From the Session – August 2015

August is the first month of Rev. Dr. Philip Makari’s retirement, and while we are all grieving the loss of our pastor of ten years-a great man of God who has loved us, taught us, and led us in the Way of Truth for the glory of God alone, we can rejoice in the fact that he has planted us on solid ground–a foundation of sound Biblical doctrine and faith, for which we are eternally grateful. We can also rejoice with him that God has brought him to this time in his life after many years of serving Him. We all know that Ministers of the Word never truly retire from serving the Lord and sharing the Gospel, so we should keep that in mind as we continue to pray for Rev. Makari and Vickey as they embark on the next phase of the journey.

Moving forward, Session has secured and will continue to secure Stated Supply pastors to preach and administer the Sacraments. We are honored to have Rev. Dr. David Massimi fill that position during the month of August. We also have both an Interim Search Committee (ISC) and a Pastoral Search Committee (PSC) engaged in their respective search processes.

Interim Search Committee
Unlike the Pastoral Search Committee which is a committee of the congregation, the Interim Search Committee is an ad hoc committee of the Session. The members appointed by the Session include Ruling Elders: Mr. Bob Burns (Recording Clerk), Mrs. Jeanne Cox, Mrs. Esther Harris, Mr. Scott Murison (Chair), and Mr. Bob Sagrilla. The committee has contacted the stated clerk of the Presbytery of the Alleghenies, Mr. Bruce Allison, and informed him of the Session’s desire to search for an interim, who will be a temporary pastor until a permanent one is called. The presbytery stated clerk and the General Assembly office will provide the committee with candidates. The ISC will study the interim pastor Profiles and Personal Information Forms (PIF) and interview the available choices until an interim pastor is agreed upon by the ISC and candidate. The ISC will recommend the interim and a written covenant of the working relationship to Session. If the recommendation is accepted, Session will issue the invitation. When an interim pastor is called, Session must receive the necessary approvals from the presbytery or the Ministerial Committee (acting as a commission if empowered to make that decision).
Pastoral Search Committee

The Pastoral Search Committee members elected by the congregation are: Dr. Thomas Brown, Mrs. Jane Gambos (Vice-Chair), Mrs. Carolyn Glaub (Chair) -serving as representatives of Session; Mrs. Ruth Carson, Mr. Chris Dopp, Mr. Michael Paris (Recording Clerk), and Mrs. Janet Stukins-serving as congregation at large representatives. The PSC has been meeting every Wednesday night and will continue to do so throughout the entire search process.
The PSC has gathered statistics and pertinent information and is nearing the completion of the Church Information Form. A period of all-member participation in envisioning our future ministry will be held August 22 and will be conducted by representatives from the Session and/or the Presbytery.

Following the envisioning process and submission of our CIF, we will begin to receive PIF’s from pastors. The PSC will then commence the process of interviewing the applicants, checking references, visiting their churches, and hearing them preach and interact with their congregations.

It is important to note that this is a process which will take time due to the seriousness of the matter. The POA Ministerial Committee has appointed TE Dana Opp to be our PSC liaison, and he has counseled the Session to let the full process take place without rushing results.

The Session will continue to keep the congregation updated as we progress through these search processes.
Of course, these processes will be done with prayer every step of the way. Please continue to be in fervent prayer with us.

For questions, please consult the Book of Order of the EPC, or you may contact the Ruling Elder representatives on the search committees.