OUR MISSION STATEMENT FOR THE WAY FORWARD
We, the congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Ferguson are a people who seek to celebrate God’s love, enthusiasm, imagination and devotion.
- To provide those of all ages with opportunities for spiritual growth through worship, education, and fellowship.
- To openly embrace all people, accepting their unique qualities and talents given by God.
- To foster participation, leadership and development through activities which encourage Christian responsibility, concern and love for all people.
- To provide service to others through direct service advocacy.
- To be peacemakers and to advocate for the hungry and homeless.
- To be environmentally conscious and responsive to the care of God’s creation.
- To successfully navigate, with the promise of God’s guidance, the ever changing challenges and demands of today’s society.
- To pray for and encourage one another, to share joys and sorrows, and to nurture relationships with our
church and community.
- To stand with the Presbyterian Church (USA) in support of its local, national and global mission.
We dream of change. Our aging, friendly, cohesive, engaging, open-minded congregation is located in a diversifying historic suburban community. We feel called to respond to the changes in the community around us. And so, we seek to try something bold- calling an innovative Designated Co-Pastor (who will become Pastor) to help us take some risks, get to know our changing community in new ways, engage with different neighbors and be creative in forming new ministries. This Co-Pastor will work with the current pastor (for no more than a year prior to his retirement), to help us imagine and put into action a new vision to be a significant participant in the Ferguson community.
Ferguson is an evolving and changing community. We also need to change. We have a history of starting, participating in, and opening our doors to a wide range of missions and groups such as food vouchers, wood carvers, card making, peanut butter donations, and school supply drives, etc. We host overnight mission camp groups in a dedicated space and currently, a small African American congregation is nesting in our building. We have empty classrooms and common spaces and are open to creative new uses of them which could build bridges to the community.
This position will bring new ideas and energy to lead and connect us to the community while welcoming the community to join us in our effort to help move Ferguson into being a more inclusive and progressive city. Our approach is not aimed at institutional survival, but of boldly trusting that this church matters in the overall well-being of the community. This designated Co-Pastor approach gives us a head start to our new normal.
This person will need to be forward thinking, flexible and open minded while appreciating our history and culture. They will need the passion and ability to energize and inspire others to embrace our new future. From the Leadership Competencies grid, the church members voted on the characteristics we felt the new Co-Pastor would need to fulfill this call. The following list, in rank order, were chosen from the survey.
- Preaching and Worship Leadership – Our church highly regards preaching
and worship and we enjoy challenging sermons. The worship experience is
important in the life of any church as the Sunday morning service is typically
a visitor’s first impression of the church family.
- Public Communicator – The new Co-Pastor will need outstanding
communication skills for the church and the community.
- Strategy and Vision – We are seeking a Co-Pastor that has a strong plan
and commitment to fulfill their own vision in collaboration with our
dedicated members. We see this as a great opportunity.
- Flexibility – Creating and implementing a successful path toward the
growth of our church and supporting our local community will require
flexibility and an open mind.
- Hopeful – We are a hopeful group of Christians and look forward to a
leader that sees faith-filled opportunities that abound.
- Technologically Savvy – We will need to create a technological presence to
publicize events and connect to people through social media, etc.
The Co-Pastor will serve alongside our current Pastor for up to twelve months. The current Pastor will continue as an active presence and will assume primary responsibility in the area of pastoral care and spiritual education. The duties of the two pastors are flexible and will be created and refined as the transition evolves. Preaching will transition over the course of the first year. The current Pastor is committed to introducing the Co-Pastor to our network of churches, mission contacts, community resources, and will create the emotional space for the Co-Pastor to succeed. The Personnel Committee will support the Co-Pastor long-term, as will the PNC for six months. A priority of the Co-Pastor will be to create ministries and programs that will attract others to join our family of faith as Presbyterians and become leaders with us in our church. We are open to bold and creative approaches to attain this goal and look forward to hearing your ideas and thoughts.
The city of Ferguson is much different than what you may have been led to believe in the headlines. Our church is in the heart of an historic area in a beautiful setting. Although not without formidable challenges, this opportunity includes a congregation waiting to embrace the right person. We are committed to being a presence in the community. Ferguson is not an obstacle to be overcome; it is a divine calling to serve God and community in new and exciting ways of faithful life together.