Presbyterian Welcome Leadership Transition

IMG_3069_lo Dear Presbyterian Welcome Friend,

After 11 and a half years of ministry with Presbyterian Welcome I have chosen to follow where the Spirit is leading me and move from my post as Executive Director of Presbyterian Welcome. This decision comes after a solid year of prayer and discernment. I felt a shifting of my call as we were preparing for John Russell Stanger's ordination last fall.

There aren't words, really, to express the depth of gratitude I hold for Presbyterian Welcome, our Visionary and Trustee Boards, and our Supporting Congregations. I have known God through all of you these past years; I have learned so much; and I hold much hope for the witness of Jesus Christ through your continued witness.

The Visionary and Trustees Board have both accepted my resignation with gratitude and have simultaneously asked me to continue to work with the organization as the Founding Pastor of Not So Churchy. I am delighted to continue to build Not So Churchy as a new 21st century worshiping community. We are growing in numbers and in depth and will soon be finding ways to share our worship materials with other congregations. I love this community, have been so honored to have held the vision for its beginnings and am so happy I can continue to participate in its growth.

IMG_3084_loThe Boards also unanimously and enthusiastically extended a call to the Rev. John Russell Stanger to be our new Executive Director.

John has also been discerning his own call to move into executive leadership, and has proven that he has the judgment, skills and spirit to lead Presbyterian Welcome as our new Executive Director. John will assume full responsibility for the LGBTQ Future Pastors Community and will continue to direct our LGBTQ and Allied Youth Program, with the help of an intern and part-time employees. I couldn't be happier that John will lead Presbyterian Welcome into the next phase of ministry as the next Executive Director. I am fully confident in his vision and abilities and look forward to watching you grow with him in the future.

As the organization continues to grow, we will hire a full-time administrator, and continue working with our outstanding fundraising consultant, Doug Wingo.

These changes will take officially take effect on Dec. 31, 2014, though my last day in the office will be November 17. I look forward to seeing you at the Faithful Servant Awards on November 11 where we will honor past Board President, The Rev. Chris Shelton and Senior Pastor of Middle Collegiate Church, The Rev. Jacqui Lewis.

There is even more exciting news coming up. With the change in the Book of Order concerning ordination standards, and the 221st General Assembly having just affirmed same-sex marriage, we recognize it is time to refine our mission. For the last several months, the boards have been working with a strategic consultant and branding expert who has led us through a process of organizational discernment and re-branding. We are looking to both focus and broaden the scope of our ministry-a step that will lead to a new name for the organization as our mission evolves. We are excited to reveal the new name, mission, and look at the Faithful Servant Awards.

I pray that you will support John and this organization into their fullest potential, especially in this transition time, when all things feel particularly delicate and sacred.


Mieke Signature



Rev. Mieke Vandersall Executive Director