What is the congregation’s or organization’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.
Westminster Presbyterian Church helps people on their Christian journey by:
- Providing a meaningful worship and learning environment;
- Supporting social service outreach and social justice issues within and beyond our community; and
- Being welcoming, accepting and supportive to all.
- Worship is the focal point of our spiritual time together. We provide a traditional worship service in the sanctuary and a smaller, non-traditional service in the chapel using the same sermon, which is Bible-based and speaks to everyday living. A children’s choir, bell choir, numerous instrumentalists, and chancel choir enhance the sanctuary service. A musically talented couple leads music at the chapel service. Worship and education continue throughout the week in small settings such as men’s prayer breakfast and bible study groups.
- Christian education includes Sunday School for all ages, pre-K to adult, plus middle and high school youth groups.
- We serve meals at shelters, assist refugees in transition, participate in mission trips, care for those with AIDS, provide financial support to numerous social service agencies, partner with a neighborhood homework center, and support families in distress.
- We welcome all into fellowship through programs such as church-wide meals, musical events, dinner groups, women’s circles, and a monthly senior program.
- We care for those in crisis led by our Stephen Ministers and emphasize prayer concerns in worship and through weekly updates.
How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?
We pledge to be the hands, eyes, ears, and feet of Christ both inside and outside of Westminster. We pledge to support each other and Westminster on our faith journey. To that end, we support families and individuals in crisis within our church and community by meeting needs, e.g. providing/serving meals for soup kitchens and individuals, and providing clothing, food, furniture, school supplies, etc. through our social worker liaison and town social services department. Youth and adults have gone on many local, national and international mission trips. Most recently, we co-sponsored the relocation effort of an African refugee family with another local church. For broader social issues, we host forums and educational programs on issues such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, gun control and bullying. We welcome into full membership persons of every race, culture, economic status, age, ability, gender, and sexual orientation. Increasing diversity in our church family is an identified goal. We continue to support our long-time Boy Scout Troop. With changing societal priorities, we are looking at innovative ways to redesign Christian Education programs for children and adults. Prayer is an important component of our faith journey and we support one another through prayer, Stephen Ministers and a Prayer Shawl ministry. Plans are under development for keeping our older members connected and involved and for strengthening the connection between members at our two services.
How will this position help you to reach your vision and mission goals?
We expect the Pastor to embrace our vision and mission goals, guiding us as we move forward on our Christian journey together. The Pastor will be our coach, energizing and inspiring us along the way as a preacher, model Christian and facilitator. The Pastor will be comfortable relating to all ages and traditions in our congregation and community of diverse faith backgrounds.
We live in a post-Christian era in which the traditional church culture is largely irrelevant to our Greater Hartford community. The ministers (i.e. the entire congregation) will look to the Pastor for innovative and imaginative leadership as we seek to live out the Gospel. We expect Westminster Presbyterian Church to be attractive to our members and to our local community, so that we grow in numbers under our new Pastor’s leadership.
Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation and or organization.
Westminster is seeking the following characteristics and qualifications in our new Pastor:
Christ-centered personal depth and spiritual grounding
Warm and engaging
Energetic presence with all ages
Experienced in Leadership, Worship and Ministry
Compassionate pastoral skills
Serves & relates to all ages & constituencies
Inspiring, servant leader
Vision for church growth in a changing society
Enthusiasm for church stewardship and mission
Involved in social justice, including outreach
Skilled in being a program development resource for all ages
Creativity in working with youth
Dynamic, inspirational, biblically oriented, practical preaching
Appreciates the integral role of music in worship
Ability to blend traditional worship with creative approaches that encourage lay participation
Strong organizational skills including management of budgets and fund-raising
Focused on church goals
Ability to manage staff through clear direction, strong decision making
What specific tasks, assignments, and program areas will this person have responsibility?
The Pastor will have primary responsibility for leading worship, including administration of sacraments, sharing these functions with the Associate Pastor. The Pastor will act as a resource, with the Associate Pastor, for committees and boards. Pastoral Care responsibilities will be shared between the Pastor and the Associate Pastor. The Pastor will provide feedback, leadership, and counsel on improvements to programs and activities which strengthen the church and its lay leadership. A focus on membership growth, retention, and stewardship will be required of the Pastor. As the teaching elder, the Pastor will promote an environment of constant learning by finding unique opportunities for Christian education.
Approximate allocation of time (annually):
Worship and Preaching (preach 30-35 Sundays per year plus special services - two services each Sunday) - 30%
Mission, Outreach, and Church Growth - 15%
Pastoral Care - 15%
Organizational / Administration - 15%
Leadership of Staff/Volunteers - 15%
Christian Education - 5%
Other - 5%
www.westpresby.org/PNC (this is a link to the report from the Bridging Team, completed Spring 2013)