Originally published in the November Explorer.

When 100 or so of you filled our Chapel on a summer Wednesday evening to hear my proposal for a future staffing arrangement, I told you we needed a part-time Associate Minister of Pastoral Care. You got what I was talking about because Dr. Dan Bagby had been modeling this position in an exemplary way for a year.

Several of you came to me following that meeting and suggested we lift the word “Interim” off Dan’s title, a thought that had crossed my mind already. This led to conversations between Dan and me, and gentle prompting from many of you.

Dan has agreed to let us elect him as a part-time associate Minister of Pastoral Care, and our Board of Administration and Board of Deacons have given their unanimous affirmation. You will be invited to vote on this at our congregational business meeting following worship on November 18.

This prompts me to do two other things. First, I remind you that we have two full-time staff positions for which we are beginning searches. One is for Minister to Children and Youth. This is a combination of two positions that had been separate. This staff member will

care for our ministries to that portion of our congregation who are 18 and under, plus their families.

The other position is for Minister for Congregational Life. This minister will work in ministries across the life span, including education, spiritual formation, small groups, missions and fellowship.

The search committees for these positions will be appointed and announced in the near future.

Second, I want to commend our current church staff. It is a delight and a privilege to work with them. Each one is competent, committed to River Road Church, eager to find what works and displays a cooperative spirit toward their fellow employees and our church members. Our ministerial/professional staff includes Dr. Bob Gallagher, music; Mike Price, Church Administrator; Dr. Dan Bagby, pastoral care, the Rev. Chester Phelps, youth; Ann Ashcraft, children; the Rev. Sheryl Johnson, education and spiritual formation; and Cassandra Ducca, communications. Our office is staffed by Sandi Bassett, Susan Young, LeAnne Lane and Steve Harmon. Our housekeeping staff includes Raymond Street, Church Ursiny and Zelda Goode. Our pastoral intern is Blake Traynham.

Let us know how we can assist you to be the person God wants you to become, and our church to be the church God expects.