Elder Report from 10.20.19 Meeting

Dear North Sub Church Family,
 
Philippians 4:8 reads, “ Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” This a passage I am supposed to speak on at Trinity College chapel in a few weeks; it also epitomizes the kind of irenic, helpful, and hopeful dialogue the Elders are having at every meeting.
 
As we continue to sail through the first quarter of Pastor Tim’s leadership and the second quarter of my second stint as Chairman of the Elder Board, this Congregational Meeting signals a new era in the history of North Suburban Church. What a privilege and joy it is to be serving on the Elder Board at this time. There are new winds of the Holy Spirit blowing through the church and this report is my modest effort to capture them from the perspective of the Elders and share a few key glimpses of what is going on with you. As I want to save as much time as possible for the vote on the rehabilitation of the church AC units and parsonage, I will make this brief.
 
Before I get started, I hope it is never lost from our collective memory of how, by God’s grace, Pastor Craig and his wife Marsha encouraged and supported a smooth transition of leadership. I am looking forward to celebrating their ministry with and retirement from the church in the spring. Just as amazingly, we should never forget how Pastor Tim and his wife Sarah so ably picked up their mantle, displayed humble and Christ-like spirits and keen Christian vision throughout a grueling candidate process, and helped us to set out on a new journey together.
 
In the brief time that Pastor Tim has been in the role of Senior Pastor, we have seen our roles as Elders start to get redefined. Pastor Tim has called for a change of church culture beginning with the Elders and thereby permeating throughout the congregation. To this end, he has asked the Elders to get familiar with the Core Values of the church and Marks of a Disciple that characterize or should characterize the outcomes of the church; he has had us to read a variety of books (including one called Evangelism as Exiles and another about another about Marks of a Healthy Church); we have set aside 45+ minutes at the Elder meetings for education about the Bible, the mission of the church in the 21st century, and how North Sub in particular can establish a clear sense of its identity and mission. This time has been very fruitful and is reinforced by a series of what Pastor Tim calls “Plumb-lines”—easy to understand, short statements of biblical truth that can help motivate positive changes in our church culture and get us moving in a unified direction in consonance with our core values.
 
Elder business has not gone overlooked throughout this transition. We are learning how to best offload some responsibilities to the Deacons (per an Acts 6 model), and take on more pastoral care and spiritually vital roles in the life of the church. We are just at the beginning of this process and I would encourage every member of the church to consider getting involved in a ministry or leadership role in the months and years ahead. These are the good times in the life of the church and it will be a mutual blessing between the church and you if you choose to get involved. Here is a brief list of a few things the Elders have worked on in the short time that the new Board has been together:
 
1. The Elders have been part of the team of persons who presented a Candidate for Senior Pastor and Oversaw the Vote for his Approval;
2. Developed and approved an internal Conceal Carry Policy for the Children’s and Youth Ministry Events and Activities;
3. Developed and approved an internal Same-Sex Attracted Policy for all volunteer and paid staff persons;
4. Secured and approved resources for ACS training for Book Keeper Andy Kolton and the rest of the staff;
5. Worked with the Facilities Team to develop a plan for fixing the church AC units and remodel the parsonage;
6. Brought this plan to the congregation in written form in a News Blast and in an oral form in a Town Hall meeting;
7. Developed the two motions that we will put before the membership for vote on later in this meeting;
8. And met either as a Full Board or Executive Team (or mixed Executive and PTAT or Facilities Team) multiple times to make sure that everyone was on the same page and messaging the same to the congregation.
 
The beauty of a congregational form of government is that so many people get involved to make things happen. This is no different with any of the previously mentioned items. At the last Congregational Meeting, we gave a shout out to the PTAT in this report. We would not be where we are today without their leadership. At this meeting, I want to give a similar shout out to the Facilities Team. This is another of these incredible groups of individuals in the church that have helped us immensely. They have identified issues, gotten quotations, considered various options, and worked cordially and tirelessly with the Elders to provide the plan that we have before us today. Would the Facilities Team please stand up – Scott Krone, Tom Hudson, Ken Bryan, Pete Murray, and John Durham.
 
In the midst of all that has been happening, the staff has been hard at work adapting to new leadership, providing capable support for all these initiatives, and making sure that worship, facilities and everything else that goes into making North Suburban Church the God-honoring place that it is. They have not missed a beat. Thank you Robbie, Karen, Jayne, Dawn, Andy, Alex, and anyone else who I failed to mention. We turn now to Old Business, and the motions regarding the new AC units and remodeling the Parsonage.
 

Respectfully, in Christ’s Service,

Chris L. Firestone
Elder Board Chairman