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Elder Update #6 for CPC

January 12, 2023

Dear CPC Family,

As we begin 2023, we are convinced God is moving in new ways and we are eager to embrace all He has for us. We do not know what will unfold, but we fully trust in the goodness of our God. His word to the people of Israel is also a word for us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)

In this update, we are excited to share more deeply about all that the Lord has done in these last few weeks, as well as plans for the near future.

Transitional Pastor

As many of you heard on Sunday, we are excited to announce that the Rev. Dr. Peter B. Barnes has accepted our call to serve as Transitional Pastor at Carmel Presbyterian Church. Peter and his wife Cyndy will be moving to Carmel mid-February and Peter will be introduced to the congregation on February 19. He will preach his first sermon on February 26.

Peter received his Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. During his 42 years of pastoral ministry, he has served five churches, including three as Senior Pastor. To learn more about Peter’s story and ministry experience, please CLICK HERE. You may also listen to some of Peter’s messages from a sermon series on Romans.

Peter shares in our excitement and has sent this greeting and encouragement to us:

Dear Carmel Presbyterian Church Family,

Cyndy and I bring you greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I’m so excited to have been called by the Session to become the Transitional Pastor at Carmel Presbyterian Church, and we look forward to being part of your church family. The opportunity to share in ministry with you all in this time of transition is an unexpected and surprising gift, and Cyndy and I are grateful to God and to your Session for this special blessing.

A little about Cyndy and me. I’ve been a pastor for over 42 years, and I’ve served in churches in Washington, DC, Texas, Colorado, and North Carolina. Cyndy served on the staff of a church in West Virginia for twenty years in a variety of capacities, and she also was a non-ordained chaplain in a hospital. When we met she was working for hospice in Virginia. We both lost our spouses about six years ago. Sadly, they both died of cancer, so we know firsthand how hard the journey of grief is. But by the grace of God we met three-and-a half years ago, and we were married in May 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. After all that we had gone through and all that we lost, to find love like this at this stage in our lives is nothing less than a miracle, and we’re so grateful to God for His loving kindness and amazing provision. Between us we have six sons and nine grandchildren.

In the book of 1 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul writes, "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us" (1 Thess. 2:8). Paul's example of incarnational ministry in Thessalonica produced a church that was known throughout Asia for the strength of its faith. It is a transformational model of ministry I seek to follow. I want to help people more clearly understand and experience the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture, and I want to build relationships with and between people which can support and encourage them as they grow in Christ through the power of His Spirit. Together, in the power of that same Spirit, we are invited to join with Jesus on His mission of love to a lost and broken world and help bring reconciliation and transformation.

Last weekend I told a friend that I had been called to be a Transitional Pastor, and I was going to begin work at a new church in the middle of February. They congratulated me and asked what church it was and where it was located. When I told them, “Carmel Presbyterian Church in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA,” they replied, “Well, someone has to be in paradise, and it might as well be you!” Cyndy and I are so excited be joining you on this adventure of faith as we seek to follow Christ together in this next chapter of your church’s history. May the Lord bless you richly, and we’ll see you in February!

In His joy,

Peter Barnes

As we will all experience soon, Peter is an extraordinarily gifted pastor. He has a depth of skill, experience, and wisdom that will serve our congregation extremely well. It became clear to the search team during this process that Peter alone should be the candidate presented to the Session. To read more about their decision, CLICK HERE.

The elders are thrilled to have someone of Peter’s caliber called by God to lead us in this season. We praise God for Peter!

Transition Plan

As indicated in earlier updates, we have asked Pastor Mike Barris to serve as Acting Head of Staff effective January 2, 2023 and continuing until Pastor Peter arrives.

Pastor Mike will be present to our congregation and staff throughout the months of January and February. Normally, Pastor Mike will be at CPC Sunday-Wednesday each week and will provide pastoral care and leadership to the congregation, lead and support the staff team; and continue his work with CPC and the elders. You can reach Pastor Mike at

Preaching Schedule

We are grateful for Reed Jolly who filled the pulpit last Sunday. Preachers bringing God’s Word to us through the end of February are:

January 15 Chuck Wysong January 22 Mark Mitchell January 29 Ronald Britt

February 5 Mike Barris

February 12 Mike Barris

February 19 Mike Barris

February 26 Peter Barnes

Student and College Ministries

As we mentioned in our December 8 update, we are at work developing a clear plan to continue moving middle school, high school, and college students into deeper relationships with Christ. In this regard, it is our desire to enhance the team of staff and volunteers serving students. Work is underway to hire a gifted individual to lead these ministries. Additionally, we are praying that God will raise up volunteers to join the wonderful team of people ministering to teens and college students. If you feel God’s leading to serve in this way, please call the church office and Pastor Mike will be in touch with you to explore this opportunity with you.

We covet your prayers and we are grateful your engagement and support in this season. Together we will experience God’s goodness as His plans for CPC unfold. May it all be for His glory.

In Christ,

Matt Bell Dean Gray Hans Hess

Susan Kuhlman Jun Mabul Linda Masten

Greg Ogden Greg Quiring John Scherer

CPC Elders

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