May 22, 2022
Dear Grace Commons Family,
In my first leadership update, I shared the questions we are asking ourselves as we position ourselves to meet the priorities defined for us by Session. Living in a post-Christian culture presents opportunities and challenges that are new for us and that demand wisdom and understanding. A joyful reliance on the Spirit will ensure we have these attributes and more.
In this update, I’ll share what we are doing internally so that we are better able to pursue the next season’s focus. Finally, I’ll give a brief update on the Boulder Vision Project.
We are reimagining our staff organizational chart
We are in the process of reimagining our internal structure so we can fulfill the priorities as defined by Session*, care for our staff, utilize their gifts, do ministry post-COVID, meet the needs of a multi-generational church and so on. I have proposed a revised staff organizational chart to Session and our department heads. This organizational chart is still evolving as new options emerge. As soon as this is finalized and communicated to all our staff, I will share this with you.
We are realigning some staff positions
As we reimagine our organizational chart, and therefore a staff structure, I covet your prayers. There are many details to work out: job descriptions are being redefined to include a focus on equipping our congregation; some roles are being combined; still others are being created. This is a delicate discernment process for all involved. It is also an evolving situation until the end of June, when we hope to have resolution. At that time, I plan to share with you not only our internal revised organization chart but also the staffing plan.
Some things are settling into place. For example, Cathy Marquis, who has served as our business administrator for almost 13 years, is retiring at the end of June. I have jokingly said that Cathy won’t listen to me and stay, but it’s hard to compete with a second grandchild. Amy Nelson, who has been our accountant and office manager, is moving into a completely different role with a sister church where she will be using a different mix of her spiritual gifts. She is sad to leave and excited about the new opportunity.
Of course, God is at work in all this. He has provided us with Larry Drees, the current chair of our Grace Commons Foundation and a man of many gifts. Larry felt the Spirit nudge him, and I have appointed him to serve as our interim business administrator ¾ time, starting in July. Larry will serve in this role through the remainder of the transition and into the next pastor’s tenure to assist in an orderly transition.
The staff care about you
As with any big organizational transition like this, it takes time and careful execution, and a good dose of goodwill and humor. Once we have clarity around the organizational chart and employees in their key roles, we will turn to executing the transition of it over the course of Ministry Year 2023. Each pastor and department head is tasked with reimagining and re-envisioning their ministries in light of Session’s clarified priorities. I have witnessed their passion for you and their desire to care for you in the midst of change. Where there are changes, each ministry will communicate them accordingly. When they do, I would encourage you to come alongside the staff, dream with them, and ask them how you can help. We will not be able to do ministry without you and will need you and your gifts in whatever capacity you are able to bring them. We are a family, and I welcome this opportunity for our relationships to deepen. How else will Boulder and beyond be drawn to Christ’s great love, if not for our love for one another?
And, the Boulder Vision Project
Some of you have asked where we are with the main campus. The main campus renovations are the third and final phase of the BVP, and factor in critical upgrades like replacing our boiler. Once we get closer to the main campus project, we’ll re-engage staff and the congregation.
The preschool is well on its way to fulfilling our projections. Our Year 1 target is 49 full-time students and a profit of $29,000. So far we have the equivalent of 36 full-time students (58 enrolled, some part-time) and a projected profit of $26,000 for the first 12 months of operation. This is good progress.
I have a deep admiration for the resilience of the BVP team when it comes to the Annex project. Construction costs have gone up by 30% (largely due to steel prices) and interest rates have risen, too. Faced with these challenges, the team is brainstorming additional options with our property development partner. They were investigating a potential partnership with agencies that source housing for young adults emerging from foster care, but programs such as these have met resistance from neighbors in Boulder. Pray for them and our Trustees as they crunch numbers and weigh so many variables. As soon as these details are ironed out and approved by Session and Trustees, we’ll have more to share. The BVP team usually provides monthly Sunday morning updates. Watch your email and the bulletin for details on the June meeting.
At every turn, we are cared for
At every turn, our Father provides for us. Let us look for the ways he cares for us and start counting them.
If you got this far in my letter, thank you.
Prayerfully and with gratitude,
Grace Commons Church
*Session has identified three key areas of focus for the next three years:
- Shifting our primary ministry focus to be more local and outward facing.
- Attracting young disciples.
- Equipping the congregation.