The NCF Board on July 9, 2017 approved Rev. Donna Choate's proposed addition to her pastoral covenant with New Church Family. She noted it applies only to herself. It would be up to the board to decide whether to require similar no-contact provisions for future pastors. Questions should be directed to the pastor or board members.
Addendum to New Church Family
Pastoral Covenant 2017
At the time of separation, the exiting pastor will no longer be Pastor of New Church Family, and
therefore must discontinue the functions of the pastoral office in the New Church Family
Congregation unless specifically authorized to do so by the new Pastor (Interim/Permanent), or
Board of Directors in the absence of a working Pastor.
Because of the sensitivity of the pastoral relationship, it is important that the departing pastor, in
any dissolution, assume certain responsibilities to the former Congregation, to individual
members of that Congregation, and to the interim and next installed Pastors.
These responsibilities are:
1) That all pastoral and professional relationships and responsibilities of the Pastor with the
congregation will end as of the effective date of the dissolution;
2) That the Pastor will not be involved in any way in the selection process of either the interim
Pastor or the next installed pastor. Neither will he or she be involved in any way with the
selection of any search team or Pastor nominating committee.
3) That the Pastor, after leaving, will not become engaged in conversations which, in any way,
offer opinions or criticism about the life of the congregation or the performance of the interim or
any subsequent installed Pastors;
4) That any desire on the part of members of the congregation for the departing Pastor to
participate in congregational life or services should be discussed not with the departing Pastor,
but with the interim Pastor or subsequent installed Pastor;
5) That the departing Pastor may participate in a wedding or funeral of the congregation, after
the date of dissolution, only by invitation of the interim Pastor or installed Pastor, who shall be
Furthermore, it is advised that the exiting Pastor take an extended break from Church
attendance and activities for a period of no less than one year so as to allow the new Pastor the
opportunity to develop an identity as the shepherd/leader. This has no reflection on continued
friendships; it is limited to the dissolution of duties as a Pastor for the New Church Family
Congregation outlined in 1-5.
Reverend Donna S. Choate