Our Pastoral Transition: Notes from the Pastor Nominating Committee

Updates on Our Pastoral Transition

News from the Pastor Nominating Committee

April 14, 2020

Beloved LAC Community,
Last Sunday was a momentous occasion for our church! Our Pastor Nominating Committee led worship and Rev. Dr. Peter Bynum preached a sermon titled “Lifted Up.” (You can watch the service here [LINK] if you missed it!) Later that afternoon, we gathered via Zoom for a Congregational Meeting where the Pastor Nominating Committee shared a full report of their search process and answered questions.
PNC Co-Chair Thea Beaver introduced Rev. Bynum:
You have already “met” our candidate during this morning’s worship, but it is my honor now to formally introduce Rev. Dr. Peter Bynum. Rev. Bynum is the Pastor and head of staff at Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church in South Carolina. That church has 2800 members! Something for us to strive for?
He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College and later attended the University of Virginia law school where he earned his JD. His career took a turn when he entered Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond Virginia. He received his Master of Divinity in 2009. In 2017, he earned his Doctor of Divinity at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.
Reverend Bynum has inspired the PNC with his energy, spiritual maturity, and leadership ability. Having already considered over 100 candidates when we first met Reverend Bynum via Zoom, our committee was immediately impressed. As we continued our conversations with him, our confidence grew. 
In early March, he visited Larchmont with his wife, Stephanie, and his daughter Molly who is currently attending Columbia University. His younger daughter, Kate who is 15, was unable to make the trip, but registered her excitement on the Zoom call when Jim & I told Peter that he was our nominee.
When the Bynums were leaving Larchmont after the in-person interview with our committee, I told Molly that her father “blew me away.” Immediately, this 18-year old smiled knowingly and said to me, “He blows me away every single day.”
LAC voted unanimously (93 votes in favor, 0 opposing) to call Rev. Dr. Peter Bynum to serve as our next Senior Pastor. He will begin on April 28th, 2021, and his first Sunday leading worship at LAC will be May 9th, 2021. We look forward to welcoming Rev. Bynum and his family into our community!

August 26, 2020

Dear Devoted LAC Members:
As we continue to dedicate ourselves to the important task of finding our next Pastor, we are pleased to report that the process is moving ahead steadily. We have reviewed and discussed over 100 applications which we received from the PCUSA database. Further, applicants are also responding to the outreach we have initiated to various other sources, including seminaries and pastors.
We have conducted 18 Zoom interviews with applicants we believe to be strong prospects and will be scheduling additional telephone interviews as new candidates continue to apply. We are prayerfully considering each candidate based on your priorities and hopes for our church as defined in our Mission Study. We are grateful for your patience and your prayers as we continue our efforts.
Faithfully,
Your Pastor Nominating Committee:
Thea Beaver & Jim Hanley, Co-Chairs
Stacy Brandom, Kim Christiansen, Anthony Manson,
Allison Martin, Won Min Song, Mary Sykes, Samantha Udondem

June 3, 2020

Dear Devoted LAC Members,

You have entrusted us with one of the most vital tasks in the life of our church: finding our next senior pastor. We are pleased to report that the process is moving ahead quickly even in this new, virtual world. (Thank goodness for Zoom!) We have finalized and submitted our Ministry Information Form (MIF 06061.AF0) with great thanks to you our members for your participation in the Mission Study, and also to the members of the Mission Study Team. The information in that comprehensive study was essential to allow us to present an intimate and accurate picture of our beloved church.

Currently, we are hard at work reviewing applications (Pastor Information Forms or PIF’s) for the position. We are carefully and prayerfully considering each candidate based on your priorities and hopes for our church. Please be patient with us as we study the many submissions. We promise to keep you informed of our progress with regular updates. Know that we are dedicated to finding the ideal person to lead us in ministry and help LAC continue to thrive and grow as a church for us all.

Faithfully,

Your Pastor Nominating Committee

Thea Beaver & Jim Hanley, Co-Chairs

Stacy Brandom, Kim Christiansen, Anthony Manson, Allison Martin, Won Min Song, Mary Sykes, and Samantha Udondem

Past Updates:

April 29, 2020

Our Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) has been very busy during the recent stay-at-home orders with weekly Zoom meetings and a deep dive into the LAC Mission Study, which our congregation approved in January 2020. Our great thanks to Dorothy Muller, our moderator and mentor from the Hudson River Presbytery, for guiding us through the many steps required in the search for a new pastor.

