Update on the Interim Presbytery Pastor Search Committee

Dear Friends,

While we are stepping into the heat of July, these are not lazy days of summer for the Presbytery of Denver. I write to update you on the progress of the transition planning for the retirement of Rev. Tom Sheffield and the calling of new presbytery leadership.  

Presbytery Council met on June 27 to adopt a three-phase approach to seeking new presbytery leadership: 

  1. Call an Interim Presbytery Pastor: Interim Presbytery Pastor (IPP) Search and Nomination 
  2. Reflect on our Past and Prepare for our Future: Conduct an Assessment and Affirmation of Our Context, Identity, and Leadership Model 
  3. Call an installed Presbytery Leader: Presbytery Pastor Search and Nomination 

This approach will provide day-to-day leadership during our transition as well as a careful process of discerning our needs for the future before hiring our next installed Presbytery Leader. A separate committee will be established to complete the work of each phase. The Council approved the Interim Presbytery Pastor Search Committee to guide the process of Phase 1. The Interim Presbytery Pastor they seek will serve for one year (with an option to renew for another year) and will not be eligible under any circumstance to apply for the Presbytery Leader position. Beginning its work immediately, this committee is comprised of the following individuals who have graciously agreed to conduct this important work:

  • TE Joel Adams, NorthWest Denver Missional Community 
  • TE John Anderson, Trinity Presbyterian Church (Council Member)
  • RE Wanda Beauman, Peoples Presbyterian Church 
  • TE Katie Robb Davis, Wellshire Presbyterian Church
  • RE Dietmar Fritsch, Eagle River Presbyterian Church
  • RE Lemuel Velasco, Divino Salvador Fellowship
  • TE Louise Westfall, Central Presbyterian Church
  • Non-Voting Personnel Committee Liaison: TE Bruce Spear, Elizabeth Presbyterian Church

The Council also approved contracting with Dr. Corey Schlosser-Hall, Executive Presbyter of the Northwest Coast Presbytery, to serve as a consultant throughout the three phases of our process. Dr. Schlosser-Hall is a credentialed leadership coach and serves on the faculty of the Presbytery Leader Formation Program of the PC(USA) where he teaches post-modern ecclesiology, visionary and financial leadership, and communications. He is also known by several of our Presbytery members to be a skilled organizational consultant and has previously led our presbytery leadership retreats. 

We will honor Rev. Sheffield at a celebration of his retirement to be held on Friday evening, October 27, 2017.  PLEASE SAVE THE DATE!  Yes, still another committee is forming to plan this event and details will follow later in the summer.

I thank the members of the Personnel Committee and especially its moderator, Rev. Bruce Spear, for their quick and responsive leadership. Please pray for the work of the search committee, and if you have questions or suggestions regarding the transition process, please contact either Rev. Spear at brucespear57@gmail.com or myself at jeandemmler@msn.com

Peace be with you.

Jean Demmler, Moderator
The Presbytery of Denver