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.