AT A GLANCE
The Path Ahead and A Time to Heal
by Dan Leischner, Elder Chairman
This article touches on two important issues and I ask that you please read both sections below. As we discuss how we will move forward with deciding on the next leader of our church, the Elders also recognize that there is a need for healing and reconciliation in our church family.
Elder Agreement about Pastor Aaron:
We appreciate all of your prayers this past week as the Elders prepared to discuss our next steps with Pastor Aaron as a possible candidate for the Lead Pastor position at Canby Christian Church. The Elders spent time praying and fasting in the days leading up to our meeting on Wednesday evening (May 3). The decision before the Elders was very important for our church: Do we, the Elders, agree that Aaron should be presented to the congregation for a vote to be our Lead Pastor? The answer was a unanimous “yes.”
This vote of the Elders was just a next step in the process of preparing for a congregational vote; there is much more work to be done by this Elder team. To make an informed decision, our church members need more information about Aaron, about his theology, about the transition plan (including how Ken’s role will change), as well as information about how CCC will support the cost of a new pastor.
In the days and weeks ahead, we will be communicating more information through a number channels including the newsletter, small group meetings, phone calls and face-to-face conversations. Once we can establish a date for a congregational vote, we will let everyone know. We are excited to be able to share more information about Aaron and his training and experience and to answer your questions.
A Need for Healing and Reconciliation:
We have members of our church family who are hurting right now. Some are hurting because of decisions that have been made by the Elders such as ending the employment of Pastor Rob or changing the Renovate ’08 project. Other members have been hurt when our Church has not reached out to them in their time of need. In addition to this, we the Elders have a history of poor communication (sometimes a complete lack of communication) which has also created unnecessary confusion and pain in our Body. While our intent has never been to cause hurt or pain, we admit that our actions (or failure to act) have caused pain—for that, we are truly sorry.
We know that God wants to do great things through Canby Christian Church. He wants to use us to share His love with each other and with our community in a whole new way. But first, we need to come together as a family to heal and be reconciled with each other. This healing and reconciliation must begin with Elders being humble enough to say, “Our family has been hurt and we, the Elders, are responsible for causing hurt.” There is much more that needs to be said and done by those of us in leadership to help our church to heal and be unified. Please pray that God will give the Elders wisdom to carry out all that He calls us to do.
The Desire of My Heart
by Kayla Mast, Children's Ministry Coordinator
People have asked me how I heard about Canby Christian Church, so I wanted to share with you the story of how God brought me here. I had worked at Hot Off the Press in Canby for just over seven years, and it was not the easiest place to work but a place where God had called me. Every time I asked (or begged) God to take me somewhere else, I got a definite no from Him.
In the Winter of 2015-2016, I felt like God was directing me to look for a new job, so I started to look. I expressed to LeNae Gerig, my coworker at the time, that I was thinking about finding another job. She said there was an opening at her church that I should consider. I was very hesitant about this because I loved my church; not only would it be a job change but a huge life change. She told me a little about the job and said I should visit the church and check it out.
I came on a snow day in January 2016 and enjoyed the church but still wasn’t sure it was something I wanted to do. I had been leading women in a Bible study for the last couple of years and really enjoyed it, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work with kids again.
I dragged my feet and continued to apply for jobs at other places, and God kept shutting those doors. Meanwhile, at Hot Off the Press, there were amazing things happening. I had been suggesting to my boss for years to put some faith-related products in the catalog, but she never wanted to. Finally, she was convinced!
We decided to promote the faith-based products at an adult coloring party at Cutsforth Thriftway, and I was asked to demo the products. Towards the end of the event, a woman came and sat next to me. We had a great conversation about faith and Bible Study Fellowship. During this conversation, she told me she was the wife of Worship Pastor Jeff Joyner and that they had an opening at their church. She said I should really think about applying. As she was speaking, I was nodding my head yes and told her I already knew about the job she was talking about.
I will never forget what Sherry Joyner said: “Well, don’t you think that means something, that I would sit down next to you at this event?”
I said yes, and the next day I went through the motions and applied for the job—still not overly excited—but I did it anyway because it seemed God was trying to get my attention.
