First Presbyterian Church is beginning the search process for a Called Solo Pastor. The Pastor Nominating Committee was elected in May and after much word crafting, discernment, and prayer, have written and finalized our Ministry Information Form. It was recently approved and uploaded to the Church Leadership Connection website (CLC.pcusa.org) See below for selected information from our information form.
Selected information from our MIF
First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland
Position: Solo Pastor
Experience Required: 2 to 5 Years
Statement of Faith Required: YES
What is the congregation’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.
“We are Your People: Lord, by Your Grace, You dare to make us Christ to our neighbors of every nation and race.”
We consider our church to be a “Big Tent” Congregation. Our membership includes a variety of ages, careers, and lifestyle orientations. About half of our congregation grew up in this area while others have moved here for various reasons. We follow a unicameral form of government and elect a Session of 13 ruling elders.
Our Vision for Ministry: We strive to be a community grounded in the good news of God’s love in Christ where all God’s children are:
Welcomed and cherished
Called to worship, learn, and grow together in faith, and
Sent to share God’s love and justice with a broken and hurting world.
We live out our vision by ensuring an open and welcoming congregation as well as an inviting sanctuary where all are encouraged to participate in worship and further explore their faith. Throughout our history, we have had a strong commitment to mission. We are actively engaged in activities which support our local neighbors, and pursue mission projects on the national and global levels, which include educating children at the Summer Ihanktonwan Learning Camp in South Dakota; partnering with The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in Vsetin, Czech Republic; and supporting This Child Here, a non-profit helping orphans and former street children/youth in Odessa, Ukraine.
How does our congregation feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community?
First Presbyterian Church is located in beautiful and historic Cumberland, Maryland. We are an established congregation with roots going back to 1802. In recent years, our area has had a variety of positive opportunities as well as economic challenges. At present, Frostburg State University, Allegany College of Maryland, Northrop Grumman, three prisons, UPMC Western Maryland (local hospital) and the Allegany County Public Schools are among our largest employers. Our beautiful church was constructed in 1870 and houses a 340-seat, air-conditioned sanctuary; 2,026 pipe Moeller organ, 180-seat fellowship hall; commercial kitchen; four offices; chapel; parlor; four meeting rooms; and is handicap accessible with a large parking lot.
We feel called to reach out to address the needs of others by:
Having a “spirited traditional” worship service (broadcast on YouTube)
Loving care of congregation members
Providing social opportunities for older adults
Encouraging members to participate in ministerial association endeavors
Donating to local food pantries, a homeless shelter, a family crisis resource center, and United Campus Ministry
Serving at Monthly Outreach Dinners in South Cumberland
Supplying housing for mission teams, i.e., NAILS and Fuller Center
Supporting the Learning Tree Nursery School.
Sponsoring Red Cross Bloodmobile, Narcotics Anonymous, and encouraging other groups to use our building.
Participating in Summer Lunch Box program
How might our next pastor help us to reach our vision and mission goals?
We are seeking an inspirational and motivated person who is able to guide personal faith development by working with church members to help them learn and grow in ways that uniquely fit the individual. This pastor will utilize his/her understanding of the Bible, theology, and current events to educate the congregation through challenging and thought-provoking sermons, generally following the lectionary. This pastor will be open to bringing innovation to our “spirited traditional” worship services. This pastor will work with church leaders to develop and lead faith formation opportunities, such as Bible studies, as well as lead or coordinate educational classes to explore relevant social issues.
We are seeking a pastor who will foster the growth of the congregation. This pastor will help us to identify areas where we can improve so to better nurture our current members as well as encourage others to join us.
We are seeking a pastor who will help us to support the community around us. This pastor should be comfortable reaching out into the community to meet and plan activities with other community groups, organizations, and religious communities. This pastor should be equipped to energize church members to be involved with our local community in prayer, services, and hands-on mission. He/she should have a proactive “go-getter” attitude and not wait for opportunities to appear. In short, we are looking for a strong spiritual leader who will help us to live a Christian life.
Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation.
We are seeking a pastor who has an excellent understanding of theology, and who can interpret it to listeners in an interesting and thought-provoking manner.
We are seeking a pastor who ties biblical instruction to our lives and to current events.
We are seeking a pastor who is a good communicator and writer, and who is both organized and punctual.
We are seeking a pastor who can inspire passion and leadership among the Session and congregation, but who is a collaborator, i.e., a person who will encourage the Session and those serving on church committees to express their thoughts and suggestions and then be able to help the group to summarize their conclusions.
We are seeking a pastor who is approachable, available, and easy to talk to and confide in if necessary. We are seeking a pastor who has a sense of humor, and who is friendly and personable.
We are seeking a pastor who is collegial, empathetic, and energetic, with a strong interest in local, national, and international mission efforts.
What specific tasks, assignments, and program areas will this person have responsibility?
This person will have the typical tasks of a solo pastor, which generally include:
Preaching and teaching
Serving as Head of Staff, i.e., working with and supervising the Director of Music Ministries, Executive Administrative Assistant, Sexton, and Sound Engineer/Security staff members
Moderating the Session and attending committee meetings
Participating the Cumberland Ministerial Association
Representing the church at gatherings of the Baltimore Presbytery
Providing pastoral care, including home visitation and counseling, as necessary
Encouraging stewardship of time, talent, and treasure
Working with ruling elders and other church leaders to guide the congregation to move in exciting new directions, especially by increasing outreach to the local community in multiple ways
If you are interested or wish to share our full Ministry Information Form with someone you know, please refer to the Church Leadership Connection website (clc.pcusa.org)