- Who is the PNC?
The PNC is a group of ten First Pres members who have been selected by the nominating committee, approved by session, and elected by the congregation.
- How does the PNC work?
–We are following the process provided by the Presbytery to complete the work.
–We value consensus building and collective discernment as we make decisions. Individually, each member is committed to prayer and personal reflection.
–We are meeting weekly, spending time in reflection and prayer for the church and for the work of the PNC.
- How long will the process take?
–Involving prayer, outreach, deliberation and discernment the process can take one to three years, although there is no set time limit.
–The PNC is committed to working as rapidly as possible. The detailed steps of the process can be found here.
- Will the congregation know who has applied to be Senior Pastor?
Out of respect for the candidates and the integrity of the process, strict confidentiality will be observed.
- If I know a candidate that I would like to be considered, what should I do?
–The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) welcomes referrals of prospective candidates who hold a Master of Divinity and eight years or more of pastoral experience in a large church.
–To submit a prospective pastor’s name please fill out this form.
- Where can I direct my questions?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Where in the process of choosing a new Senior Pastor can the congregation be most involved?
–Discernment is crucial in evaluating candidates. Pray for the PNC process and actively participate in the life of the church.
–Send your candidate suggestions to the PNC—see question #6.
- What was taken into consideration when writing the MIF (Ministry Information Form)?
–The MIF is a required first step in the process of identifying candidates. It requires that specific information be provided and answers to narrative questions be developed.
–To draft the MIF, the PNC drew on numerous sources of information including the Mission Study Report, Dream Team statements, and Presbytery data.
–The PNC conferred with Personnel, Session, and COM for review and input.
Can the Interim Senior Pastor be considered as a candidate for the next installed pastor?
A. While not ordinarily permitted or advised, there is a path by which the Interim Pastor can be considered. The PNC is casting a wide net, doing a nationwide search as we seek to determine who is best to lead us into the next chapter of our life together. We will thoroughly consider all candidates.
B. The Book of Order states that while ordinarily this not permissible, exceptions can be made as noted below:
G-2.05 Form of Government under G-2.0504
b. Temporary Pastoral Relationships
Temporary pastoral relationships are approved by the presbytery and do not carry a formal call or installation. When a congregation does not have a pastor, or while the pastor is unable to perform her or his duties, the session, with the approval of presbytery, may obtain the services of a minister of the Word and Sacrament, candidate, or ruling elder in a temporary pastoral relationship. No formal call shall be issued and no formal installation shall take place. Titles and terms of service for temporary relationships shall be determined by the presbytery. A person serving in a temporary pastoral relationship is invited for a specified period not to exceed twelve months in length, which is renewable with the approval of the presbytery. A minister of the Word and Sacrament employed in a temporary pastoral relationship is ordinarily not eligible to serve as the next installed pastor, co-pastor, or associate pastor.
c. Exceptions A presbytery may determine that its mission strategy permits a minister of the Word and Sacrament currently called as an Associate Pastor to be eligible to serve as the next installed pastor or co-pastor, or a minister of the Word and Sacrament employed in a temporary pastoral relationship to be eligible to serve as the next installed pastor, co-pastor, or associate pastor. Presbyteries that permit this eligibility shall establish such relationships only by a three-fourths vote of the members of presbytery present and voting.
C. The San Francisco Presbytery Policy echoes the Book of Order in that ordinarily a temporary pastor is not eligible and encourages PNCs to conduct a wide search process. The Presbytery does provide a process for determining whether an exception can be made to invite a temporary/interim pastor into the evaluation process. Specifically, as extracted from the Committee on Ministry Policy Change for 2013:
A teaching elder employed in a temporary pastoral relationship is ordinarily not eligible to serve as the next installed pastor, co-pastor, or associate pastor.
In cases where the PNC and congregation are led to consider the temporary pastor for the next installed pastor, the liaison will work with the PNC’s discernment process and highlight cautions as well as benefits.
The PNC will continue to perform a wide search and interview process; the liaison will explain the rationale.
The particular church’s PNC and temporary pastor meet with members of the appropriate East Bay or West Bay COM to ask for guidance and approval for moving.
The temporary pastor may submit his/her PIF only upon the invitation of the PNC.
If the temporary pastor is chosen by the particular congregation as their next called pastor, the position will come before the presbytery for approval by a 3⁄4 vote.
(from COM Policy Guidlines 2013)
D. Please remember that as the whole search process is confidential – we cannot disclose who is or who is not under consideration.
- Who is the PNC?
MIF: The Ministry Information Form, used by our denomination, that includes a description of our church as well as a description of the role and leadership competencies and experiences required of the senior pastor.
PIF: The Personal Information Form is submitted by candidates as a part of their application. This is similar to a resume.
PC(USA): The Presbyterian Church (USA), the denomination to which First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley belongs.
Presbytery: The local governing body for PCUSA churches in our geographic area. Our church is a member of the Presbytery of San Francisco.
COM: The Committee on Ministry that advises the PNC during the search and who approves the MIF and call that will be extended to our next pastor.
·Presbytery Book of Order
·Presbytery Interim/Transitional Ministry
·First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley PNC Webpage