Senior Minister Search Overview

SENIOR MINISTER SEARCH OVERVIEW

SEARCH OVERVIEW

In May 2017, The Reverend Dr. Steven D. Pierce announced that he is following God’s call to become the 10th Pastoral Leader at Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan (see letter below). Rev. Pierce has faithfully served our church as the 29th installed minister since September 2011. Under his leadership the church has grown in spiritual depth, expanding our ministries as well as our witness. His new ministry will begin this fall.

In June, Consistory appointed Deacon Chris Bosworth as chair of the Search Committee and Rev. Donna M. Field was appointed as Transition Minister (see letter below).

During the summer months, a Search Committee will be formed and approved by Consistory. The committee will create and mail a congregational survey to learn what qualities our members feel are most important in a senior minister. The results will be compiled and included in a church profile available to applicants.

The church will also welcome a variety of guest preachers to our historic pulpit during the transitional period.

Please kindly pray for our church and for our Search Committee. Those who serve in this capacity will need to be committed to taking as much time as is needed to prayerfully discern God’s candidate to lead our church for years to come. As things develop, more information will be made available.

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MESSAGE FROM THE REVEREND DR. STEVEN D. PIERCE, MAY 17, 2017

Dear Members and Friends,

This past Sunday I announced to the congregation some imminent changes in my life and in the life of the church. When I was ordained in 2003, little did I know where God’s calling would lead me. I have had the distinct privilege of serving three incredible churches—New Hope Church (Powell, Ohio), Marble Collegiate Church (New York City), and Community Reformed Church since July 2011. After much prayer, deliberation and discernment, I have decided to follow God’s call to Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This decision comes with mixed emotions. While I’m excited to cultivate and exercise my gifts for ministry in a new context, it saddens me to be leaving a church family that I have come to love so dearly. Many of you have played an integral role in helping me grow as a church leader and I am indebted to you. Thank you for your investment in my life and for giving me the opportunity to serve in your midst. There can be no doubt that we accomplished much together and have been blessed to see our church blossom over the last six years. You have also greatly blessed my entire family, and Monica, Campbell and Leighton will miss the friendships and support they experienced with you.

I’m aware that my announcement will elicit numerous emotional responses. I promise to remain sensitive and welcome conversations and questions surrounding my departure and the transition to a new minister. If you would like to meet with me in person, please feel free to make an appointment in the Church Office. When I told our Vice President of Consistory, Mary Hallmark, she couldn’t have been more gracious. In fact, she blessed me with an incredible compliment: “Steve, you have taught us how to keep Christ at the center of our lives.” What pastor could ask for more!

The Consistory, Rev. Donna Field and the Church Staff have been advised about our situation. Please be assured that they will prayerfully lead you through this transition. They will assess our church’s needs and seek God’s wisdom in order to make preparations for the next pastoral search. These things take a lot of time and patience. As they pray for God’s leading, I hope you will keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

My last sermon at CRC Manhasset will be Sunday, August 6th at 9:30 am. After worship we will dedicate a portion of our cemetery to the children who lost their lives in The 1918 Influenza Pandemic. They are buried in an unnamed section—“Potter’s Field”—and will be honored as the 100th Anniversary approaches. There will also be a reception immediately following the cemetery dedication in the fellowship hall.

Finally, I’m reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words to the Philippians: “I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you…it is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart…” (1:3). As I pray for you, please pray for me, my family and for our new congregation.

With much love in Christ,

Pastor Steve Pierce

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A MESSAGE FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT OF CONSISTORY, MAY 19, 2017

Dear Members and Friends,

Since Sunday when Pastor Steve announced he was following God’s call to Grand Rapids, Michigan, we have only counted ourselves fortunate for having known his strong leadership and purpose at CRC. Our congregation has been so blessed these past six years to have had him preach with great inspiration and to have led us in discipleship classes strengthening our faith. He held before us the importance of cultivating the Christ-like life.

Fortunately, we have a staff that is dedicated, talented, and well established to continue God’s work in an ongoing manner. Where needed we will have enthusiastic volunteers to call upon. Whether we have attended for years or are new members, this is a wonderful opportunity for pulling together. We will be very supportive to each other!

There can be no doubt that our church campus looks remarkable outside as well as inside. We have participated in several much needed renovations over the years. These have been accomplished through Pastor Steve’s vision and a stronger financial bottom line that you have generously provided!

On Tuesday, May 16th, Consistory met to begin formulating our future direction. This summer we will be appointing a Search Team. Afterwards, a congregational survey will be conducted to receive your new pastoral criteria giving due consideration to our Search Team. We especially covet your prayers while we seek guidance for God’s will during this transition. Be sure of our prayers, too.

The Apostle Paul offered this to the Romans, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Peace in Christ,

Elder Mary Hallmark
Vice President of Consistory

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A MESSAGE FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT OF CONSISTORY, JULY 12, 2017

Dear Members and Friends,

Periodically it will be appropriate to update you on the progress of our search for a new pastor. The Consistory is now actively contacting congregants who will represent our cross section of church attendees to formulate a search team. Deacon Chris Bosworth will serve as chair and use the Reformed Church in America’s Pastoral Search Handbook as a guide. Once the search team is in place, a congregational survey will be conducted. The information collected from that survey will assist the search team as they draft our church’s profile. Once the profile is complete, the search for a new full-time pastor will commence. All of the various steps will take an appropriate amount of time.

Presently we are inviting you to join us for Rev. Steve Pierce’s last sermon here at CRC on Sunday, August 6th at 9:30 am. We will be joined by our friends from the Community Church of Douglaston. Worship that day will include baptism and communion as well as a post worship dedication in our cemetery’s Potter’s Field. After the dedication, we will host a church reception to honor the Pierce Family for having served us for the last six years. Rev. Pierce has accepted a call to Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and will begin his ministry there in September.

Currently, Rev. Donna Field will be expanding her office hours, overseeing Sunday worship and pulpit supply, offering communion the first Sunday of each month, and availing herself for baptisms, weddings, and funerals. She will also be available for varied pastoral duties such as visiting the sick both at home and in the hospital. Please note: Rev. Pierce will be with us until the end of August. Also, the CRC Church Office will be open during the summer months from Tuesdays-Thursdays until September 5th.

I leave you with this thought from the New Testament: Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. Hebrews 13:18

Peace in Christ,

Elder Mary Hallmark
Vice President of Consistory

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A MESSAGE FROM THE REVEREND DONNA M. FIELD, JULY 17, 2017

Dear CRC Family of Faith,

I am delighted that after prayer and careful discernment, the Consistory has extended an invitation to me to be your Transition Minister as we go through this time of Pastor Steve’s leaving for a new call. It is such a blessing that I am in this place at this time with people who care deeply about Christ’s ministry at CRC Manhasset.

Loss and the change that comes with it are not easy, regardless of the reason. This morning when I began my prayer and devotions, the scripture that was the “verse of the day” was this from the book of Joshua: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” God’s love and presence regardless of the circumstances is a great comfort to me, and I hope that I can be of assistance to any of you who are unsure of what the future holds for CRC Manhasset.

I pray for each member of Consistory and the greater CRC family daily and I encourage you to do the same. The Consistory has a huge responsibility to this beloved family of faith. They will need God’s help through your prayers so they are blessed with patience, understanding, continued faith in Christ and love for each other as well as all of you.

I look forward in seeing what Christ has in store for our church, and I’m glad we will be able to experience this journey together.

In Christ,

Pastor Donna Field

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