Dear Congregation,

The Transition Team continues to work on behalf of the congregation to fill the position of Intentional Interim. The Rev. Dr. Nancy Ellet Allison will be with us through February 22, and we are working to find someone to join us as soon after that as possible. While the active search is underway, we are also planning for coverage of key ministerial and administrative duties of the Senior Pastor should we not find a successful candidate by the end of February. We will update as we move forward.

Please, keep us in your prayers. If you have contacts who might be interested, or if you can place the position description in seminary or other job posting sites where a qualified applicant might find it, please do.

In the meantime, we are lucky to have several dedicated members who are also retired clergy. Dean Kokjer is one of those members. As a gift to the congregation Dean has drawn on his experience to provide a framework that we as a congregation can use to start this transition process before we have an Intentional Interim working with us. Dean identifies four tasks for the congregation as a whole during an interim period: Grief, Stability, Past, and Future.

The first topic we must address is Grief. It is important that our congregation, both as a whole and individually, process our grief over the loss of our pastors and our concern for the church we love. Each of us have lost something. It may be a pastor, a friend, or confidence in our vision for what the future of our church might be. Many have expressed a sense of real loss as an individual. The loss is also congregational. We were able to say goodbyes to Jonathan and to Jessica with rituals of release for them as our pastors and for us as their congregation.

Grieving, both our individual and our congregational grieving, will take time and should not be minimized or rushed. As a congregation, acknowledging our loss is our first step towards healing.

The members of the Transition Team look forward to walking this journey with you.