From the Pastoral Search Committee March 27, 2020
The Pastoral Search Committee met (virtually) on Wed, March 25 and Council met on Thurs, March 26 to discuss how to proceed with a call for our pastoral candidate Pastor Bruce Schoup (rhymes with shout) in these times of COVID-19. Below are the minutes from the Council meeting and below that are several blurbs from members of the Search Committee. Lastly are several links that will introduce you to Pastor Bruce. Terry
Church Council Virtual Special Meeting Minutes, March 26, 2020
Today’s special meeting was called to discuss and determine the path forward in calling a new settled pastor while the world is in the midst of the Corona Virus (COVID19) pandemic and restrictions are in place eliminating in-person meetings/gatherings. A candidate, Rev. Bruce Schoup, has been brought forth by the Pastor Search Committee. Previous plan was to present Pastor Bruce to the congregation on April 19 for a “Candidating Sunday” where he would lead our worship and the congregation would be allowed to vote at a Special Congregational Meeting following that service on issuing a call to Pastor Bruce, as prescribed in Church ByLaws.
In light of the impossibility of proceeding with the normal process, and in light of Pastor Bruce’s need for some assurance whether or not he has a position at our church, two possible courses of action have been proposed: Option 1: Alternative approach to Candidating Sunday – arranging for virtual “meet and greet” opportunities, virtual worship led by Pastor Bruce and other on-line opportunities to get to know him, then mailed paper ballots allowing for a congregational vote on issuing a Call to Settled Pastorate. Option 2: Designated Term Pastor – by Council vote, offering a position to Pastor Bruce as a “Designated Term Pastor” for a defined term, with starting date and pay/benefit terms as worked out for the Settled Call Position, with understanding that once in-person gatherings are allowed, the Council and congregation would proceed with the mechanics of a congregational vote on offering a call for Settled
Pastorate. The focus of the conversation throughout the meeting was how best to involve the congregation and how best to be fair to our pastoral candidate.
Following thoughtful and reasoned discussion from all parties present considering the pros and cons of each plan, and especially the difficulty in conducting a written ballot by attendees of the meeting (as our bylaws require) motion was made by Kathie Cook to offer a 2-year contract as a “Designated Term Pastor” to Rev. Bruce Schoup (pastoral candidate presented by the Pastor Search Committee) beginning June 1, 2020 with the ability to convert the contract to a “Settled Pastorate” (within the prescribed procedures outlined in the church bylaws) at any time during that 2-year period. Motion was seconded by Curt Scott. Motion carried with no dissension.
Efforts will be made to offer several opportunities for virtual “meet and greet” meetings between interested congregants and Pastor Bruce and to present a virtual sermon by Pastor Bruce on April 19.
It is worth noting that this creative solution was actually suggested by Pastor Bruce as a way to move forward and still allow for eventual adherence to the bylaws and full congregational participation in the final vote.
Meeting adjourned shortly before 8:00pm.
Barbara Anderson, Clerk