Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your interim pastor. I began Mid-January 2019 when many members of Christ Church were in shock over the sudden departure of Pastor Sabin, and the circumstances surrounding his departure, yet you recovered, focused and carried on with the work of the congregation. Not only that, but you continue to deal with the aftermath of the fire, the realities of our homeless brothers, maintenance of our building, managing our ministries, and tending to worship and community building. Despite all the challenges you faced this past year, you have remained faithful. Your leaders and workers have carried on with their tasks, and you have positioned yourself well to finish the interim process and call a pastor. Thank you for all that you do. I am blessed to be walking with you during this time.
The Interim Process – A Reminder
Together the congregation and Interim Pastor will:
A. Examine the history of the congregation and work through the transition dynamics that usually follow the departure of a pastor.
B. Seek to confirm and identify current issues facing the congregation and develop ways of dealing with them.
C. Develop a vision for the congregation’s mission.
D. Examine the congregation’s linkage with synod, mission district, churchwide units, and the resources that may be available for ministry.
E. Prepare for the arrival of the new pastor.
F. Align the congregation in accordance with the constitutions and bylaws of the ELCA the Sierra Pacific Synod and update the congregation’s constitution as needed.
The Interim Pastor will:
A. Preach and teach the Word of God.
B. Preside at worship and administer the sacraments according the practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
C. Provide pastoral care to all members of the parish according to their needs, visit as necessary, officiate at weddings, baptisms, confirmation, funerals, and uphold the members in prayer.
D. Give pastoral leadership for the meetings, activities, and organizations of the congregation.
E. Encourage support of the total ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
F. Be responsible for the recording of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, funerals, attendance at Holy Communion, and the maintenance of the membership rosters; and report the statistics of the parish promptly and fully, as requested by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
G. Agree under no circumstances to be available for regular call to this congregation.
H. Agree not to be involved in the congregation’s call process except when the synod bishop requests such participation.
I. Agree not to become a member of this congregation after this agreement terminates.
J. Participate with key leadership of the congregation and the appointed synodical staff person in evaluation of the interim ministry on a quarterly basis and at the conclusion of the transition period.
The congregation will:
A. Commit to the Gospel by faithful participation in worship, learning, and fellowship activities.
B. Support the ministry of the congregation through service and gifts.
C. Accept the interim pastor, uphold him in prayer, and accord him love, respect, and good will.
D. Expect the interim pastor to preside at baptisms, celebrations of Holy Communion, and other rites of the church.
E. Agree that the interim pastor will not be considered for regular call to this congregation.
F. Provide for a review and evaluation of the interim ministry on a quarterly basis and at the conclusion of the transition period by key leadership of the congregation with the interim pastor and the appointed synodical staff person.
G. Compensate the interim pastor appropriately
To gather data and engage you in the interim process, I prepared several homework assignments (Core Values Worksheet, Three Questions Worksheet and Sacred Stories Worksheets). In addition, with the assistance of the Transition team led several congregational events (History/Heritage, Leadership Styles, Mission and Outreach). The Transition Team is about finished with their primary task of preparing your Ministry Site Profile. The Call Committee will begin their work in January.
The Membership of Christ Church, Lutheran consists of:
60 Active Adults (voting members who have communed and contributed at least once in the past year)
12 Active Children (those who have not yet been confirmed yet participate)
16 Inactive Adults (who have not been in worship and contributed in the past year)
7 Inactive Children
95 = Total Membership
In addition, we are blessed with at least 12 Active non-members (who worship regularly, serve where they can, yet are not officially members at this time).
Membership changes in 2019
3 Members received:
Claudia Schumann – received May 8
Xena Camillia John – by baptism on March 31
Annabelle Jane Beam – by baptism on November 3
6 Members removed:
Gail Valeskie – Transferred to St. John’s, Napa on June 24
Johannes Grad, Hilary Nordwell & Melanie Grad – Transferred to St. Andrew’s, Bellevue, WA on Oct 10
David Clegg – Died March 10
Irene Owen – Died August 11
Our average weekly worship attendance last year was 39, slightly up from last year (37).
Calls / Visits
I have offered to visit with each member/family to respond to concerns, provide pastoral care, and to listen to what you have on your heart and mind. To date I have made 132 such visits, including hospital, shut-in and pastoral visits.
For a small congregation, I am amazed by and in awe of what you accomplish, and at the number of special events that take place at Christ Church. Among the most memorable:
March 3 – Mardi Gras
Lenten and Advent Midweek worship using Holden Evening Prayer
Holy Week and Easter worship services
Winter Shelter Walk around Lake Merced
Days For Girls Projects and events
The Food Pantry, and the Volunteer Appreciation Event
God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday at the SF-Marin Foodbank
Bible Study of Romans
Talented musicians every week
Octoberfest / Halloween
Friday Night Group
Night with the SF Symphony
I’m also aware of your dedication to worship, your care for each other, and your eagerness to know where God is calling you in the days ahead. Are you the perfect congregation? No, but I don’t know of one. You have much to consider and discern in the coming months as you begin the process of calling a new pastor, and many things to address in the months and years ahead, including a strategic plan, evangelism and stewardship strategies, leadership trainings, and so on. This I know: God’s Spirit is with you, leading and guiding.
An Interim Prayer
Loving God: be with us and guide us during this time of transition and discernment. Fill our leaders with your wisdom. Keep us mindful of the work you would have us do. Lead us and guide us, O God, to be about the work of establishing your reign here on earth as the search for a new pastor continues. Bless all who have taken on extra responsibilities and fill them with a sense of your love and presence. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord
Lyle J Beckman, Interim Pastor