A. Pastoral Presence (part-time to full-time transition) and Care
- The current negotiations seem to provide for 50% time for as much as two years. How is that 50% configured? Part of each day? Part of each week? Part of each month? For instance, will the 50% time be "2 weeks here; 2 weeks in NJ"? (Arrive Saturday, stay two weeks through Sunday afternoon yields the "3 Sundays in a row" mentioned at the Sept 16 meeting.) If so, who will steer the ship during those two weeks on the East Coast every month?
- Michael's competencies listed on his website include organizational management. What ideas does he have for pastoring a church and managing our organization from 3,000 miles away?
- There's some confusion coming out of the Sept 16 meeting. How long does the 50% time period last? Two years (Nov. 1 2014)? One year (Nov. 1 2013)? Until the end of the academic year (June 1 2013)? If the answer is "we don't know" can we get some odds or sense of what is definite vs hoped for vs possible vs impossible?
- What has to happen in order for Michael to go full time? Is it simply a matter of a national search for a replacement for him at Drew? Or is there something else? Renae mentioned something about his retirement plan and vesting. Are we waiting for Michael to retire from Drew & Shalom, and then be able to devote his gifts & talents to Epworth full-time?
- If there's a 25% person to take care of pastoral care, how do we make connections with someone we'll barely get to know?
- Are the days of "I'll meet you at the hospital" over?
B. Our Financial Future
- When will the complete details of the proposed negotiated budget/compensation package become universally available?
- Friends and family in other UMC churches mention that their congregations take a congregational vote when a new pastor is proposed. Someone (Odette?) had indicated this was how Epworth did things. Why do some churches get to have a congregational vote on appointments but other churches do not?
- What are the specific plans for helping the congregation through this time of transition?
- Is this online summation of questions, and an invitation to respond, the best way forward, or should each question be addressed to Renae and Michael by each individual?
- Would it be possible for the district superintendent to put into writing all that she said at the Sept 16 meeting, so that we don't have to go on "I heard" vs "you heard"?
D. Supporting Michael
- If Michael were to ask for and receive any particular kind of support, or series of supportive actions, in his first few months, what might those be? What would launch this new experiment in a loving and powerful way?
- Michael seems to have a wide range of interests and projects, and a life that involves a lot of travel. Will he feel confined as pastor at Epworth?
- At the intro meeting on September 16th, John Schweizer was clear that Michael has a vision for Epworth's growth. What does that look like? Will there be a congregational meeting with Michael where we learn about his theology, approach to pastoring, vision for Epworth, and more?