I applied and—obviously—I got the job.
What I learned most about the whole experience was that God knows the desires of my heart so much better than I do. I thought I knew what I wanted, but He showed me that He had bigger plans for me than I had for myself. This job and church have changed my life, and I can’t imagine a better job. I have days when I wake up and think I can’t believe I get to do this. It’s a challenging job, and definitely not one I would want to try to do without Him. I constantly rely on Him to lead me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you for welcoming me into your family!
CCC Financial Update
by Phil Applebee, Elder
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34 (NIV)
Finances are an important part of our communications to you the congregation. Our new CCC Connection Newsletter allows an easier way to communicate this information. In this and future articles, we will share the status of our finances broken down into key areas: General Operations, Missions, and Rental Properties. This month we will begin with General Operations. Below you will find a breakdown of how the General Operations ended up for the 2016 Fiscal year (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31), followed by a First Quarter update regarding our present 2017 General Operations budget and actuals.
A Review of the 2016 Financial Picture for General Operations:
2016 Budgeted Income: $572,335 (offerings, tithes, budgeted missions, room rents, etc.)
2016 Actual Income: $565,339 (1.2% below plan)
2016 Budgeted Expense: $575,641 (operations, facilities, Staff, ministry, Budgeted missions)
2016 Actual expenses: $549,039 (4.6% below plan)
What does that actual mean?
While our income did not meet our planned budget, our expenses also came in lower than planned, thus leaving us with a surplus.
2017 First Quarter Finance Update: (Jan-Mar) for General Operations:
2017 Annual church budgeted Income: $580,620
2017 Annual Church budgeted Expenses: $525,678
2017 Quarter 1 Budgeted Income: $134,097
2017 Quarter 1 Actual Income: $123,670 (7.8% below plan)
2017 Quarter 1 Budgeted Expenses: $150,203
2017 Quarter 1 Actual Expenses: $164,816 (9.7% above plan)
What does that actual mean?
In plain English, we were under for offering income and over for expenses. A set of expenses that should have occurred in 2016 is a factor for why we are showing a sizeable increase in spending this Quarter 1 2017-year.
So where did all these numbers come from?
In the late summer of 2016, our elder team began the process of creating the 2017 budget. After much prayer and conferring with the finance team, staff, and elders; a projection of $580,000 offering (tithe) income was deemed to be the number God was telling us to use for the 2017 church budget. In our material world, the $580,000 number is approximately even with today’s inflation rate of ~3+%, but this number still seemed high to some of the team members for many different reasons. One reason being that we were below planned income and over in expenses at the time the budget was assembled. But during prayer it became evident that we needed to step out in faith and as God has already shown us through the 2016-year end number, “He will provide.”
Additional thoughts and ideas?
Malachi 3:10 challenges us to tithe and test the Lord and see what He does as we step out in faith!
“’ Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” Malachi 3:10
The 2017-year Budget vote passed the congregational vote with 87 yes votes (92.6%) to 7 no votes (7.4%) for a total of 94 voting members.
CCC has been trying to move to easier, less constraining ways of taking offering to make it easier for you, God’s children, to provide your first fruits for God’s use. Many methods have been looked at to hopefully make it easier for you to tithe. CCC now offers electronic online giving and the old standby of checks or cash giving via our offering boxes, mail-in or walk-in to the CCC office.
In closing, we ask you to join us in prayer asking God for His direction and guidance to fulfill His plan for our church body. We look forward to God’s guidance and blessings during this coming year.
If you need further information please contact Phil Applebee or Dan Leischner.
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
CCC Men's Retreat
On Friday, March 17, a group of 19 men from Canby Christian Church attended the men's retreat at the Christian Renewal Center in Silverton, Oregon. Here are two amazing stories of how God blessed our men and the men’s ministry.
CCC Men's Retreat By Shaun Bennetti
As I stare at my monitor and reflect on this experience, I get this lump in my throat and wipe tears from my eyes. When I was asked to go to the men’s retreat, I wasn’t going to go. I had other plans for this weekend, which had been scheduled several months in advance. It sounded like it would be a good time, but I had other commitments. I was torn, but after a week of thinking it over and praying it through, I decided to cancel my previous commitments and go to the retreat.
