First Presbyterian Church

of Woodbury Heights

Thank you to our dedicated Pastoral Nominating Committee!


Congregational Update, Presented on June 25, 2023


Good morning from your PNC !


After 16 months and 2 days or (69 weeks and 3 days), or (486 total days), 3 major surgeries, 1 pregnancy, multiple cases of COVID and other illnesses, we are extremely happy  to announce that we have extended an offer to a candidate and said candidate has accepted our offer!!!


His name is William Cosnett but you can call him “Will.”  He was born and raised in N.Y. state, but currently resides right here in Gloucester County!  He is married to a Methodist Church minister and they have 2 young children.  You’ll be learning more about Will, his family and his background very soon. We think you’re going to like him as much as we do!


Because of Presbytery rules and protocol, there are additional steps required in the overall process before we are able to recognize Will as our official new pastor.  You, the congregation, will be given the opportunity to hear Will preach, and after the service is over you will then review his “terms of call” and conduct any discussion as needed based on those terms.  Once all discussion is completed you will then vote on their approval or rejection, but we wanted to share this great news with you so that you can begin to spread the good word!


This was a very rigorous process, and all of us on the PNC would like to thank you for your support, trust, and patience while we did God’s work.  If I could, I’d like to take just a moment to recognize one more time the dedicated people on the PNC if they’re here today:  John Pitchford, Helen Geserick, Erin Zorio, Liz Billings-Santora, Kathy Pedicone, Sue Reim, and of course, it was my honor to be your MC !



Congregational Update, Presented on April 23, 2023


Good morning from your PNC committee!


I’d like to start by saying that even though the last time I spoke to the congregation was several months ago, please know that we continue to work very diligently for you, our church, and congregation, and that we continue to meet on a regular basis which is normally every week with a very few exceptions.


With that being said, I’m very happy to let you know that we currently have a number of, what we consider to be, good potential candidates available to us for further investigation and to conduct interviews with. This is new territory for us. Throughout our entire almost 14 month process we have never had multiple candidates like the ones that we have now. This has given our entire committee a renewed sense of energy, focus, and hopefulness. Two of these candidates are actually self referrals, which means they saw that we are looking for a pastor and after reviewing our information, they liked what they saw and came to us on their own. It’s nice to have choices and options in our list of candidates!


This doesn’t mean that the hard work is over. The work won’t be complete until we have a new pastor, but now we have more than one path forward, we have choices! And those choices still mean finding the best possible candidate for our particular situation here in Woodbury Heights.


Please continue to pray for our committee and our work as we can use all the help we can get. We will continue to keep you updated as our search continues.


Congregational Update, Presented on January 15, 2023


Good morning from your PNC committee!


In my last announcement, on November 6th, I told you that we’ve been interviewing potential pastoral candidates based on their personal information forms that we receive through the Church Leadership Connection. Well… since that last announcement we now have a new system from presbytery that’s in place. This new system is called “My next call” and it has its own website totally separate from our old “Church Leadership Connection”.


As we went through our work process on a weekly basis our committee, along with other PNC committees, found numerous flaws and drawbacks in the old CLC system. We expressed our concerns and reasoning to Presbytery, and because of all of the feedback that’s been passed along to them they listened! and decided to implement a newer more user friendly tool in the form of the “My next Call” website. This new system is currently live and in use, but on a small scale to begin with. Currently 15 presbyteries in the greater NY and Phila Metro region are able to use this system. The long term plan is to have this system in place across the country, but completion of this won’t be accomplished until sometime later this year. The old CLC system is still available to us and has some things that the new system does not address yet so we are able to utilize both systems for now. 


We continue to conduct interviews via zoom meetings on our laptops either from home or from here at the church. Although we’ve had a large number of very broad general matches from the old CLC system, our number of more specifically targeted matches has been much less. While we are trying to be open minded and inclusive of as many potentially qualified candidates as possible, we’re also trying to keep in mind what you, the congregation, might

consider as a “well qualified” candidate. While we feel like we’re moving in the right direction, we also know this is a very slow and arduous task. We need to find more good matches that will help make us feel like we are doing all we can to find the best possible candidate for us all.


