Four Items of Note for our Annual Meeting – part 1

Dear Faith Family,

This time of the year is a busy one. Some of you have students that are graduating, others are just trying to make it to baseball/softball games. Lawns need to be moved, gardens are going in, and kids are ready to swim. Add to that the concerns about an open oil well threatening the Gulf coast, the Dow dropping time and again, and a deteriorating situation in North and South Korea and you’ve got a pretty good recipe for anxiety and distraction.

That’s why I want to write a series of brief letters to key you in to some changes for our life together in 2010-2011 at WBC. This year we expect to walk through a change in our staff team, express out thanks to two of our deacons as they step out of their roles, and walk with two new elders as they undertake new responsibilities. That’s why we want to open channels of communication, because change on that scale could sound overwhelming.

That’s why we need to point each other to the gospel, to the promises of what God has done and will do for us, so that our hearts find their security and hope in Him. We point each other to God’s promises like Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Let’s begin a dialogue:

I want to highlight three key changes and comment briefly, then, I want to encourage you to respond with your questions (mark@windhambaptistchurch.org ). As you bring out great questions, we can then reply.

Four key issues:

First,
we expect a change in our staff team. As the elders and deacons have considered our financial provision we have had to make this difficult decision. After much prayer and conversation with Elisa, we are going to phase out her position in six months. We would love to see some volunteers step in to help alleviate some of the great work that she does, and we would love for her to find a job that would be able to provide for the families financial needs better than we currently are.

Elisa has done a great job here, and we love her like our sister. Praise God He is willing to lead us in the way we should go, because we cannot make proposals like this unless we trust in a great and loving Father in heaven.

Second, two of our faithful deacons have asked to be released of their formal responsibilities. Dave Riegel and Doug Johnson have been recognized by WBC as men who serve, thus they have taken the responsibilities of the office of deacon. Recently they communicated with me, as the head of the nominating committee, that it was time for them to step down. Both men admitted that an increase in their work-loads and the stress that so often accompanies are motivating this change.

Dave was encouraged that there seems to be a great and growing crew of men who are capable of being deacons – being lead servants. A variety of man are already helping with the tasks that our deacons are handling; we hope some of them may be brought for nomination later this year.

Third, we are expecting to welcome two new elders to the council of elder. Joel Lloyd and Dwight Bernier have walked through an extensive process to prepare to become elders. They meet the qualifications of an elder as seen in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 2. This is a great work that they desire to do (1 Tim. 3:1), and we have done all that can be done to help them start right.

Now, Dwight’s role as an elder is different – because he, Jess, and Nehemiah intend to move to Montreal in the Fall. We’ll admit that this is very different – I know that many of you have questions about how this works or why we would do this, and I would like to dedicate an e-mail to that topic specifically. If you have questions, send them to me, so I can try to answer them. A few of you have already communicated with us – and we really appreciate that.

Fourth, we have an opportunity to bless our region by opening a space for a Biblical counselor. Many of your have been blessed by Jeff Crabtree. If you don’t know Jeff, he is a godly man with a real heart to help. He is a licensed counselor who graduated from Liberty University, and is associated with Wellspring Counseling. Jeff feels led by God to build a Christian counseling ministry here in the lakes region, and has helped many of the people of Windham Baptist over the last two years. Now that his licensure is complete he is ready to go, and the elders are recommending that we give him some space in our building.

While this would not impact us financially, it would mean that we would dedicate one of the classrooms inside our building to Jeff, so we would use one of the rooms in the mobile unit instead. The elders realize that space seems to be at a premium during that hour of the week, but we believe that what we will trade in convenience will be more than made up for in lives transformed for Christ.

Wrap up

So here are four important conversations for us to have. I would like to take time to describe each of these in more detail – this is just a brief introduction. Would you be willing to talk with us? We invite a dialogue. Please feel free to write me (or any of the elders), to call, or to set up a time where we can talk face to face.

Most of all, I thank God that we can work through issues like this like family. Thanks you for your continued love and support. I thank God for each and every one of you. According to our loving Heavenly Father’s plan we are building each other up as the body of Christ, growing in unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity – growing in every way into him who is the head, into Jesus Christ (Eph. 4:11-16).

With deep love,

Pastor Mark

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