Updates from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee

For more information about the Associate Pastor position or the process, you may read the full job description or contact the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC).

APNC Update, April 15, 2024

In early April we received the first batch of resumes from the consulting firm, PneuMatrix. These resumes were mostly from candidates who were not registered in the PC (USA) CLC system but were identified by PneuMatrix as qualified and interested in a new call. We then spent an evening with Michelle Snyder of PneuMatrix reviewing each of the candidates in detail.

We determined a schedule to interview our top picks from the list and those interviews began the second week of April and will continue through the end of April. The APNC is excited about the quality of the candidates with whom we will be speaking. We look forward to these in-depth conversations in the weeks ahead to try to determine who might be the best fit for First Pres. We are also attentive to direction from the Holy Spirit as we continue our journey.

Faithfully submitted,

Stephanie Elliott, Kris Engel, Mark Hamming, Jim Mayhall, Nelle McNicholas, Steve Ratay, Marty Vander Velde




APNC Update, April 1, 2024

The APNC activity slowed down in the last couple of weeks of March as Spring Break schedules took over.  We continued to  review and grade candidates provided by the PC (USA) Church Leadership Connection (CLC) system while proactively seeking candidates outside the CLC system.

We are expecting a flurry of activity in April as we meet with PneuMatrix Consulting to review their list of candidates.  We expect these candidates along with a handful of others in our pipeline to keep us busy throughout April with initial and follow-up interviews.  Unlike candidates provided by the CLC system the PneuMatrix candidates will be well aware of the opportunity at FPCLF and will have had time to discern if they are open to a call.  We look forward to this exciting new phase in the process!

Please keep the APNC in your prayers.  Feel free to reach out with any questions and please continue to spread the word about our search.


Faithfully submitted,

Stephanie Elliott, Kris Engel, Mark Hamming, Jim Mayhall, Nelle McNicholas, Steve Ratay, Marty Vander Velde



APNC Update, March 15, 2024

The establishment of the APNC was approved at the Congregational meeting on January 7 and the APNC had its first meeting the following Sunday, January 14.  We have met weekly since.

For those of you familiar with the PC(USA) search process some of the terms have changed but the process remains essentially the same.  The APNC spent the balance of January writing our Ministry Discernment Profile (MDP), formerly the Ministry Information Form (MIF), using the Job Description as a template.  Our MDP was approved by the Session and accepted by the Chicago Presbytery in early February. Through February we focused on preparing to interview candidates.  We developed questions specific to the skills and characteristics we are searching for and we practiced our delivery.

In mid-February we received our first batch of matches from the PC(USA) Church Leadership Connection system as well as several self-referred applications.  We then proceeded to rate each of the applicants from their Personal Discernment Profile (PDP), formerly known as the PIF, with the intent to begin interviews with acceptable candidates in March.  Our first interview took place on Thursday, March 7 via Zoom and we continue to evaluate candidates and schedule interviews.

Further, the APNC in consultation with Finance has engaged an outside consulting firm to assist in our search.  The Center for Healthy Churches-PneuMatrix, https://chchurches.org/,  “is an ecumenical group comprising experienced pastors who are well-trained and equipped with extensive knowledge and a demonstrated history of success”.  We expect that their experience and contacts throughout the PC(USA) will uncover qualified candidates that are not in the CLC system. Our contact, Michelle Snyder, spent Tuesday, February 6 with First Pres meeting with staff and the APNC.  They will be providing us their first batch of candidates on April 21.


Faithfully submitted,



Stephanie Elliott, Kris Engel, Mark Hamming, Jim Mayhall, Nelle McNicholas, Steve Ratay, Marty Vander Velde

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