An Explosion of New

by | Sep 19, 2022

I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?        

Isaiah 43:19a

Last Tuesday we had a very productive Presbytery meeting. There were so many new ministries celebrated that I honestly feel that years from now, we might look back on this meeting and give thanks to God for giving us the opportunity to strike out on new paths, as we seek to welcome more of our neighbors into the “big tent” of Christ’s grace.

Upon recommendation of the Commission on Ministry, we welcomed four pastors into ministry, all from different backgrounds. Rev. Dr. Erik Wiebe, the only one of the four already ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA), is the new Associate Pastor for Adult Spiritual Formation and Pastoral Care for San Marino Community Church. He comes to us from Santa Barbara Presbytery, and we hope to soon receive his wife Kate, also a minister member of Santa Barbara Presbytery.

Rev. Dr. KyungMo Koo is the new pastor of Divine Light Presbyterian Church. Most recently, Rev. Koo was a professor and an ordained minister of the Korean Presbyterian Church Abroad (KPCA), a denomination with whom the PC(USA) has a close reciprocal relationship.

A ministry plan for a new worshiping community in Temple City was approved. The plan, originally conceived by Ruling Elder Andrew Ritiau, creates a partnership between Westminster Presbyterian Church in Temple City and Arcadia Community Church, where Andrew was serving and first led a similar ministry. The Presbytery commissioned Andrew to be pastor for this new ministry.

Northminster’s pastor, Rev. Dr. Charles Campbell, has decided to go half-time, and their session created a co-pastor model so that Charlie could continue to share his outstanding gifts in worship leadership. The session requested that the Presbytery authorize the ministry of Sam Bang to serve as Co-Pastor for Congregational Life, focusing on pastoral care, administration, and connecting with the community. Sam brings over twenty years of pastoral experience in Christian Reformed and other churches, and administrative leadership at Fuller Seminary. Sam is also on Presbytery staff, and will continue serving the Presbytery part-time as he serves Northminster half-time.

The Presbytery also received a first-year report from Interwoven new worshiping community, and approved second-year funding. Another new worshiping community, Haven, was also endorsed to be enrolled with the Office of the General Assembly. Interwoven and its team, led by Harlan Redmond, continues to fine-tune their ministry as they offer a prophetic voice for justice and significant

commitment especially to those seeking spiritual, emotional, familial, and economic healing and development. Harlan carries on in spirit the legacy of community development that was at the heart of South Hills Presbyterian Church. Haven, initially led by Rev. Dr. Vikki Randall, seeks to be a welcoming family for LGBTQIA students and their families, people of faith who seek a spiritual home that offers God’s love and affirmation. Both these new worshiping communities received $10,000 seed grants from the national church.

I am so grateful that we are able to partner with and support these gifted and faithful pastors as they open our church to more of God’s children, especially those who have not been traditionally served by the PC(USA). These ministries also represent a diversity of cultural, theological, and socioeconomic backgrounds—diverse, yet committed to work together in mutual respect for the sake of the gospel. Thanks be to God!

As we look ahead to 2023, we also have begun to make plans. The Presbytery approved the following minimum compensation standards for our pastors, as follows:











Professional Expense Reimbursable




Study Leave Expense Reimbursable




BoP medical/pension









  1. Minimum BoP medical dues $11,500
  2. General guidelines for reimbursable expenses: half-time solo pastor gets 100%, if not may be pro-rated
  3. See revised Presbytery Minimum Policy for leave policies, including Personal Time Off (or equivalent) of 12 days per year (or 6 days at half-time; no accrual from year to year) which can be used for various personal needs such as sick leave, jury duty, personal or parental responsibilities. At any time, 3 days shall be available for sick leave.

The schedule for Presbytery meetings in 2023 was also announced:

  • Saturday, February 4 at 9:00 am
  • Tuesday, April 25 at 7:00 pm (Zoom meeting)
  • Saturday, June 17 at 9:00 am (Day of Service)
  • Tuesday, September 19 at 7:00 pm (Zoom meeting)
  • Saturday, November 18 at 9:00

In this Presbytery meeting, we committed Presbytery resources to new ministries with prayer and hope. These actions are not easy or guaranteed; COM is now working to provide training in Presbyterian polity and practice to help prepare pastors who are new to Presbyterian ministry, church members are adjusting to changes in their churches, and we must always remember that new worshiping communities do not automatically grow into established congregations. But I have seen God bless us when we are obedient, sometimes in ways we do not expect. Yet they are learning experiences and cause for gratitude, as God continues to give us even more than we need.

My prayer, and my belief, is that we will look back on this meeting and be glad and maybe even a little bit proud of what we started, in service to Jesus Christ.

In peace and hope,