FROM DENIS’ DESKTOP
We had a surprise in the office a couple of months ago. The staff was working on cleaning out shelves of unused and out-dated items, and going through drawers of old files to see what could be thrown away and what should be kept. Most of the files were unnecessary documents and records, but the histories, photographs and financial records were re-filed. But as we played paper archeologists we came across a magnificent find, a certified copy of the original Articles of Incorporation for KPCC, filed with the State of Oregon on October 1, 1907. What a discovery, and what a precious artifact documenting our beginning as a worshiping community! [See page X]
Holding and reading this manuscript took us back to that original group of believers, led by Pastor J.F. Ghormley, who felt led by God to establish a Bible based congregation in SE Portland. It also reminded us that our purpose and mission has not changed in all that time [see original Article II] because we are still seeking to proclaim the Gospel, lead others to a salvation faith in Christ, and serve our neighbors in His Name! That identity has not changed in 107 years!
However, the experience of reading our foundational document reminded me of how far this congregation (and all our sister congregations in the U.S.) got from maintaining that simple statement of identity. I’m not sure of the reasons why our Association of churches felt the need to expand our documents of origin into cumbersome constitutions of procedures that transformed our Spirit-led fellowships into models of parliamentary protocol, but we all did it.
Thankfully that trend has changed, and KPCC has joined the ranks of congregations that seek a return to a simple and biblical model of governance, one less dependent on going through layers of approval in order to do ministry, to one relying on Christ’s model of empowering spiritual leaders to oversee the life of the body (Elders), and organize and carry out ministry (Team Leaders and servants). In the Bible ALL Christians are called “deacons,” that is, “servants or ministers” regardless of gender or age, and their service is based on spiritual gifts and interest, not on being elected to a board or committee. The New Testament model for the Body of Christ is not one of rigid organization but on being a living organism doing God’s will on earth.
This is why you as a congregation adopted new policies in October 2012 to move toward that New Testament model. I say “moved toward” because we have not quite completed that process. The Elders have approved, and will present to the congregation for a vote at the end of March, the final revision of our 2014 Articles of Incorporation (replacing our current Constitution) which matches the spirit of our original 1907 document, and opens the way for our new Procedures Manual (replacing the current By-Laws). Actually we are already operating under the new system, but with your support this action will make the transformation complete.
I am very excited about where God is leading this congregation, and am confident of His blessings as we follow and trust Him for the life and ministry of Kern Park Christian Church.
Shalom, Denis (Jer. 29:7 – if you haven’t read that scripture lately, check it out!)
If you want more information on these proposed changes, contact one of the pastors or Elders, or attend the Wednesday evening class (6:30 – 8:00 p.m.) taught by Pastor Denis during March where these concepts will be reviewed.