Church Management Q and A
It is time for another round Q and A. You have told me you like that. I can imagine there are some questions you wish to ask me about what’s happening in the church, but you may be too polite to ask them. So let me try to think what they might be and answer them for you.
Q: Aart, now that we have a new office manager in Kris Sazaki, what will be different.? A: Of course we will all have grown accustomed to Donna not doing the work anymore and we all need to give her space. Don’t forget to thank her! Parkview family members have gotten used to her always being there on Sunday and over time the line between her job description and her willingness to volunteer has become somewhat gray in your minds. That will be an adjustment. Kris will not attend the church service so everyone will have to communicate by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the church phone. Her office hours will be roughly the same as Donna’s, but I suggest that you send emails and leave messages between Monday pm and Friday noon so that you will get a response within 24 hours or so. (Also Chelsea will have office hours on Wednesday.) On the other hand Kris has begun her work with a vision for Parkview’s presence in the digital age. You have already seen changes to the worship bulletin and you will see changes to the website. There will also be a google calendar that will be a planning meeting point online. I am very grateful to Lori Hart for engineering a transition in that direction in the way she has managed our website! I also expect that the new planning/coordinating group will take a more central role in tandem with Kris.
Q: We still have questions about the residency program, tell us again where does the money come from.? A: The (regional) Presbytery of Sacramento is so supportive of our groundbreaking program that it has committed a maximum of $17,000 per year for a five year period on an as needed basis. As long as I have been at Parkview, we have always given about $7000 to Presbyterian mission. That money now stays home to supplement the Presbytery’s gift for resident stipends. Parkview also pays for utilities at the Kansha.
Q: When will the program end? The end of 2020. Q: When is Rola, the other resident coming? A: Tentatively: the 28th of this month. A: How long will Chelsea and Rola stay? A: I anticipate they will be her through May of 2019. Q: That would leave about a year and a half of Presbytery support after they leave, how will that time be used? A: That is for the congregation to decide.
Q: Say, Aart, how do we screen and manage our residents? A: There is a selection committee of four people (Titus Toyama, Maurine Huang, Carol Sakai and Jennifer Nishizaki). They review applications, set up interviews by Skype or in person. They talk to references. Q: Do they discuss personal theology of the candidates? A: Yes they do so at length. Q: How about political views? A: By law we cannot ask them about that, just as we cannot ask about age etc. However we have them sign a comprehensive contract, a new code of ethics and we have them answer the pledge during the worship service. Rola and Chelsea have also been thoroughly background checked. I spend about 5 hours week with the resident and they meet monthly with a supervisory committee ( Irene Uno, Lois van Beers, Maurine Huang).
Q: Since Chelsea and Rola will not become our pastors, how will we be using them? A: I thought you’d never ask. I think we are on the cusp of a huge opportunity here. We will have two energetic, creative, compassionate, well-trained, intelligent young women. They will need to work within the boundaries of their job description (in Rola case that includes working with refugees), but I believe there is a real chance for us to take a leap toward growth. The key term at this moment is “INTER.” We have achieved the goal of becoming an INTERcultural congregation (I.e. a multicultural congregation where the different ethnicities truly engage with each other); We are now a year into becoming an INTERactional congregation ( that interacts and engages with the local community, both outside of our fence and in worship through community minutes). This was a two-in-one goal that came out of the exploration groups. The other goal is for us to become truly INTERgenerational. Now that we have gone through a huge generational passing of the baton, we need to grow the church at all age levels. As I stated years ago, having residents is like hooking up a source of energy to the church network. We will have two of those sources in Chelsea and Rola. For this we should be hugely grateful to God’s grace. Fasten your seat belts! Thanks for your questions, concern and support, spoken or unspoken. May God bless our ministry, See you in church! Aart