No rock to hide under…
As many of you have heard through a letter or from the pulpit, as good stewards of the church, we are starting the process of planning for Dr. Hood’s retirement in approximately four years. The process selected is a co-pastor model for Dr. Hood and Rev. Rapier. Here are some questions that we have received so far:
1. Why now?
While it is sometimes comforting to put our heads in the sand and ignore a change we can see ahead, the future is coming regardless -- and we need to prepare! Dr. Hood, as a good steward of the church, has been transparent in his wish to retire around four years from now and wants, as do we all, a smooth transition to new pastoral leadership.
2. Why co-pastoring?
You have likely heard Session members and Dr. Hood say that the talent pool for experienced pastors who have anywhere near the talents of Rev. Rapier is almost non-existent. And it is important to know that other churches have taken a keen interest in Rev. Rapier.
Co-pastoring is the sole option available to us as a Presbyterian Church congregation that will enable Rev. Rapier to automatically and immediately become our pastor upon Dr. Hood’s retirement. We want to keep our wonderful Rev. Rapier at First Presbyterian. -- it’s as simple as that!
3. What will change for me, as a congregant or friend of First Presbyterian?
There is no change for you. Your relationship with the pastors does not change. You may see more of Rev. Rapier in the pulpit, and perhaps other shifts in their sharing of church leadership tasks, but they are both accessible to you as before.
4. How can I help?
Come to the Special Congregational Meeting, where congregants will vote to approve the recommendation to the Presbytery to have Dr. Hood and Rev. Rapier be co-pastors. And, most importantly, support our pastors as we make this transition. You can do this by keeping our pastors and our congregation in your prayers and offering them your personal encouragement in the coming months.
5. Who can answer the questions I have?
Besides the opportunities offered by the town halls, you can also address questions by writing, calling, or speaking to our Business Administrator, Nancy Fine, and she will forward them to the Co-Pastoring Committee consisting of Mary Martinéz, Megan Buck, and Anne Gaudree -- and they will get back to you.
We are truly blessed at First Presbyterian to have two wonderful pastors who are dedicated to the current and the future success of our church! Let’s make them shine even brighter in the next few years as co-pastors by giving them our full support!