01/22/23 Update from your PNC

Your Pastor Nominating Committee provided an update in worship. Click the link below to watch the video. 

PNC Update


09/25/22 Interim Update

Click the links below for detailed information about the current Interim work which is taking place at Columbia Presbyterian. 

Interim Update


Interim Addendum


To hear more, join us at a forum to discuss the information related to these updates.

In-person forum dates are Sundays, October 9, 2022 & October 16, 2022 at noon in the Fellowship Hall.

Forum dates via Zoom are Thursdays, October 13, 2022 & October 20, 2022 at 6:30pm.  Information about the Zoom meetings will be shared in the Columbia Weekly Newsletter.


09/08/22 Update from your PNC

Your Pastor Nominating Committee is doing first interviews with a second round of candidates. Please pray for the committee as we ask and listen; for the candidates in their responses; and everyone as we seek discernment and the Holy Spirit’s leading. Thank you!

08/12/22 Update from your PNC

Please continue praying for your Pastor Nominating Committee. We have spent this week doing second interviews with some candidates. Meanwhile, seven more pastors have sent PIFs (personal information forms), so the word is still getting around! We appreciate your prayers for discernment as we consider each applicant, wherever they are in the process — and for the applicants themselves, as they also seek God’s call. 

07/15/22 Update from your PNC

Your Pastor Nominating Committee has reached the phase of first interviews. We’ve talked with pastors from both coasts and in between.


Here are ways you can pray for the PNC:

  • For the whole team as we regroup and try to fill in all the amazing work done by Karen Wheeler, who had served as co-chair. Mary Sisson will now join Ron Prill as co-chair.
  • For each committee member by name: Andy Woodrow, Beth Burton, Chris Keinath, Connie Warner, Dan Zeamer, John Van Zytveld, KT Teng, Mary Sisson, Matt Hoffman, Ron Prill and Wendy Ovall.
  • For discernment and clarity as we review the interviews and a few new applicants.
  • For the person God has for Columbia, and for all those on the ministry search.
06/22/22 Update from your PNC

Recently, your Pastor Nominating Committee replaced our weekly meeting with a prayer retreat. This was a special time together of listening, reflecting, and talking with God. At this point in the process, we are working through all the applications and will soon start initial interviews.


Here are some ways you can pray for the work of the PNC:

  • For discernment as we consider each candidate.
  • For interview scheduling as we combine candidates’ calendars with ours, often with time zone differences.
  • For God to lead each person on the PNC — Andy Woodrow, Beth Burton, Chris Keinath, Connie Warner, Dan Zeamer, John Van Zytveld, Karen Wheeler, KT Teng, Mary Sisson, Matt Hoffman, Ron Prill and Wendy Ovall — individually and as a group united in Him.
  • For each person interested in Columbia, that God would show us the one He has chosen and lead the others in their search.
05/19/22 Update from your PNC

People from a lot of churches at last week’s Dunamis Conference prayed for our Pastor Nominating Committee. We ask you to please join them and hold the committee in prayer. We have been surprised that the number of PIFs (Presbyterian speak for resume) is lower than expected, which may reflect national trends. But we proceed with faith that God has chosen someone for Columbia, and He will lead us to that person.
Please pray:

  • For each committee member by name: Andy Woodrow, Beth Burton, Chris Keinath, Connie Warner, Dan Zeamer, John Van Zytveld, Karen Wheeler, KT Teng, Mary Sisson, Matt Hoffman, Ron Prill and Wendy Ovall
  • For each person who has submitted a PIF, that God would lead them in their search
  • For the person God has for Columbia.
03/30/22 Update from your PNC

Please click on the button below to view our Ministry Information Form which is used to advertise the opening for our Head of Staff position:


Ministry Information Form (MIF)

03/23/22 Update from your PNC

Good news! Our MIF is approved and will soon be posted to the PCUSA CLC portal, and we should then be getting PIFs from interested pastors.


Confused? Here’s the explanation. We’ve been working on the MIF (Ministry Information Form) for several months, prayerfully and thoughtfully spelling out who Columbia is as a church and what we’re looking for in a pastor. It has been approved by the Commission on Ministry of the Presbytery of the Cascades, and then by our own Session. After these approvals we have the electronic key to upload it to the Church Leadership Connection (CLC) of the Presbyterian Church, a database where it’s accessible to pastors across the nation. We will do that once we formulate a uniform method of evaluating each interested applicant.


As Personal Information Forms (PIFs) from interested pastors arrive, all 12 of us will be reading and rating every one and deciding what questions to ask those who show the most promise of being a good fit for Columbia. 


Please keep your PNC in prayer. We seek God’s wisdom and discernment through the next phase of the process. 

03/03/22 Update from your PNC

If you attended the congregational meeting last month, you heard about MIFs and PIFs. Your Pastor Nominating Committee is progressing toward completing our MIF (ministry information form), then seeking the approval of the Presbytery of Cascades Commission on Ministry and CPC’s Session.  This part of the process will take some additional time, but once our MIF is completed and fully approved, we’ll enter all information into the PCUSA computer system.


