Update from the Board of Stewards

Greetings Central Family.

I hope this finds you all healthy and safe. I greet you with a heart carrying both deep heaviness, and unwavering hope. The senseless and tragic murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officers on May 31 has brought unimaginable pain and destruction to our beloved Twin Cities, including our immediate Midway neighborhood. The seeds sown by our nation’s original sin of racism has brought a harvest of death, deep pain, grief, and suffering. Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.

We pray for the family of George Floyd. We pray for the officers involved in his death, and their families. We pray for peaceful protests, and the painful work of change that must begin in our own hearts. We pray for our leaders at every level of government, from the Union Park District Council to the Minnesota State Capitol, all the way to our President in the White House.

We pray for the many first responders that have and continue to serve our communities well during a global pandemic, and now a worldwide cry for racial justice, and the dismantling of white supremacy. I think of our Central Baptist family members Tim Erickson and Anthony Ohlendorf, who serve as police officers in Maple Grove and Mounds View respectively. We pray that our dear brothers in Christ are protected in their work as they serve their communities with integrity and faith, and that they would shine the love of Christ into any darkness that resides among their departments, speaking the truth in love.

In the midst of all of this, may the church - may our church - repent of our sin so that we may more fully be the hands and feet of Jesus, living out the Gospel for the sake of His Kingdom.

The Board continues our work on behalf of the church, and here are a few updates for this week:

1. Pastor Troy sent me the following text on Monday morning: “To the Board: Every 1st of the month since this pandemic hit, when I write out my rent check, I praise God for His Grace and I praise God for you all. My total appreciation, gratitude, and respect abounds.”

Our offerings were down significantly the past two Sunday’s. We thank you for your continued support of the ministry we all share as members of Central. As reflected in Pastor Troy’s message, your giving makes a real difference in the lives of our Staff whom we love. You can give in multiple ways, including contact free, drive by offering drop off at church every Sunday between 12:00-1:00pm.

2. The Staff and Board continue to actively work on strategic plans for ways in which we can begin to safely regather in accordance with all public health directives from the CDC, state, and local leaders.

3. The Board continues our search for an Intentional Interim Pastor to serve us in the coming season of transition. As with any employment search, the work we are doing and conversations we are having must remain confidential. Be assured that much is happening behind the scenes, and we hope to have more specific news for you in the next two weeks.

The term “Intentional Interim Pastor” may be new to many of you, and you might be wondering what on earth we mean. Traditionally, an Interim Pastor is someone who will step in to fill a limited Pastoral role within the life of a church during a Pastoral Search. This person will typically preach/teach on Sunday, and sometimes is involved with limited Pastoral Care.

An Intentional Interim Pastor has a different and more active role within the life of a church. This excerpt from an article in The Baptist Standard explains it a bit more fully:

“Many churches are familiar with a traditional interim, a person whose main responsibility is to preach sermons on Sunday mornings while the church seeks a full-time pastor. With a traditional interim, pastoral care and progress toward a church’s mission often take a back seat.

In contrast to the traditional interim, intentional interim ministry encompasses the total life of the church to ensure ongoing congregational needs are met at the same time that the church positions itself for a stronger future.”

The Board believes we will likely have an Intentional Interim Pastor with us for 12-24 months, trusting the Lord as He leads us. We base this timeline on the ongoing disruptions with the Covid-19 pandemic, the limitations and directives of our Bylaws, and the work of the Board in preparation for the successful launching of a Pastoral Search Committee. In all of this, we prayerfully trust the Lord and His timing, and we hold our plans loosely.

Thanks to each of you for your prayers and love for Central Baptist and for the Lord. May He use our church for His glory!

In Christ, Catherine Westby Chair, Board of Stewards