Pastor Transition Team
In November, the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) was disbanded, based on a vote from the congregation, the same day we voted to bring Jo Forrest to us as our new senior pastor and head of staff. With no more PNC, that group recommended that there be a new group – the PTT, or Pastor Transition Team. This group was created by bringing together representatives of key areas of church life. The PTT will provide Jo with a list of resources and will respond to questions she may have as she learns who’s who and what’s what at Westminster.
Starting with the good news, Jo and Hamish are moving into their new home on New Year’s Eve. So they will be welcoming in the new year here in Pittsburgh with all of us. Beyond knowing they are settled their new home, the first task the PTT group tackled was to think about the practicalities of her first days with us. We will be delivering dinner to Jo and Hamish the day they move into their new home. On that day, Jo’s movers will also make a stop at the church to deliver boxes of books, replacing Bruce’s library with her own collection. Then, there is a process for paperwork, email address, phone extension, laptop configuration and so on when she can physically be in the office.
Finally, we have provided her with a list of different people within the congregation who can help her get to know groups and individual members as well as – when she’s ready – reach out to the broader community. We’ve even started offering suggestions on how to identify trusted providers for all the things you need when you make a move – plumbers, electricians, doctors, dentists, great restaurants (when they’re open again) and so on.
As you would expect, a key focus has been asking Jo what she would like us to do to help with the transition. With the current COVID restrictions, those things look significantly different than they normally would. Still, a key request from Jo has been helping us find ways for her to get to know members of the congregation. She and Hamish love to walk so she has suggested a series of Sunday afternoon walks (on NON Steeler days, she’s a quick learner!) to get to know folks. Soon, you will receive information on how to sign up for one of the walks. Jo has requested that these groups be limited to eight so that meaningful conversation and connection can happen. Keep an eye out for sign up instructions. For those not up to walking, we anticipate offering similarly small group Zoom calls for the same purpose – helping her get to know her new flock.
We’re working hard to make it seem like any other Presbyterian transition – there just won’t be cake. Check the website periodically so you will know when we’ve added new opportunities to get acquainted.
If you have thoughts on people she should know or have questions on how to reach out to Jo, please contact any of us on the team. We’re happy to be liaisons as you “get to know Jo.”
Team MembersJennifer Bollman
John Van Cleve