The last time St. Andrew welcomed a new permanent minister into our congregation was twenty years ago. Bill Clinton was president, Google was just being incorporated as a private company, and France had just won FIFA’s World Cup. St. Andrew consisted of a sanctuary (now St. Andrew Hall), an office wing, and what we now call the Preschool wing. Our current sanctuary and Atrium had not yet been planned, and the education building was on absolutely no one’s radar.
It was a long time ago.
And now we eagerly await the Reverend Gillian Weighton and the next chapter of St. Andrew’s story as God’s people. We’re sprucing up the physical plant with new air conditioning units and new windows on the front of the original building. We’re doing a bit of cleaning and decluttering. We’re flexing our welcoming muscles.
In that latter vein, this issue of The Magpie's Nest offers some suggestions about welcoming a new pastor from others who have been through this process.
Click on the bold headings in each entry to go directly to the link.
Clergywomen are not new news to St. Andrew, but this article gives some helpful reminders about how to begin and maintain our relationships with a pastor who is a woman. “ ‘Would you honestly ask (say, criticize) this if the pastor were a man? If so, okay. If not, drop it.’”
Hospitality is a matter of heart preparation AND practical matters. This article gives some suggestions for both. “
While this piece by Presbyterian Outlook columnist Bill Tammeus purports to be “A Charge to My New Pastor,” it is also a charge to the congregation to be led and challenged and changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. “Your preaching will require several voices. First, your prophetic voice to help us see what is breaking God’s heart and how we can work to fix that. Next, your pastoral voice to help us find our way toward healing. And then your educational voice to help us understand what the Bible is saying to us.”
Just for kicks, here’s an animated short about “The New Pastor.” Perhaps we’d do well to avoid most of these lines. “Did I tell you that [our old pastor] was a very, very good preacher? We always got out on time.”
And, in case you’d like to practice your bagpipe version of “The Flower of Scotland” to welcome Pastor Gillian, here you go!