Our committee is still totally engaged and as enthusiastic as we were on day one and we’ll continue our search until the job is done! Please pray for our committee as we do God’s work!


We will continue to keep you informed as we progress.


Thank You


Our email:


Congregational Update, Presented on November 6, 2022


Good morning from your PNC committee!


We’ve been working on this assignment now for a little over 36 weeks, and we want you all to know that we are still just as focused and determined as we were from day one when we began this process back on February 23rd!


The last time I spoke with you I was telling you that we were working on a job description for our prospective new pastor (that seems like eons ago in our work).  This was completed, and we’ve had our Ministry Information Form posted on the Church Leadership Connection, where prospective pastors can view our information as well as allowing us to view their information.  Debby Brincivalli, our Executive Presbyter, has been sending us matches for our church and we’ve been reviewing these matches on a weekly basis so we can chose the ones that we feel are the best fit for our particular situation.


We’ve been through a fairly large number of possible candidates, but so far there’s only been a small number of candidates that we feel match with us in a way that would be a good fit for us. We’ve begun an interviewing process with these candidates via Zoom conference calls, and we’ll continue this process as long as necessary “to get our man! Or woman”! We continue to receive matches from the CLC and we’ll continue to evaluate those matches as they’re received.


I think by now we all recognize that this is a long process but we feel like we’re continuing to make good progress and we will keep you informed as we move forward.


Thank you.


July 23rd Update, sent to the congregation via email:

**Message to the Congregation from the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC):

The PNC achieved a significant milestone last week.  We received notice that our church’s Ministry Information Form (MIF) has obtained all required approvals, and we have uploaded it onto the Church Leadership Connection database.  What does this mean?  It means that a matching process can begin, and we will start receiving referred candidates.  In fact, we have already received our first batch of candidates for consideration!  We can see God’s light guiding us as we continue in this process.

Congregational Update, Presented on July 10, 2022


Good morning!


It’s been seven weeks since I last spoke with you about our progress back on May 22nd. And at that time I ended my talk by saying that I was hopeful that the next time we spoke it would be to tell you that we’ve received all of our approvals to move forward with our search!


Well…………..   GOOD NEWS!


I’m here to tell you that we have received those approvals. We first met with Session on June 29th to have them review our work (aka MIF or Ministry Information Form) and from there we had to submit to Presbytery, and we received their approval as well, along with an approval letter from the (COM) Commission on Ministry.


We’re now working on a job description for the prospective new pastor, which we will post to go along with our MIF on the CLC (Church Leadership Connection).  This is the electronic bulletin board where churches seeking a new pastor and prospective pastors share information and get together.


We expect our information to be posted within the next few days and from there we will see if and how many potential matches we have. Debby Brincivalli, our Executive Presbyter, will review the matches prior to forwarding to us, the PNC, so that we may then begin the process of finding our best match.


So, as you can, see we’re making good progress and we will keep you in the loop as we move forward.


Thank you             


Congregational Update, Presented on May 22, 2022


Good morning!


On behalf of my fellow PNC members, I'd like to give you a brief update on where things stand as of today.  First, I want you to know that we've been working very hard for you.  We've been meeting since Feb. 23rd, and on average we've met once a week, making our number of meetings so far to be 13.  If you remember, when I first spoke to you I told you that our search for a new pastor could take as long as a year to a year and a half.  That's 52 to 78 weeks, so we are still early in this process, but I feel like we're making very good progress so far, and we are all still very motivated and enthused about doing this work!  This is a good group of people, and we are getting valuable input from everyone on the team!


Our job so far has been to thoroughly answer a number of questions related to our church and congregation, as well as to describe what we are looking for in a prospective new pastor.  We're very close to completing this part of our work, and as a matter of fact, we actually thought we had completed this last week.  But after a review by our presbytery rep, we were asked to go back and edit a couple of things that will make our answers more complete and thorough overall.  We expect to complete these finishing touches this week and will resubmit for approval.


So, that's where we are now and I will be back to update you more as things move along.  Hopefully in my next talk we will have all of our approvals to move forward and we will be talking about the next phase of our search!


