Dear Chapel Family,
What a privilege it was to gather together this past Sunday for our Chapel Family Update: Annual Meeting Edition to discuss how Jesus is working in our midst and to consider where Jesus wants to lead us in the future. While videos of each segment of the meeting, as well as a video of the entire evening, are available below, I would like to ask everyone who calls the Chapel their church home to take 30 minutes and watch the final segment of the meeting entitled “Lead Pastor’s Update.” In this segment, I attempted to look ahead to this next season of life as a church together. Reading from Proverbs 17:3, “the crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts,” I described three tests that I sense God has for our church. First, a test of direction: Will we move in the direction Jesus called his first disciples in Acts 1:8, to be His witnesses in our Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the end of the earth? Second, a test of unity: Will we have the humility to practice celebrating our unity in the midst of the diversity found in an interdenominational family of faith? Third, a test of sacrificial obedience: Will we give sacrificially, everyone together, so that the mission Jesus entrusted to His church moves forward? Again, if you were not able to attend this past Sunday’s Annual Meeting, please take 30 minutes to watch this section by clicking on the image below.
Another important element of each year’s Annual Meeting is the selection of new elders. This year, there were six individuals who completed the Elder Apprenticeship Program and were willing to serve. Please join me in thanking all six for their commitment to walk humbly through this process. Every step of the way, including before, during, and after the appointment and election process, they have modeled for our church family what it looks like to practice “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). Please join me in thanking all of this year’s elder candidates: Chris Dunnavant, Matt Joosse, Mike Lanning, Kevin Morgan, Ray Shultz, and Ralph Urch.
By the end of the meeting, we welcomed four new elders. In keeping with the balance of appointed elders and elected elders required by the Chapel’s constitution, Ray Schultz was appointed by the elders and Chris Dunnavant, Mike Lanning, and Kevin Morgan were elected by the membership. For more information about the elder process, please watch the Elder Election segment from our Annual Meeting video by clicking the image at the bottom of this post.
In addition to my Lead Pastor’s Report and the election of new elders, a Ministry Update, a Financial Update, and a Human Resources Update were all presented at the meeting. In the Human Resources Update, we shared that, in accordance with the Chapel’s Sabbatical Policy, Lead Associate Pastor, Rich Sylvester, will be on sabbatical from June 4 through August 26. To learn more about the development, goals, and approval of Rich’s sabbatical plan, please watch the Human Resources report. I want to ask us all to pray for Rich and the Sylvester family during this intentional time away.
While tests were certainly not something I looked forward to as a student, the Bible teaches that they are an invaluable part of our faith development. In James 1:2-4, we read, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” As our church stands ready to face the tests of direction, unity, and sacrificial obedience, I am grateful that, unlike the tests we took as students, we get to face these tests together. With God’s help, I trust we will pass together and, by passing together, we will move in the direction in which Jesus has called us, celebrating our unity in Christ in the midst of our diversity and experiencing the joy that comes from sacrificial obedience.
See you Sunday,
Lead Pastor, Williamsburg Community Chapel