Pastoral Transitions

Healthy pastoral transitions are vital for the well-being of both congregations and clergy alike. These transitions mark significant shifts in leadership within a religious community, impacting its dynamics, morale, and direction. A smooth transition ensures continuity in spiritual guidance, fosters trust and stability among parishioners, and facilitates the integration of new leadership. Moreover, it offers departing clergy closure and affirmation while allowing incoming pastors to establish rapport and understand the unique needs of their congregation. Healthy transitions honor the legacy of outgoing leaders, promote open communication, and lay a strong foundation for the future growth and vitality of the faith community.

The Pastoral Transitions Commission will shepherd a congregation from the moment a Pastoral leader decides to leave, is removed from office or retires until a new leader is formally installed. This commission is responsible for working with the Session to determine the best course of action for a congregation searching for new, permanent leadership, including all the various steps of the PNC process including examining and receiving the new teaching elder/CRE, approving any Interim contracts and new terms of call. The Commission will also work on a suggested Installation Commission for the newly called Pastor.

The design of this commission is to create a “turn-key” process to ease the burden, eliminate the confusion and lower the anxiety for congregations in transition. The Commission recommends Presbytery minimum terms of call each year after a thorough evaluation of national and local salary trends. This commission shall appoint moderators to Sessions of churches with leadership vacancies due to the search process and other duties assigned by the Presbytery or Coordinating Commission. This commission may recruit, seek additional help, and build teams with people not on the commission for short-term projects when necessary. This Commission has the authority to receive and dismiss teaching elders and receive candidates who have been certified to receive a call (pending their successful examination on the floor of the presbytery); the authority to approve calls, or changes in calls, when they are found to be in order, and to appoint commissions to ordain and/or install; the authority to dissolve pastoral relationships in cases where the teaching elder and congregation concur; the authority to grant the status of Honorably Retired; the authority to approve validated ministries and confer upon teaching elders the status of member-at-large; the authority to counsel with a local church session and approve the election of a Pastor Nominating Committee; the authority to grant permission to a local congregation to circulate a Ministry Information Form.

Resources & Documents
Date
Info

01/01/24
01. Minimum Terms of Call for 2024
01/01/24

01/01/15
02. On Calling a Pastor 2015 – A comprehensive document for Pastor Nominating Committees
01/01/15

03/23/24
03. Ministry Discernment Profile (MDP)
03/23/24

03/23/24
04. Leadership Competency Definitions
03/23/24

03/23/24
05. Temporary Supply Contract for Minister of Another Denomination
03/23/24

03/23/24
06. Temporary Supply Contract for PCUSA Minister
03/23/24

03/23/24
07. Church Leadership Connection
The PCUSA site for churches and Pastors searching for call.
03/23/24

03/23/24
08. Policy on the relationship between a former minister and the congregation
03/23/24

03/23/24
09. Interim Pastor Covenant
03/23/24

03/23/24
10. Pastoral Call Form (docx)
03/23/24

03/23/24
11. Pastoral Call Form (Form is Fillable)
03/23/24

03/23/24
12. Contract for Commissioned Pastor
03/23/24

03/23/24
13. Ordination and Installation Service Instructions
03/23/24

03/23/24
14. Commission to Ordain and Install Minutes Template
03/23/24

05/23/24
Pulpit Supply List
05/23/24

Members
  • Elder Juanita Spangler, Chair, Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Whitesburg, KY
  • Elder Mike Burnside, First Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY
  • Rev. Jose’ Luis Casal, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Paris, KY
  • Rev. Mike Chamberlain, Honorably Retired
  • Rev. Matt Falco, Pastor, Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY
  • Rev. Wanda Olive, Interim Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Winchester, KY
  • Elder Eric Schonblom, Buckhorn Lake Area Church, Buckhorn, KY
  • Elder Barbara Rogers, Hunter Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY