Dick Edmunds – Chair
Tom Parlette – Co-Chair
Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC)
APNC Update, March 27, 2018
Psalm 105:4 (NIV)
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.James 1:5 (NLT)
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.
Welcome Carolyn Wilson
Beginning on August 15, 2017, the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (Marcia Bickmore, Dick Edmunds, Cindy Gossman, Jean Murray, Carlene Painter, Tom Parlette, and Tom Saye) has been meeting weekly and earnestly seeking God’s face and praying for His wisdom and guidance as they have searched for the person God has chosen to fill the Associate Pastor position. They researched 73 potential candidates, a balance of men and women, from 28 states across all regions of the U.S. They have prayerfully considered each applicant, conducted numerous reference checks, and had extensive Skype interviews with nine candidates. Along the way they were given invaluable assistance from our Presbytery Liaisons, Charmaine Ponkratz and Rebecca Nicholson. During this process, the APNC members have prayed together, had many discussions, asked questions, and learned a lot not only about the search process, but about each other. They have all been committed to finding the candidate whom God has chosen for VPC, a candidate who will be a wonderful fit for this congregation and community.
God has amazingly connected Venice Presbyterian Church with a candidate whom the APNC enthusiastically believes will be a perfect fit for Venice Presbyterian Church. Through providential circumstances, the Lord connected us with Carolyn Wilson, who is currently serving as Director of Equipping at Church of the Palms in Sarasota. Carolyn brings experience and first-hand understanding of serving in a large congregation in Southwest Florida, having worked for the past six years on the ministry staff at Church of the Palms. Her areas of ministry leadership at Church of the Palms bear remarkable similarity to the Associate Pastor job description at VPC, as her responsibilities have included Adult Spiritual Formation, Small Group Development, Hospitality, New Members, Volunteer Ministry, and Women’s Ministries (among other general pastoral duties). She is also a trained Stephen Minister.
Originally hailing from Michigan, Carolyn spent many years in the corporate world as a manager of customer care and billing systems in the fields of Information Technology and Global Telecommunications. She also directed a large multi-national, multi-site research and development organization based in France with teams located in England, Italy, Spain, and the United States. In 2004, Carolyn left the corporate world, moved back to Florida and spent the next seven years as a realtor and real estate investor during the market’s big downturn. The Lord used the difficulties of that period in her life to draw her closer to Him than she had ever been, set her heart on fire for Jesus, and led her onto a different and unexpected career path. She is excited about serving at Venice Presbyterian Church, feeling drawn to our vision To Glorify God as a Disciple-Making Outpost of Kingdom Life.
Carolyn is currently nearing the completion of her preparation for ordination under care of Peace River Presbytery. She will graduate from the University of Dubuque Presbyterian Seminary in May. Remaining steps in her path to ordination include final assessments from the Committee on Preparation for Ministry and the Committee on Ministry of Peace River Presbytery, with the final step being examination before the full Presbytery. The Presbytery has granted us gracious permission to engage in conversation with Carolyn, and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Presbytery as Carolyn moves towards her ordination to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament.
To help us fill our immediate and pressing leadership needs—and to allow Carolyn to come aboard the staff and work with Pastor Chris as he begins a long-planned Sabbatical at the end of May—the Session’s Human Resources Committee (in communication with the Presbytery) has hired Carolyn to our staff as Director of Connecting and Outreach (effective April 16). We bring Carolyn on staff with the intention—if the way be clear—to call her to become our Associate Pastor upon the completion of her ordination process. We look forward to introducing Carolyn to the VPC congregation at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation on Sunday, April 15 at 4 pm.
Needless to say, we have gotten quite an education in Presbyterian process! Members of our Presbytery’s leadership will be with us at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation to explain the process and potential timetable in more detail.
On behalf of the APNC and all of us who have been looking forward to the revelation of God’s plan, thank you for your prayers! God has beautifully answered them!
With joy, in Christ,
Chris Romig, Senior Pastor
Christine O’Brien, Executive Director
Dick Edmunds, Chair of HR/APNC
APNC Update, March 20, 2018
Psalm 105:4 (NIV)
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
James 1:5 (NLT)
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.
