It is with great joy that I share with you that we will soon have full-time transitional leadership for congregational care. On Thursday of last week at a called Session meeting Newton Cowan was unanimously approved to fill this role. As many of you know, Newton grew up at First Presbyterian and has been on our pastoral care team part-time for a number of years. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister and most recently served as a hospice chaplain. Newton will begin full-time with us on October 15.

While we continue to grieve Dolly’s loss, we give God thanks for Newton’s call to shepherd our congregational care ministry during this especially difficult time. I look forward to working alongside Newton. I am deeply encouraged by his passion for this ministry and his love for this congregation.

Christian care and compassion during times of transition and challenge are primary tasks of discipleship and marks of the church. Newton will help us fulfill this call with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. Your ongoing commitment to this ministry is evident. I, and all the staff, continue to be uplifted by the many ways you are showing us kindness and grace. Thank you.

I would ask you to pray for Newton and his family as he transitions into this new role. Pray for the other members of our gifted congregational care team, Revs. Doug McLeroy and Maria Hanlin. Pray for those under their care and for our entire congregation. We are indeed the Body of Christ, and it is an incredible blessing to be inextricably connected to you in this place.

Grace and peace,