The first formal step in the interim process (which leads to the eventual calling of a new pastor) is coming to terms with history. Congregations have an obvious "internal" history–date the congregation started, dates when pastors served, etc. They also have an "external" history–events in its life that coincided with world events, etc. 

Coming to terms with its history, a congregation recognizes the inter-connectedness of church, community and world events and how those events impacted the trajectory of the ministry and mission of the congregation. Looking carefully at this history assists the members in looking realistically at its current state in order to prepare for the future.

The results of this congregational gathering will be a newly-recorded history of the church and a new awareness of this history. Within the next few months, the congregation will do a "self-study" evaluating its finances, community demographics, trends in church membership, and will then create a Vision and Mission Statement. This information will be used by the committee tasked with searching for a new installed pastor.

It's crucial that members participate in History Sunday so as many voices and perspectives as possible go into the collection and recollection of the congregation's history.