December Pastor News


You chose the Transition Team wisely!  They are working prayerfully, carefully, and as rapidly as possible, usually meeting immediately following the traditional Sunday worship service.  As I write this, the team is finalizing plans for the first congregational event to be held Tuesday, November 24, 6:00 pm, as a part of the annual potluck meal and Thanksgiving service.  I want to encourage you to attend if at all possible.  The success of these events (and the whole transition process) depends on your willingness to be involved in these events.

Yes, it will be a time of Thanksgiving as we give thanks to God for the ways that HRBC has grown and been an important part of God’s Kingdom work.  It is only when we can give thanks for the rich history of this great church that we can begin to prepare for the future God has in store for you.  This movement is so typical of what we read in Scripture.  The Hebrew people, over and over again, anticipated the future filled with the things and purpose of God because of God’s faithfulness in leading them out of Egypt.  The remembering and giving thanks is critical.  I hope you will join in and take part.

Then, as soon as Thanksgiving is over, we head directly into Advent.  Our theme for Advent 2013 is “Bethlehem: House of Bread.”  Advent always is such a rich, rich time.  I look forward to seeing you in worship.



November Pastor News

The Transition Team is up and running!  We had a late evening conference call on Monday, October 14, to find a time to have our initial retreat.  Getting everyone’s schedules to match up is quite a challenge!  However, I have good news to report.  We have scheduled the Transition Team Retreat for Sunday afternoon, October 27 and Monday evening, October 28.

This retreat will help us get to know and trust each other as we begin attempting to listen to the Lord, to you, and to the needs/hurts/etc. in our world.  If we listen carefully and prayerfully to these three, you will be able to discern where God is leading you in coming days, months, and years.

The retreat also will provide a jump start as the Transition Team begins leading you through the transition as you prepare your hearts and minds to receive a new senior pastor.  When the Transition Team believes the time is right, they will recommend the formation of your Pastor Search Team.  The work that the Transition Team leads you to do between now and then will shorten significantly the time that the search will take to find your next senior pastor.  As a result of this process, the Pastor Search Team will be able to move quickly and decisively in their search.  You are a wise people for investing this transition time in this effort.

Just a reminder for you regarding those serving on the Transition Team.  They are as follows:

 Dave Anderson 

Randy Camden  

Shirley Hinkson 

Jamie Sasser  

Kim Biggers Hayes 

Sue Hurley   

Kim Felts  

Ed Leslie  

Lesley Montgomery

Ray Parker

I urge you to pray for these as they prepare to lead you!

Grace and peace, Layne



October Pastor News

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you for your suggestions for persons that you believe will make good Transition Team members.  I received a total of 109 names!  That’s a wonderful testament to the wonderful people who ARE Christ’s Church in this place.

As indicated, it is important for the Transition Team to be representative of the makeup of the church as a whole.  I asked four people to assist me in taking your suggestions and putting together a list of potential members of the Team.  Joe Hester (Deacon Chair), David Jordan (Church Council Chair), Jane Lewis (Personnel Chair), and Ray Parker (Church Moderator) met with me and worked with me in coming up with that list.  I am in the process of meeting with these members explaining to them what will be required for them to serve.  I ask you to be in prayer with me that God will be at work in the lives of all those involved so that we may discern God’s will in this matter.

Thank you for the ways you continue to welcome Dianne and me.  We feel blessed to have the opportunity to share life and ministry with you.

  ~Layne Smith


September Pastor News

"So tell me a little bit more about this intentional interim process?  What does an intentional interim pastor do?”


I’ve heard those questions several times over the last couple of weeks.  The first task of the intentional interim pastor is to serve as the interim pastor which includes preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and administration.  The second task is to work with a Transition Team (members to be determined) and assist them in leading the church in a self-study which includes five focus points:

· HERITAGE: Coming to Terms with History

· MISSION/VISION: Clarifying the Congregation’s Identity

· LEADERSHIP: Examining Leadership and Decision-Making Concerns

· CONNECTIONS: Looking at Denominational and External Relationships

· FUTURE: Committing to New Clergy Leadership and the Future

You will be receiving (or have received already) a letter from me explaining the process in more detail and hopefully clarifying for you how we will move forward.  Prayerfully consider sending me the names of five persons (by Sunday, September 8) you believe can best help lead the church on the Transition Team – persons you believe to be trusted, respected, prayerful, spiritually wise, a regular attendee, able to speak for groups within the church (not representatives, but representative), and willing to listen to all perspectives (someone without an “axe to grind”).  I invite you to get the names to me in one of the following ways:

Write the names on a piece of paper and place it into the offering plate

Mail your list to the church office to my attention

E-mail your names to me.

Complete the form on the church website:

Return names through your Sunday School class

In other words, do whatever you need to do to get the names to me by September 8.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the opportunity and challenge of getting to know you and share worship with you.  I ask your prayers for all of us as we embark upon this adventure together.