Congregational Letter about Pastor Jeff
March 29, 2017
Dear Friends in Christ,
On behalf of the Mt. Zion Associate Pastoral Search Team and the Mt. Zion Church Council, we are writing to share with you the wonderful news that we have nominated Pastor Jeff Kardisco for your consideration as our candidate for Associate Pastor at Mt. Zion UCC.
Upon the retirement of our former senior pastor, Rev. Cathy Sherry in November of 2015, as a congregation, we embarked upon a period of discernment which included a congregational self-study to understand what, as a church family, we perceive as our strengths, our opportunities for growth, and our desires for the future. We engaged in this time of discernment under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Laurene Bowers from the Penn Central Conference and Rev. Jim Hanna from the Samaritan Counseling Center and Holy Cow! Consulting. The results of the Self Study indicated that we are a vital congregation. The results were publicized and we hosted several question and answer sessions to go over the results. Based on the results of the self- study, the Self Study Team recommended that we interview Pastor Danielle for the position of Senior Pastor and that we commit our search efforts to finding an Associate Pastor. Utilizing the resource of the self study results, the Self Study Team also took on the challenging task of creating the Mt. Zion Church Profile, a comprehensive overview of our congregation that potential candidates would read to have a better understanding of who we are as a church and our hopes for the future and the role of our pastors within that vision. The profile was presented to church council and then to the congregation for approval and was made public in October of 2016.
Also in the fall of 2016, the Self Study Team received nominations of members to serve on the Search Team. Based on these nominations, a Search Team was approved by Church Council and announced to the congregation. The first task of the Search Team was to interview Pastor Danielle. In September of 2016, Pastor Danielle was recommended by the search team for the position of Senior Pastor and this recommendation was affirmed unanimously by Church Council. On October 2, 2016, a congregational meeting was held and the congregation voted that Pastor Danielle would be our Senior Pastor, effective immediately.
During October and November, the Search Team began reviewing the Associate Pastor candidate profiles. The profiles were individually reviewed and then discussed as a group. In January, the Search Team continued to discuss the applications they received and after much discernment, decided which candidates to interview. Of the twelve profiles received, six candidates were offered interviews. Two of those candidates had accepted a position with other churches since the time they had submitted their profiles. Interviews were scheduled for the remaining four candidates. Three of the candidates were interviewed by conference call, the fourth candidate was interviewed in person.
From those four candidates, the Search Team offered second interviews to two candidates.
When the Search Team met with Rev. Betsy Bruaw from the Penn Central Conference, she told the team, "you will know when you have the candidate God is calling for Mt. Zion." On the evening of their second interview with one candidate, the team knew what she meant. When the team began their discussion after the interview, it was very clear that we had found the person that was called to Mt. Zion.
On Sunday, March 19th, the Search Team recommended Pastor Jeff Kardisco to Church Council for the position of Associate Pastor. Church Council unanimously approved that recommendation. On Sunday, March 22nd, the Search Team announced this nomination to the congregation during worship. The next (and final) step in this long journey will take place on Sunday, April 23rd. On that day, we will have ONE WORSHIP SERVICE AT 10:30 AM. Immediately following the service, a representative from the York Association of the Penn Central Conference will conduct a congregational election to decide on the appointment of Pastor Jeff as our Associate Pastor. We strongly encourage you to attend this special day in the life of our congregation.
We want to offer special thanks to the congregation for their participation in the self study and for their faith in this process. Though at times it may have felt long, we knew that if we trusted in God's leading and timing, God would guide us and our efforts and faith would be rewarded. The Self Study Team, the Search Team, and the Church Council did not take their responsibilities lightly. They prayed frequently that God would lead us in His direction. Because of their diligence especially, we wish to recognize and thank the Self Study Team and the Search Team. The Self Study Team was made up of Ken Dunbar (co-chair), Dani Devine (co-chair), Tom Bair, David Bradnick, Becky Hester, Michelle Kollasch, and Barb Krier. The Search Team was made up of Tori Everhart (co-chair), Carol Hartman (co-chair), Red Arnold, Elaine Bevivino, George DeMers, and Rick Hogentogler. Finally, we thank our church moderators, Clyde Snyder, Danika Dallam, and Steph Beyer who over these last two years have shown great dedication, faith, and leadership for our congregation.
We look for Sunday, April 23rd as we continue into the next step of our life together in faith. May we continue to look to Christ as our Savior and Guide, knowing that in all things, he can be trusted.
In Christ's Name,
Tori Everhart, Search Team Chair
Carol Hartman, Search Team Chair
Danika Dallam, Council Moderator
Steph Beyer, Council Vice Moderator