Click on the image above to be be taken to our December Bulletin
Sadly, it appears that there has been a good deal of divisive, and in some cases, outright false communication from former attendees to our current members prompting doubt and distrust. While we have no desire to enter into public argument or rebuttal, we also have a responsibility to protect Cedars Church from such things to the extent possible. We therefore must state that we have asked repeatedly for them to come and speak with this eldership concerning accusations and statements.
Our goal and desire was unity and Biblical reconciliation. We also asked for Ray Van Gilst (C&MA Central Pacific Superintendent) to participate as well. He was informed and has been copied on all correspondence. He was in agreement as to the choices that this situation forced us as Elders to make. We are saddened that this misinformation continues to come out. To that end, should you receive such communication, please come to us directly for clarification. Should you know of somebody who has been so communicated with, please encourage them to do the same.
Click on the image below to be taken to our November bulletin.
In one of our previous updates, we stated that the Elders have been tackling a backlog of issues. We have been trying to work through all the issues and opportunities that stand before Cedars.
One of the outstanding issues that we are dealing with is our bylaws. We have been a bit at the mercy of the C&MA. We can not move forward with finalization without the agreement of C&MA. They have been dealing with issues on their end that kept this situation in limbo. It looks like they are back on track and now we can get this needed work done.
We continue to be in collaboration with C&MA and are ready to send our final version to them for their input and hopeful consensus. One concern that was brought to our attention by the C&MA was the stated term of our fiscal year and subsequent annual meeting. They found the timing of both a bit problematic.
The Elders discussed this at length and have agreed with the C&MA. We want to inform you that this fiscal year for Cedars Church will now run to the end of January 2019. The new term for next fiscal year will be February 1st, 2019 through January 31st, 2020.
This will not affect your tithe as it pertains to taxes. You will still receive your tax statements for the year of 2018 this January. We wanted to make you were aware of this change as soon as we could.
The annual meeting that used to happen in November has been moved to the 3rd weekend of January, 2019.
We hope that you enjoy the upcoming holidays. We will meet as a church in the New Year.
This year’s Annual Meeting will be moved from November 2018 to January 2019.
This current year’s fiscal budget will run to January 2019.
Next year's budget will start February 1st, 2019.
The Cedars Elders
The Elders of Cedars want to give you an update about the commissioning of our Home Church Pastors taking place in both of our services this coming Sunday. Since the merge happened, we have been looking forward to this date, when we would have our first home churches officially recognized by our Eldership and the C&MA (Christian & Missionary Alliance.)
We identified and began meeting with these men back in early 2017. This was a slow yet significant process. These men (and at times their spouses) met for 2 hours each week. They have tackled a great number of topics as part of the training curriculum such as ministry, theology, doctrine, personal growth, and the study of God's Word.
These men have worked hard, and have asked great questions of their instructor, Pastor Jeff Harris, as well as each other. But their greatest questions were asked of God.
This is a huge undertaking. This is a significant commitment. All the while they were trying to look at a new paradigm for ministry going forward. Prayers and wrestling are always a part of something significant.
As of March of this year, three of our churches have been participating in what we called a soft launch. They started meeting and trying to see what God wanted these home churches to really look like. We have no cookie cutter model for them. They will each look and act different as they move forward.
What was most significant was the Word of God and the Spirit of God. These have to be the most essential aspects of what they would be establishing. To be honest, we were ready to move forward earlier this year, but we had to wait on some issues at the C&MA district office to get resolved. So now we are ready to move forward.
This Sunday we will be commissioning and certifying two of our Home Church Pastors: Andy Patrick and Barry Taimani. The Elders along with some guests will be commissioning these two pastors with the laying on of hands. The C&MA will then commission them with the Certificate of Christian Worker.
The C&MA manual states the following about the Christian Worker Certificate:
A Christian Worker Certificate is intended to provide recognition for individuals whose lay ministry extends beyond the local church and is endorsed by the elders of the church where they are members as contributing significantly to the mission and purposes of that local church. The certificate may be issued by the pastor/senior pastor and elders of the congregation, with the approval of the district superintendent, only in restricted circumstances where validation of character and competence is required to enable lay ministry beyond the usual ministries of the local church.
We are excited that we get to take this step of encouraging these men as they "contribute significantly to the mission and purpose of Cedars Church”. We are praying that you will come and support them in this endeavor.
This letter will serve as another update about what is happening regarding the licensing and ordination process through the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). In my last update, I let you know that I was going to be meeting with Mike Mitchum who is in charge of licensing and ordination for the Central District of the C&MA.
Plans had to change, but in a good way. I was asked to go to the Central Pacific District office this past Thursday, September 13th. This was a busy day with pastors being interviewed as they worked through their own licensing and steps toward ordination. It allowed me to meet with the leadership as it pertained to me and our specific situation. This meeting along with the meetings that I was able to attend while in Colorado Springs finally brought all of this to completion.
On Thursday, September 13, the elders of Cedars Church received the following email from the Central Pacific District...
