Highland Avenue Community Church of the Nazarene in Rancho Cucamonga, California

Highland’s Transitional Period: Where Are We?

We are now officially in the “interim period” here at Highland Ave.


Dear members and friends of Highland Avenue Community Church,

As much as it can be a tiring period it can also be very exciting. The interim period can be a time of growth and regrouping, a time of self-study, a time of reassessment and setting of new directions. It can be like the Christmas season filled with anticipation and hope, not knowing exactly what we will get on Christmas morning but knowing that someone is making an attempt to find just the right present for us. And if we see God as our Father…it’s really quite exciting to wonder what he has in store for us!However, if in our search for a new pastor we were to just sit and patiently wait for God to plop our next pastor in our lap, then maybe the Christmas metaphor would be perfect. But that’s not how God chooses to work. He wants us involved in the process. Adam named the animals, Moses helped lead the Hebrews out of slavery, Joshua and the Israelites were to go in and clear out the Promised Land, Jesus invites us to be yoked to him…you get the picture. There is God’s part and there is our part. So what is our part?There are a lot of steps that need to be taken during this transition and if you want to see the official overview for installing a new pastor, you can access the electronic version of the denomination’s manual at the Church of the Nazarene’s website (http://nazarene.org/ministries/gensec/Manual/display.html); see Section 115 of the manual for details.That being said, here’s where we are in that process so far:

1.      Connie Rench has been selected as “pulpit supply” and the existing pastoral staff has elected to stay on in order to provide continuity in weekly worship. Grady Gillespie will be speaking as needed, and will provide program/staff oversight freeing Connie to focus primarily on weekly sermons.

2.      We have already initiated a search process for a new pastor in accordance with our denominations bylaws. We invite all of you to pray as we search to identify our church’s pastoral needs and review potential candidates.

3.      Rev. Miller – our District Superintendent – has already offered some suggestions and we encourage you to keep our next pastor in prayer.

4.      Finally, from this list of viable candidates, our leadership board will read ministerial profiles, screen candidates, conduct interviews, check references, and eventually select a candidate who will be recommended to the entire congregation. At that time, our church members will vote whether or not to accept the candidate as our new pastor. The length of this last step depends on a lot of factors, but the desire is to get it done sooner rather than later while taking enough time to find the best fit possible.

Please know that we will keep you informed on a regular basis. We ask that you continue to pray with us for wisdom, discernment, and unity throughout this process.

In Christ’s name,

Leadership Council


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