Announcement: Staff Update

Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church is delighted to announce that on June 1, 2021
The Reverend Werner Ramirez will transition into a new role at the church as the Associate Pastor for Congregational Care and Family Ministries.

The Personnel Committee has been prayerfully seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we discuss the best configuration of staff for the next chapter of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church’s ministry.

After it was announced that Reverend Dunn would move into the Parish Visitor role in the spring of 2021, Reverend Ramirez approached the senior pastor and Personnel Committee to discuss his sense of call. Werner shared his deep interest in the area of congregational care.

After multiple conversations with Werner and an in-depth discussion of his pastoral gifts, the Personnel Committee unanimously concluded that this proposed shift, at this time, would be a blessing for the congregation.

The Rev. Ramirez describes the conversation in this way: “When I began thinking about this transition, I wondered if this was the Holy Spirit speaking. So, I asked Dr. Black Johnston and our Personnel Committee to discern with me. I told them how I longed to know more of the congregation, and how I have admired the Deacons from afar. The Committee prayed with me, asked me great questions, and together we discerned that this is where the Spirit was moving.” 

Reverend Ramirez will continue to work with Family Ministries and lead the youth group. “I truly believe that congregational care involves the whole congregation—from birth to death. It will be a great honor to journey alongside people from every part of this congregation.”

Werner’s colleagues are also excited by this change. “The moment that Werner asked me to tell him more about what it’s like to work with the Deacons, I felt a sense of relief and joy,” said Reverend Dunn. “Werner is one of the most pastoral people I know, and I cannot imagine anyone to whom I would be happier to pass the baton.”

In reflecting on this change, Dr. Scott Black Johnston remarks, “This is a such good thing. It is good for Werner and it is good for a community dedicated to extending Christ’s love to each other. Werner’s personal warmth and kindhearted piety will bless this church again and again.”

All of these changes will have a domino effect on the staff:
*As of June 1, 2021, Werner will no longer be the clergyperson responsible for ministry with our 20s + 30s members.
*The APNC (Associate Pastor Nominating Committee) chaired by Ken Henderson will be searching two positions: for an Executive Pastor and for an Associate Pastor for Young Adults and Membership.
*We plan to add someone from the 20’s + 30’s group to the APNC at an upcoming congregational meeting.

“The 20s + 30s group have been a source of great joy in my ministry here, and I love them. I am confident that the APNC and the Holy Spirit will find the right person to lead them going forward,” said Rev. Ramirez. 

Stay tuned for updates on both of these searches, and congratulate Werner when next you see him on Zoom!

In Christ,
Joyce Hansen,
Personnel Committee Chair