To the elders of Cedars Church:
This is to inform you that as a result of our interview on September 13, 2018, The Central Pacific District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance has sustained the ordination of Jeffrey Harris. In addition, he has been approved for a license as “Interim Lead Pastor” of Cedars Church. As an ordained and licensed worker with the C&MA Jeffrey is entitled to all the rights and privileges that go along with being an official worker.
We congratulate Jeffrey and welcome him into the Central Pacific District family!
First if all I want to thank Mike Mitchum and Ray Van Gilst for really helping me through this process. I am also thankful to them for letting me share my journey and to learn more from them each time we met.
Let me explain what the phrase "has sustained the ordination of Jeffrey Harris" means: Since I was already an ordained pastor, they recognized my existing ordination as valid and accepted by the C&MA. That is awesome and a blessing!
I wanted to make sure that you were made aware as soon as it became official. I will still be growing in my knowledge and understanding of the C&MA as we go, but I am thankful that this crucial part is fulfilled.
Cedars Interim Lead Pastor
It’s Jeff again.
In my attempt to keep you all in the loop, I want to update you in a two-part post. I was hoping to get this done in one update, and was holding off until I had my second meeting with our district leadership which will happen on September 12. I did not want to wait that long so I will do this in two parts.
This first part will deal with my recent trip to Colorado to attend the “Resonate Event” put on by the leadership of the C&MA. This first update will help explain how this process leads to ordination here at Cedars and what is taking place as we move forward.
The second part will come to you sometime after September 12, when I will be meeting with Mike Mitchum of the Central Pacific District. This meeting pertains to the steps required to finish licensing and ordination. You can all look forward to this update in the near future.
What was Resonate? Resonate is a gathering of C&MA that takes place near the national headquarters in Colorado Springs. Those who attend have completed their licensing and are in the final stages before they are ordained. Our situation is a bit different in that although Tim and I will simply be transferring our ordinations, we are still going through the licensing stage. More on that in a bit.
I was allowed to come to this event because it was felt that it would be a great place for me to get caught up on all things C&MA. During this three day event we were able to hear from President John Stumbo and his executive staff. We were given some insight into the history of C&MA as well as hearing about the work being done nationally and around the World.
We were able to visit the headquarters where we were able to put faces together with names that are leading the C&MA. We heard about resources that are available to C&MA churches and how we can be a part of its continued growth. We also had the leadership of our local Central Pacific District there to meet with us and encourage us.
I had a great meeting with Mike Mitchum (Leadership Development) who will be personally handling our unique situation. Ray Van Gilst was also scheduled to be there, but had to cancel due to the passing of his mother the week prior. Ray was amazing and did not want to miss meeting with me, so he came to Newark and met with me personally before I attended this event. It was an incredible gesture.
As I stated earlier, I will have a much clearer update after Mike and I spend the afternoon together on September 12. Although I think I now have a pretty good grasp on what is happening, I just want to be extra clear as we inform Cedars. In essence, we need a couple of courses in Polity and Missions.
Each District handles this differently and I think that is what led to a lot of the confusion. Mike and I will meet and put together the plan that will be the most comprehensive and yet can be done in the most timely manner. One interesting thing we learned in these meetings was that no transfer staff person (that would be Tim and myself) can transfer ordination in the first two years at a church. Tim and I are still in that two year window.
The licensing phase can begin in that two year time period, which is what we have done. This was stated in our all-church meeting.
When I stepped away from leadership for a season, I was not focusing on my licensing. When I decided to come back into my role as a leader, I began to work toward licensing. Much misinformation about this process took place. This has been discussed with both Ray Van Gilst (District Superintendent) and Mike Mitchum (Leadership Development). I took responsibility for my lack of understanding and my frustration with the process and they both have asked for forgiveness on behalf of the C&MA and how this lack of proper information all came about.
The Central Pacific District also had a situation that took place in their office which needed very focused attention. This situation meant that my requests regarding my licensing were pushed back months while the office issue was resolved. Again Ray and Mike have been more than apologetic as to how all of this has affected Tim and myself along with those waiting for this process to continue. Our recent conversations and interactions have been really healthy and I am looking forward to more time with Ray and Mike in the future. I hope to have more news on that after September 12.
So what did attending the C&MA Resonate Conference accomplish? It is a requirement of anyone who has to transfer his ordination. So we get to check that box. It also was really good to hear directly from the leadership of C&MA and see what is taking place right now. It was also good to get a better perspective of C&MA as a whole, which had not yet taken place previously.
Additionally, I was able to spend some great time with Rich and Kristi Todd which was thoroughly a blessing. (Don’t be surprised if we get to hear more from them in the near future).
So yes, we are still in the process, but we have made great process with more to come fairly soon. So be looking to hear about that after the 12th. Please continue to pray for our Staff and Eldership. We are really trying to make up for lost time and we do want to make sure we are taking care of these priorities as we strive to keep moving forward with the vision that started Cedars in the first place.
I am learning more each and every day and I am trying along with the staff to serve you and to equip you to do works of ministry. I hope Part 1 was helpful and I will touch base with you in Part 2.
Because He Lives…
Click here to be taken to the C&MA Website
Click here to see a video about envision (Rich and Kristi Todd are a part of the leadership)
Click Here to see the latest publication of the C&MA magazine - "Alliance Life"