Senior Pastor Search News

ST. JOHN’S UCC is in the process of choosing a new Senior Pastor.  This webpage provides current information on that search.


June 12, 2022 will be the last Sunday before the retirement of the Rev. Dr. Susan C. Bertolette, who has served St. John’s UCC as Associate Pastor, Co-Pastor & Senior Pastor for 42 years.  We will have an Interim Senior Pastor at St. John’s starting June 19, 2022, who will serve with our Associate Pastor, Rev. Adelaide Stong, until a new settled (permanent) Senior Pastor is chosen and installed.


The information below is provided by our Pastoral Search Committee.  We will update this page as the search committee releases new information during the search process.



(read during worship by church council president Bill Leslie, April 3, 2022.)

It goes without saying that it is an impossible task to replace someone as talented and beloved as Rev. Sue. As we move into this next chapter in the life of St. John’s, we will keep the members and friends of St. John’s informed about our plans and progress on our journey to call our next Pastor.  Many of you have seen the announcement in the Herald that came out a few days ago. I wanted to speak to that and provide  newer information.
We have already started the process required to identify candidates for Interim Pastor. This person will perform ministerial activities and otherwise support the transition while we formally search for a “Settled” (permanent) Pastor. The goal is to have the Interim Pastor in place to start immediately after Rev. Sue’s last Sunday in June.
A small Transition Team has been formed. It is led by Liz Rivett (Council Vice-President) and is responsible for the search which will result in an Interim Pastor voted on by Church Council. The Team members are Dan Panachyda, Grace Bruen, Jessica Carson, Don Atkiss, Mark Bruen and Sally Atkiss. Please feel free to reach out to any of the Transition Team members with your questions, concerns, or suggestions.
We have also set up a Celebration Team to coordinate activities to recognize Rev. Sue leading up to her last Sunday. The Celebration Team is led by Amy Faga, and Sally Jarinko. Please contact them with questions or comments about celebration activities.
A separate, larger, Search Committee will be established later, responsible for identifying candidates for the Settled Pastor. This committee will be led by the Board of Elders with additional members selected from across the congregation. Membership will be selected to ensure it represents the full breadth of diversity that is the St. John’s “Motley Crew”. We will also be engaging with the congregation to solicit your thoughts, suggestions, and concerns. More details on how that will be arranged will come later.
We are very fortunate to have an incredibly talented & dedicated ministerial staff in Pastor Addie & Andrew, as well as excellent support staff already in place. They are playing key roles in the selection process. We are also receiving significant support from Rev. Kevin McLemore, PSEC Associate Conference Minister for Search & Call.
The process for identifying and selecting a new Settled Pastor can take 12-18 months, or possibly even longer. We are embarking an important journey; finding the right person to lead us into a new chapter at St. John’s will require input, support and patience from you, our members and friends.
We will continue to share updates and additional details regarding these Pastoral search activities periodically. In the meantime, please feel free to contact Bill Leslie or Liz Rivett with any questions you may have.