Christian Reformed Churches usually wait until a pastor leaves before they start looking for another pastor. Our leadership, with Pastor Peter’s encouragement, began thinking about the process of finding a new pastor several years before his actual retirement.
Last year our Vision Leadership Board asked Stan and Bernice to form a Succession Planning Team and they agreed to do it. Since September 2014 this team has met every other Friday night and many times in between and has spent much time working on plans, pulling together data and statistics, talking to interested pastors, soliciting suggestions from the people of Hope Fellowship, and, most importantly, praying together.
Two weeks ago in our morning service we heard that this team has talked to 18 people about the possibility of coming to Hope Fellowship as a pastor. As they worked, they felt led to continue and deepen the discussion with one pastor in particular – Pastor Joel De Moor. The Succession Planning Team went to our Vision Leadership Board and advised them that they would like to bring the congregation in on the process.
So this weekend we welcome Pastor Joel and Anna De Moor to the Courtice area. They have met with the Succession Planning Team, with the Vision Leadership Board, with Pastor Peter and Marja, with the staff and now everyone in church has a chance to connect with them. Pastor Joel will preach in our service this morning, and you will have an opportunity to talk with him after the service during a “town-hall” question and answer period.
What comes next? Our leaders will continue to work to discern God’s will, as will Pastor Joel and Anna. This weekend is part of an on-going process, a "dating" relationship between the De Moors and Hope Fellowship. Please continue to pray for our leaders, for Pastor Joel and Anna and for Hope Fellowship as we wait on God’s leading.