What's Happening Now

Transition Pastor

The Session of Christ Presbyterian Church is excited to announce that Rev. Dr. Ron Hawkins has accepted the position of Transition Pastor at CPC. Ron comes to us from Windwood Presbyterian Church (ECO) in Houston, Texas where he served as Executive Pastor. In his twenty-eight years of full-time ministry, Ron has served as a church planter, associate pastor, and senior pastor in churches located in Indiana, Illinois, Alabama, and Arizona. Ron and his wife, Linette, have five children and eight grandchildren.

The Search Committee unanimously recommended Pastor Ron for the position of Transition Pastor from a number of qualified candidates. Ron has a deep love for Jesus, a prayerful, daily reliance on God, and a set of experiences that points to a strong but humble leader. He has acted as head of staff, overseeing many direct and indirect reports, moderated Session meetings, and demonstrated a collaborative and relational leadership style. Ron is also an ECO-ordained pastor and has completed the ECO Transition Pastor training.

Pastor Ron shares, "For years now, I have been drawn toward what used to be called Interim Pastoral Ministry. It really was not much more than a 'placeholder ministry' that attempted to keep the flock together. When ECO shifted to a focus that would 'help churches navigate change through a pastoral transition, so that a church is healthy and ready for its flourishing next step,' my interest increased many-fold. I find the idea of transitional ministry exciting and engaging."

We believe that Ron's experience as a pastor and in coaching, encouraging, and leading staff uniquely gift him to serve our congregation in this season of transition and to prepare us to receive our next Senior Pastor.

We look forward to welcoming Ron and Linette to CPC!

Help Us Welcome Ron!

Ron will officially join our staff on April 23. The Assimilation Team, led by Kim and Mark Thompson, is working closely with Mara Amiot, Executive Director, and Petey Crowder, Executive Pastor, to prepare for Ron's arrival. Meet and Greets with the congregation are planned for May 4 and 5, and Ron will preach at all services that weekend.

Senior Pastor Search Team

We want to give a huge thank you to all the people who made nominations for our Senior Pastor Search Team. We received more than 150 nominations! The Personnel Committee of Session thoroughly and prayerfully reviewed the nominations for the Senior Pastor Search Team and recommended a diverse group consisting of active CPC members who have a committed relationship with Jesus Christ, are engaged at CPC, are dedicated to prayer, and who model humility and integrity. The eleven individuals on the team were put forth by Session and approved at a Congregational Meeting on April 7. To view the team members, click on the Senior Pastor Search Team tab below.

Our hope is that this group of individuals represent the community of CPC in all its beautiful diversity—a blend of ages, worship styles, life stages, and involvement in the life of this church. This team was also selected on the basis of their communication, listening, and decision-making skills. But at the core is each individual’s desire to serve CPC, follow Jesus, and seek God’s will as we search for our new senior pastor.

Pray with Us!

The entire congregation is invited to join our prayer team as we ask for God’s wisdom, grace, unity, and abounding peace during this season of transition. Text “transition” to 555888 to receive one prayer text a week.

FAQ

Are we hiring a new Senior Pastor right away?

We are in 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.

What is the role of the Transition Pastor?

The Transition Pastor plays 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 serves as the head of staff and will be regularly involved in worship with the opportunity to preach monthly.

How will the Senior Pastor be selected?

Session nominated a Senior Pastor Search Team which was approved by the congregation in April. The Senior Pastor Search Team will now begin the process of looking for the new Senior Pastor. 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. When the Senior Pastor Search Team has 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.

Who is on the Senior Pastor Search Team?

To view the team members, click on the Senior Pastor Search Team tab.

What kind of role will the congregation have during the selection process for the Senior Pastor?

The Personnel Committee of Session spent a great deal of time thoroughly reviewing the nominations for the Senior Pastor Search Team. The team represents a cross-section of our congregation that is diverse in age, worship styles, life stages, and involvement in the life of this church. It is our expectation that the team will represent us all very well, and 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. Read John’s letter to the congregation. 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 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.

