We are very sorry for the delay in reporting the results of last week's vote. Over the past week, we have worked hard to gain clarity as the results were counted and processed.
The vote's result was more than 90% in favor of the Elder Body's proposed changes to our pastoral leadership structure. We are grateful for such affirmation.
But, as we worked with our phone vendor to tabulate the votes submitted by text, it became clear that there were submitted votes that did not make it into the final count. Let me explain.
Our phone vendor has informed us that there were limitations regarding the total number of messages their text system could store and retrieve at any one time. Though they should have informed us of this limitation before we decided on their system, they did not, because they were unaware. This was not a malfunction in how the votes themselves were received, or else it would have appeared in the testing our staff conducted before the vote. Our vendor has greatly apologized for the mistake.
The result is that there were votes submitted by text that were not counted because they were not properly stored and received. We only know of a handful, but there could be more. We're not sure if there were enough votes submitted to affect the outcome of the vote. But we believe that every vote and voice counts, and we want to make sure of that.
To that end, the Elder Body has decided that we will have another opportunity to vote on this proposal in two weeks, on Oct. 18. Please note that all paper ballots received on Sept. 27 have been counted, verified and processed, so if you voted via paper ballot last week, there is no need for you to vote again if you don't want to.
The Oct. 18 vote will again offer both paper and electronic options. We are researching a tested, verified, and approved process for the electronic vote, and will inform you of that with plenty of time. All votes will be carefully sorted and tabulated so that every vote counts counted once and no vote counts twice.
Plus, our Elder Body greatly desires good communication and understanding regarding this critical decision in the church's life. To that end, I'd like to tell you two things as we look ahead to a vote on Oct. 18:
- Our Elder Body is working on an FAQ document to post on the website that addresses some of the common questions we received since the family meeting. Hopefully seeing these questions addressed in a written format might be helpful.
- We'll continue to answer direct questions submitted to
So, as a silver lining to this unfortunate technical error in the voting process, there is even more time for you to hear the heart of our Pastors and Elders and consider your decision.
If I could take a moment for personal reflection, church, I admit I struggled with frustration this week. I have had to come before my Lord and repent a few times. We have watched our church's leaders and committed members work hard, and faithfully, over the last several months through this transition, not only on this polity proposal but also in many areas surrounding it. It grieved me that a technological snafu by a phone vendor, though unintentional, would delay and complicate this critical process.
However, we continue to call to mind the most important truth of all – our Lord is sovereign over technology, over time and space, over everything. He has a purpose, and this error was part of it. Frustration should not be our response to His gracious providence, but rather, "How can you use this to your glory, Lord?" Please pray for us that we walk in this way, with this attitude. We are praying the same for every single one of you.
It seems we're again asking for patience and grace as we walk through this unprecedented time, of both transition and pandemic. Thank you so much for those who have lifted up heartfelt prayers for your leaders; they are needed, and they are felt.
Once again, for those who voted electronically, plan to vote on Oct. 18. Should you have any questions, please reach out to a Pastor or Elder, the church office, or e-mail We'll help however we can. And look for that FAQ coming in the next few days.
Pastor Jason, on behalf of the Elder Body