As the coronavirus is increasingly on the news, fear tends to grip many. Remember that God is sovereign and He is in control. Despite that, He wants us to make wise decisions. Session has asked the Deacons to take the lead, in conjunction with Peace staff and medical authorities, for how Peace responds to the spread of the virus. The Deacons will be providing updated information on immediate steps to minimize the potential for transmission of the virus and will be actively monitoring and implementing our Church’s actions as a Church body to meet our responsibilities to help minimize the transmission of the virus.
Session approved a $1.3M budget target for the upcoming 2020-2021 budget year. A Budget Review Team, composed of elders, deacons, and members of the congregation, will be working on the components of this budget. This is below the $1.37M budget that was approved by the congregation last June for the 2019-2020 budget year. Giving has been below the budgeted amount, and Session approved the Finance Committee recommendation for a reduction in the $1.37M budget down to $1.26M for the current year. Session also discussed the giving of tithes and offerings when Peace is compared to other churches. The results showed that Peace gives approximately $950 per member per year less than giving of eight similar-sized PCA churches in the southeast US and about $650 per member per year below giving of ten other PCA churches of varying sizes in the Triangle. This comparison is based on 2018 data which is publicly available from the PCA. Session doesn’t know what individual members give. The calculations were done by dividing the total giving toward tithes/offerings by the number of communicant members. In the months ahead, Session will be creating a committee to evaluate why Peace is giving less than the others. The comparison also showed that Peace was giving away a considerably larger percentage of the tithes/offerings received to local/world missions, mercy, evangelism/outreach, and denomination causes when compared to these other churches. If you would like to see the comparison data, please email email@example.com.
Document Control Project
Session approved Robert Farrow, a member with experience in-office procedures in other churches, to work on a document control project. This project will organize various church documents accumulated over the past few decades into a format where they can be easily accessed by church office personnel.
Session approved Bob and Claire Rothrock for membership. They both work at Trans World Radio in Cary and are transferring their membership from a church in the Netherlands. They have been attending Peace for the past few years.
Beginning with our February meeting, Session began working through the book Caring for One Another: 8 Ways to Cultivate Meaningful Relationships by Ed Welch as one way to improve our shepherding of the congregation. We plan to discuss one chapter per month.
With the time for officer nominations closed, there are nine elder and two deacon candidates. These men will now begin intensive weekly training led by Pastors Doug Domin and Ken Langley with other elders helping which culminates with an extensive interview of the man and his wife by two elders. During this time, these men will more clearly determine, in conjunction with the Session, God’s call for this work. Currently there are 11 elders and 14 deacons. Due to the six-year time limit on serving without at least a one-year break, Elder Steve West and Deacon Steve Armstrong will be rotating off of their respective boards. Elder Ron Aasland is eligible to serve another three-year term as is Deacon Rick Chapman. Both of these men plan to stand for re-election. There is currently a 15-man limit on the number of men that can serve on each of the boards. If it appears that this number would be exceeded by the additional men at the end of the training time, then the congregation would be asked to raise that number. The election of new officers is scheduled for June with the new term beginning in July.
Session approved an Acknowledgement of Peace Presbyterian Church Beliefs And Positions For Employees of Peace Preschool. This is an updated version from many years ago. The Preschool had requested this document due to hiring teachers that are not Peace Church members and the desire to be clear on our expectations of faith and public positions on certain culturally hot topics.
Several 40th-anniversary celebrations are being planned for Peace this year. Although Peace began meeting in 1979, we didn’t become a church until 1980. Details will be provided in the near future.
At the January 25th meeting of Eastern Carolina Presbytery, the one-year suspension of TE Cole McLaughlin was lifted. In other business, there was an hour-long presentation by Dr. Sean Lucas on race as it relates to the history of the PCA and its predecessor, the Southern Presbyterian Church. Eastern Carolina Presbytery is composed of 23 churches, 2 mission churches, and Reformed University Fellowships (RUF) serving 6 university campuses and Meredith College in our presbytery. Our presbytery extends from Durham to the coast of N.C.
American Heritage Girls
Session approved American Heritage Girls troop NC0244, which is chartered by and meets at Peace, to host a week-long summer camp in Hickory for girls from across the state. Last year 85 girls, of which 16 were from the Peace troop, attended the camp. American Heritage Girls is a faith-based scouting and character development program for girls from Kindergarten through 12th grade. They meet on Monday nights and the contact person is Brenda Lupino (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lead Pastor Search Committee
Session approved the job description for the Lead Pastor and forwarded it to the search committee. The revised job description resulted from a recent Session seminar focused on the characteristics of a pastor and the recent change in pastoral ministry structure where the term "Lead" is more descriptive of a role for this position. The search committee had their first meeting on January 22nd where they elected Danielle Elder as the Chair, Xan Innes as Vice-Chair, and Anna Purvis as Secretary. They will be commissioned at both services on February 9th for this important task.
