I wish I could share with you "in person" what I am trying to give you in the information below. I wish we could have a meal together, and I could put all this on a video screen, let you ask questions and share your opinions. Soon we hope, with the vaccines available, but not soon enough for us at IPC to share with you all the staffing changes and configurations that have occurred and why.
This will take some work on your part if you want to understand what we have done. You will have to spend the time and effort reading what follows as well as looking over the organizational chart and other resources linked below. We plan on starting a Zoom meeting series January 24 at 10 am for all who would like to ask the ministers questions about this or anything else that is on your heart, so take notes.
From one perspective, the last two years at IPC have seemed like one crisis after another. I won’t go into all the details but you probably know enough to agree.
Part of the crisis was precipitated by the loss of several staff members. Cindy Coulter who passed away last year; Elizabeth Goodrich who was the Associate Pastor for Discipleship; Bill Carl, who retired early; Brian Lays, who was called to Riverside Presbyterian; Lucy Turner who retired; and Honora Gathings who left us as communications director for Kiwanis. In May I came in the middle of this.
However, from another perspective this offered the opportunity to revise and reconsider our staffing needs and our understanding of how to best serve God and the mission of IPC; especially during this unfathomably hard year of the pandemic as well as the interim period before your new Pastor is called.
As the next step, the HR committee, contracting with a remarkable consultant and working alongside the Program Staff, looked closely at the plentiful resources of the Mission and Outreach and the Christian Education teams to reimagine how to best move forward.
The more we talked the more the Spirit began to blow and we soon saw two things in a new light:
(1) The first is that we need to evolve from the old atomistic way of breaking things down to smaller parts and responsibilities which promotes silos, to the new reality of organic and wholistic integrity where we are all working together for the same goal and purpose. This resulted in reconfiguring the existing program staff, see link to new org chart below.
(2) The second discovery was a new awareness of our purpose. This became clear when we recognized that a major goal of the church is to help you, the members, grow throughout all stages of life. It's called “Faith Formation.”
FAITH FORMATION VERSUS CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
In the past we have referred to learning and growing in faith as “Christian Education.” The emphasis being on cognition, on learning the Bible, theology, Christian ethics, the role of the church, doctrine, and beliefs as information to acquire to grow.
While “Christian Education” implies what we do with and in our heads, “Faith Formation” implies what we do with our bodies, our mind, and our soul. Faith Formation is about belonging, behaving, and believing. Ultimately, it is about trusting more than understanding, acting rather than just learning, and a life long journey of growing and becoming as we continue to be formed and reformed into God's glory.
Our goal was to meet the mission of "Faith Formation" with the remaining staff and with the addition of a few more to fill the vacancies. So far we've added Jay Wilkins who is our “part-time” Minister of Congregational Care, and Lindsay Jones as our Communications Director.
You can click below to see the names of teams, the staff responsible for the work, and the accountability structure. By early February we hope to have everyones SMART goals in place with the accountability process clearly understood.
FAITH FORMATION VIDEO SERIES
IPC will share a new video each week with a staff member sharing more about "Faith Formation," how it relates to their role, and what exciting plans they have in store for the congregation in 2021.
Watch Episode 1: Dr. Steve Goyer, Interim Pastor
Watch Episode 2: Rev. Susan Clayton, Associate Pastor of Adult and Community Ministries
Watch Additional Episodes featuring David Seamon, Jay Wilkins, Catherine Goudreau and Stacy Pulliam.
Please continue to keep IPC in your prayers and reach out to us and others as you have need.