Presbyterian Church welcomes John White
By Cheryl Parker

We were able to catch up with John White last week after he returned from a week of continuing education for his certification as an Intentional Interim Ministry Practitioner. For those wondering why Jesup’s long-time resident and funeral director would be taking this certification, the answer is “It’s not him.” There are two John Whites in Jesup now.

The new John White is working .8 time at the First Presbyterian Church, which was left without a pastor when Rev. John Molacek took a pastorate in Nevada, IA. He will not be taking Rev. Molacek’s place. He has a one-year contract, from October through next September, and he has a very specific mission.
As an intentional interim, his mission is to help the congregation “take a deep breath” and help them discover what kind of ministry they are prepared to do. His is a non-anxious presence asking “Where are we? Where have we been? Where are we to go?” He won’t be “fixing” anything, but partnering with the congregation and the Presbyterian Church (USA) during this time of transition. There are actually five specific tasks in this process:

1. Review the Congregation’s history

2. Identify where the congregation is and where it is going

3. Encourage new leaders to take on leadership. This is certainly not abandoning the current leaders, but a time for new people to try something; to empower new people to take on more active leadership roles

4. Strengthen ties to the denomination and the community

5. Prepare for the next pastor

As part of strengthening ties to the community and fine tuning the direction of this parish’s ministry, teams of two people will be canvassing the Jesup community this Sunday, Nov. 12, asking four questions. They would really appreciate hearing what our community thinks, and promise to not impose on people’s time more than the interviewee wishes. They will be asking

• What is the greatest need in Jesup?

• How can a church help with that need?

• Fewer people are involved in faith activities these days, why do you think that is? What barriers might be out there? (In the case of general busyness, how can we address that?)

• If you were searching for a church home, what would you search for? What qualities?

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