Women's Ministry at Peace largely consists of two monthly Connect Groups, two weekly Bible studies, a toddler playgroup, and an annual retreat. At the Session meeting last week, Margaret McLamb, Jan Walley, and Julianna West, representing the Women's Ministry Team, proposed to Session a broad outline for organizing Women's Ministry at Peace.
Dr. Mike Ross
The Session has entered into an agreement with Dr. Mike Ross, a retired pastor with almost 40 years' experience pastoring churches in the PCA, to serve as a part-time interim pastor at Peace Church for 6 to 8 months, beginning in January.
Mike's pastoring experience includes 11 years as Senior Pastor of the 1800 member Christ Covenant Church in Mathew, NC. Following his retirement in 2017, he served as interim pastor of two churches. He is currently finishing a period as Interim Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian in Johnson City, Tennessee where he has helped guide them through the transition following the departure of their pastor and the search for a new pastor.
Mike and his wife Jane now live in Columbus, Ohio. His schedule during his time at Peace would be to drive to Cary on a Saturday, preach on Sunday, work at Peace all week and preach the next Sunday, and drive home on Monday. He would do this once per month. During his week here he would provide training and coaching of the pastoral search committee, review key facets of ministry with the elders, staff, and members, give advice and counsel how to move forward in these key areas including the pastoral model at Peace, be involved in officer training and development of new officers, and training of the Elders in shepherding the flock. Other areas of ministry would be evaluated as time permits.
The Session, Staff, and others that met with Mike during his two day visit with us are excited, enthused, and praising the Lord for bringing him to us and for the help and guidance that he will provide in the coming months as we continue to seek the Lord's direction in this next chapter of Peace Church.
Michael F. Ross is a native of Columbus, Ohio, where he grew up a Roman Catholic and was educated in Catholic parochial schools. In high school, he studied at the Divine Word Seminary in Perrysburg, Ohio, in preparation for the priesthood. He holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from The Ohio State University, and an MBA in Management from Miami (Ohio) University. Dr. Ross has also done post graduate study in Economics and Public Administration at Memphis State University. He was converted at the age of twenty seven. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Biblical Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi.
He became the organizing pastor of the Surfside Presbyterian Church in Surfside Beach (Myrtle Beach), South Carolina, in 1982 and remained as pastor of that church until 1992. He then served as the Senior Minister of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi from 1992-2006. In August of 2006, Dr. Ross was called to be the senior minister of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina.
Dr. Ross travels annually overseas on preaching and teaching missions and is increasingly involved in the ministry of Church Revitalization in the United States. He is a member of the Central Carolina Presbytery and serves on the Standing Judicial Commission of the PCA's General Assembly. Dr. Ross has authored two books, Preaching For Revitalization and The Light of the Psalms: Deepening Your Faith with Every Psalm, both by Christian Focus Publishers. Dr. Ross has authored the PCA's 50 Days of Prayer since its inception in 2002. Dr. Ross is serving as moderator of Central Carolina Presbytery in 2011-12.
Search Committee Update
The nominations for the Pastoral Search Committee will start on December 8th and will close on December 31st. The Session has called a congregational meeting for Sunday, January 12th in the sanctuary at 10:30 AM for the election of the committee. More details about nominating search committee members will come later.
Possible Part-Time Interim Pastor
Dr. Mike Ross, former pastor of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, NC, will be meeting with the session, church staff, and others this coming Tuesday and Wednesday for the purpose of potentially serving as a part-time interim pastor and coach to the session, staff, and search committee. Mike recently retired from a long, faithful, and fruitful career pastoring churches in the PCA. He is a former moderator of the General Assembly and now serves to help churches who are between lead pastors. Mike also works in conjunction with Charles McGowan of McGowan Associates who work with churches in strategic planning and searching for new pastors.
