From Rev. Will Ed Green: Transitioning well

June 09, 2022

Greetings, Beloved!

I have been blessed these last six years to serve as one of your pastors and ministry co-collaborators at Foundry. You have profoundly blessed me, and I will carry all that we have learned together with me for the rest of my ministry.

Pastoral transitions can be hard for us all. Once I begin serving as Silver Spring’s Lead Pastor on July 1, I will no longer be one of your pastors. This means our relationship must change. This is not to deny the bonds we have created over the years, but to allow me to be fully present to the new congregation and for you to have space to welcome Pastor Jonathan Brown as your new Associate Pastor and Director of Discipleship. The Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference policy for clergy transitions clarifies the changes we need to make for a healthy transition. The policy states:

  • “At of the effective date of a new appointment, a pastor shall immediately cease all pastoral counseling and pastoral visitation with members or member families in the previous appointment. Since appointments are generally announced several weeks in advance, each pastor has adequate time in which to effect closure and make appropriate referral to another for the pastoral care of members.”
  • “Pastors shall have a clear understanding with former congregations that they will not return to officiate at baptisms, weddings and funerals, or do pastoral counseling or pastoral visitation in that parish. Pastors, active or retired, shall respectfully decline to participate in such duties when invited by members of a former congregation. Declining all such invitations is the responsibility of the previous pastor. The present pastor, at his or her discretion, may invite the previous pastor to return for pastoral functions. However, the present pastor should never be under any pressure to invite the previous pastor. This policy is ongoing and doesn’t have an expiration date.”

You will also notice a change in our relationship on social media. In order to create needed space, I will no longer regularly comment on or respond to your posts, even as I begin to do that with members of Silver Spring UMC. Please know that this does not mean I do not care or celebrate the good things in your life! I will simply need to turn my attention toward the people I am now called to serve. Please honor these covenant expectations of our Annual Conference and pray for me — as I will for you — as we live into a new season of ministry.

I am grateful for my colleagues at Foundry — including Pastor Jonathan — who will continue to offer powerful and loving ministry as your pastors and partners in ministry. And I celebrate in the knowledge that, just as you accepted me when I walked in the doors of Foundry six years ago, you will receive Pastor Jonathan with open hearts and arms.

Moving forward, I will continue using the skills and wisdom you’ve shared to do the hard work of prophecy, pursuing justice, and proclaiming God’s radical grace and welcome. Most of all, I promise to pray for you and for your continued growth as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Much Peace,

Pastor Will