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Clergy couple launches First Response Ministry

If interim ministers are supposed to help congregations recover from sudden loss of a pastor, why does it take so long to find the interim?

Enter “First Response Ministry” (FRM), ministers ready to accept quick placement to support churches that have lost a pastor to unexpected death, a debilitating illness, a family tragedy, or misconduct.

Edie Gause and Andrew Short, longtime pastors who married recently, have launched a training program for FRM specialists, developed in cooperation with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. The first training event will be held this spring at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, N.M. To qualify, candidates must be qualified and experienced interim ministers, be endorsed by their presbytery’s Committee on Ministry, and be available to move quickly to a new crisis situation.

“They also must possess the spiritual-emotional readiness to serve in an often tense, disturbing, and intense grief situation; and the ability to be a calming pastoral presence for a short time with little-or-no local preparation,” explains Gause.

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