Pastoral Transition Update from Mark Coddington, July 28, 2020

Pastoral Transition Update

July 28, 2020

The Session and the Ministry Vision Committee have great news regarding our pastoral transition process. The Ministry Vision Committee has produced a job description for our next senior pastor, which the Session approved at its July meeting.

As you know, Paul will be retiring in May 2021 from his position as senior pastor. In preparation for the transition to a new senior pastor, the Session formed the Ministry Vision Committee last fall with the charge of producing a job description for the church’s next senior pastor. The Ministry Vision Committee consists of Nick Alexander, Michael Anderson, Hayden Carter, Jackie Coburn, Mark Coddington, Emily Danner, Lucas Morel, and Laura Pearson. We worked with Rev. Will Spokes, a consultant who is a former PCA minister. Will visited Grace three times to meet with the committee and members of the congregation, and worked remotely with the committee to help guide its work once the pandemic began this spring.

The next step is to form a pastoral search committee, which is elected by and reports to the congregation rather than the Session. We plan to hold two congregational meetings, a couple of weeks apart, to form the search committee.

At the first meeting, the Session plans to introduce and discuss the job description and present a plan for the search committee’s structure and election process for the congregation’s approval. After a brief nomination period, the election of the search committee will then take place at the second meeting.

The dates for these meetings have not yet been set by the Session, but they will likely begin in September. We will announce the dates once they have been approved at the August Session meeting. In addition, Session will plan for some form of absentee balloting in the election, for those who are unable to attend or uncomfortable attending the search committee election meeting. 

We’re thankful to God for His guidance through a fruitful, encouraging, and unified process of producing a job description through the Ministry Vision Committee, and we ask for your continued prayers for the church as we walk through the next steps of the pastoral transition process. If you have any questions about how the job description was developed, feel free to ask members of the Ministry Vision Committee, and if you have any questions about the plans for election of the search committee, contact me (, 308-390-3521‬) or Curt Wilbur (, 540-460-5405), and we’d be happy to answer them.

Mark Coddington

Grace Elder and Member of Ministry Vision Committee