Friends,

To allow our new Executive Minister some time to get to know us, listen to us, and seek God's insights and direction for our GRR family, the GRR Board has extended the contracts of Rachel Cocar for service to Area I, John Grisham for Area II, and Adrian Lamkin for service in Area III.

Rachel Cocar Rachel is part-time co-pastor with her husband, Bunyan, at FBC Dixon since 2004.  She is a graduate of Duke and has been involved in American Baptist life all her life.

John Grisham continues as the Temporary Part-Time Staff Minister serving Area II and also the Costa Rica Partnership Liaison.  We all know John!

Adrian Lamkin continues as the Temporary Part-Time Staff Minister Serving Area III.  Dr. Adrian Lamkin has served on the faculty at Williiam Jewell College, periodically taught the American Baptist History & Polity Course for GRR, and has served interims at Mahomet, Highland, and Charleston.

These are part-time.  The work availability is to average two and a half days each week, with the following priorities:

  1.  Be a consultant to church pastoral search committees as assigned by the Executive Minister.
  2. Build communication and trust among pastors and churches so that a covenantal atmosphere is fostered, and deeper relationships with the Region and ABCUSA result.
  3. Encourage and support churches by actively listening to them, responding to their needs, affirming them, celebrating with them, and praying with and for them.
  4. Proactively develop and maintain a network of peer support among pastors and church leaders.
  5. Counsel pastors and other professional church leaders, within limits, and be able to make appropriate referrals.
  6. Collaborate with other regional staff (including Area Assistants) to provide mutual support and achieve the goals set by the GRR Regional Ministry Board.

Muriel Johnson remains a permanent, full-time staff minister.  Her time is equally divided between Area’s IV and V. 

While assistants help some, no area has the luxury of a full-time permanent regional staff minister assigned solely to them (and there is no reason to expect that in the foreseeable future).  The GRR Ministry of Staff Relations (and the Board) are concerned that expectations far exceed our capacity to deliver – even if those expectations are appropriate. 

We appreciate your prayers in this time of transition.  As I said at the beginning, this completes the staffing plan for the next year (as attached).  The Executive Minister Search Committee continues to make good progress.