what’s allowing me to be hopeful is serving on the Pastor Nominating Committee. We have multiple highly qualified candidates who are interested in Southminster. After several written exchanges with each of them, we are beginning a new stage: meeting with them face to face. (OK, it’s Zoom, but that’s what you get these days). We are looking forward to using these interviews to discover what these potential leaders have to offer, and to discuss the possibilities for the next phase of our congregation’s life. Please keep praying for us as we work to discern our shared future.

PNC Chronicles Vol. 4 (12/11/2020)

Our position has been posted for a few weeks now, and inquiries have been arriving; not a huge number, but enough to keep the committee busy. We’ve been reviewing and discussing each person, which is helping us refine our process for taking the next steps with the ones that show potential. The particularly helpful part is that the applicants are quite diverse in almost every way imaginable – experience level, life history, theology, sense of vocation, and so on. That has led to lively discussions within the committee, which is to be expected, since the church deliberately chose this committee to echo the diversity within Southminster. The varied ways our PNC members resonate with each applicant gives us confidence that the process will lead us to the right pastor for the entire congregation.

PNC Chronicles Vol. 3 (11/2/2020)

Thanks to some excellent cooperation and coordination, we have met our first major milestone: Our Mission Information Form (fondly known as the MIF) is done and approved. The MIF is a detailed job posting that describes our church and the qualities we are looking for in a pastor. The approval involved the PNC getting all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted, then the session giving its approval at a specially called meeting, and finally the Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery signing off. Now the form goes into the PCUSA system so pastors looking for positions can find us. We are also working on putting a version of the MIF on our website, so you can see it too.

 Some important details to note from the session meeting:

  • The session has set 4/1/2021 as the target date for having a new pastor on board. There are many variables involved, of course, but that gives us all a date to plan around.
  • Don Ludwig has agreed to continue in his current role until that date. We are highly appreciative of Don for his leadership and flexibility.

Now we begin reviewing the resumes (PIFs) of candidates who submit them. This will be a lot of work, but hopefully highly rewarding. We will also be doing some advertising, as well as outreach to other denominations; we want to be sure that everyone who might be a good fit for Southminster is aware of us. Word of mouth is an important aspect of the search; if you know a progressive pastor, please make sure they know we are looking.

If you don’t hear much from us over the next few months, it’s because we can’t share info about who we are talking to. But please don’t stop praying for us.

PNC Chronicles Vol. 2 (10/5/2020)

After two months of weekly meetings, the Pastor Nominating Committee is feeling positive about the progress we’ve made. Our first big hurdle will be completing the Mission Information Form, which serves as our church’s profile in the Presbyterian “matchmaking” system. While we aren’t there yet, we’ve made a lot of great progress, and we should be over this hurdle in the next few weeks.

We thought this might be a good time to review the issue of confidentiality around our committee’s work. While the results of our work will be known to all, the details of how we get there must be kept confidential. There are some good reasons for this:

  1. We want our members to speak freely about their experiences at Southminster and hopes for its future. We are building trust within the committee by promising one another that what is said in the PNC will stay in the PNC.
  2. Ministers need to be able to express interest in our church without jeopardizing their current situations. So you will never hear names or descriptions of candidates until we are ready to announce that someone has agreed to be called here.
  3. Sometimes these processes can experience sudden changes of direction. If we start talking about a possible outcome, then that outcome doesn’t happen, that can damage trust all the way around.

So feel free to contact committee members and express your thoughts, offer encouragement, or whatever you wish. Just don’t expect to hear any details about our discussions or candidates. But rest assured, when we do have some good news to share, you’ll be the first to know.

For now, keep on praying for us. We still have lots to do.

PNC Chronicles: Vol. 1 (8/31/20)

On July 19th, the members of Southminster elected a Pastor Nominating Committee: twelve individuals chosen to represent our diverse congregation. On August 5th, we began meeting weekly via Zoom. As August comes to a close, we want to begin reporting back to you from time to time on our progress. Keeping in mind that a large part of what we do must be kept confidential, we can say a couple things about our work so far.

First, we are learning the process. We are studying the procedures laid out by the Presbyterian Church for matching pastors to churches, and we have also had a chance to hear from some folks who have been through it before – at Southminster and at other churches. Helping us get oriented is our excellent Presbytery representative, Rev. Jim Wallace of Calvin Presbyterian in Tigard.

Second, we are coming together as a committee. That means sharing our hopes and experiences, setting ground rules for making sure all voices are heard, and electing leadership. Vicki Lukich is serving as Chair and Kathie Huddleston as Vice Chair, while several other folks have designated roles within the committee.

It’s important to share that our number one ground rule is to maintain a spiritual focus; that is, we always want to keep in mind that we are looking for more than just a person to do a job. That we are seeking the best relationship between a pastor, a congregation and God, in order to carry out our mission to the world. We have committed that when the going gets rough, we will pause to reflect and pray. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue on this important journey.

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