Pastor Jeff Harris went to a C&MA Conference (Part 1)

Cedars

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.

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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.

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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…

Jeff Harris

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"