Pastoral Transitions at Pearce
Pastor Mike and I, with deep gratitude to God and the Pearce family, announce our resignations. Pastor Mike has accepted, effective March 20, 2017, the position of lead pastor at Hope Chapel – a Free Methodist congregation in Perry, New York. And, as of December 31 of this year, I will be retiring from full-time pastoral appointment.
Obviously, there is much I want to say about these two transitions. I will try to be brief, respecting the nature of this weekly communication. (Both Pastor Mike and I will be sharing more about our decisions at this weekend’s worship services; and a letter informing the members of Pearce of these transitions was mailed out yesterday. Copies of this letter are available at the Pearce Welcome Kiosk.)
Permit me to note that the reasons for these transitions are positive ones and in no way reflect any discontent with ministry at Pearce. Both of us have enjoyed pastoring at Pearce and feel quite privileged to have been here.
Pastor Mike and I have been in dialogue over the past year about whether or not he should move to a lead pastor position in ministry. He has spent more than 20 years in youth ministry, first as a Young Life worker and for the last ten years on Pearce’s pastoral team. Mike is a gifted pastor and I have encouraged him in his pastoral formation; although, to be quite honest, I don’t want him to leave! I do celebrate, however, his decision to accept this new ministry challenge and he goes with my blessing. I ask you, as well, to bless him and his family.
I also ask for your blessing as Mary and I prepare for my transition over the remainder of 2017. At the end of this year, I will have served for more than 37 years in full-time pastoral ministry, the last ten of those years at Pearce. I feel I have accomplished what God sent me to Pearce to carry out, and feel that it is time for a new chapter in Pearce’s life to begin.
Pastor Mike’s decision and my own were made independent of each other.
I want to assure you that I am invested in this final year of my ministry, and want to do all that I am able to assist Pearce through this transition. I have been in dialogue with both Bishop David Roller and Superintendent Pam Braman regarding my decision to retire and they will, I am confident, work closely with our administrative board in providing for the leadership of Pearce in this next leg of our congregation’s journey.
You may wonder what the next steps will be. Pastor Mike, in his final two months here, will be devoting his time and energy to ensuring the continuity of our ministry to the young people of our church and communities. He is working with his youth leadership team to put in place all that is necessary for effective ministry to continue.
I will be working over the next eleven months to “finish well,” and to help Pearce engage in the kind of self-study and assessment that will inform our leaders as they determine the type of pastoral leadership needed to take Pearce into the future God has planned for this congregation. Both Jim Morton, Official Board Chair, and Terry Taber, the chair of our Personnel Committee, have already been in dialogue with denominational leaders in preparing for this time of transition.
In all of this, I am confident of God’s leading of Pearce. While writing this article, I took a break to wander out into the Narthex and consider the plaque listing the pastors who have served over the more than 150 years of Pearce’s existence. I counted the names of more than ninety women and men who have served on the pastoral team. It was a solid reminder that He who has been faithful in providing godly leaders in the past, will continue to do so in the coming days.
Thanks for your prayer for both Pastor Mike and his family, as well as for Mary and me, as we move through this year of transition.
This Weekend at Pearce
In light of the announcement of both Pastor Mike’s and my transitions, I’ve decided to do things a bit differently this weekend at Pearce. In our worship services, Board Chair Jim Morton will highlight the next steps as Pearce moves through the coming months. Terry Taber, chair of our Personnel Committee, will facilitate an interview with Pastor Mike and me concerning our decisions. I hope you’ll join us!
2016 Financial Update
Once again, we want to thank you for continuing to give faithfully and consistently. Despite that fact, we fell short on contributions in comparison to the 2016 budget and in comparison to 2015. Last year, we contributed a total against our budget of $1,494,726, while this year we brought in a total of $1,473,840, for a difference of $20,886.
However, when considering our total contributions (Operations + Building + Missions) in comparison to our total budget, we missed by $14,826, which is only 1%. In addition, we brought in another $56,934 for the work that needed to be done on the Parmerter roof project.
Although we haven’t missed by much, we don’t usually miss our budget at all, which is a bit of a red-flag as we head into 2017 knowing that almost all of our costs are going up. We will need to strive as a church to do a little better. While 1% doesn’t seem like much, it is when most of our costs are either fixed costs (expenses we don’t really have a choice upon) or they are ministries (which we would like to keep going).
Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support through 2017. We are looking forward to a great year of ministry!
Sizing Things Up
Just a note to let you know of a slight change in the appearance of our bulletin beginning this weekend. The folder will be slightly larger and printed on a more standard size paper, allowing us to purchase paper that is less expensive. Hope you continue to enjoy this weekly communication tool of our church!