At Wednesday night’s Session meeting, the ruling elders and pastors of both Hinsdale and Palos gathered together to plot a course forward as Michael makes a transition to his new position in Washington D.C. I was grateful for the unity that pervaded our meeting as well as the care taken in considering the various details. It was a long meeting, but a good one, and I’m excited about the direction we’re heading.
In this space, I thought I’d communicate three decisions that were made. First, as we discussed with Michael his projected timeline and as we considered the needs of Redemption in 2018, we agreed that it would be best if Michael continues in his preaching and pastoral responsibilities through April 1. This will allow him time to train deacons for Redemption, and it keeps our preaching consistent through Easter.
Second, we all agreed that the three Palos ruling elders (Bob, Steve, and Craig) should be the ones who oversee the process of forming a search team for Michael’s replacement. That team will be tasked with selecting a candidate who will then be interviewed by the Session and have a “candidating weekend” for him to meet the congregation. The congregation will then vote on whether or not to call him.
Third, God alone knows how long that search process will take. So our plan for the months between Michael’s departure and the arrival of the new pastor is that we will seek to find one or two preachers who can offer ongoing “pulpit supply” for three weeks out of the month. Meanwhile, I will continue my rhythm of preaching once a month at Redemption.
These decisions are all important ones, but what I was perhaps most encouraged by in all of our discussion was a clear sense of shared determination. By God’s grace, Redemption has grown and matured into a beautiful and fruitful congregation, and each of the elders is committed to doing whatever it takes to see it transition well into its next chapter.
Please keep this whole process in prayer as we wait and see what God will do next.