This month marks the one-year anniversary of our committee being elected by you, our church family, to conduct a search for Calvary’s next senior pastor. This time last year none of us could have anticipated that we would be trying to complete this process amid a global health pandemic that prevents us from worshiping together at 150 E. High Street.
In our last report we shared with you that we continue to meet on a weekly basis via technology, are in conversation with 1 candidate and working with the ministerial staff to formulate plans for conducting a trial sermon and special called business meeting. We also reported that we are examining potential options to achieve full congregational participation in this call process.
We think it is important for you to know what that means in terms of the plans we are considering.
- It means that we will wait until Calvary can hold some form of in-person worship service for a few weeks before conducting a trial sermon and special called business meeting. The ministerial staff and elected church leaders are meeting with church members who are medical professionals to assess the wisest path to take within the guidelines offered by State officials.
- It means that we will need to be flexible in choosing the date we ask for a business meeting because loosening of government restrictions may change depending on the spread of this virus. Based on current estimates, we believe the earliest a trial sermon could take place is the last Sunday in June but may have to be a later date.
- It means that we will give at least 2 weeks’ notice between the request for the special called business meeting and the trial sermon to allow ample time to communicate the agenda of events for the Trial Sermon Weekend. These events are still being developed but will be structured with regard to current health guidelines to allow all congregational members the opportunity to ask questions and get to know the candidate and their spouse ahead of the called business meeting.
- It means that if some Calvary members are not safe, or do not feel safe participating in an in-person worship service, we will do everything we can to help them acquaint themselves with our candidate ahead of the call Sunday and to participate in the worship service and business meeting.
- It means that the first time you meet our candidate may not include a handshake in an intimate setting. Our vision of the typical meet and greet reception is not a reality in a global health pandemic and we will need to be open to different opportunities to interact with our candidate.
- It means that we will make our plans not only based on when and how Calvary decides to reestablish in-person worship, but also with sensitivity and consideration to our sister congregation to which our candidate is currently ministering, as they deal with these same issues brought on by the global pandemic.
- It means that we continue to be in close contact with a candidate who feels called and excited about the possibility of ministering with us at Calvary. It has allowed our committee to get to know our candidate even better and feel further affirmed in God’s direction for our search.
Thank you again for the trust you have placed in our committee. Continue to keep Calvary and this process in your prayers. Even as we exercise patience in these unusual circumstances, we continue to be excited for what is ahead for Calvary!