August 23, 2019.
This week, the following team has been confirmed and will begin just after Labor Day with an orientation to their work together moving forward. Thank you for your prayers for this team, and with gratitude for the prayerful discernment of our Board of Elders who invited them into service.
LEAD PASTOR SEARCH TEAM
Ryan Buchan, Search Team convener
Jason Dent (Exec Team representative), ex-officio
August 12, 2019.
As directed by the Harvard Avenue By-Laws, and outlined in the process below, the Board of Elders has spent considerable time in prayer and discernment, and is meeting this week to pray together and collaborate by concensus to determine potential members for the Lead Pastor Search Team.
Those invitations will be extended, and a complete list of Search Team members will be shared with the congregation as soon as the entire Team is confirmed. We will also outline next steps as the Team begins its orientation, congregational connection, and search process together.
July 31, 2019.
A NOTE FROM OUR MODERATOR.
Dear Harvard Avenue Friends,
The Church’s elected leaders, elders, ministers and staff are actively involved in the transition to a new Lead Pastor. Our By-Laws prescribe a process for this change. We are following that process as the search begins.
Jason Dent, Jennifer Annis, Lisa Rhynes and I make up the Executive Leadership Team (ELT); we are working closely with Bob Flint and our Elders, who will create a Search Team for the next Lead Pastor. Several of us have been speaking with Rev. Pam Holt, our Regional Minister, who can offer advice, resources and wisdom.
A plan is in place to cover the Lead Pastor’s duties during the transition, including filling the pulpit, visiting the sick, lifting the congregation’s concerns in prayer, and continuing HACC’s business operations. The ELT is available to answer your questions. Please feel free to contact any one of us. We will continue to update you all along the way.
What can the congregation do?
Pray for our church, its ministers and staff, our search team and our future lead pastor.
Be gentle and patient with each other as we transition to this new phase. This will not go as fast as we might wish. It is a 1000-mile journey and we are on step five.
Attend, participate in worship, and give. Your presence counts now more than ever.
Celebrate the important things about us that have not changed. We are Christ’s church, planted here at 55th & Harvard on purpose, for a reason. We are spiritually and financially healthy. Our gifts, talents and passions remain intact. Our mission to share the gospel is an eternal one.
I believe our congregation will thrive in the coming months. We will demonstrate our faith and our love for God and one another.
– Darita Huckabee, Moderator; Harvard Avenue Christian Church
We will use this page, and our other communication avenues (email, newsletter, worship bulletin, class/group contact persons, etc.) to be in touch as often as possible: outlining the process; identifying the participants; updating on steps taken; inviting input in specific ways; and always asking for your continued prayers – for this church, its leadership, and the ways God is moving to deepen and strengthen our bonds of faithfulness, and our commitment to following the ways of Jesus.
July 11, 2019.
With direction from our Congregational ByLaws, the Executive Leadership Team has requested our Board of Elders spend July and August in discernment and preparation to invite a broadly representative Search Team for a Lead Pastor to the task at hand. Over the life of the process, there will be time for prayer and study, conversation and listening among the whole church, and for review and recommendation of a candidate.
We will communicate as often and as quickly as possible throughout this process.
The first step of the process is to fully celebrate and faithfully conclude the ministry of our current Lead Pastor. This has been our focus and will be through Sunday July 28, when we will offer a blessing and sending for Rev Mark Briley, at the conclusion of each worship service.
As of mid-July:
- The Personnel Team has met to officially receive the resignation of Rev Mark Briley, who will conclude his pastorate at Harvard Avenue on July 28 2019.
- The Executive Leadership Team has met to review the full process and participation involved in a Pastoral Search.
- As they are tasked via the Harvard Avenue Christian Church ByLaws with inviting into service the Search Team for a Lead Pastor, the Board of Elders has met to review the process.
- The Elders are in a period of prayerful discernment and will meet in August to determine a list of invitees, and extend invitations, at which point their official role concludes.
- In consultation with the Executive Leadership Team and church staff, the Elders will identify a plan for pastoral leadership in the interim season, and secure assistance from Regional Staff and/or a congregational consultant who will bring particular expertise to the process. This will be communicated to the congregation as quickly as possible.
- This allows the Search Team to begin its work, which includes inviting congregational conversation and insight, besides the obvious identifying and considering of potential Lead Pastor candidates.
- Once a candidate is identified, that recommendation will come from the Search Team to the Elders and Ministry Leadership Team for review and approval, and then to the congregation for a vote in a special called meeting.
There are no hard-and-fast dates in a Search process. In most congregations, the full work may take six to twelve months. The process is designed to provide a season of space for celebration, grieving, evaluating the congregation, and making space for the unique gifts of a new pastor – therefore the interim season takes as long as a congregation needs to properly and healthily discern the leading of the Spirit.
We trust that God, who is already at work in us, is doing far more than we can ask or imagine. We are grateful for the already and ongoing prayers of a faithful people, and for the abiding presence of a generous God.