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From the Council President

Dear St. Mark’s family, I hope this newsletter finds you well and ready to begin a new chapter at St. Mark’s. While we find ourselves in a time of transition, having said farewell to Pastor Stan, we are also in a time of discernment.

The process of calling a new Pastor is clearly defined by our Constitution and our Synod. The Council has met with Pastor Robin Simpson Litton, Assistant to the Bishop, to begin this process. She will be guiding us through this entire procedure. At a time of pastoral vacancy, an interim pastor is appointed by the Bishop of the Synod with the consent of the Congregation Council. Pastor Robin will identify this Pastor and The Council shall have an opportunity to interview this candidate. We wish this process to be efficient and swift, not because we want to “take what we can get”, but because St. Mark’s needs some uniformity during this time. It is felt that having a different supply Pastor each week would be disconcerting to our members. Please know that we are working diligently to that end. During the period of service, an interim pastor has the rights and duties in the congregation of a regularly called pastor and may delegate the same in part to a supply pastor with the consent of the Bishop of the Synod and the Congregation Council. The interim pastor and any ordained pastor providing assistance shall refrain from exerting influence in the selection of a new pastor. Additionally, an interim pastor is not available for a regular call to the congregation served. Often retired pastors serve as interims, bringing years of experience to congregations in transition. One pastor stated “I try to give the congregation a perspective of what they look like to someone from the outside,” said Richard Mathisen, a pastor in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod who has served 12 congregations as an interim. Having an interim in the pulpit is also a way of helping a congregation see that the answer to whatever difficulties they face is not simply “a new pastor.”

Please pray for Pastor Stan as he moves to a new congregation, for the Church Council, and for each other as we navigate yet another set of challenges.

Blessings, Pat