Information about CPC and our search for a new Head of Staff will then be visible to pastors considering a new call, and we should begin receiving PIFs (personal information forms) from pastors interested in learning more.


Getting to this point has taken a lot of prayerful and thoughtful study, discussion, subcommittee work, listening, writing and rewriting. We want to describe Columbia in honest terms and provide accurate information, expecting this will create interest among the kind of candidates we hope to attract. 


Please keep praying for the PNC and a successful search process, for patience for all of us — the PNC and the congregation — and for discernment. We trust that God will use this process for His glory.

01/13/22 Update from your PNC

With travel and family events over the holidays, your Pastor Nominating Committee took two weeks off from meeting — but not from reading! Besides “Canoeing the Mountains,” a book we’re discussing under Chris Keinath’s leadership, we’ve been digesting “On Calling a Pastor” from the Presbyterian Church (USA). We are trying to learn all we can about the process of finding the pastor God is calling to Columbia before taking the next steps.


PNC members have been sharing our stories so we have a greater understanding of each other as we work together over the coming months. Tonight, Jan. 13, we will meet our Presbytery liaison, Rev. Dr. Josh Rowley from First Presbyterian Church in Vancouver. We are eager to gain his insights and guidance. 


The next step will be writing the Ministry Information Form. Please keep the PNC in your prayers as we work to present a clear picture of who we are at CPC, and where we’re going. Thank you!

12/06/21 Update from your PNC

Oh, good! The Pastor Nominating Committee is in place. We should have a new pastor soon, right?


Not so fast! The Presbyterian way is thoughtful, prayerful, and follows a series of steps to ensure we are calling the pastor God has in mind for Columbia Presbyterian Church. God’s timing for God’s person is what we’re seeking.


In our first three meetings we’ve chosen leaders — Ron Prill and Karen Wheeler as co-moderators and Wendy Ovall as scribe — prayed and prayed some more, and gotten to know each other so we can work well together, respecting and enjoying each other. We are literally all over the Myers-Briggs chart, so it’s a well-balanced group. Soon we’ll meet our Presbytery liaison from the Commission on Ministry, Rev. Josh Rowley of First Presbyterian Vancouver. We’ve been reading through a fat notebook of information plus the book “Canoeing the Mountains.”


We cherish your prayers as we begin to paint an authentic picture of Columbia as we work through the Ministry Information Form (MIF). 

12/02/21 Update for the Congregation

This week we’d like to report the following: Session has decided to not hire another Interim Head of Staff Pastor. Our current pastoral staff has agreed to divide the Head of Staff responsibilities among them and Session is confident that the current pastoral staff can do the necessary pastoral work until CPC calls a new Head of Staff.

The Personnel Ministry Team will check in with the pastors on a regular basis to be sure that we are not overworking them, and make adjustments as needed. ~Session Communications Team

12/01/21 Interim Update

Click this link for detailed information about the current Interim work which is taking place at Columbia Presbyterian. 


 Click Here


11/21/21 Pastor Nominating Committee Update for the Congregation

During a Congregational Meeting held on November 21, 2021, Columbia Presbyterian elected the following individuals to serve on the Pastor Nominating Committee.


Beth Burton, Matt Hoffman, Chris Keinath, Wendy Ovall, Ron Prill, Mary Sisson, Katherine Teng, John Van Zytveld, Connie Warner, Karen Wheeler, Andy Woodrow and Dan Zeamer.


11/14/21 Pastor Nominating Committee Update for the Congregation

On November 14th, the following information was shared during our worship services.


To follow up on Danie’s announcement that his service at Columbia will conclude at the end of November.  He came to CPC one year ago on the standard one-year Interim Pastor contract.  The Personnel Ministry Team representing Session, worked with him to discuss his Interim Pastor contract renewal.  Together the Personnel Ministry Team and Danie mutually decided not to renew his contract so Danie, as he stated, will be leaving at the end of November.   


We want to thank Danie for his time here and are grateful for his guidance during the last year as we moved forward in our process to find a new permanent Head of Staff and survive these COVID times.  For at least a few months, Matt, Scott and Ted will cover the Head of Staff responsibilities.  This is not new for them as they did this work for the 4 months between Fitz’ leaving and Danie’s arrival.


Regarding hiring another interim Pastor, Session will be having a discussion and finalizing this decision shortly.  Regardless of the decision the Head of Staff search process won’t be impacted.


Now, where are we in the process of selecting a new Head of Staff? We are pleased to announce the Nominating Committee has completed their work. They have a slate of candidates for the PNC and Session is calling a Congregational Meeting for November 21st after the two services at 11:45.  This will be a hybrid live/online event.  The only agenda item will be to elect this recommended PNC slate.  We are voting on them as a slate, not individually, since they have been carefully balanced to represent ages, men and women, and ministry areas.


Meanwhile, Columbia continues its regular rhythm as a vibrant community of faith

-Deacons are gathering and distributing with volunteers Thanksgiving baskets of  food for families at Marshall and McLoughlin

-We are getting ready for the Alternative Christmas Market

-Advent begins and the Advent concert and activities are on December 5

-Children and youth continue their calendars of activities

-Other teams are meeting and moving forward with their work


10/31/21 Pastor Nominating Committee Update for the Congregation

On October 31st, the following information was shared during our worship services.


