Transition Update: January 27, 2022

Dear Old South Church:

As Moderator, I am writing to provide an update on our pastoral transition plans, following up on the communications we sent immediately following Rev. Taylor’s announcement that she plans to retire in May of this year. Two teams were formed at the time of the announcement and a third has been convened shortly thereafter:

  • The INTERIM Team, whose co-chairs are Kristi Geary and Randy Billings, is charged with defining the bridge between Rev. Taylor’s leadership and new leadership, has been meeting regularly since the announcement, giving meticulous attention and prayerful consideration to discerning our interim course.  The goal of this team is to have our interim leadership in place by June 1st, 2022.  The members of this team (in addition to Kristi and Randy) are: Nancy Kukulan, Ashton Goodfield, Stephanie LaShoto-Westfield, Christine Del Favero, David Duong, Eliette Hilaire, and Pam Roberts.
  • The CELEBRATION team, convened by Karen Hand, has the privilege of planning the best way to commemorate Rev. Taylor’s tenure and her eventual departure.  Given that May 22nd is expected to be Rev. Taylor’s final Sunday at Old South, we are planning a celebration to be held after church that Sunday.  This committee has several exciting plans in the works, some of which we will be announcing soon, and some of which may remain a surprise for Nancy!  Stay tuned for ways in which you can participate.  The members of this team (in addition to Karen) are: Bill Adams, Deb Washington, Marilyn Jackson Adams, Rev. June Cooper, Rob Gabler, Diane Gaucher, Priscilla Geigis, Caroline Murray, Kate Silfen and Helen McCrady (staff liaison).
  • The TRANSITION team, chaired by Anne Dearing, which has the responsibility to draft a church profile and outline what the church is seeking in its next senior minister.  As was expected in our planned timeline, this team has just held its first meeting this month, with the goal to have a Church Profile completed by the end of May. The members of this team (in addition to Anne) are: Bill Bulkeley, Paul Kuenstner, Martha Schick, Tom Grant, Lisa Loveland, Rory Razon, John Braught (staff liaison), and Helen McCrady (staff liaison).

We are pleased to be working in collaboration with the Rev. Alex Shea Will, Area Minister, Metropolitan Boston Association, Southern New England Conference of the UCC on this process. With his assistance, we hope to remain on schedule and will endeavor to minimize the span between Nancy’s departure and the call of our next senior minister. When the Transition Team’s work is complete, we will be forming a fourth team, the “SEARCH Team,” that will be charged with identifying and calling that individual.  As was true of the other teams, members of this team will be identified and proposed by the Leadership Committee, chaired by David Becker, and will be submitted to Council for approval later in the Spring.

While there are still many plans to be made, the church leadership is well underway in our process. We adopted a fairly aggressive timeline and, at least as of this message, we are on target. (The timeline is included in the link above.) I’m extremely grateful to those who are serving on these pastoral transition teams, and I know that in their work they will be striving to discern God’s will for Old South Church.