In addition to the Lead Transition Team, we are blessed with an active and engaged Session charged with responsibility for overseeing the mission and affairs of the church at all times, including during this time of transition. Session includes 16 Elders elected by the congregation and our ECO-ordained pastors who have been called by the congregation. Session receives regular updates from the Lead Transition Team regarding the status of the transition and provides oversight. In this way, the Lead Transition Team can carry out the day-to-day work with regard to transition matters, while freeing up Session to focus on the other important business of CPC so that we can flourish during this time of transition.

What’s next for the Crosbys?

Following John’s retirement on January 15, John and Laura took off for several months of travel, rest, and discernment. We are so grateful for the many ways in which John and Laura touched lives and made such a huge difference for the Kingdom, both inside and outside the walls of CPC, during the past 30 years. We celebrated and honored their ministry as a church family at a special worship celebration and reception, and offered up our heartfelt appreciation and blessings in many other ways. It will be exciting to see what God has in store for the next chapter in their journey!  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.

What will happen with our missions connections during the transition?

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. 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. For clarity of roles and organizational structure, all staff titles have recently been reviewed, updated, and approved by the Personnel Committee.

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.

In connection with the budget adjustments made last spring, our staff was asked to take a week of unpaid leave during our fiscal year. However, through the generous donations we’ve received from our congregation, the unpaid leave days for staff pay are being restored. This is just one of the ways that we have seen our congregation step forward in their commitment, faith, and support for staff during this transition period.

Who will be preaching?

We are fortunate to have many talented voices among our pastoral staff. You can expect to hear from our gifted pastoral staff as well as the Transition Pastor.

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 was 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 is pursuing options to cover transition costs and 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 transition@cpconline.org and Becky Walker will follow up with you.    

Transition Teams

Becky Walker, transition teams chair

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.

Prayer Team

Kitty Yancey, chair
Martha Adolph • Suzanne Burnett • Karen Hartwig • Steve Hartwig • Katie McElroy • Monica Spiegler • Evie Teegen • Brian Wood
Staff Liaison: 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.

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.

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.

How can I ask questions or express a concern?

Please email transition@cpconline.org and an elder will follow up with you.    

Senior Pastor Search Team

ANDREA RAND is a deacon and upcoming deacon moderator. She has been on the leadership team of Mom’s Morning and is in a couples’ small group. She and her husband have two daughters and became members in 2017.

ANDY WYATT is a small group leader for Community Bible Study and has been a teaching director in the past. He and his wife have been members since 2003 and typically attend the Saturday night service.

BECKY WALKER currently serves as an elder and the Chair of the Transition Team. She is a former deacon and attends the In the Word Bible study. She and her husband have been members of CPC since 2000.

CLAY KILBER and his wife have two young children and became members in 2011. He is active in a small group and couples’ small group, and he led The Table prayer team when it was at CPC.

DAN EICHER has been a member of CPC since 2014 and is a deacon and former deacon moderator. He is involved in a men’s small group, and you’ll see him with his wife and two kids on Wednesday nights and at the 11:00AM service.

ERIC ANDERSON and his wife are the parents of two young children. Eric has served as a deacon and is the current leader of the E3 Sunday Community. He has been a member of CPC since 2016.

GENE HAMAN has a long history at CPC—he became a member in 1968! He is a former elder and deacon, and he currently serves with ARMS, as an Elevate mentor, and with lay care. He’s also active in a small group.

JANE TYGESSON is a leader in Community Bible Study, a marriage mentor, and is active in a small group and the A.C.T.S. Sunday Community. She and her husband have been members since 1995.

JANICE VELGERSDYK and her husband became members of CPC in 1993. She has been a deacon and assisted with new members, and she now serves as a memorial volunteer, in the prayer shawl ministry, and by leading a summer Bible study.

LINDSEY SMALL is a small group leader, a deacon, and part of the First Impressions team. She also recently participated on a GO!Trip to Israel/Palestine. She has been a member since 2012.

STEVE MADER was part of our Succession Planning Task Force, and he also served as an elder (and former Chair of Personnel). He currently cares and supports staff on the Transition Staff Care Team. Steve and his wife have been members since 2011.