Emmanuel’s church council is excited to recommend the Rev. Arturo Lewis to the congregation to serve as Associate Pastor beginning November 1. Rev. Lewis will focus on youth and family ministry and discipleship, assisting me with preaching and serving as a representative and advocate for Emmanuel’s ministry and outreach into the larger community. Pastor Judy Wheeler will continue to serve in the role of Pastoral Associate focusing primarily on pastoral care, prayer concerns, children’s ministry and facilitating the several groups she is involved in and leads. The new Associate Pastor position will be part time and will not result in any additional monies needed for pastoral staff in 2018. Pastor Judy and I have both agreed to take a salary reduction beginning in 2018 in order to fund the new position. In order to compensate for these reductions, Pastor Judy will be given the summer off next year and I will take an additional four weeks off primarily in January/February. This will insure that there is always pastoral staff available for congregational needs and emergencies. In addition, Rev. Arturo will fill the pulpit in my absence 8 to 10 times per year. Rev. Lewis is an ordained American Baptist Minister, endorsed by ABCNJ and completed his theological graduate work at Princeton Seminary. He is currently adjunct professor at William Paterson College teaching sociology of religion and world religions. Rev. Lewis has pastored several churches and been involved with at risk youths as a mentor and program facilitator. He has served as a life coach, motivational speaker and community activist with a particular passion for social justice issues. He and his wife Debra are long time Ridgewood residents. I believe Rev. Arturo will add a new dimension to Emmanuel’s ministry as an inclusive, interfaith, and diverse Christian congregation. A congregational meeting is scheduled for Oct. 29, immediately after the morning service to vote on the new associate. As well, Rev. Lewis will be available on that morning to meet with any youth and/or their parents who would like to get to know him at 9:15 in the Peace Lounge. If you haven’t heard Rev. Lewis preach, he will be filling the pulpit for me on Oct. 8 when I am away. Please pray for this process and try to be in attendance in the coming weeks as we head toward the call of a new Associate Pastor. If you have any specific questions or would like to take a look at Rev. Lewis’s resume, just contact me or the church office.