The Sabbatical Senior Pastor Search Committee, following unanimous approval of the Call to Sabbatical Supply Senior Minister and Agreement of Support by the Governing Board at its meeting held Wednesday, July 19, is pleased to introduce the Reverend Dr. Robert K. Loesch as the temporary Senior Pastor while Pastor Matt Emery is away on sabbatical. He will be with us from September 1 through December 31, 2017. Note that his last name is pronounced, “Lesh”, but he would really prefer that we address him as, “Pastor Bob.”
Pastor Bob is a recently retired UCC Minister who is looking for opportunities to serve in different ways during his time of retirement. He lives in Springfield, Massachusetts and was drawn to our position and the opportunity to serve our church during this sabbatical time.
Some of the reasons that we recommend Pastor Bob for this position include the following:
- He is an Ordained UCC Minister with standing in the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC.
- His career has included serving in both larger and smaller congregations than ours and he has demonstrated the flexibility to be responsive to his local church’s needs. He has also has experience working in a supervisory role in a non-profit organization.
- He is comfortable preaching from the lectionary and works with the texts to discern the message and theme that is appropriate for the congregation as his focus for the day.
- Although not directly familiar with Dan Hotchkiss’ work, Pastor Bob has worked with churches (including his most recent congregation) who have successfully implemented organizational and structural changes that were very similar in nature to our own — moving from the multiple-elected-committee system like we used to have, to a model with a unified representative governing board and a constellation of ministry teams. In particular, in his most recent congregation, Pastor Bob’s leadership was key in the implementation phases of their new ministry structure.
- He is intrigued by our sabbatical project related to cultivating voices and provided examples where he has developed congregation members in becoming more comfortable in taking a spiritual leadership role.
We hope that you will share our enthusiasm for bringing Rev. Dr. Robert K. Loesch to Storrs to fill Pastor Matt’s Senior Pastor position while he is away on sabbatical. Please feel free to reach out to any of the committee members with any questions or concerns.
Pastor Matt Emery