Due to the resignation of the Settled Pastor on May 31, 2017, the position of the Settled Pastor is now vacant.  As we acknowledge the myriad of emotions in this journey of transition, we are committed to creating a healthy transition for the church.  In this spirit, the Board of Directors will be posting regular updates on the Pastoral Transition.  We encourage all who are connected to the church to be engaged in this process, sharing your questions, concerns, prayers, support and encouragement.

August Update:

We welcome Reverend Dale Jenkins to the pulpit for the month of August!  We appreciate his willingness to bring the Word to us as we continue to journey through search for a Transitional Pastor.

Reverend Dale is a full-time instructor in the Department of Communication at Virginia Tech.  Reverend Dale is a licensed minister in Disciples of Christ denomination, often serving as a speaker for churches who have that need or for churches who need a wedding officiant.  Again, we look forward to Reverend Dale and the messages God will speak through him.

July/August Update:

In our journey through the search for a Transitional Pastor, the Board of Directors was in conversation with Reverend Sean Dennison concerning the possibility of serving as our Transitional Pastor.  Reverend Dennison, ordained in the Unitarian Universalist denomination, met with the Board via Skype to share in dialogue about both Reverend Sean and his call as well as who we are as a church at MCCBR.  The discussion was very fruitful, and the Board decided to present Reverend Dennison as a possible candidate for Transitional ministry.

Meeting at the end of July for our quarterly Congregational Meeting and Potluck, the Board presented Reverend Dennison to the congregation.  There was a question/answer period as well as general sharing of Reverend Dennison’s desire to seek candidacy with MCCBR.  Plans were shared that Reverend Dennison would come in early/mid-September to preach and meet the congregation on that Sunday.  It was also shared, via the MCCBR Facebook Page, that Reverend Dennison was waiting to hear back from another congregation concerning possible employment.

Unfortunately, Reverend Sean decided, for personal reasons not related to our church, to accept a position in the Unitarian Universalist church.  Reverend Sean praised our congregation, stating we are a “fantastic community” and that he was “glad to have had a chance to explore with” us the possibility of candidacy.  Gratitude and prayers for a good journey and blessings upon his ministry were shared.

As we move forward in our search for a Transitional Pastor, we are reminded and encouraged to consider that this continues to be a time of self-discovery and introspection, filled with prayer and much soul-searching for who it is God will call to lead us into the next stages.  We are also encouraged to remember that, though leadership is necessary, the pastor does not make the church; the people of the church make the church.

We remain strong, stable, and inter-connected.  The church staff and Board of Directors continues to work to ensure the strength, stability, and connectedness of MCCBR.  A part of this includes continual conversations with the Office of Church Life and Health to continue searching for the Transitional Pastor God would desire for MCCBR.  Another part of this includes feedback and/or questions from the congregation/community concerning this process, and church leadership looks forward to any wisdom or concerns/questions you might wish to share.

July 28/29 Update:

MCCBR will host a potluck and Congregational Meeting on July 30th directly after church.  During this meeting, the Board will provide financial updates as well as information concerning the search for a Transitional Pastor.  Also, the results of the Spiritual Type survey will be shared, offering the results which will help our future Transitional Pastor know more of who we are as a church (and as individuals within the church) and how to best serve us collectively and individually in this place.

June/July Update:

We wish to offer a heartfelt “thank you” to Reverend Jenny Call, Hollins University Chaplain, who has graciously offered to preach during the month of July.  We are pleased to announce that Reverend Dale Jenkins will be providing the sermons during the month of August.

Reverend Dale is a full-time instructor in the Department of Communication at Virginia Tech.  Reverend Dale is a licensed minister in Disciples of Christ denomination, often serving as a speaker for churches who have that need or for churches who need a wedding officiant.  Again, we look forward to Reverend Dale and the messages God will speak through him.

The Board continues to be in conversation with Reverend Pressley Sutherland, the MCC Office of Church Life and Health, and other MCC Leadership in identifying a person to serve as our Transitional Pastor.

May 11 Update:

During this transitional period, the Board is pleased to announce that Rabbi Kathy Cohen will be preaching on Sunday, May 28, to begin our season of transition, and that our In-Care Student Clergy, Rhonda Thorne, will be our guest preacher for June.  Reverend Jenny Call, Chaplain at Hollins University, will be our guest preacher for July.

May 4 Update:

The Board confirms that Rhonda Thorne, our in-care Student Clergy, will be preaching during the month of June, and Rev. Jenny Call, Chaplain for Hollins University, will be preaching during the month of July.

We continue to be in prayer and conversation with Rev. Pressley Sutherland and the MCC Office of Church Life and Health in identifying a person to serve as our Transitional Pastor.

April 27 Update:

On Sunday, April 23, the Board met and elected Kelly Bryant as the new Vice Moderator, Charlotte Runyon as the new Treasurer, and appointed Rhonda Thorne to fill the open board position.  All of these persons will serve in these positions through the end of this year.
Then, the Board met with Rev. Pressley Sutherland, Associate Director the MCC Office of Church Life and Health, to begin planning for this transitional season.
During this transitional period, the Board will be scheduling guest speakers as part of our Sunday worship celebrations, while also working with Rev. Pressley to identify a Transitional Pastor.  Once we receive additional information on this person(s), the Board will share the profile(s) with the congregation.  The congregation will have an active role in meeting the candidate(s) and confirming the appointment.
The Board also identified liaisons who will work with different ministry areas of the church during the transition, including:  George Lellis (Staff Liaison); Jeff Yates (Building Liaison); Charlotte Runyon, Linny Caldwell (Worship Liaisons); Kelly Bryant, Linny Caldwell (Transition Liaisons).
Beginning this Sunday, we will have a brief Q and A as part of worship, giving updates on the transition process.

April 23 Update:

The Board will be meeting on Sunday, April 23, with Rev. Pressley Sutherland, Associate Director of the MCC Office of Church Life and Health to discuss beginning steps in the process. Following this meeting, the board will share information with the congregation on these next steps.

Jeff Yates, a board member, is working with a committee in the church to plan farewell activities for Rev. Joe. Please stay tuned to updates on these events.

We lift our congregation and Rev. Joe in prayer during this time of holy transition.