After an 18-month search, the Packanack Community Church in Wayne is pleased to announce that on July 26 the congregation voted unanimously to call Rev. Julia Bertalan to serve as their Senior Minister.
Reverend Bertalan has served the last seven years as the pastor of a small, rural church in Millbury, Ohio but is familiar with our region. She attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and has family residing in Northern New Jersey. She is married to her husband, Dylan, and they are the proud parents of three children, aged 2, 4, and 6, of which she described as “my beautiful, joyful, handfuls.”
Pastor Julia has all of the qualifications and characteristics that the search committee was seeking—someone who demonstrates a calm, generous, creative, and passionate manner regarding their ministry while possessing exceptional leadership qualities coupled with administrative abilities.
But the search to find such a person proved to be long and above all, challenging.
During the search for the new pastor, 30 profiles were reviewed, seven candidates were interviewed, two finalists were chosen before a final selection was presented to the congregation. Any search, even in the best of times is long and complicated, however, this one became more so as the interview process was about to commence. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented in-person interviews, sermons, and later candidate-led Sunday services. But with the help of technology, these obstacles were overcome, and a new pastor was ultimately selected.
Pastor Julia is expected to begin her new calling in mid-October, and has a message for her new congregation and community: “I am looking forward to getting to know each of your stories, passions, and callings as I begin my ministry with you.”
Sunday in-person services begin at 10:00 a.m. (with COVID-19 protocols) and are also available by visiting www.packanack.com to view online.