From the Pastors Desk

An Interview!

From the Pastors Desk - January 01, 2023

Last year our Call Committee recommended Pastor Jeff Goggins be interviewed by council as a potential candidate for pastor. Unfortunately, Pastor Goggins had to back out of that interview due to his job circumstances at that time. One year later, Pastor Goggins’ interim position has ended. Mitch Phillips from the NEO Synod contacted Rod Swartz. He stated that Pastor Goggins was still interested in a part time position and was still interested in talking with Good Shepherd. Rod forwarded the message to me and I contacted Pastor Goggins.

We talked extensively. Pastor Goggins is looking for two part time positions: one as a permanent, part time settled call and the other as a part time interim position. He is already talking with a church in Massillon about the interim position, Good Shepherd would become the permanent settled call. He informed me that if Good Shepherd became the permanent settled call, Good Shepherd would take precedence. That means that if the interim position would interfere with Good Shepherd then he would attempt to find an interim church that didn’t interfere as much with our activities. However, we still may need to be a bit flexible.

Financially, he prefers to start with the full time pastor’s salary and have the church work the salary backwards to what is affordable. Whatever figure they are able to pay that is the amount of time, percentage wise, that the church would hire him for. For instance, if the full time salary is $100,000 and the church can only afford $50,000 then the church would be hiring him for 50% time. I believe his benefits would be split with the interim church he would be serving.

He asked me what I thought Good Shepherd wanted regarding a part time pastor. I told him that the main thing we are looking for would be someone every Sunday and someone to visit the sick and shut-ins. He is fully on board with every Sunday. He stated that only coming two Sundays a month does not allow a pastor to get familiar with the congregation members he is serving.

I did explain our potential partnership with Zion UCC. He thought that was a wonderful, creative idea. I also mentioned that I would like to see Good Shepherd help serve the community we are situated in. He thought that was a wonderful idea as well. I mentioned these things, in part, to show him that we had a vision and that we are not just going through the motions to barely remain open.

Good Shepherd’s church council will be interviewing Pastor Goggins on Wednesday, January 4th at 7pm. Please keep us in your prayers as we go through this process. Pastor Goggins seems like a wonderful, caring, creative person, and we hope that he is the right person for the job.

Faithfully,

Lei Fahrner

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