An American Baptist Church
A Welcoming and Affirming Church

Memo from the Moderator – January 4, 2015

Memo from the Moderator – January 4, 2015 (PDF)

This occasional “memo” is intended to keep you up-to-date on progress of our transitions at FBC.   

Welcome everyone to this New Year in which we will endeavor to serve the Lord in new and exciting ways!  Our transition is going well, and it is beginning to feel like we have turned the corner on changes that were merely plans six months ago—

– Our Interim Pastor Brian Dixon has led us spiritually for four months now.

– We have welcomed our new and able staff, John Carroll and Joan Gonyea, and have reconstructed Andrea Letourneau’s  and Mark Dorsey’s position

– All of the new Teams are finding their roles and carrying out their tasks, as inspired by the needs of the congregation and our community

– The new Coordinating Council (which took the place of the Governing Board) has been extremely effective in taking on a host of new initiatives

– And our new relationship with Worcester Polytechnic Institute is functioning in ways that promise to deepen our collaborations going forward

There is one major part of our Transition remaining that will occupy our attention in 2015—our search for permanent pastoral leadership.   

Over the past two months, the Coordinating Council and HR Committee have appointed a Pastoral Search Team.  They include:  Karl Bjork, Stephanie Gaudette, Sue Gelinas, Joe Oakley, Courtney Stevens, Barbara Ward and Phyllis Whitten.  I thank them for agreeing to engage in this important mission that requires a considerable commitment.

On January 12, I will be meeting with them to map out the various stages of their tasks across the next year or so.   The first stage will be a careful effort to determine the type of pastoral leadership that you believe we should seek.  This is likely to include consideration of one- and two-pastor models as well.  Such discussions inevitably dig deep to discover how we as a congregation want to grow in our missions and commitments for the future.   Part of determining the kind of leadership we need is discovering where the Lord is leading us as a congregation.

In the first stage of the Pastoral Search Team’s effort, everyone in the congregation will be provided opportunities to meet with, talk with, and pray with the Team to arrive at a consensus about the type of pastoral leadership FBC wants for the future.  Please be thinking and praying about this, talking with each other about it, and getting ready to work with the Pastoral Search Team on this last and most important step in our Transition.