Friends in Christ,

We have come to a point in our transition time together for me to put on my “transition hat” and to review with you where we are in our transition and what the next steps will be.  I’ve also asked Laura to include in this newsletter the “transition roadmap” that our Transition Team created a few months ago.

On January 28th at our Annual Congregational Meeting Fred Humcke announced the makeup of Zion’s Church Council appointed Call Committee.  The committee members were selected based upon the suggestions given by church members back in December and with the intent to have a committee that is diverse and which represents the congregation well.  The Call Committee members are:  Marcia Horner, Emily Rochotte, Larry Salvatore, Tom Scudese, Christine Stabile and Linda Tucker.  It will be the task of this committee to request candidates from the Synod and then to interview those candidates. This is a big job and we ask that you keep the committee in your prayers.

Once more, the process for securing a new pastor is this: The Call Committee and Church Council submit to the Synod a document known as the Site Profile which tells the Synod about the church and what we are looking for in a pastor.  The Bishop will then recommend one candidate who will be interviewed by the Call Committee.  If the Call Committee approves the candidate, they will pass the information and the candidate to the Church Council for another interview or interviews.  If the Church Council approves the candidate, they will pass the candidate on to the Congregation who will receive information on the candidate and will hear the candidate preach and lead worship.  After that worship service a congregational meeting will be called to vote to receive or reject the candidate as Zion’s next pastor.  A 2/3 majority vote is required to call the pastor and the pastor.  At every step of the process the candidate can be rejected (by the Call Committee, the Council or the Congregation) or can himself/herself opt out of the process.  If the candidate is rejected or declines, another candidate will be offered by the Bishop and the process will begin anew.

In the meantime our Transition Team will continue to gather information that will be passed to the Call Committee and Council.  Please keep an eye out for future discussion group opportunities!  And please know that my office is always open to you for your opinions and wisdom to share, especially if you cannot make it to one of our discussion groups.  Now, more than ever, you need to keep yourself abreast of current events at Zion; so watch your monthly Long Valley Lutheran newsletter, your weekly Happenings, and your announcements on Sundays.

And also in the meantime, life at Zion Lutheran Church will continue as usual.  What I have said many times over, I continue to say – I am your “full service” pastor!  Please let me know of illnesses, injuries, life changes and especially of hospitalizations of anyone in the congregation.  I would much rather be notified six times that “Art” is in the hospital than to find out three weeks after the fact that “Art” had been in the hospital! Grace and Peace, 

Pastor Dan

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