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SPECIAL NOTE FROM PASTOR JOSH - 10.8.18

Last night, we gathered together in a called church conference to consider the Columbus@Worship schedule proposal. As I watched and listened to the conversation unfold, my heart was filled with gratitude. My prayer before the conference and even in the room with you last night was that the Spirit of God would empower us to embody Ephesians 4:1-3. Here is that passage:

Therefore, I the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.

I am deeply grateful for the humility, gentleness, patience, and love that was on display last night. I am convinced that while we do not all agree on the method of how we go forward that we do agree that we have been called by one Spirit and serve one Lord as the church at the center of this city. Let us continue to pray and to work diligently to keep the unity of the Spirit in peace even, or perhaps especially, in the places of disagreement.

As our brother Jose from Mexico reminded us, it is a great privilege to live in a country where we can even have a discussion about how to worship together. The very process that we are participating in is denied to millions of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Our religious liberty is a sacred privilege that should not be taken lightly nor taken for granted. Please pause today and thank the Father for the gift of that liberty we are sharing together.

The result of the congregational vote last night is as follows:

Affirm – 189 (76%)

Not Affirm – 61 (24%)        

Abstain – 31

The motion carried, and we will begin the Columbus@Worship schedule on November 4. Let me offer a few observations that I hope will help us going forward.

1.     Last night the percentage of “Affirm” was reported as 67%. That percentage was reached by dividing the “Affirms” by the total number of ballots (281). However, according to Robert’s Rules of Order, “Abstain” is not to be considered in the voting total. Therefore, the total counted towards this motion was 250 giving us the percentages reflected above. In reviewing the ballots, we also discovered 10 ineligible votes (6 Affirm, 4 Not Affirm) that were counted last night.  The votes were from people who could participate in these discussions but not vote. We adjusted the tallies accordingly.

2.     This is an unusually high number of abstentions. For those of you not in the room last night, a member suggested that “Abstain” could be used in this case to communicate that more conversation needs to be had on this subject. While “Abstain” is technically not a vote, it is certainly a voice. Given this context, I think it would be wrong of us to ignore those who chose to abstain, and I agree that more conversation is in order. Our Long Range Planning Committee has already begun work on a survey of our church that we will conduct in January 2019. This will give us an opportunity to evaluate how the new schedule is working and continue the important conversation we have started about the future of our worship together.

3.     There was vocal support for the Columbus Together worship schedule that we have been experiencing these past few weeks. Several members expressed publicly and privately the urgent desire to continue worshipping together using all of our musical resources. We will have an opportunity to do just that at the 10:30 AM worship service. As long as folks from both the choir-led and band-led services are willing to keep learning from each other and stay in the room together, we can shape a new “voice” for our church that reflects the diverse musical gifts God has given us.

4.     In the weeks ahead, I will be asking each of you to prayerfully consider where you can make the most difference for the kingdom of God and the mission of our church. If you can be most effective as a “Columbus Missionary” engaging and inviting folks to join you at 8am, then commit to the early service for the year ahead. If you can be most effective as a “Columbus Missionary” engaging and inviting people to join you at 10:30 AM in an environment that intentionally weaves together different musical strands, then commit to the late service for the year ahead. All of us have an indispensable part to play in God’s mission to lift up Jesus across this city and around the world. What will be your role?

As we navigate through these waters, I’m reminded of a plaque a member gave me after we introduced the Columbus2025 long range plan. The plaque reads, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” While we don’t know all of what lies ahead, we do know that God has called us to joyfully live and lead others to a Jesus-shaped life. We do that 365 days a year as we pay attention to His Word, love others in His community, and live on mission in each place He sends us. There is an entire city, region, and world watching how we navigate these waters. Let’s point them to Jesus and call them to join us!

It is a privilege serve as your pastor.

- Josh Vaughan


WHAT IS THE COLUMBUS@WORSHIP SCHEDULE?

8:00 AM - Columbus@Worship in Sanctuary

  • Utilizes primarily “legacy” (traditional) musical resources such as ensemble or choir

9:15 AM - Sunday School (for all ages)

10:30 AM - Columbus@Worship in Sanctuary and Spanish Worship in Chapel

  • Utilizes both legacy and emerging musical resources including choir, orchestra, band and praise team


WHY COLUMBUS@WORSHIP PLAN?

  • Relieves tension of “stacked service” teaching (Pastor Josh preaching in simultaneous services) as soon as possible

  • Delayed broadcast makes better use of TV time

  • More standard time for worship service to begin

  • Allows for continued growth currently experienced in the “Band-Led” service

  • Additional time option to engage new attenders

  • Better representation of the varied gifts God has given Columbus Avenue


WHEN WILL THE COLUMBUS@WORSHIP SCHEDULE BE IMPLEMENTED?

November 4


WHAT WILL WE DO DURING THE TRANSITION?

On October 21 and 28, we will keep the same ColumbusTogether format; meeting together in the Sanctuary at 11 AM.


WHAT SERVICE WILL BE BROADCAST?

The 10:30 AM service would be broadcast at 11 AM using the simulcast technology we already have.  However, we will be evaluating how to best use the resources God has given us to spread the Gospel.


WHAT VALUES AND PRIORITIES WILL SHAPE COLUMBUS@WORSHIP?

  • Christ centered, Gospel-shaped liturgy

  • Head and Heart engagement (Intelligibility and Inspiration)

  • Excellence and Authenticity in musical and other expressions

  • Stewardship and Utilization of both legacy and emerging musical resources

  • Utilization of broad range of gifts expressing our multicultural and multigenerational congregation

  • Inspirational and transformational for new seekers and longtime followers of Christ

  • Open and accessible to newcomers


To submit additional comments or questions, send an email to cabcinfo@cabcwaco.org