With the information provided in the Mission Study we are well positioned to complete a draft Ministry Information Form (MIF) which is the first step in outreach for pastoral candidates. We have a devoted team working together on this most important search. Listed below is a brief LAC bio for each member of the PNC committee:

  • Thea Beaver joined LAC in 1982 with her husband Bill. Their three adult children Bill, Alyssa and Brittany were all baptized, attended Sunday School and confirmed at LAC as were their four grandsons. Alyssa was married at LAC. Thea’s mother, Annadora, moved to Larchmont in 1997, also joined and was an active member. Thea has served on numerous LAC committees and Boards including: LAC preschool, co-chair of Centennial Celebration Committee, Church and Society Committee, chair of Worship and Music Committee and the search committee for Director of Music Ministry.
  • Stacy Brandom and her husband Dave joined LAC in 1990. Their three adult sons, Eric, Bryan, and Jon, were baptized, attended Sunday School, and were confirmed at LAC. Stacy has been a Sunday School teacher for many years (and still teaches from time to time which keeps her young). Stacy has served on more LAC Boards and committees than she can remember: The Session 2 or 3 times, Trustees 2 or 3 times, and Chair of the Finance Committee. Stacy served as chair of the 1997 LAC Mission Study and also served on the search committee that found our very talented Director of Music Ministry, Douglas Kostner. Stacy now serves on the Personnel Committee.
  • Kim Christiansen and his wife Barbara Flickinger joined LAC in 1994.  Their two adult children Kate & Sam were baptized, attended Sunday School and were confirmed at LAC.  When asked about his experience serving on LAC committees and boards Kim replied “I’ve served on pretty much everything”:  Deacons, Trustees, Session (multiple times as well as Co-Clerk of Session), Chair of Associate Pastor Nominating Committee, Interim Pastor Nominating Committee and now Pastor Nominating Committee. Kim currently serves on the Personnel Committee and Church and Society Committee. Kim was also a Sunday School teacher in years past.
  • Jim Hanley and his wife Heidi joined LAC in 1997. Their three adult children Rob, Phoebe and Liam all attended Sunday School and were confirmed at LAC. Jim has enjoyed serving as a Faith Partner to numerous youngsters on their journey of faith during Confirmation. He has served on the Buildings & Grounds Committee for many years and has also served as the co-coordinator of the Midnight Run for the Homeless in partnership with the Larchmont Temple.
  • Anthony S. Manson is a 12-year member of LAC and has served on Trustees and on the Stewardship Committee, along with contributions to the recent Mission Study Team.  Also, you may see Anthony on some Sundays in the role of usher. Anthony lives in Mamaroneck with his wife Angela and their three sons ages 17, 22 and 25.
  • Won-Min Song and his wife Katie Yoon Kim have been members of LAC for 4 years with their children Ethan (9 yrs) and Erum (7 yrs). Won currently serves on the Youth Committee and is an elder on Session.
  • Allie Martin and her husband, Jamie, joined LAC in 2016. Their three children Sam (5 yrs), Caroline (4 yrs), Elizabeth (1 yr), all attend, or will attend, LAC Preschool.
  • Mary Sykes and her husband John have been members of the church for almost 10 years and attend LAC with their daughter Katie (14 yrs) and son Quinn (11 yrs). Mary has served as a Sunday School teacher for many years and is currently a member of the Christian Education Committee.
  • Samantha Udondem has been a member of LAC for the last 6 years. She has served within the Children’s Ministry as a Sunday School teacher and leads the annual Advent Cookie Workshop. Samantha lives in Larchmont and attends LAC with her mother, Bertha, her 12-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

February 21, 2020

Both Presbytery and Session have now approved the Mission Study Report prepared by our Mission Study Team. It is a wonderful summary of the shared vision and wishes of all the congregants who participated in the past year of surveys and focus groups. Please click here to read the Report.

Our next step in the process of electing an Installed Pastor is the formation of a Pastor Nominating Committee. Session will begin to assembling the slate of candidates at its meeting on February 24th, and they ask for your nominations. Please complete the nomination form in your Sunday bulletin, and place it in the offering plate or in the ballot box by the Sanctuary entrance this Sunday.

Thank you again to our Mission Study co-chairs Wes Huang and Arthur Washington, as well as team members Robert Chambers, Alyssa Gomez, Sheila Kindig, Anthony Manson, and Stephanie Piccone for a job well done!