We have now completed a detailed survey of the congregation: our demographics, how we see our church, what we’re seeking in our church experience and, most importantly, the kind of person we’re seeking as our next settled Pastor. A survey of this sort is always a vital part of the search process, but this time we’ve pursued it in more depth than usual. You may find the results interesting.
Our October 6 Sunday Worship service ended with the formal commissioning of our Pastoral Search Committee. As we joined hands around the Communion table, the members of the Search Committee committed themselves to the task ahead, and the rest of the congregation pledged to support and aid them in their work.
The next step in the search process will draw directly on that promised support: At our October 20 service, in place of the sermon, we will ask every adult and youth member of our church family to fill out a questionnaire that covers the kinds of people we are, our vision for the church and a profile of the pastor we’re hoping to find. Everyone will be asked to start working on the questionnaire during the service and then to complete it at home during the following week. (Surveys will be mailed to all who aren’t in church on the 20th.)
The results of this survey will form a large part of the Local Church Profile that describes our opening to potential candidates. Our goal is to tabulate the survey results, complete the rest of the writing and have the whole document ready to distribute by January 1. We’re pushing hard to make this date, because that Search Committee cannot start reviewing candidates until the profile has been published.
(If you won’t be in church on october 20, you can get started by downloading the Questionnaire and instructions here.)
The Church Council has appointed the Search Committee that will lead the next steps in our search for a new settled pastor. The goal was to select representatives from the broadest possible range of ages, backgrounds and responsibilities in the church. Here are the committee members (pictures coming soon)
Jackie Dema, Louis Frost, Cathi Fuller, Lynn Grant, Caryl Hodges, Lucinda Ray, Melanie Sommers, Hilary Spaulding and Bob Spofford
Lynn Grant and Caryl Hodges will serve as Co-chairs; Lucinda Ray will be the Recoding Secretary; and Cathi Fuller has agreed to serve as Chaplain.
The Search Committee will be formally commissioned by the congregation in our Worship Service on Sunday, October 6.
Millie Bransford, long-time member of our church and the guiding spirit of our infamous “Crafty Ladies,” passed away on July 8 after a long illness. At our worship service on July 14, our former pastor, Rev. Julianne Stokstad, and a number of members shared their memories of Millie. Many of her children and grandchildren were with us to share this very personal farewell.
You can click on the audio player to hear what people had to say, and you can add your own thoughts in the comments space below.
The only member of the FCCSR family named for a tree has just won an important award: Our very own Oak Dowling has just been named one of the county’s “Civic Center Volunteers of the Year” for his work with their F.A.S.T. program (Financial Abuse Specialist Team.)
This county-sponsored program does truly important work. It brings together a team of people with backgrounds in law, finance, psychology and the like to educate seniors on the many ways smooth-talking scammers, spammers and supposed Nigerian royalty are trying to con them out of their money. They also help the authorities analyze possible cases of elder abuse, catch the fraudsters and sometimes even get restitution.
The following video shows Oak and the team in action:
For three weeks in April and May, Pastor Ken Barnes will be taking a break from his duties to attend a retreat and spend some family time out east.
While he’s away, our pulpit will be filled by members of our extended church family:
April 21 – Rev. Faune Towery. Faune was our Minister-in-Training back in 2004/5 when she was in Seminary. She was ordained at FCCSR in 2007, and since then has been serving as Chaplain at Hospice of NapaValley. Faune and her husband, Luis Valdivia, regularly make the long drive from Napa to join us in Sunday Worship. Just this year, Faune extended her caring skills to encompass both soul and body by becoming a licensed acupuncturist! Click here to hear a sermon Faune preached last year on healing within the church.
April 28 – Rev. Paul Burks. Paul is a retired Methodist minister who had a long career serving churches in Marin and Santa Rosa. His special passion, both in church and out, is nature and the environment. He did pioneering work creating earth-centered ministry and was the editor of two magazines dealing with spirit and ecology. Since he started attending FCCSR, he has been very active in leading mission activities like the CROP Walk and has been the driving force in reviving our Earth Stewards group. He is also a talented photographer, and took a number of the pictures here on our website.
May 5 – Rev. Julianne Stokstad. Julianne was our pastor at FCCSR from late 2004 through October 2008, when she left to pursue her interest in jail ministry. Julianne came to ministry after a long career teaching high school biology in Berkeley, and she addressed the meeting of science and faith a number of times from the pulpit. She also took an intense interest in our work with the poor in Mexico though Every Dollar Feeds kids, visiting the EDFK projects in Cuernavaca and preaching on the holy spirit she found there. Her farewell sermon reflected the special bond we formed together.
Join us to renew old friendships (or form some new ones!)