The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) of Oxford Presbyterian Church is currently seeking a permanent pastor to fill our pulpit. Committee members include Andrew Atkinson (chair), Ila Barlow, Brett Cowan, Janet Hudler, Peter King and Neeley Spotts. In order to keep the congregation fully informed of their progress, the committee will be making regular announcements in church and in the monthly Lamplighter. Those updates, along with other explanatory information, will appear on this page.

Please continue to keep the PNC and their deliberation process lifted up in prayer.

First Steps: Getting Started & The MIF
  • The PNC was elected at a congregational meeting on Sunday, November 25, 2018. Erin Cox-Holmes, the Executive Presbyter of The Presbytery of Donegal provided the PNC with an overview of their responsibilities at their first meeting on Thursday, December 13th.
  • The first task was to prepare the Ministry Information Form (MIF) which serves as a job listing on the PC(USA) job board, the Church Leadership Connection (CLC). The MIF is one of the primary ways that prospective pastors will get to know about who we are as a church. Using the responses from the congregational survey, the MIF helps communicate what is so special about OPC and what we are looking for in our next pastor.
  • The PNC met on December 20th, January 3rd and January 7th in order to complete the MIF in time for it to be reviewed by Session prior to their meeting on January 13th. If this self-imposed deadline had been missed, it would have potentially added another month to the process.
  • On January 13th, 2019, the OPC Session unanimously approved the MIF. You can view the MIF here. 
Matches, Candidates & Confidentiality

  • Once the MIF was approved by Session, it was submitted to the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry (COM) for final approval. Next, the MIF was posted on the CLC where a computer compared characteristics from our MIF against characteristics of the Pastor Information Forms (PIFs) that were in the CLC system.
  • When the final matching process was complete, it had identified 117 PIFs that matched at least 5 of the top 10 characteristics we defined as important for our next pastor to have. These computer matches do NOT indicate that there is interest from the candidate, only that his or her PIF matches some criteria from our MIF, and is in alignment with geographical, job role, and salary preferences.
  • Out of respect for all the applicants and the search process, the PNC cannot discuss specific names, nor confirm or deny who does or does not apply.
  • On January 21st, the PNC began meeting weekly to discuss potential candidates, with a goal of reviewing 30 candidates per week. Between meetings, each member of the PNC independently reviews the PIF of each of that week’s 30 assigned matches, and conducts additional research on any candidates that have piqued their interest. This may include listening to sermons on YouTube, Google searches, review of church websites and/or Facebook pages, and any other content that they can find.  When appropriate, the candidates are further discussed at the next weekly committee meeting and a decision is made as to whether to send them the supplemental questions that the committee has compiled.
  • In addition to weekly meetings, the PNC utilizes a web-based teamwork app which allows them to engage in frequent ongoing discussions about the business of the committee from their computer, phone, or any other mobile device. It also provides them with a secure central storehouse for easy access to all relevant documents and previous discussions, which increases the efficiency and thoroughness of their process.

Update Announcement: February 17, 2019

  • As of this week, the PNC has reviewed 90 PIF matches. 
  • They have sent supplemental questions to 11 candidates.
  • Three candidates have self-referred their PIFs.
  • The PNC will continue to keep the congregation updated on the search process and informed as to the number of applicants. Remember that the process is confidential, so no names can be discussed, but the committee members are happy to share numbers and answer questions about the process.
  • The goal is to have identified a candidate by May 1st, 2019.

Update Announcement: March 17, 2019

  • As of this week, the PNC has completed review of 120 PIF matches and self-referrals.
  • We have directly communicated with 16 candidates.
  • We have reviewed supplemental question responses from those candidates who have expressed mutual interest. We are currently in the process of setting up and conducting interviews with candidates we wish to continue learning about.
  • Once interviews are complete and we have agreed on a candidate, there are several additional confidential steps involving Presbytery that must be taken before we can reveal the identity of the candidate.
  • The PNC continues to meet weekly. We continue to appreciate the nominating committee who picked us because we enjoy each other’s company and work very well together. We will continue to keep the congregation informed as things progress and we have something that we can share.
  • Our goal remains to have identified a candidate by May 1st, 2019.