Thank you.



 PNC Message #2


In the process of looking for a new pastor, we obviously are trying to find someone that we feel will be attractive for our congregational needs and will be a good fit for our particular situation.  And in turn, prospective pastors are looking for a church that they feel speaks to them in their individual call search and will fit their long term goals and help them spread God’s word in a way they can easily relate to.


In today’s modern world of the social media, the internet can help accomplish this for both parties - our congregation and the prospective new pastor.


Activity on our website, Facebook and Instagram are ways people can view our church from anywhere in the world with the touch of a button. We need to share our church life on all of these platforms in order to make ourselves known and attractive, not only for a new pastor but also to attract potential new members!  When we show and share our church activities on these various platforms, it allows others to see our story and helps them realize that we are viable and active in God’s work!


Some of you may remember the “Uncle Sam” posters that were used in the past as a recruiting tool for military recruitment. It showed Uncle Sam with a stern look on his face pointing his finger straight ahead at anyone looking at him and saying “I want you!” Now just envision your PNC members all pointing at you and saying the same thing. “WE want you !”


You can help our cause by simply going onto our website or Facebook or Instagram and just looking at the information that’s already posted. This will show activity, and the more activity the better!


Thank you in advance for your participation and help in this area. Uncle Sam made out pretty well and I know we can as well!


If you have questions on how to start this process or how to get onto our website or Facebook or Instagram, please feel free to contact our PNC Tech Team: Liz Billings or Erin Zorio.


Thank you



Congregational Update, Presented on February 27, 2022


Good morning.


On behalf of the Pastor Nominating Committee, AKA the PNC, I’ve been asked to speak with you for a few minutes about our recent initial meeting that took place on Wednesday evening, February 23rd.  We met for approximately 2 hours total, which included about an hour and a half of training and instruction with Debby Brincivalli and Wendy Kunz, and the final half hour just amongst ourselves.


The first thing I want to say is that this is not your father’s  PNC. The reason I say that is because the process has changed so much since the last time our congregation went through this back in 1985 (circa). The majority of this is now done electronically on the internet, and there are many preliminary steps that need to be completed and approved by Presbytery before you can move on to the next step.  It kind of reminds me of the old joke/question of, “How do you eat an elephant?” with the answer being, “One bite at a time!”  There are numerous requirements to be completed by the PNC and approved by Wendy and/or Debby before we can even begin to think about contacting a potential new pastor for our congregation.


When I first heard the timelines that were being quoted of a year to a year and a half to complete this process in finding a new pastor, I thought to myself, why will it take that long to get this search accomplished?  But now seeing how the process works, with all of the checks and double checks, along with dotting all the “i’s” and crossing all the “t’s” we have a better understanding of why this could potentially take so long.  With this said, I can assure you that our entire committee is committed to moving this process along as quickly and thoroughly as possible, for not only an expeditious completion, but one that will be the best result for the entire congregation.  I can also tell you that we have a very eager and enthusiastic group that is ready and willing to put in the due diligence to get the job done.


During our meeting we nominated each individual to positions of responsibility with the following results:


John Pitchford             Chair

Helen Geserick             Vice Chair

Erin Zorio                       Secretary

Liz Billings-Santora      Communicator (responsible for internet comm.)

Kathy Pedicone            Chaplain (who leads us in prayer)

Sue Reim & Kathy        Devotions (giving inspiration to the group)

Liz and Erin                    Technology team (leads us in social media areas)

Nolan Becker                Church Liaison (relaying progress to congregation)


We have committed to meeting once a week at a minimum, with the possibility of meeting more if we feel it will be advantageous to keep on schedule to complete tasks at hand. Please keep in mind that while our work is not secretive, it is confidential, and that we will not be able to share specifics with you while we are working to complete this search.


I’ll be communicating with you periodically when we feel we have news to share that would be of interest.  If you have questions as we move forward, feel free to ask anyone on the PNC, but again, please remember that our work is confidential and must remain that way to ensure the integrity of the process for our congregation and for the potential pastoral candidates.   


Thank you