On Sunday, February 11th, Joe McDonald announced he was stepping down as lead pastor of Upper Room. Keep reading for an overview of our transition process. The most recent updates are posted first.
The Board is committed to keeping the community informed during the lead pastor transition process. Please check back periodically for updates. If you have any questions along the way, please e-mail the Board.
In May, the Upper Room Board and Search Team finalized the Opportunity Profiles for two new positions we will be hiring. Our new staffing structure means we are hiring 2 additional staff to be part of a Lead Team consisting of 3 positions: a Teaching Pastor, a Community Connections Pastor, and a Director of Operations. You can read more about the needed positions below and find instructions of how to apply on the last past page of each opportunity.
On Sunday, February 10th, we took some time to share how we are moving forward with a renewed focus and renewed energy. If you missed this night, please be sure and listen to the podcast below. The podcast allows the bigger story and the spirit behind it all to be told.
- Here is the postcard we handed out on our Vision Night
- Here is our proposed future staffing structure
As this new chapter continues to unfold, we know you might have some questions along the way. Here are a couple of next steps:
The next step in listening was to take the survey results and dig a little deeper into the themes we were hearing by hosting Focus Groups. (For those of you who are research-minded, conducting Focus Groups as our third place of input allowed us to triangulate our data to assure validity.) These Focus Groups were hosted by our consultant with a member of the Transition Team present at each group. The results of these groups, along with the Backyard Hangs and Community Survey will speak into the direction of the Vision Retreat planned for the Board, Staff and Transition Team in November.
During the month of September, together as a church community, we stepped into an experiment in listening to God. Beginning September 10th, through 21 daily prompts (via text message), we collectively sought to hear God for our own lives and the community of Upper Room. This experiment culminated in a celebration together on September 30th, which you can listen to below.
As we take time to confirm the vision and purpose of our church community we want to continue to gather information and feedback from all of you. This started casually with our Backyard Hangs and now, to reach our entire community, we are asking you to complete a community survey.This information will be captured anonymously and then reviewed by a consultant to further synthesize the findings. Learn more HERE.
As part of her message kicking off our new series, By This Water, Katie shared her Transition plan, which was approved by the Board. The objectives of this Transition plan are:
Confirm vision and purpose of community
Solidify a strategy (and staffing structure) to authentically live our mission
Establish a Transition Team to support Board and Staff in the transition process.
Please listen to Katie's message below to hear more about the plan.
In the midst of moving forward in this transition, Katie began putting together a Transition Team to support the efforts of the Staff and Board as we solidify a strategy and staffing structure to authentically live our mission. We solicited nominations for this team and you can learn more about the Transition Team below
With Joe's final Sunday officially ushering us into this season of transition, the Board updated the community of a restructured staffing model that meets the needs of the community in this transition period. Part of the restructured staffing model has meant shifting some roles and responsibilities based on different staffing needs, priorities, and capacities and the desire to be fiscally conservative in a time of transition and change. Please read the full communication from the Board below.
Sunday, April 29th was Joe's final Sunday as Upper Room's Lead Pastor. We sent Joe into his next journey ahead with lots of love and goodness. It is hard to capture all the ways Joe has impacted Upper Room, being there at the very beginning when Upper Room was just an idea to loving and serving staff, volunteers, and community members for over 17 years. It was a bittersweet celebration as we honored the man, friend, husband, father, pastor, and servant leader that has helped to build this community from the beginning and has been our lead pastor for the last 6 years.
On Sunday, March 25, the UR Board of Director's announced the vote to approve Katie Sanders as Transition Pastor of Upper Room. We are excited to have Katie lead our community through this season of transition and we are thankful for her willingness to step into this role. Not only does she know our community well, but she is also gifted and passionate about leading the conversation about Upper Room’s future. The board is very excited about Katie's thoughts and ideas and what she will bring to Upper Room in this season. And we will continue to work with Katie and the staff to make sure they have all of the support that they need.
Please READ the full communication from the Board below.
On Sunday, February 11th, Joe announced he is stepping down as lead pastor of Upper Room. Joe was a part of the initial conversation, when Upper Room was just an idea, and has loved and served Upper Room for 17 years with the last 6 and a half as our Lead Pastor. If you were not around, please take a moment to LISTEN to Joe's announcement and READ his full letter to the community.