On Sunday, March 19, the congregation of Kairos-Milwaukie UCC voted, by secret written ballot, to call the Rev. Jeanne Randall-Bodman as its Settled Pastor. The final tally was 65 in favour, with 1 abstention. Jeanne accepted the call gratefully and enthusiastically, affirmed by smiles and hugs all around.
This overwhelmingly-positive decision was especially meaningful given how important the former pastor was to the spirit and substance of the congregation. For not quite 40 years the Kairos part of the congregation wandered in the wilderness from building to building, following its pastor, Rick Skidmore.
When Kairos joined with the 100-year-old Milwaukie UCC, they kept Rick as pastor in defiance of the common practice of calling a new pastor for the blended congregations, and Rick was accepted by the combined congregations in an almost-seamless transition that has endured over a decade.
With such a pastor-centered history, anyone who came after Rick would be faced with enormous expectations and an unusually intimate relationship between pastor and congregation. Therefore, the shouts of joy when the vote was announced rang with special vibrancy, along with cries of relief at how marvelously our new pastor has met and exceeded those expectations. We are indeed setting out in a new and exciting direction.
One Last Step
There is one more ceremonial step left: Jeanne’s official installation as our Settled Pastor. This is an act of the Central Pacific Conference (CPC), on behalf of the whole of the United Church of Christ, affirming her call to a new setting of ministry, and a great celebration of our new relationship.
We are in the process of coordinating calendars and procedures with the Conference for an installation ceremony on a Sunday afternoon some day between Easter and Mother’s Day. Our employment contract with her will also be modified to reflect the new status as well.
All this is to come. For now, we rejoice in our good fortune to have such a wonderful person as our new Settled Pastor. Thanks be to God, as reflected in the many faces of God that make up our blessed congregation and Settled Pastor.