We have been able to take steps to develop the "Enfolding" goal that was set in Vision 2021. This is to help both new and current members to find a ministry within our Church where they can serve their church and community and grow and mature in their faith. The original objective was to hire a Director of Connections to oversee the enfolding process. What we have been able to do, rather than commit to the significant expense of a new full-time staff position, is to change Pastor Ken Langley's role from overseeing worship and communications to that of overseeing worship and enfolding. Pastor Ken Langley's new Position Description is; "Assistant Pastor, Worship and Enfolding". Pastor Ken has begun development of a process to facilitate assimilation and involvement and is already assembling a team to facilitate the assimilation process.
We have hired Andrea Dugger on a part-time basis as Communication Coordinator to be responsible for the communication functions that were formerly a part of Pastor Ken's functions.
Another goal was to hire an additional female staff member to support our Youth and Children's Ministries. We have been fortunate to recruit and hire Lauren Lockridge as Assistant Director of Youth and Children. Lauren will be working with our Director of Youth Ministries, Eric Gatilogo, and providing assistance for Alisa Arslan with our Children's Ministries.
Care for Pastoral Staff
Recognizing the need to provide care for the Pastoral Staff, the Session has instituted The Pastoral Staff Care Committee (PSCC), a committee that is to provide direct care for and to foster the vocational growth and accountability of the Pastoral Staff. The Pastoral Staff includes teaching elders on staff as well as other staff members, whether male or female, whose work consists primarily of spiritual oversight and care on behalf of Peace Presbyterian Church.
As a part of the PSCC each member of the pastoral staff has a "Champion". The champion is an Elder chosen by the staff member to provide genuine spiritual encouragement and to serve as a trusted "sounding board" and advisor for the staff member and family. With the recent hiring of Lauren Lockridge, we currently have champions assigned to six of our ministry staff. They are Ron Aasland for Doug, Don Rayno for Ken, Dean Patton for Jennifer, Dale Walley for Alisa, Randy Berger for Eric, and Grant Buckner for Lauren.
Recent Presbytery Meeting at Peace
Peace Church hosted the quarterly meeting of the Eastern Carolina Presbytery meeting on October 19th. At that meeting Russell McCutcheon was ordained as a Teaching Elder. He is the first African American Teaching Elder in our Presbytery. You will remember Russell when he preached for us on September 29th. He will be an Assistant Pastor for Christ the King PCA church in downtown Raleigh as he works to plant Reconciliation Church in southeast Raleigh.
Several new members took their public vows recently: Jackson and Samantha Wittkamper (October 27) and Nicolle Ordonez (November 10).
Session is pleased to announce that it has hired Greg Norfleet, an experienced pastor in our Presbytery currently without a call, to help Session and our congregation during this time of transition. This is a part-time, short-term position for a few months while Greg seeks God's full-time call to another pastorate.
You may recall that Greg preached at Peace on September 1. Greg and his wife, Cindy, were members of Peace Church while serving with Cru in the mid-90s. In 1997, Greg was ordained as a PCA Teaching Elder within our Presbytery, serving first as associate pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Durham, then as co-planter/pastor of Christ Community Church in Chapel Hill. Along the way, he earned his doctorate in pastoral counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary; soon after, he helped launch Hope Counseling Services in Chapel Hill, where he currently serves as a biblical counselor.
In light of Greg's training and experience, Session is pleased to offer Greg's services to our congregation in multiple ways:
- On Thursdays (starting October 24), from 11:00am to 7:00pm, Greg is available to provide counseling for individuals or couples, free of charge.
- On Sundays, November 3 and 17, and December 1 and 15, from 5:00 to 8:00pm, Greg is available to provide counseling for individuals or couples, or to meet with any Community Groups that may desire it.
- Counseling will be provided in a caring and confidential context. So, if you would like to meet with Greg, please contact him directly to schedule an appointment at the church.
We are in the process of scheduling times for Greg to lead two engaging discussions: (1) a seminar called "Real Change" to help all of us grow in Christlikeness in the face of trials and temptations; (2) A seminar called "Loving Others as Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners" to help our Elders, Deacons, and Community Group leaders grow in our care for the congregation. Finally, Greg will also preach a few times during the time he is with us.
Greg is looking forward to serving you! So, please welcome him as you see him; reach out to him as you have needs; and pray for God's leading him to another pastorate.
10/13 Acts 2:42-47, Pastor Ken Langley
10/20 Acts 3:1-11, Darrin Stone (Peace supported ministry)
Darin Stone is the new MTS Minister to the State Capitol in North Carolina. Darin holds a B.A.Ed. in Political Science from The University of Arizona and an M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson. He has been ordained as a Minister in the Presbyterian Church in America since 2007, serving churches in both assistant and senior pastor roles. Darin and his wife, Melanie (a former missionary to Thailand with Mission to the World) have three children: Sarah (13), Luke (8), and Ryan (2).