Beginning on August 15, 2017, the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee has been meeting weekly and earnestly seeking God’s face and praying for His wisdom and guidance as we have searched for the person God has chosen to fill the Associate Pastor position. To date we have researched 73 potential candidates, a balance of men and women, from 28 states across all regions of the U.S. We have prayerfully considered each applicant, conducted numerous reference checks, and had extensive Skype interviews with nine candidates. We have all been committed to finding the candidate whom God has chosen for VPC, a candidate who will be a wonderful fit for this congregation and community.
Along the way we have had invaluable assistance from our Presbytery Liaisons, Charmaine Ponkratz and Rebecca Nicholson. Pastor Chris and Executive Director Chris O’Brien have provided much wise counsel and insight.
During this process, we as a committee have prayed for each other, had many discussions, asked questions, and learned a lot not only about the search process, but about each other. It is a privilege to work together, pray together, and grow in our own faith journeys as we seek God’s will for the AP position.
We covet your prayers as we continue the process. If the Lord wills, we are hopeful that we will have a final candidate to recommend to Session and the congregation in the next two months. Please pray for discernment and God’s wisdom for the APNC and for the person God has chosen for this position. When a recommendation is made, the congregation will be informed and a congregational meeting will be called to vote on issuing a call to the candidate as our next AP.
Thank you for your prayers!
APNC Update, January 7, 2018
Beginning on August 15, 2016, the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee has reviewed 45 potential candidates for our position. Our candidate pool consists of a balance of men and women. The experience ranges from pastors completing their first position to seasoned solo pastors and pastors who came to the ministry as a second career. Each candidate is being thoroughly researched and in many cases has been asked a series of follow up questions. With the candidate’s permission references are being called for their impressions of the candidates.
The APNC has used Skype technology to interview nine serious candidates. Our next step will be to schedule a second interview with the two or three most promising candidates with Pastor Chris and Executive Director, Christine O’Brien in attendance. Our goal is, with the Holy Spirit’s influence, to gain a consensus on the candidate who is the best fit for our position and for Venice Presbyterian Church.
The APNC has been working diligently since August fine-tuning the Mission Information Form (MIF), assimilating and organizing pertinent questions for the candidates and their references, as well as questions that the candidates may ask us. We envision this to be a two-way process, interviewing candidates, but also the candidates interviewing us about VPC. As a result, the APNC needed to anticipate what questions the candidates may ask, so that we can readily and accurately inform the candidate about the wonderful things VPC and Venice have to offer.
The MIF describes VPC’s mission, demographics and a description of how the Associate Pastor position will further VPC’s mission. It also describes expected personal characteristics, tasks and programs for which our future Associate Pastor would be responsible. Finally, the MIF requires us to select ten competencies out of 33 that VPC values most in an associate pastor. We then ranked those competencies from most important to least with the top four being; spiritual maturity, interpersonal engagement, compassion and collaboration. Candidates are matched to our MIF through the Presbyterian Church’s (USA); Church Leadership Connection (CLC) website, and by the competencies candidates choose in their Personal Information Forms (PIF). Members of the congregation can review VPC’s MIF in the church office and on our website. We received our first PIF’s on October 20 and to date we have received 37 PIFs with 12 of those being self-referrals (applicants who applied after studying our MIF). To date, there is the expected mix of men and women candidates from nineteen different states.
A significant amount of time since October has been spent by each member of the APNC trying to gain as much information as possible about each candidate by reviewing their PIFs, listening to or watching one or more sermons online, visiting their current church’s website, Linkedin, Facebook, personal blogs, and by visiting websites of organizations to which they belong. We each assess the information and then assign a grade of A, B or C to each candidate. The grades are compiled and then thoroughly discussed allowing each member to make a case for their grade. Candidates that receive 5 “C’s” are eliminated from the pool of candidates.
We are now at the point that we are beginning to call the references of several candidates. After checking references and discussing the feedback received, we will schedule Skype interviews. Please pray for the APNC as we continue through the process of discernment for the appropriate person to be our next Associate Pastor. Also pray that the person that God has chosen to be our next Associate Pastor takes the steps necessary to end up in our pool of candidates.