Pastoral Search Committee

News From the Pastoral Search Committee

(MCC NOVA Pastoral Search Committee: Jeanne Bailey, Mark Fox , Micki Jones ,Cathryn Krebs , Virginia Miles, Frank Vance , Marilyn Villanueva)



Rev. Dr. Danny Spears (r) and Mr. Richard Lofstrand (l)

The MCC NOVA Pastoral Search Committee is pleased to  present the Reverend Doctor Danny Spears as our candidate for next settled  pastor.  Please read his brief statement of faith. Rev. Danny and his  spouse of 17 years will be visiting August 1st through 4th.

Please save the  following dates:  Saturday Aug 3rd – Open House 2-5 PM; Sunday Aug 4th – Worship  service with Rev. Dr. Danny Spears and Congregational Meeting immediately  following service.   

As plans for the weekend are finalized, we will be asking  for volunteers, including set-up and clean-up for the Open House.  Stay tuned  for updates and please continue to keep us in your prayers as we move through  this process.


The Pastoral Search Committee is excited to announce that we have selected a candidate for Senior Pastor! 


Come One, Come All and

Meet the Pastoral Candidate 

Rev. Dr. Danny Spears will be visiting MCC NOVA

August 1st thru August 4th


Stay tuned for activities and opportunities to meet Rev. Spears and his partner Richard Lofstrand.


 Rev. Dr. Danny Spears

Rev. Danny Spears (r) and Richard Lofstrand (l)

Rev. Danny Spears (r) and Richard Lofstrand (l)

The MCC NOVA Pastoral Search Committee is pleased to present the Reverend Doctor Danny Spears as our candidate for next settled pastor. We believe he possesses the top three professional skills you selected in our April 2013 survey: good oral and written communication, strong leadership and thought-provoking preaching – in addition to many other skills such as compassion, strong administration, and passion for people.  Many of his references commented on his open heart and mind; he is a deeply spiritual person who wants to learn and grow.

Attracted to MCC NOVA by our elastic theology, Rev. Spears shares our progressive theology as he states in part of his statement of faith: “Jesus shows humanity a way of ‘salvation’ through healthy and active love of God, neighbor and self. In so doing  we can be part of bringing the realm of all that is holy and just into clearer view in this life. I choose the path of Jesus and Christian community for not only my personal transformation, but also to enable me to be part of transforming our world.”

Rev. Spears’ roots are in Madisonville, Kentucky, where he grew up in the Pentecostal church. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Atlanta, Georgia, and worked in bookkeeping and accounting before being called to the ministry.

Since 1981, he was involved in various capacities as a lay person in MCC. He received ordination as MCC clergy in 2001 and served as pastor at MCC of Corpus Christi, Texas, from 2001 until 2007. He has served as pastor of Holy Covenant MCC in Brookfield, Illinois, since 2007. Rev. Spears is a member of MCC’s Judiciary Pool and MCC’s Advisory Council for Older Adults. He holds a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas. His primary gifts are administration, leadership, preaching and teaching.

Rev. Spears has specific interests in hunger issues and interreligious dialogue and cooperation both within and outside of MCC congregations; he believes such cooperation and dialogue is crucial for promoting and implementing the various justice issues of our time-what may be interpreted by some as making the kindom of God visible in the here and now.

Rev. Spears and Richard Lofstrand, his spouse of 17 years, share their home with their two cats, Powder and Tony. He is blessed to share in the family lives of Richard’s three children and three grandchildren, and enjoys cooking, reading, and exercise (he is a certified spinning instructor).




Did you get a chance to see the “What MCC NOVA Means to Me!” video either before or after service last week?  If not, you have another chance this Sunday, June 23rd before service begins. We will be showing the video beginning around 10:40 a.m. before worship begins.  It is a really great show starring amazing people – you!!  We will be posting a link to the video soon – so stay tuned.

You may have noticed (or will be noticing) some guest preachers.  These guest preachers ARE NOT associated with the pastoral search process.  We will let you know when we have a candidate for you to consider – but we are not quite there yet.  So where are we you ask?  We have diligently and prayerfully been considering the applications we received.  We are currently interviewing candidates.  We cannot stress enough how much we covet your prayers for us, for our next pastor, and for our process as we continue to discern Spirit’s leading.

Much Love,

Your Pastoral Search Committee
Marilyn, Cathryn, Micki, Ginny, Frank, Mark, and Jeanne



Thank you to all who were able to attend the meeting on May 5. It gave us a great opportunity to talk about what we have been doing – and what we have left to do. As you know, we are now in a waiting mode. We have put forth our information and now we must wait for candidates to respond. So – we ask that you join us in prayer as we let Spirit guide in our process.

