Dear Mercy Community,
When Libby Sutherland (Board Member and Search Committee Chair) and Jon Marsden (Interim Lead Pastor) hosted the Lead Pastor Search Process congregational listening sessions, we could never have guessed that our state and most of our country would be shut down due to COVID-19 social distancing measures just a few days later. Since nearly three months have passed since those gatherings, we want to share an update with the Mercy community.
The Search Committee reviewed approximately 30 applications and will continue to review candidates that submit materials. We conducted phone interviews and background checks on a number of applicants and we expect to complete more this month. We strategized to ensure we are casting a wide net to gather the best candidates. Despite the work we’ve done, we have not yet found a pastor. We recognize that for some of you this is disappointing but not surprising given the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Mercy community members have done an incredible job of caring for one another but we are asking you to hold on a little longer as the search continues.
We are committed to the promises we made to the church to find a candidate that meets the unique needs of the church in this season and is able to cast a vision that moves us forward especially in areas of Holy Spirit movement, cultural engagement, and commitment to growing in diversity. As much as we wish we could give you an estimated timeline, there is still much uncertainty around when we will be able to bring in final candidates for onsite visits. We will work closely with the staff to determine when we might safely do that and will update you accordingly.
In this waiting season, we invite you to continue praying as individuals and in your growth groups for our next lead pastor. We know God loves Mercy Vineyard Church and we expect big things from Him in this season. In the meantime, thank you for how well you love each other and our city in this unprecedented season. If you have questions, please contact the search committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mercy Vineyard Church Search Committee