April 10, 2013
Dear Members and Friends,
Last night the Board of Trustees received the announcement of our Senior Minister Drew Kennedy’s retirement, effective June 30th, 2014, with a mix of emotions — sadness that an exciting, transformative era for our church will be ending, joy for Drew, some apprehension at the inevitability of change, but a greater amount of confidence that First Church is healthy, strong, and prepared for our future.
The Board’s initial exploration of the eventual fact of ministerial succession came with consultant Rev. Stefan Jonasson at our retreat in June, 2012. Our broad timeline is that we have over a year to celebrate our time with Drew, to feel a range of emotions, to reflect, and to say farewell.
Then the Board will select an accredited interim minister to guide and support us and to help us see ourselves from a new perspective. This interim period is a breathing space, an opportunity to assess where we are and where we want to go. At the appropriate time, a Senior Minister Search Committee will be appointed to begin the task of finding our next settled minister.
As plans fall into place, the Board will communicate with the congregation through regular Chanticleer articles. Please feel free to seek us out with your hopes and concerns. Board photos are near the front door and our contact information is listed in the church directory.
We are in a sound position for ministerial succession. We have a thoughtful and skilled Associate Minister; an experienced and dedicated staff; thanks to the success of the recent canvass, a more stable financial foundation; and plenty of time to make decisions wisely. And we have ourselves — a sanctuary full of vibrant, committed people twice every Sunday morning.
Together we begin a time of ending and of beginning, of fulfillment and renewal. We will not just sit around and wait for a new Senior Minister to arrive. We will take time to share our varied feelings, our worries, our skills, our dreams for the future, and our plans for making them come true. We will move forward and, in the words of the old Shaker hymn, come down where we ought to be. After twenty-six years of Drew’s leadership, would you expect anything less?
Nancy Pajewski, President