Letter to Members and Friends
March 19, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Saline First Presbyterian Church,
The Session of Saline First Presbyterian met Tuesday evening and made decisions pertaining to the closing of the church building, worship opportunities for the foreseeable future, and interim pastoral leadership.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to do everything possible to promote the safety, health and well-being of all, the church buildings, beginning Monday March 23rd, will be closed to all individuals and groups. During this time, telephone calls and emails will be answered and pastoral care concerns will be addressed as though the Church Office were open.
Although at this time we as a congregation cannot worship in the Sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. Sunday mornings, opportunities for worship that draw upon a variety of forms and styles of the Christian tradition will be provided. Upcoming opportunities will be announced soon.
Session approved the report of the Administration and Personnel Committee recommending that a covenant for intentional interim ministry be formed between our church and an Interim Pastor Team (IPT) comprised of the Reverend Dr. Brewster (Budge) Gere, the Reverend William (Bill) Zambon and the Reverend Dr. Judy Shipman. All three are retired pastors with past and present relationships with the church. Budge is currently serving as Moderator of Session, Bill preached during Advent and moderated the Annual Meeting, and Judy, who served as pastor for almost 20 years, has been a recent guest preacher. Committed to collaborative ministry, the team members are excited to serve Saline First Presbyterian at this time in their ministries and in the history of the church and the world.
This Interim Pastor Team (IPT) will be with us and walk this faith journey until the calling of our next installed pastor. The decision to enter into this covenant comes after a period of discernment, prayer, and search. We are excited about the spiritual gifts that each of these pastors bring, including experience, creativity, and heart.
We look forward to this collaboration with the IPT as Saline First Presbyterian moves into the future. Stay tuned for future updates as this team introduces themselves to this faith community. Along with biographical information about each of the IPT members, you will receive a copy of the Covenant that will be guiding their work with the congregation.
During these days of uncertainty and difficulty, yet always with hope, we, the Session, invite you to join us in prayers for our world, for each other and for our church.