John Maxwell, an American author and pastor once said, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” As we live life, change is happening all around us. Some is positive, some is not. Some we enthusiastically accept, some we don’t. Nonetheless, change is going to happen. We have no control over it.
As we all know, Wesley is going through significant change. First, I announced in January that Pastor Andy was being reappointed. Now Pastor Bob has decided to move on to the next season of his life. The Staff Parish Relations Committee realizes that this is difficult news.
Change is seldom easy. It forces us down unknown paths. It is my belief that change is simply a life challenge, one that God offers us because he needs us to grow. As a church, we have been challenged by significant change and now we need to ask God to show us what growth can come from it. I trust that the congregation of Wesley will accept these changes in leadership and pray for God to guide us down the path he has chosen for us.
Sincerely, Dave Siegfried – SPRC Chair
Other committee members: Samir Kakade, Mike Krom, Meg Ksenzakovic, Liz Lewis, Nicole Lockhart, Karen Marmaras, Mike Matacavage, and Jaimee Walters
Change in Staff – Question & Answer
Why is Bob leaving?
Bob said, “There comes a time in ministry when you sense God is releasing you from the place he called you to serve. This is where God has me. My decision to leave Wesley has nothing to do with the recent disagreement within the UMC or with the arrival of a new pastor. Wesley is in need of fresh eyes and fresh ideas that align with leadership’s vision.”
Where is Bob going?
Bob will be taking a few months as a period of rest and reflection. At this time, he does not have definitive plans for a new church or career path. He plans to take the summer worshipping somewhere with Donna as a form of healing and regeneration.
Is Wesley planning to fill the staff vacancy when Bob leaves?
It is expected that there will eventually be a new staff member joining Wesley to assume some of Bob’s job responsibilities. While the job responsibilities and requirements may be modified, the intention is for SPRC to post the position and conduct interviews in order to find the best candidate. However, a final hiring decision will not be made until Pastor Candy can be part of that process.
What about the congregation?
How will we handle this? It is the view of the United Methodist Church that the congregants ARE the church. While we have greatly valued the work Bob has done, the groups he has lead and the lives he has touched, a church family cannot be solely reliant on a pastor or the staff. The congregation must take responsibility for carrying the church during uncertain times. We will make it through this transition by supporting each other with the love, kindness, and respect that Christ asks us to have for each other.
Change in our church concerns me. I’m sad. What can I do?
While the departures of Andy and Bob are happening within a month of each other, they are independent and unrelated events. The exit of two highly visible staff members can be upsetting, but change is constant. It is inevitable. Change provides an opportunity for us to grow as a community and support each other through challenging times. We deeply hope that all our church members and congregants will join us in continuing our positive path forward – to grow as brothers and sisters in Christ and keep our church on a positive trajectory. We further encourage everyone to connect with a SPRC member if they are feeling lost or upset.
Thank you for taking the time to read this document. Please use the information to promote healthy, factual conversations with other Wesley family members. If you hear inaccurate information being discussed, be sure to guide the conversation down the path of truth or advise others to seek out a SPRC member for the facts. Only in this way can we make a healthy transition of pastors, and that is what Wesley Church needs.
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Do you enjoy being creative with pictures and video? Do you like telling a story through images? We are looking for people who enjoy making videos, who can use technology to help represent some of the music we use in worship, and possibly other parts of the worship service such as announcements, testimonies, and more. If this interests or excites you, please see Becky Graybeal for more details and to get plugged in!