10/27 Acts 3:12-26, Chuck Askew (Peace supported ministry)
Chuck Askew is the campus minister for Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) at North Carolina State University and Meredith College. Chuck is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, but became involved with RUF in his time at the University of Florida and spent 2 years as an intern with RUF at Mississippi State. After those two years, Chuck went to Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson to get a Masters of Divinity. While there, he met his lovely wife Lauren, originally from Syracuse, New York, who was in the Marriage and Family Therapy program of RTS. After graduating in 2005, Chuck and Lauren moved to Conway, South Carolina to start the RUF at Coastal Carolina University (CCU). After four years at CCU, Chuck was called to serve as the RUF campus minister at North Carolina State University and has been happily serving students here since 2009. Lauren and Chuck have three children, Charlie, Norah and Sam.
11/3 Acts 4:1-12, International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, Eddie Brown (Peace supported ministry)
11/10 Acts 4:13-22, Pastor Ken Langley
11/17 Acts 4:23-37, Pastor Doug Domin
Session has approved Nicolle Ordonez (daughter of Lesther and Shannon Innes Ordonez) for Membership
Session has approved vacation and Study Leave for Pastor Doug Domin
Vacation 10-21-2019 to 11-4-2019
Study leave 10-14-2019 to 10-21-2019.
Session has approved the annual revision to the Child Protection Policy. This policy has been in effect for 6 years and is updated yearly. All of the volunteers under this policy will be informed of the changes in the coming month. The parents of the youth will also be receiving a letter next week that summarizes the current policy. Session also approved Karen Nicholas as a new Child Protection Policy Team member. She is replacing Kim Wilkins who just completed a 3-year term on the Team
Currently, the Session is soliciting proposals from consultants to help guide them prior to the establishment of the Search Committee. Once this work is completed, it is anticipated that the nomination process for the Search Committee will begin in December 2019 followed by a Congregational Meeting in January 2020 to elect the members.
Session has scheduled a local retreat for December 6-7, 2019 that will have Jim Newheiser as the speaker/leader. He is the Director of the Christian Counseling program and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. The focus of the retreat will be on shepherding.
Peace will host the next stated meeting of Eastern Carolina Presbytery on October 19
We will host the Wesleyan First Church of Deliverance for a joint worship service on September 2019 at 11am, to be followed by a fellowship meal. We will also have a guest preacher, Russell McCutcheon, a church planter who was recently licensed to preach in our Presbyery.
Session has approved a renewal of the Scouts' charter and is making plans to be more intentional to reaching to Scouts and their families as an ongoing ministry to our community.
Session has begun planning timelines and processes for the Pastoral Search Committee, likely to begin in early 2020.
Plans for a new playground are currently underway.
Session has approved Chris and Nicole Nichols for membership.
Evie Shackles will be baptized on September 29 at 11am.
September 29 Matthew 28:18-20 & Acts 1:8, Russell McCutcheon, church planter for Eastern Carolina Presbytery
October 6 Acts 2:14-41, Edi Demo, Missionary from Albania
October 13 Acts 2:42-47, Ken Langley
October 20 Acts 3:1-11, Darin Stone
October 27 Acts 3:11-26, Chuck Askew, RUF Minister at NC State
Peace will host the next stated meeting of Eastern Carolina Presbytery on October 19.
Session's role in the life of the church:
Robert's Rules of Order Summary:
1. They are not intended to restrict discussion, but to maintain order, which is especially important in large gatherings addressing potentially controversial issues.
2. To maintain order, someone MUST have the authority to maintain it. With that authority goes the obligation and the means to direct the business of the group and to decide controversial procedural questions, such as who may speak, for how long, and on what topic. Otherwise, we end up talking over each other, at lengths that weary the majority, and on topics not relevant to the business before us.
3. While that authority rests with the moderator, I believe it is essential that there be someone else with whom the moderator can discuss controversial procedural issues if one arises (an aside conversation). This is a parliamentarian, but that function can be merged with the recording clerk. This permits a respite from the controversy which facilitates both a rational decision and space for tempers to cool.
4. Of course, there are simple rules that should be given to the membership at least verbally – it might be useful as well to add them to the agenda. Such things as:
a) Only one person may speak at a time
b) Always address the speaker.
c) No one may speak without permission of the moderator.
d) All contributions to the discussion must be pertinent to the motion in question.