Job Description – Interim Pastor
First Presbyterian Church of Ewing
The First Presbyterian Church of Ewing is seeking candidates for the position of Interim Pastor. The vacancy is due to the resignation of its pastor of ten years. The ideal candidate will provide leadership to Ewing Church and help discover God’s plan for this worship family. Ewing Church is an inclusive community that welcomes all of God’s children.
Ewing Church is one of approximately 40 congregations in the Presbytery of New Brunswick. There are 256 members on the church roll with approximately 85 attending service on Sunday morning. The Session and the Deacons are the active boards of the church, with various smaller committees focused on program areas. There are five paid staff positions, one full time and four part time: Facilities Manager, Administrative Assistant, Bookkeeper, Music Director and Pianist.
The interim pastor will be responsible for:
Worship and Pastoral Care
• Preparing and leading Sunday morning worship including sermons, sacraments and occasional children’s time within the service.
• Preparing and leading worship for special services such as Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Palm Sunday, Easter, World Wide Communion Sunday and Christmas Services.
• Performing service for weddings and funerals
• Visiting the sick and homebound and providing pastoral care to members of the congregation as requested.
Supervision and Coordination
• Supervising the employees of Ewing Church.
• Working in conjunction with the Director of Music to coordinate music within weekly and special worship services
• Overseeing of the youth pastor in coordination with partner churches
• Moderating Session
• Serving as Advisor to the Board of Deacons
• Participating in Big committee night, working with the chair and members of church committees to coordinate activities and planning.
Special Qualifications: Ewing Church is seeking an interim pastor that will lead us in discerning God’s plan for this congregation. The preferred candidate must have experience and training in conflict resolution, counseling, negotiation and mediation. Listening, understanding and communication will be vital components in guiding Ewing Church forward. The candidate should also have energy and a willingness to revitalize God’s spirit within the congregation and will help reinforce understanding of our faith.
Additional Information: Housing allowance will be provided within the financial compensation package.
Ewing Presbyterian Church – Our Story
In 1709 the first gathering of believers who became the Ewing Presbyterian Church was held under two large oak trees. For over 300 years this congregation has met in various worship spaces: a log cabin, a wood-frame structure, a brick building, the 1867 stone building and now our worship space is located in the recently renovated education building.
Ewing Church has been privileged to have many talented pastors called by God for over three centuries. In 1999, our well respected pastor of 27 years retired, leaving a chasm that was difficult to fill. Subsequently, several other Pastors came through Ewing.
Then, in 2002, the Rev. Elizabeth Vandegrift was called to Ewing. For a little over ten years Rev. Vandegrift provided consistent leadership while encouraging the congregation to grow in their faith and embrace the new millennium. Several far reaching initiatives were met with mixed reception. The management of the historic three century old cemetery was shifted from three full-time church employees to a cemetery management company. The Board of Trustees was disbanded and their duties were melded into the duties of Session.
Maintenance and preservation of the sanctuary included air-conditioning, handicapped accessibility and installation of two stained glass windows prior to the arrival of Rev. Vandegrift. In 2005 a capital campaign was held to complete repairs to the sanctuary and major renovations to the Fellowship Hall. In March of 2007, the building was closed for use until a structural study could assure its safety. The building has remained closed for worship since that time. The initial estimate for repair exceeded $1.2 million. A Sanctuary Task Force was formed. Additional studies recommended a wide range of approaches ranging from $1.2 million to $3 million in final construction costs.
In 2008 the Session voted for demolition of the sanctuary due to the projected prohibitive cost for the repair work. This was a difficult decision by a very dedicated Board wanting to discern the will of God for this congregation. While the decision to raze the building was still in force, Session agreed to a moratorium on any irreversible physical actions on the building so that a parallel process aimed at raising funds from the community at large to restore the sanctuary could also occur. Unfortunately the amount agreed upon was not met and Session was ready to move forward with the demolition project.
In 2009 members of the congregation petitioned to prevent the demolition of the stone sanctuary and Session voted to request Presbytery of New Brunswick to form an Administrative Commission to resolve the differences. The Ewing Administrative Commission had two charges:
• To visit the First Presbyterian Church in Ewing to inquire into and settle the dispute and difficulties revealed by the problem of what to do with the stone sanctuary building.
• To preserve the congregation and restore it to the peace and harmony which is its heritage in Christ.
The congregation was split between persons who wanted to preserve the 1867 stone building and others who felt that this was not the prudent path as the cost was too great. The EAC, having taken original jurisdiction of the 1867 stone building, worked with other Presbytery committees to find a solution. Recently, the Presbytery signed a lease with Preservation NJ, who is now working on plans for the use of the building.
Since 1984, Ewing Church has been an open and welcoming congregation offering programs such as dinners for AIDS patients and their families and participation in the Interfaith Hospitality Network.
Ewing Church provides many opportunities for fellowship and mission such as the following:
o Excellent music program and choir led by a trained director, including two bell choirs
o Special adult education programs after the church service.
o Two cents a meal and Blanket Sunday benevolence programs.
o Five day per week Nursery School, founded over 50 years ago, is open for 2, 3 and 4 year old children of church members and the community.
o Dedicated teachers lead Sunday School programs from Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
o Youth programs leading Junior and Senior Highs in extra activities during the week, and Mission programs in the summer.
o Vacation Bible School is well attended and open to the community.
o Meeting Space for AA, Alanon and other special needs groups during the week and on weekends.
o Meeting Space is available for Boy Scouts, the Church Quoit League, Yoga, Zumba and other groups through the year.
o Senior citizens meet monthly, enjoying excellent speakers and travels.
• Presbyterian Womens Group consists of three circles who meet at varying times of day. They plan special events and support many programs, including the following:
• Supporting Doctor Katie Wolf, a medical missionary in Haiti by sending baby clothes and medicines.
• Sending delegates to the Triennium program.
• Supporting Mission Shallow Well program internationally.
• Supporting Doctors without Borders program.
• Supporting the Mercer Friends Soup Kitchen.
• Mission Sewing has contributed to worldwide hospitals for over 20 years.
In December of 2012, following ten years of dedicated service as pastor of the Ewing Church, during which time the Session and congregation confronted extremely difficult issues and controversies, Rev. Vandegrift decided to resign as pastor so that the congregation could begin a new chapter in its life, under new leadership, and she could begin a new chapter in her life.
Ewing Presbyterian Church is now aimed in a new direction and seeking a Interim Pastor to help us come together as we discern the will of God for our church and community.
***Interested candidates please provide resume, sermon sample (video preferred) and earliest available start date***