Art of Transitional Ministry
Leading a congregation and faith community through transition is both challenging and rewarding. Whether it is a change in leadership or a changing neighborhood, it takes knowledge, skill, resilience and spiritual strength to navigate the waters of transition in a way that allows a congregation and its leaders to be open to possibilities, go deeper and thrive. The Art of Transitional Ministry offers education in the skills and understanding necessary for leading a congregation and faith community in transition. Leaders and participants come from several mainline traditions, which creates rich opportunities for additional learning.
There are two week-long courses of study offered concurrently along with Spouse Track:
The basic education course is designed for pastors and congregational leaders who are serving or are considering serving in congregations that are in the midst of transition; yet, it is valuable continuing education for all faith leaders as we are all in the midst of change within our culture and world. This intensive 30-hour course provides basic understandings for consciously leading congregations through changes in context, identity, and leadership. Week I is appropriate for any short-term transitional ministry leader, including interim and designated pastors, as well as installed/appointed pastors serving congregations in the midst of change. It is also appropriate for clergy and laity serving in denominational bodies that need to understand congregations in transition. Additionally, personnel representatives and Committee on Ministry members are especially urged to take this opportunity to become familiar with the concerns of pastors serving in temporary roles (interim, designated and traditional ministries).
For pastors and leaders serving in congregations and faith communities in the midst of transitions in leadership, culture, context, and ministry. Participants will use their current ministry context to reflect on the leader’s role and tasks in times of transition. Completion of Week I within the past five years and current service in a transitional or interim ministry position (widely defined) is required for participation in this course. This course will provide an opportunity for going deeper into the work introduced in week I and beginning to understand our role as leaders in contexts of change and transition. There are several homework assignments to prepare for Week II, so early registration is advised.
Designed for spouses of pastors considering or already in interim positions. Spouses of registrants for both Week I and Week II are encouraged to participate. Regardless of the level of involvement in the transitional ministry context, it is important for spouses to understand the unique characteristics of this specialized ministry. Through a variety of activities, spouses develop a basic understanding of transitional/interim ministry, explore their fit within its rewards and challenges, and learn ways to support their spouses in all types of ministry settings. This track is designed for both education and renewal; time for rest, reflection and self-care are provided, and the schedule allows for more free time than is afforded for those participating in Week I and Week II.
Renae is a native Californian and Elder of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. She completed her M.Div. at Boston University School of Theology. Since 1984, she has served as a local church Pastor in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Oakland, Walnut Creek, San Mateo and Sacramento, all multi-cultural congregations. She also served 6 years as a District Superintendent, specializing in transitional pastorates. She served as a transitional interim pastor in 2014-15 in San Mateo. Renae has received training in Alinsky Community Organizing, Church Planting, Consulting in Congregational Renewal and Pastor Planter Coaching. She is a trained and practicing Coach for Cross-cultural ministries. She also completed training by the Academy for Missional Wisdom to create emergent missional communities of Wesleyan faith and practice.
Jennifer Hope Kottler
Jen is a spiritual director, certified life and leadership coach, writer, retreat leader, and preacher who is passionate about assisting others to deepen their walk of faith and discover what God is calling them to be and do in the world. An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Jen has previously served as an Interim Assistant Pastor at the Fox Valley Presbyterian Church outside Chicago and as the Associate Pastor at Park Avenue Christian Church (Disciple of Christ, United Church of Christ) in New York City, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Sojourners in Washington, DC, and Associate Executive Director of Protestants for the Common Good in Chicago, Illinois. She has written for Sojourners magazine, Sojourner’s God’s Politics blog, Morning Walk Media’s Fresh Dayand the Huffington Post.
Kevin has been ordained since 1980 and began as a consultant for youth ministry for the Presbytery of South Florida and served two congregations as youth minister. From there, he served as a solo pastor and an associate pastor in Missouri, Oregon, and California. When he married Astrid in 2002, he served in transitional ministry at congregations in San Leandro, San Rafael, Windsor, Turlock, and San Anselmo, California. He served in long term transitional ministry (otherwise known as installed) in Marshfield, Wisconsin. Kevin currently is serving as the transitional pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Gavin has served in ordained ministry in the PCUSA for almost 29 years, over 18 of those in interim/transitional ministry, serving eight congregations in seven states. Presently, he is serving as the Interim General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Hudson River consisting of 81 churches in eight counties above NYC. He has been a part of the interim ministry faculty for over nine years and has taught at Montreat, Union Seminary in Richmond, Princeton, and NYC. He and his wife, Jen (Kottler), who he co-leads Spouse Track with, are avid travelers, he has been to 49 states and well over 60 countries. They enjoy hiking, tennis, good food, good wine, and a wee dram with friends.
