First Press – January 16, 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

            I began a series of sermons last Sunday about aging. Here are three references I have found informative.

Aging Together: Dimentia, Friendship, and Flourishing Communities, Susan H. McFadden and John T. McFadden, 2011.

 Treat Me, Not My Age: A Doctor’s Guide to Getting the Best Care as You or a Loved One Gets Older, Mark Lachs, 2010.

Everyone Knows Memory Fails as You Age. But Everyone Is Wrong, by Daniel Levitin at This is the short one that’s available online.

He has also written Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential in Our Lives, 2020.


            An elder from Session will give a Minute for Mission Sunday to inform the congregation about the results of the 2020 Stewardship Campaign and the budget development process.

            We describe our faith as incarnational. That means an embodied faith. God became human in Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us. We embody faith, too. We embody it by coming to worship, by being physically present in visiting people who are in the hospital, by meeting bodily needs through the Mission House.

            We are now embodying our faith in a new way. Each Sunday the Scripture lessons will be read by two people, one young in age and one with many more years of experience. This is to affirm our concern and commitment to people throughout our entire lives. Thank you to Ethan Schaub and Denny Bossard for their leadership last week and this week.

With gratitude,  Terry


Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church Marion (FPCM), as the moderator of the interim pastor search committee, I’m writing this note, composed with the help of Pastor Terry, in answer to questions about the interim process. Right now the Session is working on two issues: (1) addressing the shortfall in pledging this year to support our budget, and you will hear more about this on Sunday, and (2) reorganizing the Session committees to make them more efficient and effective, to involve as many of the congregation as are willing to serve in the detailed work of FPCM, and thereby to support our new minister so that he/she can focus on doing pastoral work.

There are a number of steps in the interim process, and forming a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) is only one of them. These steps include:

(1) Time for the interim pastor and the congregation/leadership to get to know each other and to make an honest assessment of where we are as a congregation, including the effectiveness of our leadership. This takes the first three months or so, and we are still working on the issues that have come to light during this step.

(2) The next step is to do the research and information gathering about our congregation. This information will be a resource to the PNC as they prepare the Mission Information Form (MIF) that is our advertisement of our open position describing who we are and for whom we are searching. This may take one to two months.

Often challenges come up during these first two steps, as is our situation. The way the leadership and the congregation respond to these challenges informs who we are and becomes part of the research results. So, challenges can slow down the process rather than bringing things to complete stop.

(3) Toward the end of the challenge/research phase, we will ask our Presbytery for authority to form a PNC. The Congregational Nominating Committee will select a slate for the PNC that will be elected by the congregation, allowing for “nominations from the floor.”

(4) Once the PNC is elected, the full search for a pastoral candidate can be done in three or four months if the PNC is willing to be involved in several processes of the search at the same time: receiving Personal Information Forms (PIFs), reviewing sermons, conducting initial interviews and reference checks rather than doing these steps sequentially. The PNC will present its choice to the congregation, that person will preach here at FPCM followed by a vote to extend a call. If the PNC has done its work with God’s guidance this last step is a formality.

When we form the PNC we will need to work more deliberately with Presbytery as they must approve our candidate. We should plan on at least a month or more from when a candidate has been selected to that person’s arrival.

Pastor Terry has been through this process many times, and he knows how it can work within his intended stay of one year. If you have further questions about these steps or where we are in the process, please feel free to ask me, other members of Session, or Pastor Terry.

Peace be with you.

Roger A. Dana, Ruling Elder of FPCM


            At its meeting Monday night, Session established the following committees and elected committee moderators as follows.

Adult Christian Ed/Evangelism and Membership – Roger Dana, moderator 

Building and Grounds – Grant Dancey, moderator

Finance, Endowment and Memorials – Kathy Hayes, moderator 

Mission – Lois Foster, moderator

Personnel – Kari Raiche, moderator

Worship – Marta Pumroy, moderator

Youth and Children Christian Ed – Andrea Joyner, moderator