At our June meeting, the Session (the governing elders) approved hiring Reverend Ken Robinson as our part time pastoral assistant beginning July 1st. You may recall that when we “recessed” our Associate Pastor Search Team in January we said we would explore alternative staffing models to see if we could carry forward our ministry with a smaller staff, utilizing part-time leaders rather than a full-time associate pastor.
Toward this end, our first decision was to expand the roles and responsibilities of Bryan Page (Director of Music Ministry) and Chris Soto (Director of Youth Ministry). They are strong leaders who are capable of sharing the pastoral ministry role with me. Both enthusiastically agreed to add responsibilities, beginning April 15th. They are sharing in hospital and pastoral visitation, worship leadership and emergency/crisis visitation. Chris will also preach 1-3 times per year, as he desires to grow in this area. Thus far we have had positive response to their ministry. I am thankful to serve alongside two dedicated and gifted colleagues.
Our second step has been to discern continuing areas of need. Two were identified: someone to resource our Adult Discipleship Team (ADT), especially in the area of small groups, and an ordained pastor to assist in pastoral ministry and be available in my absence to minister in a crisis situations and lead worship at funerals. We considered dividing these two areas, but decided to invite Ken to work in both these areas. Let me address three questions you many have.
First, who is Ken Robinson? Ken and Louida Robinson recently moved to Huntsville from Tucson, AZ. Ken is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church, having served in four pastorates through the years. Most recently he worked in Probation and Parole area in Tucson. Louida is employed with Raytheon and they moved to Huntsville because her group was transferred here. They joined Covenant last fall and have been actively involved. They have three adult children. Currently Ken is working part time in Probation and Parole here and was very open to our invitation to serve part time.
Second, how many hours will he work? Very part time at ten hours per week. He will have some flexibility so that if he works more than ten one week, he can adjust the following week. He will begin July 1.
Third, what will he do? 1) Ken will serve along with me as a staff advisor on our ADT, especially helping us expand and support small group ministry. 2) Ken will visit some of our senior members, especially those who are limited in mobility. 3) Ken will be available in my absence to engage in crisis ministry, working with Bryan and Chris; and he has had experience leading worship at funerals. This is an area in which Bryan and Chris have less experience. 4) Ken would be available to preach 1-3 times per year. In addition, I would meet twice a month with Ken and he would participate in staff meetings as his schedule allows.
We plan to evaluate our new staff model in early 2015 to determine its effectiveness; at that time we will evaluate our financial situation as that will impact our way forward.
I would like to thank Rob Seitz for preaching in April and May, and for being available for crisis ministry in my absence. He remains open to assisting us in this area when his work schedule allows.
I would also like to thank our session, deacons and trustees for your good work in all areas of our ministry.
I ask your continued prayers for Ken, Rob, Bryan, and Chris as we seek to serve faithfully in Christ’s Church. We are privileged to share this journey with you.