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For many years, the United Church of Christ (UCC), the denomination to which AHCC belongs, has recommended that UCC churches convene a Pastoral Relations Committee (PRC) to serve as a resource to and support for the senior pastor while also serving as a mechanism through which a congregation can care personally for its senior pastor. At the request of Rev. Erica Thompson, who had the benefit of a PRC at the church she served previously, and with support from lay leaders, AHCC has decided to adopt this recommended “best practice.”

The AHCC Pastoral Relations Committee’s advisory mission is to support the senior pastor’s leadership while promoting a constructive, open, and mutually satisfying relationship between the pastor and members of the congregation. A more complete statement of the PRC’s mission is posted on the AHCC web site. Because the committee serves both the senior minister and the congregation, it is important that church members familiarize themselves with its mission; to that end, you are strongly encouraged to click here.

Because of the PRC’s unique role (which is quite distinct from the governance role played by the diaconate or the personnel committee), its members, chosen by Erica herself, are individuals who know our senior pastor well and with whom she has developed a deep sense of personal trust. Erica will be able to confer with PRC members about personal concerns or hopes, trusting that sensitive matters will be held in confidence. More than half of the PRC’s members (including Francis Vincent, who will chair the PRC) served as members of the senior minister search committee, and this continuity or overlap when forming a PRC also is recommended by the UCC.

Members of AHCC’s Pastoral Relations Committee are:

· Linda Campanella: member over 20 years, former vice moderator (when Erica was first called to AHCC) and moderator, as well as former member of several AHCC committees. Linda.campanella1@gmail.com, (860) 690-5891

· Jim Cox-Chapman, MD: member over 20 years, former Every Member Canvass co-chair, currently member of the Stewardship Committee and Thrift Shop volunteer. jcoxchap@comcast.net, (860) 539-6775

· Rev. Gary DeLong: member for 5 years, Senior Minister Search Committee member, Outreach Committee former chair, Associate Pastor’s Search Committee co-chair, retired UCC senior minister. gadelong44@gmail.com, (207) 266-1693

· Kathleen Graham: member over 20 years, on staff as AHCC’s  Director of Children and Family Ministries for 9 years. kcoopergraham@gmail.com, (860) 906-8993

· Tom Pringle: member for many years, service on several church committees. Thomas.pringle@lpl.com, (860) 508-2096

· Dahlia Rivera: member for 7 years, former chair of Women’s Spirituality and Fellowship Committee. riveradahlia@yahoo.com, (860) 716-2372

· Francis Vincent: member for 5 years, Senior Minister Search Committee member, former member of Membership Committee. flvinc@gmail.com, (860) 778-5248

“We are honored to serve as stewards in maintaining an open and healthy relationship between Erica and the members of AHCC,” said PRC chair Francis Vincent.

All members of the PRC are available to answer questions about their role or to field concerns relating to the senior pastor’s relationship with the congregation.