Effective June 30th, Rev. Ian and Kelly Strickland will step away from ministry at Over The Rhine Community United Methodist Church, our downtown location. For over 3 years Ian has worked to build a faith community that values: Justice, Equity, Creativity, and Connection. We celebrate the many ways Ian has been a vital partner with God in God’s acts of new creation in Over The Rhine. As Ian and Kelly close this chapter in their lives and begin a new one, we pray God’s blessings upon them.
What are the next steps? Pastor Cathy and I have been in conversation with our District Superintendent, Todd Anderson, and the West Ohio Conference New Church Start Director, Brad Aycock, about the criteria for a successor to Ian. In the coming weeks there will be conversations with the OTRCC leadership, The Personnel Team, and The Servant Leadership Board identifying current and future needs in a pastor, and ultimately receiving the Pastor the Bishop appoints. Throughout the process, taking the time necessary to get the right person will be a priority.
This past week, the District Superintendent sent a document to the leadership of OTRCC to complete and return to the district office. The document (called a Profile) allows the leadership to provide input into the type of clergy leadership the church needs, at this point in time, and moving forward. Once the “profile” is received the District Superintendent will schedule a time to meet with the Leadership of OTRCC and the Personnel Team of The Servant Leadership Board, to discuss further the churches needs. Subsequently, the District Superintendent, Cathy, and I will discuss individuals that fit the profile and identify the right person for the appointment. This will be followed by the District Superintendent making a recommendation to the Bishop and Cabinet, at which time the Bishop will make the appointment.
Your prayers for wisdom and clarity are welcomed as the multiple conversations progress, and a decision is made. OTRCC is an amazing presence of God’s love in Over The Rhine, may God find us faithful as we move into the future!