The prophet Isaiah wrote and the apostle Paul applied this great truth of God’s attentive urgency:
“In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” (Isaiah 49:8, 2 Corinthians 6:2)
Over and over in our church, we tell stories of how God hears and helps us. It keeps us close to Him and to each other. The stories give us endurance for the challenges and fellowship in the joys.
Today I get to tell more stories of how God has heard and helped.
Author Jim Collins is often quoted for his concept of ‘getting the right people on the bus.’ He describes it as ‘First Who. Then What.’ Or to say it negatively, ‘Great Vision without Great People is irrelevant.’ (The idea is developed in his book, Good to Great. This provides a short summary.)
Restoration has been around for more than a decade and God has consistently provided us with Great People- great staff, great volunteers, great partners. Some of our great strengths as a church are the people on our payroll and in our pews. It is my greatest joy as rector to get to lead you.
Our church ‘staff bus’ has experienced a lot of change in the last 6 months. We have said good-bye to 3 beloved staff members who got off the bus (Kathy, Endel, and Isaiah). We let a deeply talented new guy get on (Chris). And all along we have been helping people move into new seats that better utilize their God-given gifts. Today I am writing about some of our internal staff changes and the new places where people are sitting.
Kat Downs: Kat joined our team in 2013, right before we began construction on our new building. She has had a couple of job titles (Parish Administrator, Director of Operations) and dozens upon dozens of responsibilities over the last 8 years. Starting June 1, Kat is being elevated to Executive Director. This promotion is a recognition of the excellence she brings to all of her tasks and the value she brings to our organization because of her leadership strategy and supervision. A few highlights of what this means for her:
- Kat is a gifted strategist. She and I work closely to both solve current problems and to prepare Restoration for future opportunities. She is our key staff person for both finance and personnel issues and in those roles can implement the tactical minutiae of everyday tasks while holding the big picture of where we are headed.
- Kat has been leading our staff meetings for the past few years. She has developed us into a strong team, even in the remote challenges of Covid-19. She is often the person our staff go-to for problem-solving and help.
- Kat is an excellent supervisor. She knows how to develop people and to resource them to achieve their goals with excellent results. She will be supervising a significant portion of the staff team.
A lot of Restoration’s organizational excellence is due to Kat’s leadership and partnership with key volunteers and vendors. As Executive Director, we are institutionalizing her influence and elevating her organizational leadership as a partner to me. I am grateful for her, for all that God has done through her, and expectant of all that God will do in the years to come. Please take a moment to offer Kat your congratulations.
Nathan Dickerson: Over the last year, Nathan has served as our interim Director of Apex. Under his leadership, the ministry to our middle and high school students has grown and flourished. I am so grateful for his long Sundays, his investment in our Apex staff and volunteers, and his great messages that have helped our youth grow in prayer, in personal devotions, and in friendship with each other. Please join me in saying thank you to Nathan for his service. He will transition out of this role in June as the school year ends.
Ryan Goyer and Lexi McMann: Ryan and Lexi have been part-time Apex Coordinators this year. We are grateful for the ways they partnered with Nathan to grow our youth ministry and I have loved watching the impact they have on our students as they call them to faithfully follow Jesus. Ryan and Lexi will transition to full-time Apex Coordinators this summer. Because of the growth in youth numbers over the last year, we have decided to have a high school focus and a middle school focus. Lexi will be the high school coordinator and Ryan will be the middle school coordinator. Ryan and Lexi will work together to recruit and develop a volunteer Apex leadership community. You can have dinner and hear all about it, here. I am so excited to see what Apex becomes under the leadership of Lexi and Ryan. Let them know about your excitement as well!
The bus keeps rolling. It’s a lot of change and we’re not done yet! We are still working to address our work capacity needs in Operations and Kids’ Small Groups. Stay tuned. There will be more Rector Updates that address ‘staff changes’ in the weeks to come. For now, I am giving deep thanks for the way God has heard and helped through Kat, Nathan, Ryan, and Lexi.
Before you go…
Our Kids’ Small Groups Team, led by Louise Brooks and Abigail Westbrook, will be piloting a small nursery for kids 3 years old and younger, this summer from June 20 to July 25. You will sign up for a spot in the nursery on our sign-up genius, just as you have been doing for in-person Kids’ Small Groups. We love the enthusiasm you have expressed for outdoor Kids’ Small Groups under the tent. That pilot will close on June 13. Then, on June 20, we want to pilot an indoor nursery for 6 weeks and learn all we can about how that works best. The Kids’ Small Group Team has been creative and careful as they begin to bring back these in-person opportunities. I am so grateful for their intentional vision to offer a variety of ways for children to grow closer to Jesus: Sundays on Zoom at 9, during the week through Pray and Ponder, in-person and under the tent at 9+11, and coming soon… a nursery. Would you take a moment to let Louise and Abigail know of your appreciation?
I know I speak for all of our staff as I offer to you St. Paul’s words:
“We put no obstacle in anyone’s way… but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way.” (2 Corinthians 6:3-4)
We are God’s and we are yours. Grateful to be on the journey with you, Restoration.