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Our "Trumpet" Newsletter . . . 

. . . is a monthly publication that includes dates, times & details for all upcoming events both at the church & in our community. 

Trumpet articles are due to the church office (EandRoffice@gmail.com) by noon on the 3rd Monday of each month.

More Beginnings February 2024


Last month I wrote about discernment. Since then, several of you have asked how I discerned the shift from intentional interim minister to designated interim minister, the latter providing the opportunity to be called as E&R’s settled minister. This is a great question!

 

The Interim Ministry Covenant states, "Under no circumstances will I allow my name to be considered as a possible candidate for the settled position. Likewise, the church agrees that the Interim Pastor will not be considered as a possible candidate for the settled position.” Because of this agreement, I do not let myself think about staying; it is simply not an option. So, for the first year and a half, whenever one of you would ask if I had thought about staying, my answer was “no” because I hadn’t.

 

I do pay attention though, to the Spirit’s movement among us. As time went on and Search Committee members did not have a ministerial candidate who they thought was a good fit, I began to ask God if that meant there was more for us to do together and if I was meant to stay longer. I started to pray and think about new transitional goals. I also had conversations with Terry and colleagues in my Community of Practice (a confidential minister support group that meets monthly).

Rev Christine Wilke

Interim Pastor

As I wrote last month, discernment is an ongoing process. During my sermon on November 19, I said that God asks us to take big risks with great trust. I then asked, “What risk is God calling E&R UCC to right now?” and added that the answer cannot be, “God wants us to call a new minister or God wants Christine to stay because I am not a risky choice.” Even then I was not convinced that God was calling me to stay.

 

A check-in meeting with Search Committee members on December 6 helped my discernment as well. They have been attentive to the Spirit’s movement among them and diligent in vetting candidates. Their frustration and discouragement were understandable and another sign for me, that maybe God is calling us to ministry together.

 

By this point, I had already shared my new transitional goals (listed in last month’s Trumpet) with Terry. I also told her I would consider becoming designated interim at the end of my current Interim Ministry Covenant, if all Council and Search Committee members were on board. I then talked with Rev. Rachel Bauman, our Associate Conference Minister, to make sure we were proceeding properly.

 

Terry and I presented the idea and goals to Council on December 11 and Terry to Search Committee the following Wednesday. Although I wasn’t in the room, I know that Terry asked every single person for their input, including calling Council members who did not attend the meeting. The decision to move forward with me as designated interim was unanimous. It was presented to all of you during worship on December 17.

 

By the time you receive this newsletter, Terry and I will have met with Rev. Rachel Bauman to talk about next steps. My new Interim Ministry Covenant will have the “non-candidacy” clause removed and the new transitional goals added. We will also talk with Rachel about best practices and timelines.

 

I am hoping to begin relational meetings soon. The snow, cold temps, and icy weather in January curtailed my efforts to begin meeting with you. So, I used my time to begin looking at areas I might not as an interim and as a result, you will see some new things in the next few months that I hope you like. One of them is the new church logo at the top of this newsletter that conveys our trust in the Holy Spirit!!

 

I am looking forward to talking with you and to what God has in store for us!

 

In joyful hope,

Pastor Christine

Beyond Sunday

 

Did you know we send out a weekly email full of lots of good information on meetings, special announcements, events, reminders & more? If you aren’t signed up on the mailing list, please let the church office know at (EandRoffice@gmail.com) or 262-547-2424.

 

If you have anything you’d like included in the Beyond Sunday, please email the church office by Wednesday at noon. Then, watch for your Beyond Sunday email which is typically sent out every Thursday afternoon.