Reverend Pamela Griffith Pond
Pamela is a certified Intentional Interim Pastor who has served congregations in transition in Redwood City, Vallejo, San Francisco, San Lorenzo and Stockton. She served as a settled pastor for five years in San Rafael. Pamela completed Basic Training in Intentional Interim Ministry through the Interim Ministry Network, and certification in Appreciative Transitional Ministry through the Clergy Leadership Institute.
Pamela served as executive director of Marin Interfaith Worker Justice, one of more than 60 affiliated organizations across the country that educate congregations and people of faith about economic justice and mobilize them to support low-wage workers in their struggle for justice in the workplace. Her advocacy for marginalized people has also included night ministry in Seattle and San Francisco, helping secure prenatal care for poor Hispanic women in Orange County, California, and advocating for full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life and ministry of the ELCA.
Pamela serves on the Sierra Pacific Synod’s Interim Steering Committee. She served on the faculty of The Art of Transitional Ministry during the summer of 2015, and co-facilitates a weekly clergy phone conference through the Clergy Leadership Institute.
Pamela is a co-founder of Stand Up for Neighborly Novato, an affordable housing advocacy group. She has served on the Elder Care Alliance Board of Directors and the Marin Interfaith Council Justice Advocacy Team.
Her spouse, Dave Pond, is a software development manager for a medical diagnostics company. They enjoy hiking, reading, gardening, and being run ragged by their golden retriever puppies, Cinnamon Bun and Dancing Moonbeam. Pamela and Dave have two grown children, Rebekah and Erik, both of whom live in the Bay Area.
Renée confesses to be both excited and challenged by the opportunities of ministry in these times in the church. Renée began her “accidental intentional interim” ministry career straight out of seminary, serving in churches across the West as interim solo, head of staff and associate pastor positions, as well as in a United Methodist congregation. Now in her 8th interim position, she currently serves as Transitional Pastor (Head of Staff) at University Presbyterian Church in Fresno, CA. She has served on and led faculty teams for education events on The Art of Transitional Ministry for the PCUSA since 2002. Outside of church, Renée has many interests, including a love of Mexican food, knitting (she teaches and designs her own line of patterns) and spinning, and is a certified aquatics
fitness instructor. Her two cats, Izzie and Brandy, are her companions at home
Barry W. Williams
Barry’s roots are in Southwest Louisiana where he grew up learning a bit about Cajun culture and cooking. He attended Centenary College in Shreveport, La., earning a B.S. degree in Business, then seminary in Austin, Texas and went on to serve churches in the suburbs of Houston, Dallas, and Ft. Worth before moving to work with a congregation in Salina, Kansas. In 1996, the Williams family (Brenda, his wife, and two sons, Stephen and Peter) moved to Southwest Missouri. Springfield has functioned as “home base” for Barry as he served as an
Interim/Transitional Pastor in the region. He started his 13th interim in July 2015 with FPC in Norman, Oklahoma. He has been part of the PCUSA interim ministry education faculty since 2000. His interests include fly fishing, cooking, and staying in contact with family, friends, and colleagues.
Program Costs Per Person
Program costs do not include the cost of books/texts for required reading. Participants will need to purchase the required reading texts which you will be informed of upon registration.
Room and Board
|Double Occupancy Room||$400|
|Private Room (single occupancy)||$620|
|Commuter (meals only)||$230|
Registration and Balance due 14 days before event start date. To Register click on the “Register Now” button at the top of the page. Be sure to make a note of all dietary needs, mobility issues, and roommate requests during the registration process
- Includes Sunday dinner through Friday sack lunch; No Wednesday dinner-afternoon and evening on your own.
- Program fills quickly. Please register early.
- The $100 deposit is non-refundable/non-transferable.