As the Board previously relayed to the congregation, all staff are currently reporting to Todd Szymczak, our Associate Pastor, and that will continue for the foreseeable future. The Board has been hard at work, discussing how best to handle the transition between now and when a full time Senior Pastor is finally on board. The board will put together a Search Committee before the end of the year that will be responsible for finding both an Interim Pastor as well as the permanent Senior Pastor. However, even finding an interim pastor will take some time. Since that person could be with us for an extended period, we want to interview different people and have the time to make a good choice. Meanwhile, we recognize the immediate need for a more senior person with preaching and pastoral experience to be involved with TCC.
So, the premise was to find someone to serve in advance of finding an Interim Pastor – a “temporary” Interim Pastor, if you will. To that end I am very happy to report that as of January 1st, Tom Petter, whom many of you know, will be serving in that position. Todd, Kyle and others will handle the preaching between now and Christmas.
For those of you who may not know Tom Petter, he has been a Professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary since 2006. He has served in a number of pastoral and preaching positions, including here at TCC when he and his wife, Donna, assisted Pastor Chris upon his arrival. More recently, Tom, Donna and their son, Marcus, have been attending and assisting a church in Boxford.
Tom will serve at TCC at approximately 1/2 time, and will be on-site generally Tuesday and Thursday afternoons as well as Sundays. Everyone on staff will continue to report to Todd, who will then in turn report to Tom. Tom will continue in this role at least through Easter (March 30th). This will give the Search Committee the opportunity to find an Interim Pastor without having to rush, providing time for prayer and thought about the best direction for TCC. Tom has flexibility, so he is available to continue on longer in this capacity, if necessary.
I would like to emphasize two things. First, we consciously made a decision to bring Tom on as a Pastor, not just a preacher. We felt it was important for Tom to be integrally involved with the TCC community and Staff during this period. Second, one of Tom’s biggest responsibilities during this period is to support Todd and Kyle. Chris’ departure, while unexpected, creates a great opportunity for both Kyle and Todd to take on new responsibilities and use this transition as a period of personal and professional growth.
I hope that all this is welcome news to the congregation. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me or any of the Board members.
Kevin Johnson, for the Board