A Message from Our Church Board Chair (Sent Via Email 7/24/23)

Dear Church Family,

As we are aware of Pastor Brent’s well-deserved decision to retire, I want to share with you the GMC process of finding a new pastor to lead our church.

Since the time of John Wesley, Methodism has embraced a “sent” system for clergy deployment. Within the United Methodist Church (UMC) and now the Global Methodist Church (GMC), pastors are appointed to specific churches by a Bishop or Presiding Elder.

The process begins with the Bishop or Presiding Elder engaging in continuous dialogue with the church’s Staff Parish Relations Committee, (SPRC), aiming to understand the needs of the church and identifying the qualities, abilities, and strengths the church is looking for in their next pastor. In the UMC, this mutual collaboration often leads to a shared agreement between the Bishop and the SPRC, resulting in the appointment of a pastor.

In contrast to continuing the UMC approach, the GMC has adopted a method that allows the SPRC, the Church Board, and the potential pastor to have a time of discernment and acquaintance that will determine the suitability of a potential pastor appointment.

Let’s look at where Lake Magdalene currently stands in this appointment process:

● Laurie Bentley, our SPRC chair, is leading a subcommittee to assist in this crucial process.

● This subcommittee conducted a productive Zoom meeting, on June 26, with GMC Florida leadership, praying over and discussing the specific needs of our church.

● The subcommittee has also completed GMC's “Church Priorities in Pastoral Leader” form, and the “Church Profile” form, and submitted them to the GMC Florida leadership.

● Within the next month or so, the GMC Florida leadership will host another Zoom meeting with our SPRC subcommittee and introduce a potential clergy candidate for consideration.

● Following this introduction, a period of discernment and acquaintance (to be defined) with the candidate will ensue, allowing the SPRC subcommittee to evaluate whether the candidate aligns with the church's vision and mission.

● When the SPRC subcommittee and Church Board, in close collaboration with the GMC Florida leadership, agree that this candidate is the ideal fit, the appointment will be made by the Bishop.

We will continue to provide periodic updates to keep you informed on the progress of the appointment process.

As we continue on this journey of transition together, let us unite in prayer, celebration, and heartfelt gratitude for Pastor Brent and seek the Holy Spirit's guidance and direction as we eagerly anticipate the arrival of our new pastor. I hope you will join the staff and church board in the Sanctuary on August 2nd at 6:45 PM for a Church-Wide Praise and Prayer Service. What a better way to have our church family involved in praying for our new pastor than a time together of song, scripture, and prayer as we seek God’s hand over our new beginnings.

God Bless,

Melissa McNamara

Church Board Chair