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A Letter to the Congregation from the Transition Team

To the members of the Brick Presbyterian Church in the City of New York:

On behalf of the Transition Team of the Brick Presbyterian Church, I am delighted to announce the appointment of the Reverend Dr. Kimberly L. Clayton as the Transitional Pastor/Head of Staff, effective March 15, 2018.

Kim comes to us with an impressive history of experience within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), both as a pastor to four congregations and as faculty at the Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Kim is a graduate of Columbia Seminary (MDiv’84, DMin ’08) and most recently served as the Director of Contextual Education at Columbia. Before being called back to the seminary, Kim served as the Pastor/Head of Staff at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC.

The Transition Team began the process of searching for a Transitional Pastor in June, 2017 by discerning the needs of the congregation during this transitional period. The committee created a job description and implemented a nationwide search, resulting in 71 applications. Four finalists were brought to New York for a comprehensive interview. As a part of the interview process, the Transition Team asked each candidate to prepare and deliver a sermon to our committee.

With only a few days notice, Kim took the time to prayerfully reflect on the suggested lectionary and relate it not only to the timeliness of the weekend, but also to the transitional period the Brick Church is experiencing. Her sermon is indeed a reflection of the warm, thoughtful, deeply theological person we have come to know. Please find the sermon that Kim delivered here and read her words to us. (Click here to read Kim's sermon)

 Instrumental in the committee's ranking of Kim as the top choice among the applicants were the outstanding reference calls with those who know Kim well. They consistently described Kim as theologically and spiritually insightful, with a mastery of language that allows her to skillfully communicate in ways that are both accessible and thought provoking. They emphasized her warm, compassionate and insightful nature. These qualities will serve Kim well as she guides our congregation during this next phase of reflection, discernment and the search for a permanent Senior Pastor.

We are excited to welcome Kim and her family to our Brick Church family. Kim has two children, Jonathan and Katherine. Jonathan is an app developer living in Decatur, GA and Katherine is a student at Georgia State University. Kim’s partner in life, Melanie Sovine, holds a PhD in Medical Anthropology with a thirty-year history of work in HIV/AIDS. Together they have two dogs, Marisol and Bentley. 

We welcome Kim to the Brick Church as a guest preacher on March 11, 2018 and she will begin her official duties on March 15. We will have a welcoming reception after worship on April 8. Please join us in welcoming Kim and Melanie to the Brick Church.

This announcement marks the culmination of a rigorous search process to which many individuals contributed. First I would like to acknowledge and thank the members of the Transition Team: Susan Austin, David Barrett, Darin Eydenberg, Peter Manning, Elizabeth Phillip, and Bill Ryckman. Thanks also to Elder Mario Verdolini, Chair of the Personnel Committee. We were wonderfully supported by many at the Brick Church, including Lena Tharp, Linda Thompson, Laila Al-Askari, and Mike Suvada. Thank you to Doug King, Adam Gorman, Rebekah Hutto, and Lydia Spinelli for making time over a holiday weekend to meet with our final candidates. A special thank you to Doug King for his constant insight and support.

Susan Appleby

Chair, Transition Team


Finally, a few words from Kim:

I am honored and excited to join all of you as the Transitional Pastor of The Brick Presbyterian Church in the City of New York. Sharing ministry with you and this talented and committed staff will be a great joy. The members of the Transitional Search Committee represented the church so well throughout this process and have already become dear friends. I express my gratitude also to Doug King for serving as the Acting Head of Staff these past months. What a privilege it is to serve as your Transitional Pastor as we prepare the way together for a new Senior Pastor in the future. See you March 11th!

