January 12, 2018 (updated January 18, 2018)

With gratitude to God for leading us throughout this 15-month search process, to the congregation for your continued support and patience, and to our church staff for your outstanding leadership during this transition time, the Pastoral Search Team is pleased to have completed our process by unanimously recommending a single nominee for each of two co-pastor positions:

  • Karen Campbell, currently minister at Kilbride Presbyterian Church, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • and Andrew Mead, currently interim pastor at COS

This recommendation, endorsed unanimously by the COS council, responds to the council’s commitment “to a vision of seeking two pastors to serve among us, each serving the entire congregation together (even while having one who primarily preaches at SES and one who primarily preaches at BES)….”

We rejoice in the strong gifts for ministry evident in both nominees, their match to our pastoral position profile, and their clear sense of call to serve our congregation—both the Basic English Service and Standard English Service worshiping communities—as collaborative co-pastors. We give thanks for the many people who brought both nominees’ names to our search team, and for the doors that opened in beautiful and unexpected ways throughout the search process. And we thank God for the unanimous consensus of our search team, executive team, and council in bringing this recommendation.

To help all of us engage well in the next steps of our discernment, we invite you to prayerfully review several documents, linked below. And we encourage you to participate in many opportunities to learn more about our nominees in preparation for a congregational vote on Wednesday, Feb. 7. See the full schedule below.

Out of respect for our nominees, we ask you not to use social media to communicate about them during these weeks. Instead, let’s use face-to-face conversations and direct communication as we participate in this discernment process.

If you have questions, comments, or constructive suggestions, we invite you to share them with us at any time via email: cospastorsearch@gmail.com

Documents for Discernment

Search Process Documents:

About Rev. Karen Campbell:

About Rev. Andrew Mead:

Staffing Documents:

Mark Your Calendars

The days from January 13 through February 7 will be filled with opportunities to learn more about our nominees. You’re invited to attend any of the following sessions:

  • 1-hour open forums to learn and ask questions about the search process:
    • Saturday, Jan. 13 — 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the café
    • Sunday, Jan. 14 — 9 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. in the GPS (adult education) room
  • GPS (adult education) sessions — Jan. 21 and Jan. 28, 9-10 a.m.
  • Weekend of engagement with our two nominees — Feb. 2-4 — details below
  • Congregational meeting — the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 7, to vote and provide written comments

Weekend of Engagement
Friday, Feb. 2

• 10-11:30 a.m. Prayer, Listening Session 1 (open to all, focused on older adults)
• 7:30-9 p.m. Prayer, Listening Session 2 (open to all, focused on college age, 20s, 30s)
Saturday, Feb. 3
• 8:30 a.m. Youth group service project at Mobile Food Pantry (meet at church)
• 10:15 a.m. Prayer, Listening Session 3 (BES committee and regular participants)
• 11:30 a.m. Prayer, Listening Session 4 (middle/high school youth)
• 1-2:30 p.m. Congregational Open Forum (1 of 3)
• 7:30-9 p.m. Congregational Open Forum (2 of 3)
Sunday, Feb. 4
• 9 a.m. Intergenerational Education—Anti-Racism Task Force, with our nominees
• 10 a.m. Prism Worship Service, led by Rev. Andrew Mead and Rev. Karen Campbell
• 12 p.m. Congregational Meal
• 12:30-2 p.m. Congregational Open Forum (3 of 3)

Listening Sessions will include brief autobiographical reflections from our nominees and then brief reflections from several COS members and friends about our life together.
— Congregational Open Forums will include a 30- to 40-minute facilitated interview with our nominees, followed by open Q&A, including questions from BES members and our youth.


Come, Holy Spirit

Our prayer throughout this process is beautifully expressed in the ancient prayer, Veni Creator Spiritus:

Come, Holy Spirit, creator blest,
and in our hearts take up your rest.
Come with your grace and heavenly aid,
to fill the hearts which you have made.


The COS Pastoral Search Team

Priscilla Brink
Todd Cioffi
Eve Clayton
Carol Harris
Ginger Hollemans
Margaret Mwenda
Jamie Skillen
Maria Beversluis van Leeuwen
John Witvliet, chair

Search team email: cospastorsearch@gmail.com


Scripture Passages

Following are the verses we have used to guide us in this discernment process. We invite you to dwell with us in these scriptures. 

Philippians 1:9-11 — “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”

1 Peter 2:5-9 — “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood … that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Acts 5:12-42 — This is the story of the apostles being jailed by the Sadducees for healing people, then being sprung from jail by an angel of the Lord who told them to teach in the temple courts, and then being brought before the Sanhedrin, where Gamaliel advised his colleagues to let the apostles go so they wouldn’t find themselves “fighting against God.”

1 Samuel 16:7 — “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Philippians 2:2 — “Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”

Acts 8:30-31 — “Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. ‘How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’ So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.”

1 Corinthians 1:10 — “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Psalm 127:1 — “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”

Hebrews 13:20-21 — “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus … equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.”

2 Corinthians 5:11-21 — “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all …. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation …. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”