Welcome to the Search Committee (SC) Update 

Peace Presbyterian Church (PPC) has begun its search for a new pastor. Recently a Search Committee (SC) was elected by the Session and they will begin weekly meetings in October. Look for updates on the SC’s status on this blog and during periodic Sunday worship service announcements.
For this first blog posting, we’ve included some Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How is the process for finding a pastor determined?
PPC is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), or PC(USA). Within the PC(USA), we are part of the regional group called St. Augustine Presbytery. St. Augustine Presbytery is a geographical area covering North Florida. To find a pastor, we follow the processes of the PC(USA) and St. Augustine Presbytery.

2. What are the steps in this process?
The process is one of prayerful mutual discernment between pastors, our church, and the presbytery, all seeking God’s will for PPC and depending on Christ as the head of the church.

We’ve already completed the initial steps. Session elected a Search Committee and has held recent congregational chat sessions to gather information. Already, and throughout the process, the SC will look to prayer, the Holy Spirit, and the Word for guidance and equipping to humbly serve our congregation and to glorify God in what we do and discern. Please join in continually praying for us, PPC, and our denomination’s pastors!

Remaining steps include:

a. Preparation of the Ministry Information Form (MIF) by the SC. This document will describe PPC and the position and desired gifts of our next pastor. The SC will prayerfully consider information from Session and input from the congregation to prepare the MIF.  
b. The MIF will need to be approved by Session and by the Committee on Ministry (COM), and then it can be posted to the Church Leadership Connection(CLC), which is the PC(USA)’s website for publicizing open pastoral positions.
c. The CLC also contains Pastor Information Forms (PIFs) of pastors open to a call to a new position. The CLC will send to the SC those PIFs that most closely match what our MIF says we are looking for. Individual pastors can also submit their PIFs directly to the SC. 
d. The SC will read PIFs and select pastors for further action, such as watching sermons, checking references (solicited and unsolicited), conducting phone/Skype interviews, and initial vetting by our presbytery. This will further refine and prioritize the candidate list. The SC anticipates meeting in person with a short list of pastors, including such steps as conducting further interviews and attending worship where the pastor is preaching.
e. Once a pastor is selected by the SC and the pastor accepts and is examined by COM, he or she will be hired by the Session and presented to the congregation and will serve as Stated Supply for a one year period which may be renewed annually.

3. How long will this take?
This process is a journey, and God is in control of the timing. Typically, it takes 12-18 months for a Pastor Nominating Committee to call a full-time pastor.  However, PPC’s situation is unique and by utilizing the Search Committee, the Session has streamlined the process such that it should take much less than that.

4. How will church members know what’s going on with the SC?
The best way is to regularly check this blog at ppc-jax.org/News. Also be sure you regularly attend worship. Out of respect for pastors and congregations and in keeping with guidance from our presbytery, the SC will maintain a high level of confidentiality. We will not disclose the names or status of any nominations we receive. We will, however, be able to share information, for example, about the MIF, how many PIFs we have received, and what stage of the process we are in. And we can all be encouraged by knowing that God is active and sovereign over this journey.