With anticipation,


Rev. Dr. Kimberly Clayton Curriculum Vitae

MS Word Doc:

Adobe PDF: 

Rev. Dr. Kimberly Clayton's Statement of Faith

Kimberly L. Clayton
Personal Information Form
Statement of Faith
January 31, 2017
 Statement of Faith
 Kimberly L. Clayton


“In life and in death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.” These opening words from A Brief Statement of Faith begin my personal Statement of Faith as well. “In life and in death we belong to God.” These words are simple, yet profound. They are the ground of trust upon which I walk in faith—and they are the goal toward which I aspire with every breath. I seek to love, worship and serve God alone…a high calling in a world where so many other things clamor for our worship and deepest commitments. The God of Israel, made known fully in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is sovereign. The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the inspired Word of God, are authoritative for my life and are my deep source of hope. Within the community of God’s people, we listen attentively to God’s Word, seeking its faithful interpretation in every generation. In our ordinary time, we place our ultimate trust, our very life and death, indeed the very life of the world, in God’s good hands. Over the past 5 years, I have had this trust most profoundly shaken and reaffirmed as I held the hands of first my father and then, four years later, my mother, as I commended each of them to God’s eternal care, trusting that their baptism was completed in death and they are now joined to the glorious company of the saints in light.

The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has literally shaped my days and years. In church, following the liturgical calendar measures our days within God’s time. Proclaiming Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I try to follow him and to live a manner of life that honors his: offering healing and grace where there is brokenness; offering hospitality to all, but especially to people who are marginalized or outcast by the “majority;” offering the good news of resurrection in the face of death and despair; and sharing the abundant life of Christ with a world that regularly recites litanies of fear and scarcity.

The Sacrament of Baptism is first God’s radical act of love toward us, offered before our understanding and without our merit. The baptized life is a radical turning away from evil toward Jesus Christ. It takes an entire lifetime, until our baptism is complete in death. Celebrating the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper more often now than in the Presbyterian Church of my childhood is a welcome change. At this table we are nourished for the life of faith, made one by the power of the Holy Spirit, and are being prepared for the heavenly banquet which is greater than we have yet imagined.

The Church of Jesus Christ, the Body of Christ in the world, is a gift from God. In our former Book of Order, I appreciated particularly this description: “The Church of Jesus Christ is the provisional demonstration of what God intends for all humanity.” It then called us to embody the new reality God intends for all humankind: to be a place and people where: “sin is forgiven; reconciliation is accomplished; and the dividing walls of hostility are torn down.” I am grateful to be a part of the Reformed heritage, with its rich history of creeds and confessions, because we know that though church structures and present understandings may ever be reformed by the Spirit at work within us, Christ remains Head of the Church and through him, God is reconciling all things in heaven and on earth.

Calling a Permanent Senior Minister

The process to call a permanent Senior Minister begins once the outgoing Senior Minister has left and the Transitional Pastor has been appointed. This formal process is clearly outlined in our Book of Order. Initially, a Mission Review Committee will be appointed by Session. This committee will engage in a spiritual discernment process to discover the direction in which God is leading our congregation.  This will entail an in-depth, honest, and thoughtful look at our congregation and community to reconfirm our leadership needs and our call to ministry.

Upon completion of the mission review, and with the approval of Presbytery, the Session will recommend a Pastor Nomination Committee (PNC) be formed. The All Church Nominating Committee (ACNC) will solicit recommendations from the congregation, a slate will be selected by the ACNC and approved by the congregation through a vote at a congregational meeting. In the PC(USA), the congregation gives authority to search for a pastor to the PNC; once the PNC has been elected, neither the session nor the congregation have a role in determining the permanent pastor until the PNC is ready to present its nominee to the congregation for a vote.

Importantly, it should be noted that this process does not impact or alter the roles of our Senior Associate Minister, the Reverend Douglas T King, or our Associate Ministers, the Reverend Adam L Gorman and the Reverend Rebekah McLeod Hutto. Each was called individually by our congregation and their relationships with the Brick Church are separate and distinct.

The process of calling a Senior Pastor is a lengthy one with many steps along the way designed to assist a congregation in deciphering who God is calling to be pastor in the next chapter of our congregation’s life and ministry. We are very blessed to be in the hands of our Transitional Pastor, the Reverend Dr. Kimberly Clayton, during this time.

Contact The Transition Team

For more information about the Transitional Pastor position, please click here.