Most of us met at the church to carpool to the Christian Renewal Center. When I arrived at the church for the men’s retreat, I saw many acquaintances—men I have seen around, said hi to, shook hands with, and asked, “What was your name again?”
We threw all our stuff in the vans, said a short prayer and were on our way.
After we arrived, we ate dinner, then went over for the first of four services we would attend this weekend. At the lodge, we started singing, worshiping God, and that’s when everything changed. We weren’t a bunch of guys standing next to each other just pretending to sing. I could feel the Holy Spirit moving through us. I could see it. The passion I witnessed was amazing! We had just started, and I felt like a new man already!
Our speaker was Pastor Dee Duke of Jefferson Baptist Church. What an amazing man! The stories of him growing up on the farm, and lessons he learned along the way were very entertaining. He could really explain things in a way we all could understand.
Once the first service was over, it began—men, interacting with each other, praying with each other like we had been closest friends for years. I can’t describe the love and compassion I felt. Before anyone knew it, midnight had fallen on us before we hit the sack.
After lunch we had some free time. I began with going to the little coffee shop, then over to the trout pond and watched a couple guys catch and release some nice fish. There were several other activities going on. There was a zip line, trails to view the falls, and of course you can’t get a bunch of guys together without breaking out the firearms! For those of us wanting to stay dry, we hung out in the lodge playing cards and getting to know each other better. After the evening service, we spent quality time on our knees praying for JJ, each other, and the church. Again the Holy Spirit was there, bringing us closer, guiding us to help each other be better men.
We had Sunday morning worship and service, then it was time to share. The courage of those who stood up in front of everyone to speak from the heart was glorious and encouraging. There we were once again, surrounded by the Holy Spirit, bringing us closer, making us stronger. This time was so moving; it’s hard to find the words to express myself.
I can honestly say I now know and love each of these men. For a long time, I have prayed for the men in our church. I pray there will be a ministry for us to be able to serve each other, our church, and our community. I pray we will have opportunities to serve together, grow closer with each other, and help each of us be stronger men. It’s clear to me now that I am being called to help facilitate this type of ministry. I value these men and can’t wait for what happens next! Every one of us was affected by this weekend and was drawn closer to our Lord and Savior.
Was it worth it? Has it truly changed me?
I’ll let you ask my wife.
CCC Men's Retreat By Dave Howard
When the word started going around that Jeff Hartwell was organizing a men’s retreat, the question for me wasn’t “should I go?” – there really wasn’t a question, I was going. The experience of being with Christian men, building relationships and studying the word of our God is one that can’t be missed! The passage I most commonly think of when I think of men’s ministry is from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, and hath not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Men by themselves are vulnerable, but together we are “not quickly broken.” I have leaned on other men in times of need and temptation, because I know there is strength in those relationships. This retreat was an opportunity for me to get to know other men in the church on a deeper level. Several of the men I knew well, but for others, this retreat was a way to build new relationships and I thank God for that opportunity.
The speaker for the retreat, Dee Duke, offered some very down-to-earth teaching and encouragement for men. One of
the areas he spoke was managing anger (well, not managing so much as getting rid of it). The other focus of his teaching was in establishing and following through on spiritual disciplines in our lives. For me, everything he talked about was right on point and as a group, I think we all would agree that we have room as Christ followers, husbands, fathers and men.
One particularly spiritual moment came after one of the messages by Dee about anger and irritation. I was sitting on a sofa with my arm up on the back of it when I heard somebody behind me cough. At the same time, I felt something wet hit the back of my arm. I confess that I was a little irritated somebody would cough some kind of “stuff” on the back of my arm without covering his mouth. I was almost afraid to look at who it was behind me, and to look at what may be on my arm. Just then I heard Ralph Williams laughing hysterically behind me—seems he had a water bottle and a great idea both at the same time. OK, it was pretty funny…
Ralph took that opportunity to remind me that Dee said I wasn’t supposed to get angry, not even a little irritated. I love being around men! I’m sure that Jesus’ disciples also had great fun with each other born from relationships that are based on learning and serving Jesus together. Thank You, God, for the opportunity to spend this time with these men!