We had a good congregational meeting in October. If you couldn’t make it, the most important thing we discussed was a staffing update the leadership here at ECC would like to make. For this reason, we will be meeting on Sunday, November 14th for a special congregational meeting to consider three motions.
- To call Kristin Mueller as Family and Children’s Pastor
The next two motions will be to fill the opening left by Pastor Jorden Meyers and the vacant part-time youth director position approved in the current operating budget with one new full-time position. We would like to remodel the role of that staff position and fill the job. This will require two motions.
- To create a new pastoral position over the emerging young adult population (high school through age 30) and small groups
- To call a search committee for this new position.
Please plan to join us on the 14th to do this important work in our church.
We discussed the situations that led up to the decision to move in this direction at the October congregational meeting. I will recap it here:
In July 2020, Carol Smith, the Youth Director here at ECC, resigned. We were smack dab in the middle of a pandemic at that point. No youth were gathering anywhere, so we took the time to pray about what ECC’s next direction should be in this ministry. Out of that time of consideration and prayer, while Kristen Mueller and Meghan McClellan were doing what youth ministry could be done, council asked Jorden Meyers and Kristen Mueller to investigate current youth models, ask around and find out what other successful youth programs were doing. Out of this came their suggestion that for now our best option for the youth of ECC to have an engaging experience was to join Fusion, a local interdenominational youth program already gathering.
Then in July 2021, Pastor Jorden chose to take a job with the central office of our Covenant Denomination. This led the council to reconsider staffing at ECC. What/who do we need moving into the next decade?
Church leadership has spent considerable time praying to discern where God is already working in and through ECC and how we can partner well with Him in what He is already doing. Doing this reminded us how back in 2017, council had dreamed about a long-range plan to have a more integrated youth/family ministry-less siloed and more inclusive. Also in 2018/19, ECC was given a grant to initiate engagement with the young adults of our church and community. When we came together in September at the council meeting, we decided we wanted to move ahead with filling the position Jorden vacated with a position working with the youth. Wanting to work collaboratively with staff and at Pastor Stacey’s suggestion, we asked the staff to consider what they think would be a good staffing situation moving forward. They came up with a plan of calling Kristen Mueller to be the Children’s Pastor (she is already credentialed to do this) and filling the position vacated with a Young Adult and Small Group Pastor. So, Kristen would minister to children - birth to 8th grade - and the new pastor would minister to those 9th grade to about 30 years old and work towards building a small group ministry at ECC. This plan puts a lot of resources towards mentoring, supporting, and teaching the young people (and their families) in our church and community.
Youth pastor jobs are difficult to fill these days. It is our hope that this particular position may be more interesting to potential candidates, giving us more and better candidates. Kristin is already pastoring our youth and families here at ECC. It gives us great joy to call her to the job she is already credentialed for and doing.
With Pastor Jorden’s departure, there is a vacant full-time position and a part-time position in the current budget.
I hope this recap is helpful. Please plan to join us on November 14th at 1pm for this special meeting. If you have questions or would like to discuss this, please contact me, Pastor Stacey, or any of your council members - Shirley Pence, Todd Cogswell, Bill Forney, Johnny Park or Ron Smith. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the entire council will receive it.
Blessings to you!
ECC Council Chair