No matter who you are,
or where you are
on life's journey,
you are welcome here.
November 7, 2016
To the Congregation of the United Church of Chapel Hill
It is with sweet sorrow that we received and accepted the resignation of the Rev. Jenny Shultz. She is one of our beloved pastors, and her ministry with us will be greatly missed, particularly among the youth and young adults and their families, but also by the entire church population. The “sweet” part of this transition for Jenny is that the congregation has been part of her pastoral journey and professional growth, so we celebrate her Call to Community UCC in Raleigh as their Senior Minister beginning January 1, 2017. We can only add our blessing to this new direction in Jenny’s ministry and service to God.
In light of this change, some steps have been taken, with the help of Jenny, to maintain the quality of youth programming as we faithfully move into the future. Jenny informed the Pastoral Transition Team (PTC) and The Board of Youth and Young Adults about her plans to accept the Call from the Raleigh Church. The PTC formed a special subcommittee to work with Jenny and the Board of Youth and Young Adults to determine how to provide leadership for some of the programming that Jenny is responsible for at UCCH. We would ask that you take notice that this new, time limited position is not a replacement for Jenny’s full-time pastoral job. This proposed new position, shared below, under Next Steps, is a small but significant part of a fuller reconfiguration of all the UCCH pastoral staff positions. In order to give the long-range strategic planners at UCCH and the Pastoral Search committee the freedom to consider a range of options for aligning the responsibilities and priorities of all Pastoral staff, we wanted to take this step toward immediate coverage and support for our young people.
After several joint meetings and prayerful conversation, the subcommittee devised a plan for identifying appropriate leadership for the portion of Jenny’s work that involves our ministry to youth. It was the deepest concern of all church leadership that there be a seamless transition for our young people. Clearly, youth are a priority for Jenny, the BYYA and PTC. The subcommittee, (composed of Debbi Carter, Co-chair; Mary Jo Sorensen, Personnel, Cindy Johnson, Co-chair; Joan Pasley, BYYA; and Rev. Jill Edens, Senior Minister and Jenny’s Supervisor) devised a job description for a part-time position of Acting Youth Director. The job description will be posted immediately on Craig’s List and on the church web site. This will be a 15-hour per week job, focusing on the youth program and all of the people involved with the youth. The job is time-limited to one year. It is the hope of the subcommittee that this person will overlap with Jenny Shultz during the last week or two of her time with us.
As you know the church is fully engaged in the Faithful Future Strategic planning, as well as the search for a senior minister. This involves a series of significant changes for all of us at church. None of us would want the youth programming to get lost in the process, which is why the one year, part-time position. The new senior minister, once called, will want to be part of the planning that goes into the permanent hire of any staff. In light of the Edens’ retirement, our remaining pastoral staff will need to participate in the reconfiguration of all that will come to be.
UCCH is strong and resilient with incredible leadership resources and talents to share. The hopes and dreams of the congregation never rest on one person or one program, but on the faithful, just and compassionate ministry that we embody to the world as God’s people. Our hope rests in God’s grace.
Grace and peace,
Rev. Debbi Carter, Chair, Pastoral Transition Sub-Committee for Youth Ministry
Cindy Johnson, Chair, Pastoral Transition Committee
Rev. Dr. Jill Edens, Senior Pastor
Rev. Richard Edens, Senior Pastor