Intentional Interim News

October 15, 2019

Dear Friends of Community Church,

As Community Church is busy with our fall programming, we want to share an update on our pastoral transition. As you know there have been discussions about bringing in an Interim Minister to lead us after Bob and Casey Baggott retire in late January. The Search Committee is working diligently to find a Senior Minister who is just the right fit for our congregation for many years. Though he or she may appear at any time, we feel it is prudent to call an Interim Minister to ensure that we have great leadership during this transitional time. Thanks to the extensive and nationwide networking by the Senior Minister Search Committee this year, a number of highly qualified clergy have come to our attention as interim candidates. With valuable input from Bob Baggott and the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ, the Transition Team interviewed several highly skilled ministers.

We are excited to share that we have reached an agreement with Reverend Dr. Anna V. Copeland to be our Intentional Interim Minister. Dr. Copeland and her husband, Ellis, visited Vero Beach over the past few days to tour our beautiful seaside community. She met with all the staff, the Transition Team, some of our lay leadership and the Baggotts. She is not a candidate for the permanent Senior Minister position. Dr. Copeland is an ideal fit to lead our congregation through this time of transition. The Copelands will relocate here fulltime from their home in Colorado in January to serve until a new senior minister is called.

Dr. Copeland served churches of all sizes in Colorado, Illinois and Maine with the United Church of Christ, and now consults and provides leadership for the wider church. She holds a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a Doctorate of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary, as well as a Masters in Counseling Psychology from the University of Nebraska. In 2010 she and her husband founded The Copeland Institute, A Healthy Habits for Life Retreat Center in the Rocky Mountains. Dr. Copeland is trained in interim ministry and has an extensive involvement within the wider church and the community. The Copelands have five children and nine grandchildren. They enjoy adventure travel and wilderness sports and are especially thrilled to be a part of the Community Church family during our transition.

Bob and Casey’s last Sunday will be January 19, 2020 with a celebration planned for that weekend. They will also be away during November, and we will welcome several wonderful guest ministers to Community Church during that time. These preachers are not candidates for our senior minister position. The Search Committee is still very hard at work and will be providing an update soon on their progress.

As our pastoral transition moves forward please keep our clergy, staff, the Search Committee, our congregation and Dr. Copeland in your prayers. We are blessed to have found such an experienced and enthusiastic minster to serve with us during this time. All shall be well!

The Transition Team

Amy Banov, Tom Richards, Wil Murphy
Allison Matsik, Moderator