Elder Connection: A Letter From Our Elders

[Editor’s Note: This is a special-edition Staff Journal written by Marc Friesen, the chairman of our elder board. This letter from Marc is kicking off a series of quarterly updates from the elders as a way to create an open line of communication from the hearts and minds of the elders to you, the church.]

Greetings Grace!

This letter is the first installment of what the elders hope to be another line of communication to the body. We are aiming for this quarterly letter to update you with what is on the hearts and minds of the elders. This need has been communicated. We hope this forum will better inform you, but that it will also highlight concerns and correspondingly the great things God is doing in this body for both celebration and prayer. The elders want to emphasize that we are here for the body.

The first thing we want you to know is in our monthly meetings one of the very first things we do is pray. We take an extended time of prayer. We pray for the body. We pray for individuals. We pray for conflicts, health issues, and other worries. We also pray to celebrate the joyous, the awesome, and the big and small.

Looking forward, we are surveying how GCC can encourage connection both here and in the Newton community and greater area. We are looking at communications, programs, and even our physical buildings and grounds. All these factors can, and should, work together to make GCC a place of encouragement and connection to Jesus. Our directional team does a lot of this work.

March was our first meeting with a report from our new XDM (Executive Director of Ministries). Juli has been busy diving into her new role, taking on several tasks that the elders have accumulated over the past several years just waiting for somebody like her to take. Two of those projects are developing employee evaluation tools and growing council unity. These tasks are in addition to the ongoing search for a new Children’s Ministry Director. The elders are grateful for someone like Juli in this role.

One of the mainstay agenda items of our meeting is the stewardship report. It is easy to become complacent when this area is running smoothly. The Stewardship Council does a lot of the work aiding the elders in what we are entrusted. We are grateful for all that He provides in His beneficence, and we want to be diligent in that management. 2019 is off to one of the better starts in recent memory from a financial perspective, which is even more reason for the diligence.

We also have been working on revising the church bylaws and employee handbook. Both projects involve many people, varying considerations, and a significant amount of detail.  The undertakings are slow, but steadily, moving forward.

In closing, I find myself continually struck and humbled by our familiar sending -- “YOU are the Church. Now go BE the Church.” My challenge is how I can embody and respond every day. I hope you also feel that same Spirit-led urgency.


Marc Friesen

We would love to have you join us for our two Holy Week services!

A reflective service focused on the cross and capped off by celebrating communion.

Two identical services celebrating the resurrection and highlighted by 17 (!!) baptisms.