Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown,
After nearly 30 months of a nationwide search, our Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC) gratefully presents a candidate who lives exactly one mile from the front doors of our sanctuary. A brief glance at the enclosed brochure tells you that the Spirit of God faithfully and wonderfully answered our prayers for an Associate Pastor in the person of someone who is no stranger to many of us: Reverend Wesley “Wes” Allen. I praise God for sending a gifted friend who is clearly called to this position. We’re incredibly blessed to welcome Wes and his family, Jen, and Vivian and Jacob into our midst.
When Kelly LePenske announced her plans to conclude her ministry, the Personnel Team and I started seeking someone who could help me while the search for an Associate Pastor continued. I reached out to Wes to discover if he had any interest in filling that interim role. He did not but he did tell me that he was attracted to the called position for Associate Pastor.
We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our APNC. Kevin Fauvell was the chair of the committee. The other members were Carole Wehn, Adrienne Barr, Jane Murphy and Marsha Booker. Dave Adams was a member until he resigned last year. These servants reviewed 184 Personnel Information Forms. They had deeper conversations with about 30 candidates. You’ll recall at the time of their election in February 2019 they were asked to seek a Pastor who would oversee our discipleship and adult spiritual formation ministries, guide our congregational care, including Stephen Ministries, participate in worship leadership and preach regularly. A year into their work, Session re-directed their search to find a candidate who would lead our youth ministries. Early this year, Session asked the Committee to return to their original mandate. All along, they met regularly, often weekly, and for most of the time, via Zoom. They encouraged each other like weary runners in a marathon. They prayed constantly. They once told me that the acronym, APNC changed meaning for them from Associate Pastor Nominating Committee to Always Praying, Never Conceding. I thank the Committee for persevering on behalf of our congregation and Presbytery.
Session has called a special meeting of the congregation for Sunday, August 29, 2021 for the purpose of voting on the call of Rev. Wes Allen as our Associate Pastor. It’s a Fifth Sunday, so we’ll gather in our Sanctuary for one service at 9:30 a.m. when Wes will preach. The meeting begins at the close of worship. The worship service and the meeting will be live streamed. We’ll provide a Zoom link with an option to vote for church members who’d prefer to stay at home.
In addition to considering the terms of call for Wes, we’ll also act on a request from Session to amend our By-Laws to allow virtual meetings. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve held four such meetings, including our Annual Meeting in February of this year. When we meet in a few weeks, it will be the first time we’ve done so since February of 2020, which means we can properly make this amendment. After we’ve worshipped and voted, we’re planning a reception for the Allens outside. Do plan to join us for this momentous morning!
Since and Wes and Jen and their children already live in Moorestown, once elected, he can begin his ministry with us on Monday, August 30, the next day. That’s one additional blessing from calling a Pastor who lives around the corner. There will be, I’m certain, many more to follow in the years to come.
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor