Foundry Vision and Clergy Transition

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Dear Friends,


Earlier this year, the Management Board formed a special working group to address the recommendations of the “Beaumont Report,” a leadership systems analysis conducted at our request by Rev. Susan Beaumont.  The report urged Foundry to develop a multi-year staffing plan, giving priority to reshaping our overall staffing structure in order to address critical program and administrative needs.


In particular, the report recommended reevaluating the structure of the executive team and redefining the roles and relationships within the team.  Currently, the executive team consists of the Senior Pastor, the Executive Pastor/Chief of Staff, and the Associate Pastor/Chief Operating Officer.  Prior to the working group beginning its study of the recommendations, Pastor Dawn informed Pastor Ginger of her discernment to leave Foundry.  With this information, the working group was able to consider a variety of opportunities for restructuring.


Throughout this process, the working group relied on scripture, prayer, and God’s grace to guide us.  Our purpose throughout was to strengthen the shared ministries of Foundry’s clergy, staff, and laity in order to more powerfully embody Foundry’s mission, developmental vision, and core values.


The vision emerging from the working group and affirmed by the Board will bring important changes to the Foundry staff.  They include the departure of another beloved member of our clergy team.  Rev. Al Hammer, Associate Pastor/COO, will be transitioning off the staff at the end of January 2018.  Pastor Al has served Foundry for 7-1/2 years.  During those years, we have been grateful for his management of two capital campaigns, his work to strengthen our Finance Department, and his shepherding of our Stewardship Ministry.  His presence and specialized expertise will be missed.


We want to be transparent about our vision as we move forward.  With that in mind, you are receiving in addition to this message an organization chart identifying proposed shifts in our staff.  These changes will be implemented over the next months, as follows:


+     By February 1, 2018, we expect to implement our decision to reconceive the current Associate Pastor/COO position as a non-clergy Church Business Administrator position.


+     By July 1, 2018, in line with the clergy appointment calendar, we will implement our decision to replace the Executive Pastor/Chief of Staff with an Associate Pastor/Director of Hospitality and Congregational Care.  This position will be charged with strengthening pastoral care, upgrading our hospitality, and improving staff development.


+     By July 1, 2018, we expect to adjust the ministry portfolio and title of the Director of Connecting Ministries in order to focus that position more fully on adult discipleship.


+     By July 1, 2018, we will begin to implement our decision to add a communications staff position and a full-time executive assistant position to support the Senior Pastor.


The anticipated role adjustments and reallocation of salary dollars reflect changes we believe are key to the flourishing of our church.  We view these changes as a strategic reimagining of Foundry’s resources and leadership system.  As you review and ponder this vision, be assured that Foundry Church is fully committed to maintaining racial, gender, age, and orientation diversity on our clergy and staff team. 


In the new staff team construct, the Senior Pastor will have more direct oversight of other clergy and staff than in the current structure.  We believe that implementing the transition from Associate Pastor/COO to Church Business Administrator is the appropriate first step, because it will allow a gradual shift in the Senior Pastor’s responsibilities, taking advantage of Pastor Dawn’s availability during the next six months to take the lead in orienting new staff hires, including the Church Business Administrator.


The working group’s goals beyond those outlined above include additional administrative and program support positions.  As we move forward, we will seek additional ways to fund our emerging staffing plan.


These changes will affect our Foundry community in ways we believe will be beneficial over the long term.  In the near term, we look forward to celebrating with you our great love and appreciation for the ministry of Pastor Al.


Ginger E. Gaines-Cirelli      

Senior Pastor                                                                             

Gwen Williamson

President, Management Board

Updated Foundry Staffing Chart from August 2017