After nearly 30 years of faithful service, John Crosby will retire as CPC’s Senior Pastor. We are deeply grateful for the countless ways John and Laura have impacted our lives. As we celebrate together, we’re trusting God’s invitation into a sacred future for CPC and for the Crosbys. A Letter from John Crosby.

Transition Pastor Opportunity Profile


Are we hiring a new Senior Pastor right away?

There will be an expected period of 12-24 months where we will have a Transition Pastor in place. We have been strongly advised that “short periods between pastors often lead to short-term pastors.” We want to allow for healthy space after John and Laura’s transition to process and move forward, and a Transition Pastor offers a neutral period to adjust to the reality of change. We also want to create opportunities for existing staff and members to step up.

How will the Transition Pastor be selected?

The Personnel Committee of Session has appointed the Transition Pastor Search Team, led by Dennis Hykes and Leslie Turner, to conduct the search. The Transition Pastor Search Team has created an Opportunity Profile for the position and has distributed the profile through ECO and other institutional and personal networks. They do not think it will be necessary to hire a search firm in order to find a highly qualified individual. The Transition Pastor Search Team is currently collecting and reviewing applications and we will keep you posted as that process moves forward. Their search will conclude by recommending one, or possibly more, candidates for review and selection by the Personnel Committee and the full Session. We hope to have a Transition Pastor start as soon as possible after John’s retirement on January 15. Our current lead team of Petey and Mara will cover any gap between John’s retirement and the start of the Transition Pastor.

What will be the role of the Transition Pastor?

The Transition Pastor Search Team is working to find a Transition Pastor who will play a vital role in the operational and administrative decisions needed in a large metro church, ranging from staff management to strategic leadership. The Transition Pastor will serve as the head of staff and will be regularly involved in worship with the opportunity to preach monthly. If you know of anyone who might be a good fit for the role, please share the profile with them and encourage them to apply. View the Opportunity Profile.

When will we have a new Senior Pastor?

As mentioned above, we anticipate that the Transition Pastor will be in place for 12-24 months. In early 2019, the Session will nominate a Senior Pastor Search Team which will be presented to the congregation for approval, and that team will begin the search process.

Do you know who the next Senior Pastor is?

We don’t—but we trust God does! We plan to do an extensive national search. There is no one on staff who has been implicitly or explicitly led to believe they are our next Senior Pastor. Existing CPC staff are welcome to apply and be considered, based on their own interest.

How will the Senior Pastor be selected?

As mentioned above, in early 2019 the Session will nominate a Senior Pastor Search Team, which will be presented to the congregation for approval. Once elected, the Senior Pastor Search Team will begin the process of looking for the new Senior Pastor. When they have come to a consensus, there will be a vote of the congregation at a congregational meeting to officially “call” the new Senior Pastor. We will also keep the local ECO presbytery informed.

How can I nominate someone to serve on the Senior Pastor Search Team?

Session is soliciting input from the congregation on potential members for the Senior Pastor Search Team. The Senior Pastor Search Team will consist of 9 to 12 active CPC members who have a committed relationship with Jesus Christ, are engaged at CPC, dedicated to prayer, and who model humility and integrity. This team will have a very important and potentially challenging task. Please prayerfully consider and nominate the men and women that you think would be a good fit. There will be a nomination box at the Blue Wall in the Great Room and at the Main Office where you can submit names until January 31, 2018. You can also email nominations to The Personnel Committee of Session will review the nominations and recommend a team to the full Session. Session will then recommend a team to be approved at a congregational meeting expected to take place in early February. Nominations will also be taken from the floor of the congregational meeting, but keep in mind that nominations made at that time will not allow much time for serious consideration.

What kind of role will the congregation have during the selection process for the Transition and Senior Pastors?

It is our expectation that the search teams will represent a cross-section of our congregation and will represent us all very well. Feedback will be solicited throughout this period of transition. This is an incredibly important and exciting time for us as a church family. We want and need your input.

Will the new Senior Pastor be a part of our ECO denomination?

One of our goals for joining ECO was to give CPC the best possible search process for a new senior pastor. In ECO, we are allowed to nominate and approve our own search committee. Additionally, we can seek national candidates from any denomination or background so long as there is theological congruence. A non-ECO candidate would be asked to transfer ordination to ECO and affirm ECO’s Essential Tenets.

Who is in charge of the transition plan and what can we expect?

Our plan was approved by Session in January 2018 following a year of study, discernment and prayer by a Succession Planning Task Force appointed by Session. The plan was activated this summer when John announced his retirement. The first step outlined by the succession plan is to form a Lead Transition Team, and Becky Walker (current elder) was chosen by Session as chair. As recommended by the plan, Becky has organized the following seven sub-committees that will guide CPC through this transition period:  Transition Pastor Search, Prayer, Finance, Staff Care, Communication, Farewell/Celebration and Assimilation. Read about the sub-committees purpose and chairs, in the next tab.

What’s next for the Crosbys?

John will remain an active Senior Pastor until January 15, at which point he and Laura expect to spend several months out of state for rest and discernment. We expect that John will have some ongoing relationship with CPC, as there is one international trip scheduled for 2019 that John has already committed to participate in on behalf of CPC, as well as select times in the coming year when we know CPC will benefit from John’s relationships or historical knowledge. This is often common practice for departing senior pastors, including Roger Anderson at the time he left CPC. Still, John and Laura have told us they don’t expect to make CPC their home church until after a new Senior Pastor is solidly in place, and then only in deference to the new leader’s comfort level. They are committed to extending the same kind of space and support Roger and Dottie Anderson extended to them.

