Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Greetings! I write with glad tidings and exciting news. On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, the Consistory met with representatives from the Search Committee whose members had voted unanimously earlier in the week to make a recommendation of a candidate to be our next pastor.
After listening to the presentation from the Search Committee, asking numerous questions, and witnessing the nearly palpable passion that the Search Committee members have for the candidate, Consistory voted to accept the recommendation of the Search Committee.
Following the Consistory meeting, Michael Byers and I spoke with the candidate and informed him that Consistory had accepted the Search Committee’s recommendation, and I issued an invitation to the candidate to come and lead worship and meet our congregation on Sunday, September 13, 2015. I am pleased to announce that the invitation was accepted, and we will have the opportunity to meet the man who we believe will be able to shepherd our congregation into the future phases of ministry.
Therefore, I would like to offer an invitation to you to come and meet Pastor Ryan Cogswell. Enclosed you will find a brief biography of Pastor Cogswell, which was prepared by the Search Committee and reflects many of their observations gleaned throughout the search process as the members met and got to know Pastor Cogswell.
You are invited to attend worship on Sunday, September 13 at 10:00 a.m. with us. Pastor Cogswell will be leading worship and offering the sermon. Following worship we will gather together in Crounse Hall for a luncheon, which will be hosted by the Church Life Committee and the Consistory. During that time, you will have the opportunity to meet and talk with Pastor Cogswell. Following the luncheon, we will have a brief congregational meeting that all are invited to attend. The purpose of this congregational meeting is to seek a vote of affirmation from the congregation that the congregants of the Reformed Church of Syracuse will affirm Consistory’s choice should the Consistory decide to offer Pastor Cogswell a contract with an intent to issue him a call following his completion of the denominational requirements for ministry.
This is an exciting time for us! As we prepare our hearts for the possible arrival of our new pastor, I humbly ask for your prayers. May we all pray that throughout the upcoming weeks that God would prepare Pastor Cogswell to shepherd our church, that he would begin new relationships at the Reformed Church of Syracuse that are built upon the Gospel, and that the
Holy Spirit will ignite a passionate love in his heart for our church’s ministry. Finally, let us pray that we as a church will come together as we welcome our new shepherd into the fold. May we come to understand that with new beginnings are changes and change often leads to growth. As we seek to grow in our faith, may we find love in our hearts to welcome Pastor Cogswell and the new vision and opportunities he will bring to our congregation.
In closing, I would like to publicly thank the members of the Search Committee for their commitment to our congregation and the many hours of time that were devoted to seeking out the candidate who God had planned for our congregation. Well done good and faithful servants. In addition, I would be remiss if I did not offer thanksgiving for the ministry that Pastor Jim Harriff has provided our congregation throughout the past year and a half. Pastor Jim’s faithful service to us has been a blessing as has his commitment to re-engaging our congregation with neighboring churches. Thank you Pastor Jim for shepherding us.
I look forward to seeing you on September 13th.
In His service,
Vice-President of Consistory