Today, the sun is out. Today, my window is open. Today, I can hear the birds sing. Today, I can feel the wind brush across my cheek and I smile. Today, things are starting to feel more normal.
Constant vigilance is exhausting. It is especially exhausting when there is no one person to direct your frustration, anxiety, anger and exhaustion at. Instead, we have been on high alert for an invisible enemy for a full quarantine now. The word quarantine comes from the Italian word quarantena, meaning forty days. Well, folks - we have made it thus far, past the 40 day mark.
Let us reflect on how things have changed for Northminster in those (more than) forty days:
I am grateful and so proud of all that we have learned so far. Even as technology can be frustrating, confusing, or intimidating, you all rose to the challenge. And I thank you all for your willingness to learn and be flexible. Be proud of yourselves and all that we have learned together.
Folks, things are starting to feel more normal as the state begins to open up a few more industries. Many of us feel quarantine fatigue and are itching to get out of the house. And still, some of us are afraid. For us, the Session guides us and decides if, when, and how we open up. For my own thoughts, even as certain parts of our society open up, we must be cautious and not make decisions based off of our keen desire and longing to be near one another. Sacrificial love says that gathering together is as safe or dangerous as it is for the weakest, the most immunocompromised, and the most vulnerable among us. In this, I ask for your patience: the road to safely gathering together will likely be long and does not have clear directional signs.
Friends and family, I am so proud of you. It is a joy to lead people who care so deeply for their community and are willing to learn so much in order to gather together. We may not be out of the woods of this pandemic, but it is God who made the path, Christ calls us forward on the journey, and the Spirit guides us along the way. Be at peace as the birds sing. The world is changing and God is doing a new thing! Look around and behold the wonder!
Pastor Chris Hallam
Your Pastoral Nominating Committee
The PNC (Pastoral Nominating Committee) has been meeting almost weekly since the beginning of the year, and have three more meetings scheduled in March. The Committee is currently working to complete our MIF (Ministry Information Form), in which we answer narrative questions to describe Northminster’s ministry, mission, and vision, as well as selecting tasks/competencies we are looking for. After approval by Session and the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry (CoM), it will be posted online and is the means by which candidates will find us. Your input, insights, and prayerful support is appreciated!
- Pastoral Nominating Committee: Jim Hoogstra; Caroline Kondak; Jamie Love; Ruth Turner and Martha Babcock, Chair
On Sunday, December 22, the congregation elected a five-member Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) which will search for Northminster’s next installed pastor.
The members of the PNC are: Martha Babcock, Jim Hoogstra, Caroline Kondak, Jamie Love, and Ruth Turner. They will work closely with the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry representative Ron Hughes, a ruling elder from Rosedale Gardens Church in Livonia. The initial meeting is scheduled for January 3, 2020, when Mr. Hughes will provide an orientation to the PNC.
The PNC’s first task is to complete the PCUSA Ministry Information Form (MIF) which functions as a résumé for the church. This document will provide potential candidates with basic information regarding Northminster’s current life and future direction. Soon the PNC will be reading Personal Information Forms (PIF) from pastors and begin interviewing prospective candidates.
The PNC will share information about its progress with the congregation throughout its work. The congregation is encouraged to pray for the PNC as it seeks the pastor God has already selected for Northminster.
The Self Study Group presented its report to the Session on September 25th.
Following discussion, the Session voted unanimously to approve the Self Study Report.
The Session will share the report with the congregation once the Presbytery of Detroit’s Committee on Ministry approves the document.
The travel-study seminar group that Pastor Nichols participated in through the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program was interviewed while they were at Dom Kinonia in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on the final day of the 13-day trip. An excerpt from the Presbyterian News Service article by Rich Copley:
“The travelers dove right into the conflict of the region on the second day of the trip by visiting Maidan Square in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, one of the centers of the Ukrainian Revolution that saw the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who sought to forge stronger ties with Russia, in favor of a new government that favored working with the European Union.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have simmered and occasionally flared up ever since.
“Being in that square, our group was in a place that was significant — it felt like being in Tiananmen Square sort of, where something significant happened for this country,” said Rev. Carl Horton, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. “That’s where we started to hear the story of the change in Ukraine … and when we moved on to the Russian side, I was struck by how it was a completely different perspective on this conflict.”
Selden Spencer of Collegiate Presbyterian Church in Ames, Iowa says, “The theme we quite often wrestled with is ‘What is the truth? What is going on? Where do you get your information?’ That continues to be a challenge.
“What I personally carry away is there is a lot of suffering, a lot of sorrow, and it almost feels like the misery of Stalin and World War II and reconstruction after that is ongoing. Folks are somewhat tired.”
Online readers can see the full article HERE. The article is also posted at the church.
Northminster Presbyterian Church
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