A Pastoral Word
“I am bringing you good news of great joy…”
Many of you have wondered if I have been feeling well lately or have even asked me if everything was okay. Well, there is good news in the McColl household. Mike and I are expecting our first child, due in January.
This has been a very hard secret to keep because Mike and I wanted to share our good news but also wanted to wait until we knew that everything was okay.
I shared the news with the board officers and the chair of the elders as soon as my pregnancy was confirmed simply because the obvious question came up: So what does this mean for Midway Christian Church?
And this is why I am thankful to be a part of such a loving and wonderful church! As soon as the leaders of this church were told, the first thing they said was “Don’t worry!” The second thing they asked was who gets to be the first to hold the baby the first time the baby comes to church!
The leaders of MCC and I have been working on a plan that will provide consistent ministerial leadership for the church. I think it is safe to say that this is new territory for all of us. (Anybody want to volunteer now for taking a turn at changing diapers?)
As many of you know, Amanda will finish up her student ministry with us in December and with my due date tentatively scheduled for January, there could potentially be some time where MCC is without a minister’s presence for a few weeks. And unfortunately, by the time that I am back from maternity leave, it could be a while until we are able to start up the search process for a new student associate.
So the question the leadership has been pondering for the last few weeks has been: How do we avoid this “gap” in ministerial leadership at MCC?
We are definitely planning on filling our pulpit through supply preaching during the time that I am on maternity leave. And the elders are already planning on helping to fill the gaps anyway that they can. But what happens if there is a funeral or something else?
One solution that the leadership is considering is hiring a new student associate who could potentially begin in September as our new children and youth minister. And Amanda can help me out with some of the pastoral roles in the church, still working 15 hours a week as she does now. We would just be changing her role and her responsibilities from children and youth to such responsibilities as hospital visits and visiting our shut-ins. She would also preach twice a month and provide leadership to other activities in our church such as Fall Festival, Worship in the Park, and the Election Day Pancake Breakfast.
Let me just say this is something that we are considering and in no way have decided to go this route. The leadership is still considering other options and once they develop a plan, they will present the plan to the board and the congregation for their approval.
As a second part of this plan or maybe really the first part of this plan is that I have asked my Pastoral Relations committee to begin to develop a maternity policy so that it will be in place when the baby arrives. Once this is in place, some of our questions might be answered anyway. I just simply want to say that I am so thankful that my child will be a part of this loving and gracious church family. I look forward to watching my child grow up surrounded by so many faithful people who will nurture my child on his or her spiritual journey. I am so glad to be beginning this part of my life journey with you.
Thank you for your love and support. I ask that you continue to keep Mike and I in your prayers as we begin this new journey of life together with you. And yes, as soon as we know if it is a boy or a girl, MCC will be the first to know!