We offer this simple prayer for this portion of our journey:

Dear God-

Thank you for MCC NOVA.
Help our church family and friends stay close to you in our search for a new settled pastor.
Give the PSC wisdom and patience in their journey.
Bless Rev. Onetta as she leads us through our time of transition.
Bless our next pastor as they prepare to join us – and Bless their community as they prepare for transition.





We are pleased to announce that we have completed the package we will provide to prospective pastoral candidates and are ready to accept applications! You can view the package here.

Did you see the results for Survey #2? We have updated the results to include a summary of the open-ended questions.  You can review the results here.

Come join us and the Board of Directors for BBQ and Discussion!

On May 5 following our regular worship service, the Board of Directors and the Pastoral Search Committee are hosting a meeting.  The PSC will be discussing the work we have done so far – where we are in our process – and what to expect next.   Come join us for a meal and take the opportunity to ask us those your questions!!  The meal (BBQ and all the fixings) will be provided by the Board of Directors and the PSC.

How do we learn more about what you are doing? Great question!  PSC members are available to answer your questions at any time. We will be available each Sunday after worship in the fellowship area – please stop by and speak with us.  You can also contact us by email at

On May 5th, the PSC will be available at the Congregational Forum and will spend time talking about our process and what to expect next.  We welcome your question and comments!

What is up with the video?  We are putting together a video that asks the question “What does MCC NOVA mean to you?” We will share this video with prospective candidates so that they get an idea of who we are and what about MCC NOVA is important to us.  Frank Vance will be available to record your answers after services. (Thanks Frank!)



Remember, when Easter week is over so is Survey #2!  As of this writing, 38 people have taken the survey. This is a great start, but we want to hear form each of you – so please take a moment to to take complete it here. We continue to lift up you up in our prayers and ask that you keep us in your prayers!


Your Pastoral Search Committee
Marilyn, Cathryn, Micki, Ginny, Frank, Mark, and Jeanne


If you did not have a chance to view the results of the first survey on the bulletin board on Sunday, you can see them here.



The MCC NOVA PSC Survey #1 has been closed and the results are in.  Thank you to the 83 (yes, you read that right) people who took the time to complete the survey. WOOHOO!! This is a fabulous first step in our process to identify who we are as the congregation of MCC NOVA.  The detailed survey results are available online for your review here.  We will also post a copy on the bulletin board by the suggestion box.

Here are some highlights:

We received responses from first-time and occasional attendees, as well as regular attendees.

About 20% of respondents have attended MCC NOVA less than 2 years and over 50% have attended 6 to 20+ years.  Previous church affiliations: First place – Methodists; Tied for second place – Catholics and Non-denominational; Tied for third place – Baptist and MCC.

This is just a first quick look – the PSC has put on their analytical caps and are busy compiling the data.  We will share more details as they are developed.



We have received 69 responses to Survey #1. Our goal is to have 80 people take this survey. If you have not had the opportunity to take this first survey – please take a moment and take it now!  This survey will close on Sunday, March 3rd.

So what’s next?  We will post the results of Survey #1 next week – so check back and see what we learned about ourselves. And of course, if we have Survey #1 – then there must be a Survey#2 right? Of course right! Stay tuned – more about Survey #2 next week.

Your Pastoral Search Committee


Inquiring minds want to know! 

If you have not had a chance to take our survey – it is not too late!!

Click here to take the survey.

Your input is important – so please take just a few minutes to let us know your thoughts. 52 people have responded so far – but we need to hear from everyone and that includes you!!  If you cannot take the survey online, there will be paper copies available at church on Sunday.  The survey will close at midnight next Sunday, March 3rd.

We will share the results with you when we close the survey – so stay tuned!  And don’t forget about the PSC suggestion box – you will find it in front of the bulletin board in the fellowship area.  We continue to keep you in our prayers and ask that you keep us in yours.


1. We have signed our covenant! This is our commitment to each other and to you, the congregation we serve.  You can view it here – please take a look.

2. The PSC met with Rev. Arlene Ackerman this week.  Rev. Ackerman is our mentor in this search process.  She answered a LOT of our questions and walked us thru the search process.  You can read about the search process on-line at:  About half way down the page you will find the resources for “Pastoral Search.”  These are the documents that we are reviewing and will help us in developing our search.  The document that describes the process we will be following is titled “MCC Pastoral Search Process 2012 Final.”  We are also referencing the book, The Pastoral Search Journey A Guide to Finding Your Next Pastor by John Vonhof. 

3. We need your input!!!!  In order to accurately describe our church/congregation to potential candidates, we need to hear from you.  We will be conducting two surveys. The first will help us describe our church family – who we are – how we participate. The second survey will help us understand your expectations for the new pastor’s role and characteristics.

Our first survey will be open from 2/17/13 to 3/3/13.  We will be sending everyone an email link to the survey – please fill yours out early!  Paper copies will also be available at the PSC suggestion box.  This is a really important part of the search process – knowing who we are and communicating that clearly to potential candidates.  We need YOUR input!!!!