September 2017 Record Article

Ministerial Transition Search Begins at the Brick Church
On May 17, 2017, our Senior Minister, the Reverend Michael L. Lindvall, announced to Session that he plans to retire in November 2017. In turn, on June 25, 2017, our congregation voted to make a recommendation to the Presbytery to dissolve its ministerial relationship with Reverend Lindvall. The Presbytery approved this recommendation at its meeting in July thereby making way for us to begin the process of identifying and hiring a Transitional Minister until such time that a new, permanent Senior Minister can be called. This article seeks to clarify the process of the selection of a Transitional Minister as well as the process for calling a permanent replacement for Reverend Lindvall. Importantly, it should be noted that Reverend Lindvall’s retirement does not impact or alter the roles of our Senior Associate Minister, the Reverend Douglas T. King, or our Associate Ministers, the Reverend Adam L. Gorman and the Reverend Rebekah McLeod Hutto. Each was called individually by our congregation and their relationships are separate and distinct from Reverend Lindvall’s and from each other’s.

When Reverend Lindvall announced his intent to retire to Session, he initiated a formal process that is clearly outlined in our Book of Order. Once Reverend Lindvall’s plans were communicated broadly, the Personnel Committee appointed a Transition Team to hire a Transitional Minister as soon as possible following Reverend Lindvall’s retirement. The Transition Team is comprised of Susan Appleby (Chair), Susan Austin, David Barrett, Darin White Eydenberg, Peter Manning, Elizabeth Philipp,and Bill Ryckman; and is supported by Reverend King and Presbytery representative Sharon Davison. The Transition Team will create and circulate an information package for potential Transitional Minister candidates, evaluate the respondents, and ultimately submit a recommendation to Session for its final approval. To create a comprehensive and reflective information package, the Transition Team will collect feedback from the congregation relating to our key values and priorities for Brick Church. Given the interim nature of the Transitional Minister, the Transition Team will focus primarily on the short-term needs of the church while respecting The Brick Church’s key values and priorities. Members of the congregation should feel comfortable reaching out to anyone on the Transition Team to provide input or feedback.

The process to call a permanent Senior Minister is only able to begin once the outgoing Senior Minister has left (in this case, after November 2017). This process will be run by a separate Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) consisting of church members selected by the All Church Nominating Committee (ACNC) and approved by our congregation. The preparation for this process, guided by the PNC, is much more extensive than the process the Transition Team has embarked on and will involve considerable self-reflection of the congregation as we decipher the call for Reverend Lindvall’s permanent replacement. As such, the PNC’s process may take as long as three years. Once in place, the Transitional Minister will serve as our Senior Minister during this time. Following Reverend Lindvall’s departure, Reverend King will temporarily assume the duties of the Senior Minister until the Transitional Minister is in place.

The Transition Team also has the bittersweet responsibility of organizing a celebration of Reverend Lindvall in recognition of his service and the blessing he and his wife Terri have been to our congregation for the past 15 years. We will miss them tremendously and wish them well on their future endeavors.

If you have any questions or thoughts to share on our process or other considerations that are relevant for our search for a Transitional Minister, please contact any member of the Transition Team or email the team here.


November 2017 Record Article

Ministerial Transition Team Update

The Brick Church’s Pastoral Transition Team would like to provide you with a brief update on their ministerial transition process:

  • Following its approval by Session, our Ministry Information Form (MIF) was submitted to the New York Presbytery Committee on Ministry (COM). We are pleased to report that the COM approved our MIF at their Oct. 3 meeting.
  • With this approval, are now advertising our search for a Transitional Minister in several Presbyterian periodicals and on the PCUSA website as well as continue to collect your recommendations. We will begin interviewing candidates in the coming weeks.
  • As noted previously, we expect to have a Transitional Minister in place early in 2018. During the time period between Nov. 19 and the start of our Transitional Minister, our team of installed ministers will be led by Reverend Douglas King.
  • Upon Reverend Lindvall's departure, the All Church Nominating Committee (ACNC) will begin the process of nominating a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) charged with both performing a Mission Review and nominating a long-term replacement for Reverend Lindvall.  The congregation will vote on the members of the PNC and on the PNC's ultimate recommendation for our new Pastor. The Transitional Minister's term will last until the new Pastor is installed, which may be up to three years.
  • Reverend Lindvall's last Sunday as our Senior Minister will be Nov. 19, 2017.

Please join us for a farewell celebration honoring Terri and Michael Lindvall on Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Watson Hall. Should you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to contact the Transition Team here

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