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Grace and peace to you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I always thank my God for you because of God’s grace given to you in Christ Jesus.

On Tuesday, May 30, the Board of Directors met, at my request, to discuss pastoral searches and staffing needs. The initial hope was for a succession plan from Associate Pastor to Senior Pastor that involved Pastor Adam.

This is something Pastor Adam and I had been discussing more seriously since I initially hoped to retire by the age of 62, if not sooner. One idea even included my retiring from full-time ministry by the end of the first quarter in 2024 and remaining on staff as an Associate Pastor to provide transitional and administrative support in a part-time capacity. Obviously, this hope will not be realized.

At this meeting on Tuesday, I instructed the Board to begin a search for a new Senior Pastor and that I would still be willing to continue serving through the end of the first quarter in 2024 while the search is conducted. This announcement involved much prayer and deliberation. I truly want the best for CLP and do not want you to endure two pastoral searches, one for a new Associate Pastor and another for a new Senior Pastor, in less than two years, knowing I hoped to retire from full-time ministry by the age of 62. Back-to-back searches like this can take a long time and tend to put a lot of strain on congregations.

The Board will be considering utilizing a recruiter to help with the search, which will involve congregational participation as well.

I also shared that two of our current staff members would make great Associate Pastors. Brenda Houlihan already has a Master of Pastoral Counseling degree and will graduate with a Master of Divinity in 2024. Aimee Wickersham already has a Master of Social Work degree and will begin pursuing a Master of Divinity this fall, which will take approximately three years to complete. It would be great to see them ordained and serving at The Church at Litchfield Park.

We also learned recently that Pablo Quijas plans to return to school to become an optometrist and will be stepping down from his role as Worship Leader/AVL Director. He has graciously offered to remain on staff part-time while options for fulfilling different staffing needs related to worship leadership, AVL, communications, and volunteer coordination are explored.

Meanwhile, the search for a new Choir Director is off to a great start. Kathy Drake, Sue Kujawski, Greg Clement, Bev Griggs, and I have reviewed several applications and look forward to beginning the first round of interviews next week. The interview process will also involve having one or two of the finalists, depending on how the interviews go, direct a chancel choir rehearsal.

Updates on each of these searches will be provided in the bulletin and eNews, so please be sure to read them carefully. Announcements will also be made in worship as appropriate.

Thank you for your continued support, encouragement, and patience. I am grateful for the opportunity to walk with you through these transitions and am continuing to pray for you all.

God bless you, Pastor Lynne