FROM THE PASTOR (October, 2020)

Dear Family of Faith,

An Update from Rev. Mark Diehl, Interim Pastor, Head of Staff

I am approaching my first year anniversary at GPMC and together we have made significant progress in reaching goals and accomplishing objectives for the interim period. The History-to-our-Story Team is completing its project and will soon be presenting it to the congregation (already you have seen their work as members have presented through video their story in the life of GPMC). The Mission Study Team submitted its mission study report to the Session and the Detroit Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry, and with the approval of both, the congregation is moving forward to the election of the Pastor Nominating Committee. In coming weeks the Mission Study Team will present its report to the congregation during a Middle Hour Zoom presentation. Given the challenges of the pandemic, these accomplishments in this time frame are remarkable, and I want to thank the teams responsible for their dedicated work for the benefit of GPMC and the Lord’s work in this place.

Below you will find a list of “Milestones” along the interim path to the end goal of calling GPMC’s next head of staff. The checked boxes indicate tasks accomplished or goals reached so far; the unchecked boxes indicate the remaining steps we have to traverse ahead. As you see, our progress has been significant. The challenging work of the Pastor Nominating Committee stretches before us. Pray for discernment and wisdom of the Nominating Council as they, in a few weeks, place before this congregation the names they are nominating for election to the consequential task of seeking our new pastor, head of staff. 

GPMC is well on its way, and I am grateful for your essential support through leadership and encouragement and prayers. And we will continue to need that support. If you have any questions about these “Milestones” listed below, don’t hesitate to direct them my way!

Grace and peace,


The Interim Process at GPMC:

Milestones Along the Path

Bold Print indicates major milestones. þ indicates completed tasks.

þ  Announcement of Senior Pastor’s departure

þ  Interim Search Team activated (Personnel Council)

þ  Departure of Pastor Head of Staff; Acting Head of Staff appointed

þ  Interim Pastor hired and begins

þ  Interim builds relationships and addresses immediate issues

þ  Recruitment and approval by Session of two interim committees: the “History-to-Our-Story”  Team and the Mission Study Team

þ    Mission Study Team (MST) plans its approach to create a mission study process and formulate mission and vision statements for the congregation

þ    Mission Study Team (MST) interviews community leaders about perceptions of GPMC by the community

þ    Mission Study Team (MST) compiles community demographics and congregational statistics

þ    Mission Study Team (MST) plans congregational survey, focus groups, and trains facilitators (if necessary)

þ    Mission Study Team (MST) receives congregational input regarding needs, opportunities, challenges, hopes, mission directions

þ    “History-to Our-Story” Team (HOST) plans, enacts, and engages the congregation in the history of GPMC up to the present time

þ    Mission Study Team (MST) analyzes congregational survey results

þ    Mission Study Team (MST) develops a vision statement and completes a mission study report based on all the input received and the discernment of the MSC.

þ    Mission Study Team (MST) presents its mission study report to the Session for approval or revision

þ    The Session-approved Mission Study Report is presented to the Committee on Ministry (COM) for its approval

þ    The Committee on Ministry (COM) authorizes congregation to nominate and elect a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC)

þ    The Session authorizes a Nominating Committee to propose a representative slate to the congregation for election to the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC)

☐    Mission Study Team (MST) presents the finalized Mission Study Report to the congregation

☐    The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) elected by congregation

☐    The PNC is trained (by the Presbytery) and completes its process of writing a “Ministry Information Form” (MIF) that becomes the basis for candidates’ interest in the position at GPMC. Much of the data for the “Ministry Information Form” (MIF) is provided in the Mission Study Report.

☐    The PNC begins receiving “Personal Information Forms” from clergy candidates and starts the process of discerning appropriate candidates

☐    The PNC narrows its candidates list; it begins interviews, checking references, and listening to sermons

☐    The PNC brings its short list of candidates for site visits

☐    The PNC selects one candidate and determines that person’s willingness to be called

☐    The PNC presents its candidate for approval by the Committee on Ministry (COM) of the Presbytery.

☐    Presbytery’s approved candidate is presented to the congregation at a called congregational meeting by the PNC. The congregation elects its next pastor. The Interim Pastor plans his/her departure.

☐    The pastor-elect moves to GPMC and is installed as its next pastor, head of staff


 Parry:  Dear Lord, Creator Good and Kind

GPMC’s virtual choir sings an anthem by C. Hubert H. Parry

(originally “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’) with James Biery, organist and director

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