The directors of New Church Family, meeting after service on March 7, voted unanimously to hire Rev. Donna Choate as its interim pastor while it continues seeking a permanent clergy person to lead its ministry.
Rev. Donna previously spent five years in NCF’s pulpit, first as Lay Leader and then as interim pastor and permanent pastor. She stepped down in February 2020 to pursue secular employment. She officially returns to a pastoral role in April and will lead the Easter service April 4. Meanwhile, the church’s Pastoral Search Committee, led by Bryan Poaches, continues accepting applications and reviewing candidates for the permanent position.
Terms approved for the interim position call for a part-time salary of $800 a month for 60 hours of work, including Sunday sermons.
Vice President Charlene Rywant offered the motion to hire Rev. Donna. Voting to approve were Charlene, plus President Dennis Brooks, Social Director Bryan Poaches and Secretary Tom Brown. Treasurer Judi Omelia was absent. The board’s sixth seat is vacant.
In other business, the board:
Heard member reports on a developer’s plan to build a 470-space RV resort on the south side of 92, opposite the church. Vice President Charlene Rywant attended a city hearing on the project and learned planners want the developer to build an access road alongside 92 to prevent traffic back-ups on the highway. The entrance would be somewhat east of the church, closer to the merger of I-4 and US 92 traffic lanes. Dennis Brooks, board president, said the resort, once built, may generate more visitors to to NCF services. He asked the board to think about how best to present nondenominational, GLBT-friendly NCF to tourists as an “all affirming” church.
Received a treasurer’s report showing the church was running a $459 surplus as of Feb. 28.
Scheduled a women’s luncheon of light, wrapped snacks for March 28 and an ice cream & cake social for April 18
Scheduled an Easter egg hunt on the church property for April 4
Designated Merrill Hendler to lead shopping for a refrigerator to replace our current leaking appliance. A total of $965 in donations has been earmarked for the project. Merrill also will recommend whether church members can complete an installation of new locks and re-keying for the church or whether a locksmith needs to be hired
Heard Dave McBride report he is continuing efforts to reduce rainwater erosion along the west side of our building.
The board also met in executive session with the Pastoral Search Committee for about 20 minutes for an update on applicants and a discussion of the background checking process.