Transitional Steering Committee Updates

The Presbyterian Church in Geneva is in the beginning stages of the important process of seeking a pastor to succeed Pastor Deb after she retires in Fall 2020. We, the Transition Steering Committee, aim to keep you informed during this process. You’ll find a new category (Pastor Search) in the top menu of our church website and clicking on this will take you to a page with lots of information.

The process of seeking a pastor is one of discernment and it will challenge us to listen closely for the will of God as we head toward this new stage in our congregation’s life. Please keep our church and all search participants in your prayers.

We encourage you to explore the resources on the Pastor Search page and to contact any one of us with questions or concerns.


Transition Steering Committee (Virginia Champlin, Mat DeMoras, Walt Gage, Chris Gerling, Gary Harman, Beth Newell)

Retirement Tribute to Pastor Deb from Beth Newell

Retirement Tribute to Pastor Deb
from Beth Newell

The following tribute to Pastor Deb was shared by Beth Newell at the September Presbytery Meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

It is an honor for Lisa Gage and me to say a few words about Pastor Deb upon her retirement from over 30 years of ministry.

My part is to share with you a bit about the arc of Deb’s ministry before she came to Geneva and her engagement with our Presbytery and the PCUSA. 

The Rev. Dr. Deborah Deanne Lind-Schmitz was ordained as a minister of Word and Sacrament in 1989 at the Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church near Minneapolis.  She had recently received her Master of Divinity Degree from the United Theological Seminary.  In 2006 she completed her Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Seminary. 

Before arriving in Geneva, Deb served in the Midwest (Minn, IA and WI) as a campus minister, an installed pastor, and an interim pastor in mostly presbyterian churches but also United Methodist Churches.  In many cases, she was the first female pastor.

Deb found herself drawn to interim ministry – the ministry of redevelopment and transition in churches undergoing change.  She strengthened her skills through the Interim Ministry Network and served on the National Board of Directors of this organization. And it was her experience and gifts in transitional ministry that brought her to us in Geneva in 2013. 

It has been said that all ministry is interim ministry.  As Paul Rack wrote in The Presbyterian Outlook, “Jesus comes into the world for healing, liberation, and deliverance…all of which mean change.  Jesus was about transformation, not stability.  Rack continues: “At its best, interim ministry shifts a congregation’s focus from past to future and opens up a congregation to the new things the Holy Spirit is doing, and will continue to do, among them.”   Well, although the plan was for Deb to serve as an interim just until we completed our search for an installed pastor, God had other plans.  Deb became our installed pastor in 2014 and she has been helping us be open to new things the Holy Spirit is calling us to be and do ever since. 

Beyond our church, Deb has shared her time and talents with Presbytery, including the Committees on Ministry and Operations. She organized and helped chaperone our region’s contingent to last year’s Youth Triennium.  In both the Twin Cities and here she has been engaged in PCUSA peacemaking efforts, serving as a peacemaking ambassador to Hungary and engaged as a local organizer for the 2020 Mosaic of Peace trip to the Holy Land that unfortunately was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

I’ve skipped over a lot of the details of Pastor Deb’s long career as a minister, and her earlier work as a choir director and teacher of piano, voice and organ.  How can the impact of a 30+ year career be captured in a few short comments?  It can’t. But one thing you can be sure of Deb: the congregations you’ve led, the individuals you’ve pastored, and the people with whom you’ve worked all remember and cherish those interactions.


PNC Update – October 7, 2020

The Pastoral Nominating Committee (PNC) has met via Zoom over two dozen times in the last four months. Immediately after Session and the Committee on Ministry approved our congregation’s Ministry Information Form (MIF) in August, the document was uploaded to PC(USA)’s computer system, which matches us with prospective candidates. An ad was also placed in The Presbyterian Outlook. The committee has received several self referrals and computer matches from PCUSA. We continue to review Personal Information Forms (PIFs) and conduct interviews. Please keep in mind that PNC Committee members cannot disclose any information about prospective candidates or interviews. Thank you for your prayers!

Ministry Information Form

PNC Update – August 11, 2020

The Pastoral Nominating Committee (PNC) is pleased to report that Session and the Committee on Ministry recently approved the congregation’s Ministry Information Form (MIF). The MIF provides a narrative picture of the mission and ministry of our congregation as well as our sense of call. According to the Church Leadership Connection’s resource for PNCs, On Calling a Pastor, “prospective pastors will use the form to help them discern whether God is calling them to serve our church”. The MIF has been uploaded to the computer system, which will match us with prospective candidates. As we begin to receive the first batch Personal Information Forms (PIFs), we are preparing for interviews. If you’d like to peruse the MIF, click on the link below, Thank you for your prayers!

Ministry Information Form

PNC Update – July 20, 2020

The Pastor Nominating Committee of The Presbyterian Church in Geneva has met every Monday evening since late May. We’ve completed the Ministry Information Form for our pastor search and are pleased to report that the MIF was unanimously accepted by Session.

PNC Update – June 16, 2020

The Pastor Nominating Committee of The Presbyterian Church in Geneva has met four times since late May. We are hard at work writing and completing the Ministry Information Form for our pastor search. Check back this summer for updates on our progress.

Pastor Nominating Committee Created

At the May17th Congregational Meeting the nominating committee presented and the congregation voted unanimously to approve the following slate of candidates for the Pastor Nominating Committee:

Henry Augustine
Ruth Benedict
Sigrid Carle
Lisa Gage
Bill Lamb
Donna Newcomb
David Phillips
Ethan Powell
Andrea Robertson

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they begin the process to find a new pastor.

Congregational Meeting, Sunday, March 17, 2020

On behalf of the nominating committee, all active members are invited to a congregational meeting at 11:30 am, Sunday, May 17, 2020 for the purpose of electing a Pastor Nominating Committee. Please keep in mind that you must “attend” the meeting in order to vote, either by using Zoom via your computer, mobile device or by calling on the phone.

For further information about the meeting and how to “attend,” please read the letter from the co-chairs of the Nominating Committee.

April 16 Update from Transition Steering Committee

We are one step closer to starting our search for a new pastor!

Our church’s Mission Study Report was approved by the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry (COM) on April 2.  If you would like to read this report, you’ll find a link to an electronic version on the Pastor Search webpage. The Mission Study Report describes who we are as a church, our:

  • mission
  • programs
  • membership
  • finances

Presbyterian Church in Geneva Mission Study Report

This report describes our church – its mission, programs, membership, finances – and our strengths and challenges.  It also describes our community and our hopes for the future.  Please click on the link below to view the report.


Videos on the process of calling a pastor

On Calling a Pastor Video Introduction (4 min)

This is an introduction to the process.