Dear Church,

On Pentecost Sunday, Westminster Presbyterian called the Reverend Lissa Long as our Associate Pastor. I couldn’t be more pleased.

Two years ago, in response to the growth we were experiencing, we started to think and pray about additional staff. The Session assembled a Staff Discernment Team to explore options and make recommendations. After several months of prayer and work, the Session adopted the Team’s recommendation to seek an Associate Pastor. An Associate Pastor Nominating Committee was elected, and they began the process of developing the job description, writing the Ministry Information Form (WPC’s resume), consulting with the Presbytery, reading through candidate resumes, interviewing candidates, and discerning God’s choice for Westminster’s new Associate Pastor. They knew they wanted someone who would fit well with current staff, both complementing current strengths and adding depth to the already gifted personnel.

After a long nation-wide search, the Lord brought the APNC back to Charleston for Lissa. They knew from the start she could be a good match for Westminster, but they wanted to carefully seek the Lord’s will for the right person. It turns out the right person lives right down the road, already knows many in the congregation, has a passion for the Lord and the Lord’s church, and was beginning to feel a stirring in her own heart about coming to Westminster. This much is clear: The APNC did thorough and prayerful work, God was in the process, and his Spirit brought us together.

Would you believe I first met Lissa back in high school? Our youth group gave her and her sister a ride to Montreat from Orangeburg one summer. We crossed paths again at Presbyterian College where we both majored in Religion/Christian Education. After that, we did not keep in contact much, but I was delighted to reconnect when I moved to Charleston 3 years ago. It turns out we live in the same neighborhood and both our spouses are also PC grads! I’m so pleased to have the chance to work together with Lissa at Westminster.

Lissa is a good pastor; I have much respect for her and the gifts God has given her for ministry. You may not be aware, but many times when I’ve been away, I’ve asked her to be the “on call” pastor in the event I could not be reached in emergency. She even baptized a Westminster baby while I was on vacation one Sunday!

Lissa will begin ministry with us on Monday, June 25 and will be installed by the Presbytery on Sunday, July 1 at 5:00 p.m. Lissa’s calling to Westminster is as a “generalist,” meaning she’ll work in a variety of areas, but her primary tasks will be centered on helping all ages grow in discipleship. From the beginning, I’ve encouraged her to spend time getting to know you and building relationships, so I invite you to think of ways to introduce yourself, spend time together, and help her with the transition to Westminster. Name Tags! When she begins, stop by the office! Invite her to lunch or her family over for dinner!

Friends, we have much for which to give thanks. Join the fun as we follow the Spirit into the future at Westminster.

Soli Deo Gloria!