First Item: One Staff-person Less

Dear friends,

This is the second in a thread of five e-mails attempting to open doors of conversation about key topics for us to consider at our annual family meeting coming up on June 6th. I hope that we can answer questions and raise them, as well, because we want to have time to talk through where we believe that God is leading us.

A copy of the proposed budget is available on our blog as well as on the resource table in the foyer. One of the most notable changes is that the proposed budget calls for us to eliminate the paid position of secretary within the next six months.

Here’s why:

  • Our weekly giving is about $300 a week below our goal.
  • It’s our practice to face bad news head on, so we have communicated that need as well as we could. The body here has been very generous – whenever a need is presented it is met (nearly $15k in extra giving when we needed it most!!).
  • That said, we are behind again.

Last year presented many opportunities to pray this through, and to talk openly and honestly with Elisa and Kevin. We encouraged Elisa to look for God’s leading in finding another job, and we made it plain to them that if she found another opportunity then she should take it (which almost happened). We also gave her the freedom to use some of her office hours to apply, interview, and network.

Wondering if you will lose your job is painful – so gaining clarity is helpful. The elders and deacons believe it is compassionate to put a timetable on this process. In six months (early December) the paid position in the office will come to a close.

This has been a very difficult decision, and we have prayed for God’s leading much (Psa. 32:8). Elisa does excellent work, and brings such light to the office. When she came on staff, she had never sent an e-mail – now she is proficient with both Microsoft Office and has a grasp of Quickbooks. We are trusting God to provide Elisa with another workplace where she will be a blessing and they will add to the great work she is doing (health insurance, better salary, benefits?).

For our faith family this will require adjustments.

  • We hope that there may be one or two individuals who will be willing to volunteer to fill specific tasks for the church.
  • Josh and I will take on more, and are willing to do so.
  • The deacons have arranged to have families begin to clean the building, so they will be looking for volunteers.

Our greatest desire is that God will bless some local business or organization with someone like Elisa, who will bring the gospel with her to everyone she meets.

There is so much more to add, and I plan to take some time to talk through this on Sunday. If you have questions would you let us know? I, personally, would love to take time – as would any of our elders, or deacons – to listen to your questions and suggestions, as well as try to clarify how we come to this decision.

You can e-mail me at , call me on my cell (207.310.0941), or we can plan to meet and talk.

I thank God for you,

        Pastor Mark


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