330-425-7377
10285 Ravenna Road – Twinsburg Ohio 44087

FROM THE PASTOR – AUGUST 2021

What do you notice??

We’ve been practicing together for several months, breathing in Love & breathing out Love!

As you practice showing up in the moment, breathing in and out Love, doing the work of
responding to whatever is present with the greatest Love you can,

WHAT DO YOU NOTICE??

What do you notice in yourself? Thoughts? Emotions? Bodily sensations?
What do you notice in the world around you?
What do you notice in the life and ministry and interactions and functioning at CtK?

One thing I notice is communication.
I notice a lot of beautiful, loving, supportive communication amongst you all.
I notice many of you sharing your thoughts, suggestions, concerns, etc. with me.
And yes, I even notice a little bit of secretive-in-the-shadows sort of communication.

Can you simply notice what you notice, without doing anything with it??
No judgment, no interpreting or analyzing or defending or explaining
or avoiding or grasping on to.
Just noticing what is with no judgment . . .

Another thing I’ve noticed is that you/we have a variety of concerns.

Would you be surprised to hear that the most frequent concern I’ve noticed in my time at CtK can be summarized in a word: money?!
Past conflicts about how money is to be used and who decides.
Concerns about not having enough money, including for staff salaries and benefits.
Concerns with the endowment fund.
Concerns with accounting best practices and an appropriate level of checks and
balances and safeguards in financial processes of the church.
Concerns with finding the next treasurer and financial secretary. Etc. Etc.

Because of these concerns, 1 of the 5 focus points in our interim covenant is finances.

I was asked if this was mandated by the synod. Great question! And the answer is no, not directly, and yes, indirectly. I, as the transitional/intentional interim pastor, am sent by the synod to address and work through whatever concerns arise.
For many congregations, CtK included, finances is one that comes up.

The transition time is the perfect opportunity to do some cleaning up and working through of any lingering doubts, concerns, hurts, so that when you call the next settled pastor you can hit the ground running, focusing on your mission and ministry together!

To that end, your elected leaders, along with your transitional pastor (the 7 of us making up CtK’s Council) are working to schedule an audit by an independent third party, and working to identify and hire a person/persons to fill the roles of treasurer and financial secretary.

Our hope is to tidy up the finances of CtK, address and alleviate any and all questions/doubts/concerns surrounding finances, and work through and heal any lingering conflicts/hurts related to finances.

Another concern I repeatedly hear is whether or not the church should be run, at least to some degree, as a business. The answer is NO!
THE CHURCH IS NOT A BUSINESS, and should never be treated as such!
By definition, a business is a for-profit enterprise. The church is clearly not this.

Instead, THE CHURCH IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, and is best managed as such.

C12.05.a of the CtK Constitution reads as follows:
‘The Congregation Council shall be the board of directors of this congregation and, as such shall be responsible for maintaining and protecting its property and managing its business and fiscal affairs. It shall have the powers and be subject to the obligations that pertain to such boards under the laws of the State of Ohio, except as otherwise provided herein.’

In the spirit of openness, transparency, honesty, integrity, directness, and Love,
I share with you, the people of CtK
(as has been shared with Council, finance committee, treasurer and financial secretary),
what I’m noticing, the concerns I’ve heard, the concerns I have, and the steps the CtK Council is taking to fulfill their responsibilities as described above.

My hope is that this sharing invites you into:
a deeper noticing of what’s happening within you, in the world around you, and here at CtK
less in the shadows conversations & more open, honest, transparent, loving conversations
more sharing of your concerns with the pastor and/or council members

All in the name of Love! So that we may more fully embody Love! So that in everything we think, say, and do, we may radiate, share, and grow this Love within our own hearts and beings, here at CtK, and in the world around us! May it be so!

Love, Love, Love!!! – PJ

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