Dear His Place Family,
Much has been happening at HPC and we are realizing that we have been remiss in communicating all these changes. We need to catch up on our communications and do a better job in the future.
As part of our efforts to keep you apprised of significant changes at His Place Church, the elders have decided to provide periodic updates that will be available in paper form in the foyer in addition to being posted on the church website. We will also be glad to discuss with growth groups or individuals any questions regarding HPC developments as they occur. Hopefully, these measures will keep our HPC family informed of any changes and the future vision for the church. We believe that these updates and conversations will serve also to help our church family to identify and interact with individual members of the leadership team.
As some of you may be aware, there have been issues of forgiveness and reconciliation that we have been working on over the past several years between Doug, Don and certain members of the elder team. The elders have been committed to self-examination and doing whatever is necessary to restore relationships according to the biblical guidelines. We’ve been going through group training on biblical leadership and conflict resolution, because many of us have had no formal teaching on how to go about this. We have been addressing issues within our own hearts that have interfered with healthy interactions. Additionally, in October, the elders offered both, Doug and Don, the opportunity to take separate sabbatical breaks. These would include, for each, the option of a pastoral restoration retreat to refresh their spirits and an option for them to get some personal counseling. We believe that God is at work making changes in all of us. This is a humbling process which continually demonstrates the necessity of the gospel in our own lives. Our purpose is to honor God by allowing him to make the changes He so desires to conform us into the likeness of Jesus. Continue to pray for us as we follow Him in this process. We desire to model well His teachings for the church (see https://viennapres.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Keller-Forgiveness-and-Reconciliation-2016-5-1-Resource.pdf).
Over the past year we have experienced several staff transitions. Andrew Miller stepped down from his role as the Director of Worship Arts. He made this choice in order to devote more time to his family and to the significant demands of his other job. Over the years, Andrew has unpretentiously dedicated his wonderful musical talent to enhance our collective worship to the Lord. Beyond that, he developed, coordinated and faithfully provided spiritual oversight to the worship teams. We are indebted to Andrew and his wife, Jen, for their passionate hearts. We have been richly blessed because of their selfless contribution. Andrew also poured himself into the development of future worship leaders. Dia Hill and Jacob Burrows are fruit of Andrew’s efforts in that regard. Dia has been selected to replace Andrew as Director of Worship Arts here at HPC. We appreciate not only her wonderful instrumental and vocal abilities, but we also love her sensitivity to the heart of God as she affectionately leads the congregation into His presence. Jacob was offered and has accepted a similar role alongside Shane Freese as leader of the worship team at Liberty Lake Church. We believe that Jacob’s considerable musical giftings will continue to be a blessing to our sister EVF church family at LLC. Both churches are indebted to Andrew’s faithful ministry.
Don and Cindy Anderson are also going to Liberty Lake Church. In May 2017, Don advised the elders of his intention to retire from the pastoral staff at HPC in October 2018, citing ministry burnout and related health issues. At the time he recommended David Smith as a potential candidate to assume his role as Executive Pastor. He believed that David was uniquely suited to fill the position and lead the church into its next season. After prayerful consideration and based on David’s character, gifting and experience it was unanimously decided that David was, indeed, God’s man to fill Don’s vacated role. David also brought with him a sense of humor to fill the absence of Don’s classic style.
The first part of the Executive Pastor transition began in the latter part of 2017 when Don requested and was granted time off to recover from the press of his pastoral duties. He returned after that month to help us move through the holidays and to prepare for the second phase of the transition, which culminated in the official handoff of his Executive Pastor role at the January 2018 Annual meeting. The final stage of the transition was completed in October when all of Don’s executive responsibilities ended.
In October, the elders offered Don a three-month sabbatical to refresh his spirit and allow him to be able to grow without the distractions of his former ministry responsibilities. The aim was to allow him the opportunity to reflect on how God might use him in the future. Because of Don’s years of faithful service and the strong relationships he has developed with many in the HPC family, we worked with him to restructure his staff position here at HPC in the hope that part-time and lower-stress duties might better suit him. God has directed Don differently. Don has announced his intention to redirect his energies and ministry efforts to participate with his close friends at LLC. We know that his presence will be an asset to that body and its future. As Don and Cindy begin attending LLC, we are very pleased to report that Cindy will remain in her staff position at HPC.
There can be no doubt that much of what is good about HPC can be directly attributed to the way that God has shed his life and love upon us through Don and Cindy Anderson over the years. Their deep compassion for people, wise financial stewardship, determined energy to lend a hand wherever needed, and most importantly their love for God, have been the hallmarks of their service.
Earlier this year, Our Executive Assistant left our clerical staff to join her husband, who has taken a long-haul trucking position. Her position as the Executive Assistant to the pastoral staff was crucial. And, she was very good at it. So, finding the right replacement was no small task. But, with God’s help, we did. We are pleased to announce that Ashley Thurman has joined our staff to fill that vital role.
After having served for many years as Women’s Ministry Director, Nancy Osborn has stepped down from that ministry. It has been her desire to devote more of her time and attention to her husband (and our dear brother), Ron. This, of course, left another void in a very significant ministry area. Once again, God has blessed us. Charlene Kretz has stepped into this leadership role.
There are additional changes. Melinda Mattfeld, our longtime Children’s Ministry Director and front desk receptionist will be focusing on her front office duties. We are happy to announce Alyssa Burbank will assume the Children’s Ministry Director position. Gale and Peg Salo, who have overseen our Kitchen Ministry are turning those duties over to Donna Erickson. Darla Merriman, who has been our facility caretaker has retired. Brian Davis has taken over that role. Brian Burbank has chosen to step down from a leadership position on the security team. Matthew Brakeman has agreed to step into that position.
Most of you know that we have two new deacons. Reggie Yaude will oversee our Community Care efforts. And, Dick Leupp is our Head Usher. If you want to become involved in either of these very important ministries to our body, or in any other role, please contact the deacon who oversees the area where your interest lies or contact one of the elders directly.
The changes listed above relate to the resources that God is currently utilizing to address His mission for us. Although roles may change, our mission does not. We still exist to propagate and practice the teachings of Scripture and thus to make disciples. In that regard, we urge everyone to continue being the welcoming body that HPC has become known to be. Please introduce yourselves to those you don’t already know and who may be new to the congregation. If you don’t already belong to a Growth Group, please consider joining one. You will most certainly be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Again, if you have questions, comments or suggestions concerning any facet of body life here at His Place, please contact any member of the leadership team below.