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:
WHO DETERMINES THE PROCESS?
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).
WHAT HAS CPC DONE SO FAR?
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 the button below to view the Mission Study results below.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE NEXT STEPS?
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?; our children and family ministries?, our older adults?, or 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.
WHO PICKS THE NEW PASTOR?
WHAT IS A PNC?
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.
WHAT DOES THE PNC DO?
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.
WHEN WILL THIS HAPPEN?
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.
PNC Update - Coming late 2021
Pastor Nominating Team Updates – Future Content
Once Columbia Presbyterian Church has received approval to form a PNC, and the Congregation has elected the team members, we will post status updates on this page to let you know what step of the process they are in.