Passing the baton


Dear Readers, what I’m sharing with you this week is the “Understanding of Agreement” we have worked out here at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church as I retire and become “Pastor Emeritus.”

This is the formal document, so it addresses Pastor Scott Ness and myself in the third person. I thought you might enjoy seeing how we’re working this out.

This is The Understanding of Agreement among Pastor Scott Ness as Sr. Pastor, Pastor Justin Kollmeyer as “Pastor Emeritus,” and the Church Council as of March 1, 2020.

Note: Pastor Kollmeyer’s “Retirement Celebration,” thanking God for his thirty four years at Prince of Peace and forty four years as a pastor, will take place on Sunday, February 9, with one service in the sanctuary at 10:00 a.m. This will incorporate music from both styles of our worship, and will be followed by a Retirement Celebration Meal in The Life Center, which will be free, but participants must R.S.V.P. by January 26. Deanna McAteer is chairing this planning committee.

Pastor Kollmeyer will remain active Sr. Pastor during the month of February, then on Sunday, March 1, on his official retirement date, which happens to be his seventieth birthday, there will be the symbolic “Passing of The Baton” and the Installation Service for Pastor Scott Ness as Sr. Pastor in both services.

Pastor Scott Ness: As of March 1, 2020, Pastor Scott will be the Senior Pastor with all the duties and responsibilities and authority of this Call. He is the pastor and leader of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, the congregation, the Council, and all areas of ministry. He will be the decision-maker of anything that comes under pastoral authority. All questions “for the Pastor” should be addressed to him.

He will be the every Sunday preacher unless he asks for a substitute in his absence or any other circumstance he deems appropriate and helpful to ask for another pastor to preach a service. He will lead all worship services, making decisions as to whom he will ask to help in these services.

He will be the Pastor for weddings, funerals, and special services. He may invite others pastors to participate as he deems appropriate.

He will be in charge of everything connected to all worship services including, but not limited to these tasks: plan all Sundays and all services, prepare and print all orders of service, communicate with Praise Band and Organist and Choir Director, print out Scripture readings as he deems necessary, have complete oversight and leadership of all worship services.

Pastor Kollmeyer: As of March 1, 2020, Pastor Kollmeyer will be a retired pastor with the honorary title “Pastor Emeritus,” which means he will still be a pastor, but no longer a “called pastor,” only to serve at the request and assignment of Pastor Scott. He will have no congregational authority.

His service in the congregation could include preaching in Pastor Scott’s absence, but Pastor Scott may secure other preachers as he deems appropriate. Pastor Kollmeyer will stand in support and compliance with Pastor Scott’s decisions, keeping a joyful spirit within the congregation.

Initial understanding with Pastor Kollmeyer is that he will develop a schedule of frequent face-to-face meetings with Pastor Scott to review needs recognized on Sunday, review assignments, maintain and continue their relationship, etc.

Pastor Kollmeyer will stand ready to help as Pastor Scott assigns, “holding up his hands,” as Aaron did for Moses, stand ready to preach in Pastor Scott’s absence, stand ready to take any Sunday responsibilities that could help as determined by Pastor Scott. Pastor Scott has asked Pastor Kollmeyer to keep teaching the Adult Sunday School Class in the Sanctuary through May of 2020.

He will be in close discussion with Pastor Scott about what could help, possibly sharing greetings at doors, adding to hospitality, listening for potential pastoral care needs, arriving early to open buildings, as Pastor Kollmeyer has done for many years.

He will stand ready to make any hospital or shut-in calls as assigned by Pastor Scott, attend Men’s Wednesday Prayer and Fellowship Breakfasts, work on making increased outreach to the “Retired Community” of Fayette County and surrounding area.

He will recruit & register Confirmation youth for Lutheridge for the summer of 2020, help with Children’s Ministry, supporting their leadership, giving encouragement, and including communicating with these families.

He will help with VBS 2020, supporting Elaine Kollmeyer, whom Pastor Scott has affirmed as VBS Director for 2020. He will help with the VBS music.

In addition, Pastor Kollmeyer will work toward a program to encourage Endowment Gifts, encourage people to put Prince of Peace in their will, and investigate the possibility of a “Memory Wall Columbarium” at Prince of Peace.

Because Pastor Kollmeyer will indeed be retired, he will not attend Council Meetings or Staff Meetings. Pastor Scott will inform Pastor Kollmeyer of any decisions and directions it would be helpful for Pastor Kollmeyer to know so he can serve The Lord, Prince of Peace, and Pastor Scott appropriately.

We here at Prince of Peace are so very thankful to God for leading and guiding us in this important transition. We ask the community to include us in your prayers.

[Pastor Justin Kollmeyer is in his third decade of writing columns for The Citizen.]