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Session Update - March 31, 2023

Dear Carmel Pres Church Family,

Cyndy and I want to thank you again for the warm welcome we have received and all the ways in which you have embraced us here in the early days of our time with you. You are amazing! We feel very fortunate and blessed that God called us here to journey with you in this season of transition, and we are eager to see all that God has in store for you and for us. And we are loving exploring Carmel and its surroundings! What an amazing part of the world this is.

Session has made a commitment to do a better job of communicating with you the congregation on a regular basis and to lead the church with as much transparency as possible. This is the first of what I think will be three email communications to the congregation over the next couple of months to keep you in the loop about all that is happening during the transition. The elders asked me to write this first one in the interest of time with the Session having just met last Tuesday and Holy Week upon us.

There are several things I want to tell you about.

  • The transition work with our church consultant, Rev. Mike Barris, is just about complete. He has been an invaluable asset to CPC for the last 18 months, and we have been so blessed to have not only his expertise and great skills to help us during this difficult time but also his deep love for this church as well. Mike presented a final set of Observations and Recommendations to the Session earlier this month which were approved in principle, and we are now working out the details of implementing those recommendations. Some of these recommendations include:

    • A new Governance Structure which will guide the reorganization of the Session and its work and also clarify roles, responsibilities, and accountability for the Session, Staff, Committees and Ministry Teams;

    • The draft of a Leadership Covenant which will guide the elders in their personal lives and also in how they lead in their ministry and as a team; and

    • A draft of a Staff Covenant which will guide the staff in their personal lives and also in how they lead in their ministry and as a team.

Stay tuned for more information regarding the new Governance Structure in future communications. And I’m pleased to report that Mike will be returning to the church on April 16th to preach one final sermon. It will give us an opportunity to hear him one last time and also to express our gratitude to him for all his fine work with us the past year-and-a-half.

  • The Finances of the church continue to be a concern. Through the first 5 months of the church’s fiscal church, which began on October 1, 2022, actual expenses exceed our actual income by $113,000. And when you compare this to what the Session budgeted for this year, and gap is even greater. We need to turn this situation around, and we need your help. If you consider CPC your church home and where you receive your primary spiritual nourishment and care, then make the church a high priority in your giving. And if the Lord has blessed you recently in your finances, consider making an extra gift to the church. Let’s get the church back on a solid financial footing as we head into the summer months. In 2 Corinthians the apostle Paul said, “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that through His poverty you might become rich” (8:9). May the example of the sacrifice of Jesus guide us in the sacrifice we make in the giving of our finances to the Lord ministry and mission in this church.

  • Beginning the last Sunday in April, we’re going to start a new rhythm of having just one worship service on the 5th Sundays of the month. That’s four times a year, and this is intended to promote unity in the church and also give us more opportunities for fellowship. An added bonus is that the Men’s Ministry has offered to cook us a BBQ after church that day! Many thanks to the men! Stay tuned for details.

  • We continue to search for interim staff in the areas of an Interim Assistant Pastor, a new Student Ministries Director, and an Interim Worship Leader for the 11 o’clock service. We have some intriguing candidates who have applied for these positions, and interview teams have been recruited to interview the most promising candidates. Please pray that God will raise up the people of His choosing for these important roles on our church staff.

There is much more I could share, but that’s enough for now. If you have any questions, please feel free to call on me or any of the elders in our church. We are eager to be as open and honest as we can in leading this wonderful congregation. May the Lord bless each of you richly as we head into Holy Week.

In His Joy,

Peter Barnes

Transitional Pastor


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