Thank you for all the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) nominations that you made. The period to submit names closed October 10th. The Nominating Committee is now busy gathering information from each candidate. As we’ve said before, It is crucial that the PNC be made up of a cross-section of the congregation’s membership, different ministry areas, men and women, young and old.      


Please continue to pray for everyone involved as the Nominating Committee prayerfully selects those God is calling to serve on the PNC. After they have a slate to present to the congregation, the Session will call a congregational meeting to present that slate and to elect our PNC.


These are exciting times.  Thanks for staying informed.

09/26/21 Pastor Nominating Committee Update for the Congregation

On September 26th, the following information was shared during our worship services. 


The Presbytery of the Cascades has approved Columbia Presbyterian electing a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). The Church Nominating Committee (chaired by Dave Cram, an active member of Session) will name a slate of folks to be  serve as our Pastor Nominating Committee for the position of Head Pastor. We, the Congregation, will elect our PNC at a Congregational Meeting to be held at the end of October.


If you know someone who may feel called, or you feel called to serve the congregation in this way, please send your nominations to Dave Cram, davetcram@gmail.com, 360-356-4108. The team will be accepting nominations until October 10, 2021. The nominating team is identifying and reaching out to potential candidates as well.


Please check with a nominee to be sure they are willing to serve BEFORE you make the nomination.  


A couple of things to know about those who serve on the PNC.  

  • Individuals must be a member of Columbia Presbyterian Church. 
  • PNC meetings often occur weekly for a couple of hours each, with ‘homework’ outside of the meetings
  • The candidate needs to have a sense that God is calling them to serve in this way.

What are some of the other qualifications? 

  • Spiritual maturity and sensitivity
  • Ability to work well in a committee setting
  • Listening and communication skills                          
  • Discerning and prayerful
  • Involvement in the ministries of the church         
  • An understanding and agreement with the church’s vision and mission.
  • High level of commitment to the task at hand.

It is crucial that the PNC be made up of a cross-section of the congregation’s membership, different ministry areas, men and women, young and old. The Nominating Committee will work to be sure this is true.


Interim Time FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


The Congregation Communication Team will regularly communicate what is happening as we move forward to a new Head of Staff in worship, on the website and mobile App, through the Columbia Weekly newsletter and via special in-person forums.  The Session members on the team Communication team are Nancy Johns, Ben Stimmel, and Bo Liebe.  Feel free to contact any of the members with questions you might have.  Email (addresses below) is the best method to submit questions, so that we can share your queries with each other. We’ll answer if we can.  Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that congregants have asked:



At a high level, there is a Presbyterian process that is guided by the Commission on Ministry at the Presbytery of the Cascades.  The Commission approves if and how a specific congregation can deviate from the ‘standard’ process.  They stay connected with us throughout the entire process and assign a liaison who supports our CPC teams, specifically the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC – see below for more information).



Late in the Fall of 2020, a team of elders and other CPC members developed the Mission Study.  The purpose was to determine if there were any looming issues with CPC, define who we are, and define who our neighboring community is from a demographic perspective.  Click on one of the buttons below to view the Mission Study results.


Mission Study Summary Report


Complete Mission Study Results and Survey Responses



Our Session has named an Executive Team to lead us in answering questions about CPC and define who we are in more detail. They are discerning which of the issues brought to the table by the Mission Study should be resolved before moving forward.  The process isn’t linear but rather a series of focus areas.

Some of this work includes:

  • Defining our Vision, Mission, and Values
  • Pastoral leadership – what do we need now and for the next 10 years?
  • Configuration of CPC staff for the future.
  • Who Columbia is at our heart? Where do we find ourselves theologically? What missional outreach is important to us? Is it our children and family ministries? Is it our older adults? Or is it something else?
  • What is needed to assure our longevity as a vibrant community of faith?

We will need these answers in order to be able to clearly define CPC for pastoral candidates.





The CPC Nominating Committee puts together a slate of individuals to serve as the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC).  The congregation votes to elect this slate in a Congregational Meeting where nominations from the floor are permitted.   The members of CPC, not the Session, vote to approve the members of the PNC. When we have sufficiently prepared to conduct the search process, Presbytery gives us permission to have this Congregational Meeting.



Eventually the PNC develops a Mission Information Form (MIF – formerly called a Church Information Form) that describes CPC.  They seek input from Session.  This is the information Session is currently pulling together. 


The MIF is posted on the denomination’s ‘job site’ and interested applicants then submit their Personal Information Form (PIF).  The PNC reviews these and evaluates the qualification of potential applicants.   There can be 50-100 applications to review and consider, then they will interview the top candidates, and then the PNC will make a recommendation.  This process typically takes many months to complete.



Pastor Danie has requested permission from the Presbytery and Commission on Ministry, through Rev Clark Scalera (Advocate for Congregations and Clergy of the Presbytery of Cascades) to elect a PNC. They have not met this summer. We hope we’ll have permission to have a Congregational Meeting at the latest in early October.


As we move forward getting these steps completed, we’ll update this document AND do periodic updates in other places.