First Presbyterian Church
As the Interim Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Vassar, I followed an Installed Pastor of 38 years. The church flourished under his ministry, but the identity of the minister and the congregation were so intertwined that when he left, a large part of who they were also departed. When I arrived, in addition to the predictable problems of grief and loss, there was a complete lack of organizational infrastructure and identity. We have transitioned most of the traditional committee work to ministry teams and equipped people for small group and ministry team leadership. The church had lost contact with its own history outside of the just-retired minister. We began a community wide story telling process where the longer history was explored and written. I have been privileged to start a conversation about who they are within their community and what the Good News might look like in their setting. We continue to explore new opportunities to serve and share in the community. The church lacked any discipleship / spiritual formation process when I arrived. I both facilitated small groups and trained small group leaders for ongoing small group life. We transitioned from a traditional Sunday School to a age-blended program where everyone learns and explores together.