How are we honoring John and Laura?

We had a special opportunity as a church family to celebrate and honor John and Laura at the worship celebration and dessert reception held at CPC on December 9. Our Farewell/Celebration Team has also been hard at work to show our appreciation in other ways. John and Laura have touched many lives during their time at CPC, they have raised their own family with and among our families, and they have had a tremendous impact both inside the walls and outside the walls of CPC. We lift that up and celebrate and honor John and Laura, together with all that God has been doing at CPC during the past 60 years, with joy and gratitude.

Can I make a financial gift to John and Laura?

There is an opportunity to bless John and Laura with a financial gift, as we have done for other pastors. If you would like to honor John and Laura in this way, please write a check out to CPC and write “Crosby Gift” in the memo line. You can drop it in the offering or use the special envelope available at the Blue Wall in the Great Room and in the Main Office.

What will happen with the missions connections John has (e.g. World Vision)?

CPC’s missions team, which includes both staff and lay leaders, has developed deep relationships over the years with a number of our key missions partners both locally and internationally. We expect those relationships will remain strong after John retires. Of course, we are always reviewing those partnerships—it’s an ongoing process—and our relationships will no doubt change over time regardless of who is our senior pastor.

Are we filling open staff positions during the transition?

Yes, we are currently hoping to hire several open positions on our staff.  View current job descriptions, further details and application instructions on our employment page. These open positions are not the positions that were eliminated in 2018; those eliminated positions no longer exist.

How is the staff being cared for?

We have a Staff Care Team in place, led by Barb Harmon and Steve Mader, to ensure that staff is informed, supported, and cared for during this transition period. Staff is receiving regular email and in-person updates from the Lead Transition Team. It’s important for staff to be informed and included in the conversation, and that is our goal. In addition, the staff care team is committed to praying for staff and walking with them through this season as needed. We hope to see staff flourish through these changes.

Who will be preaching?

Until John retires as Senior Pastor, he will be working closely with Petey to determine the preaching schedule. Our Transition Pastor will play a role in making those decisions once he or she is on board. We are fortunate to have many talented voices among our pastoral staff. We will take advantage of their gifts and expect to hear from the pastoral staff regularly while the Transition Pastor is in place.

Do we expect there to be a downturn in giving during this period?

We know that giving during a time of transition can go down. However, research by the Succession Planning Taskforce also found that giving and involvement can actually increase in times of transition instead of decreasing, and that is certainly our hope for CPC. One of John’s desires is to leave CPC in a financially healthy position. We need your involvement and commitment to make that happen.

How will this affect the budget? 

The Finance Team, led by Cooper Butler and Leif Syverson, are creating and establishing a budget for the costs of the transition. These costs are obviously separate from what was in the current church budget. The Transition Team will continue to provide updates to the congregation.

How will I get updates?

You can expect to receive important updates from the pulpit as well as in CPC Life. Please also check this transition page where we will continue to post regular updates and past communication pieces for your reference. Additional communication will be sent via email or mail as needed. We also plan to host additional transition conversations where we can gather as a congregation to cover recent updates, ask questions, and pray together.

How can I be praying for CPC during the transition?

One of the most important things you can do, if not the most important thing, is to join our prayer team as we ask for God’s wisdom, grace, unity, and abounding peace during this season of transition. Our Transition Prayer Team will be sending out a prayer text each week that you can choose to receive and pray over. To subscribe, text “transition” to 555888.

How can I ask more questions or express a concern?

Please email and an elder will follow up with you.    

Transition Teams

Becky Walker, transition teams chair 

Transition Pastor Search Team

Dennis Hykes, co-chair • Leslie Turner, co-chair
Karen Beadie • Mark Harmon • Bruce Locklear • Andy Matysik • Brett Peterson
Staff Liaisons: Mara Amiot • Petey Crowder • Carrie Gleeson • James Madsen
Oversees the hiring of a transition pastor. The goal is to have this person in place shortly after John’s departure. The search for the next senior pastor will not begin until after the transition pastor is in place and will be led by a committee elected by the congregation.

Communications Team

Gary Tygesson, co-chair • Alyssa Warren, co-chair
Karena Casey • Greg Fast • Rachel Schwandt
Staff Liaison: Sarah Long
Ensures open and consistent communication with our congregation.

Farewell/Celebration Team

Becky Danielson, chair
Meg Boehne • Kari Carroll • Scott Danielson • Annie Michel • Beth Montgomery • Bob Tinsley • Liz Vardaman
Staff Liaison: Jake Kirchner
Plans an honoring farewell celebration.

Prayer Team

Kitty Yancey, chair
Martha Adolph • Katie McElroy • Monica Spiegler • Evie Teegen • Dana Widstrom • Brian Wood
Staff Liaisons: Michelle Durrett • Melissa Schaser
Encourages and engages our congregation to cover the process with prayer.

Assimilation Team

 Kim Thompson, co-chair • Mark Thompson, co-chair
Staff Liaisons: Jody Phenow • Rich Phenow
Mentors and supports a transition pastor and the new senior pastor.

Finance Team

Cooper Butler, co-chair • Leif Syverson, co-chair • Jay Carroll
Staff Liaison: Mara Amiot
Handles budget and resourcing.

Staff Care Team

Barb Harmon, co-chair • Steve Mader, co-chair • Kathie Froemming
Aligns, informs, and supports our staff.

How can I ask questions or express a concern?

Please email and an elder will follow up with you.