February First Press Update

Your PNC continues to put forth the concerted effort required to complete the necessary preparation steps for our search, for senior pastor. We thank all of you who so thoughtfully filled out the congregational survey.  In mid-January we met with Session to review the Ministry Information Form (MIF) describing our church and the position of senior pastor.  It was approved by Session at their January meeting.  By early February we should have the green light from Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry, which will allow us to officially begin the search and the interview phase of our process.  Members are invited to pass on to the PNC any names or information you feel could be useful in our search by contacting a PNC member or emailing information to the PNC at pncfpchhi@gmail.com. Thank you, Your PNC Committee Debbie Berling, Ingrid Boatright, Richard Burnette, Betty Bush, Wade Close, Amy Cross, Tom Green, Chuck Slusne and Jim Wagner

January First Press Update

The PNC has been meeting weekly to complete the necessary administrative steps that officially trigger the actual search process.  This will allow the committee to utilize the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. to advertise our position across the entire denomination. Our work thus far includes creating a comprehensive document describing our church and the position and will require approval by our session and our presbytery in Charleston. We anticipate the actual search candidate process will begin soon. For more about the committee and its charge, visit www.fpchhi.org/pastor-nominating-committee/. Your prayers and support are appreciated. Thank you, Pastor Nominating Committee Debbie Berling, Ingrid Boatright, Richard Burnette, Betty Bush, Wade Close, Amy Cross, Tom Green, Chuck Slusne and Jim Wagner

Dear First Presbyterian Church Members:
On Sunday, October 21, a special congregational meeting was held and the two motions presented were approved:  to concur with the request of Dr. Douglas K. Fletcher to dissolve his pastoral relationship with First Presbyterian Church, effective upon his retirement date of September 1, 2019; and to elect a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). 
So, what are the next steps?  There are ten months before the departure of Doug Fletcher, however, this is not a deadline for the PNC to do its work.  Pastors Joel Wood and Lisa Schrott will remain our associate pastors.  A new pastor does not imply staff changes. 
The PNC will work closely with Dr. Donnie Woods, General Presbyter, and the Commission on Ministry of Charleston Atlantic Presbytery.  Initial work for the PNC is to develop a Ministry Information Form that will be made available to pastors interested in the position and who desire to learn more about our church.  Members may suggest names of pastors who might be candidates for the position and members may contact pastors to suggest they submit their Pastor Information Form (PIF) to the committee.  The PNC will give periodic updates to the congregation.
Please keep the Pastoral Nominating Committee in your prayers. 
Michele Green, Clerk of Session
2018 Pastor Nominating Committee
Debbie Berling moved to Hilton Head in 1981 to help her family run a second branch of the family business: Forsythe Jewelers.  She joined the church when she was 28 years old and has been an active member ever since, teaching Sunday School and serving four terms on Session.  She has served on various committees including Christian Education, Finance, Worship & Music, and Stewardship; and she is part of the team that leads worship at Brookdale’s assisted living residence on Main St.  She has been a part of the Haiti mission team for the past three years.  Debbie has previously served on two other PNC’s here at First Pres.
Ingrid Boatright joined FPC in 2012 after moving from Asheville, NC.  Ingrid has served on the Session here at First Presbyterian.   She has also served on the Christian Education, Membership and Evangelism, and Nominating Committees.  She has taught Sunday School and served espresso at Hebrews in addition to being involved in the Youth Task Force.  Ingrid had a career in healthcare as a social worker in a hospital until her first child was born.  Since that time, she has been a fulltime wife and mother to her physician husband and three children.
Richard Burnette moved from Atlanta in 2013. Richard’s professional career spanned 35 years with Deloitte and he served in various managing partner roles in his career. As a life-long Presbyterian, Richard belonged to nine different PCUSA churches across the country and he has served as a Deacon and Elder. Richard is a member of Session where he serves as chair of the Personnel Committee, on Planning and Research and Membership and Evangelism Committees.
Betty Bush is a South Carolina native having been reared in Estill right here in the Lowcountry.  Lived in Virginia, she was active in the Presbyterian church there for years.  She moved with her husband in 1992 and became a member of First Presbyterian Church.  Betty has been a Sunday School teacher, a mentor to confirmands, has served on the Memorial Reception Committee for 10 years and been a part of the knitting ministry since its inception.  She is a strong advocate and supporter of the Children-youth-family ministry.
Wade Close has lived all over the country and served as a deacon and elder in Presbyterian churches in those locations.  Wade spent almost 30 years as a partner in an international Executive Search firm prior to retiring to HHI in 2011.  He has served previously on three Pastor Nominating Committees and served as a consultant to a PNC using his extensive skills in executive searches.  Wade currently serves on the Board of Deacons, Stewardship Committee and the Deacon’s Visitation Committee.
Amy Cross moved here from Lexington, KY and became a member of our church in 1986.  From the very beginning, Amy served as a youth sponsor, and a member of committees dealing with the youth for over 30 years.  Amy has served on Session here at FPC and has served on Outreach, Christian Education, and Nominating Committees.  She currently serves on the Finance Committee and her service is invaluable given that she is an accountant and has recently retired as the financial manager of St. Luke’s on Hilton Head.  Amy served as a member of the Youth & Family Ministries Search Committee.
Tom Green moved here in 1991 and joined FPCHHI.  He spent nine years as Director of Human Resources at Memorial Medical in Savannah after a 30-year career at Campbell Soup. Served as the chair of the board of Deacons and served on Session here at First Pres.  He has served on two APNC and one PNC at this church and served on a PNC at his previous PCUSA in New Jersey. Tom currently serves on the Personnel and the Building and Grounds Committees.
Chuck Slusne moved to Hilton Head and joined FPC in 2000 from Atlanta having been in the corporate insurance brokerage business.  He bought, operated and sold a restaurant; then he bought, operated and sold a home and villa rental business; and fully retired four years ago.  He has served on Session and chaired the Personnel committee.  He has taught Sunday School classes since becoming a member.  He chaired an APNC for First Presbyterian several years ago.  Chuck served on a pastor call committee in his previous church of another denomination in Atlanta.  
Jim Wagner moved from Atlanta to HHI in 2016 having served for 13 years as the President of Emory University.  He is the President Emeritus of Emory.  Jim has served on Session at a previous Presbyterian church where he was the leader of Stewardship and the Confirmation Lay leader.  Jim currently serves on the Planning and Research Committee and the WAY forward Management team.