“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
Throughout 2017, session has been actively setting the stage for NPC's transition from PC(USA) to ECO, A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. This has included the initiation of a Discernment process that saw several congregational meetings with members of NPC's discernment team, meetings with representatives from the National Capital Presbytery, the initiation, conduct and analyses of a survey to assess the congregations thoughts and concerns with staying and leaving PC(USA).
Based on the results of that survey, the Presbytery's discernment team recommended to the Presbytery's Leadership Council that NPC proceed to the next steps in the disaffiliation process. This has included a complete review of NPC's financial records, property and historical accounting reports. This process culminated in early 2018 with the National Capital Presbytery's team providing NPC with the terms and conditions associated with disaffiliation. Session has been actively working to ensure 2018 budgets consider the fiscal aspects of the disaffiliation; however, are looking with excitement to 2018 when NPC will officially transition to ECO. The official process is in the works, but it is anticipated there will be an advisory vote of the congregation followed by an official vote from the Leadership Counsil at the National Capital Presbytery.
The Lord is surely doing a new thing at NPC and 2018 will bring many changes. In addition to embracing our new Presbyterian denomination, we will be sending off Pastor Pete with our prayers to his new call at Maple Valley Presbyterian Church. While we are sad to see him go, we remain excited about who God has already identified to come to NPC. Over the early part of 2018, guest pastors will fill the pulpit for a brief period; however, session is optimistic that an interim pastor will be quickly identified and hired. The role of the interim pastor will be to assist those mourning the loss of Pastor Pete and, in time, preparing the way for the new permanent, full-time pastor. This may involve congregational surveys, meetings, discussions and the development of a pastor nominating committee to do the work of advertising, interviewing and recommending a senior pastor. This can be a long process; however, what greater place to be than at the center of God's will. We want to make sure we take the appropriate amount of time to discern His will as part of that process.
God’s plan is perfect. God’s timing is perfect. How humbling and what a blessing to be in the midst of God’s handiwork.