maintain confidentiality. This lengthy process was truly a team effort.
Now that the offer has been made and accepted by Pastor McLane, I personally wanted to share some thoughts with you. Last December at the first meeting of the PNC, we met with Reverend Sheryl Kinder Pyle from Presbytery and our advisor, Pastor Doug Cartwright from Post Falls Presbyterian Church. We were advised that we should expect to spend about twelve months to complete the process – on the outside, up to eighteen months. At that first meeting, Rev. Sheryl told us this would need a lot of discernment on our part, and we should not feel rushed. We spent the next month developing our process and educating ourselves about how all this would work. The following month was devoted to preparing the paperwork required to list our calling and getting set up in the Presbyterian call system. With that completed, we posted our call and began to receive information from clergy – lots of candidates!
As candidates came to us, we watched sermons online, studied their work experience and education, and reviewed their responses to a series of narrative questions. We began to wonder how we would know when we had the “right” person. One evening during our committee meeting, we recognized that God was also reaching out to interested candidates, and we could trust that God would provide us our next Pastor; therefore, we shifted our focus as we reviewed candidates to identifying that person.
When reviewing the narrative answers from our candidates, ”discernment” was mentioned over and over, just as it was in our initial meeting. It occurred to me that I did not have a true understanding of the difference between prayer and discernment. A Google search made it perfectly clear:
My personal spiritual development and understanding of how God is involved in our lives has been elevated from being a part of this whole process. This was something I never expected when I joined the committee! I am so thankful to have had this opportunity.
To pick-up the process from discernment, fast-forward four months: we had narrowed the field to several finalists, and we were conducting lengthy interview sessions with them. During this part of the process, it was not only us who were having discernment, but the candidates said that they were doing the same.
We wrestled with so many questions. Which candidate would be the best fit for our church and congregation? How would we choose? How will we know when the correct candidate is shown to us? Our committee worked through it all together, and our decision was unanimous. Our answer came as a result of discernment.
A lot of people have thanked the PNC for our efforts, and we appreciate that. However, we all know that God was right there with us. Trust in Him and He will provide for us because He loves us.
Thanks be to God for guiding us through our discernment process and for always loving us!
In His Name, Roger
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.