The people that you have the most difficult conversations with are family. A family may not always be on the same page about something, but they are always family. They love each other, they listen to each other, they seek to understand each other, and they respond gently with one another—even through tough conversations. What’s more, families honour each other, whether or not they are within earshot.
Church, we are a family. We have tough conversations every so often. The latest one was at our Annual General Meeting, on Sunday May 28. The members of Richview had a discussion with big implications for the church, the purchase of an additional manse, and it was clear that the church was not all on the same page. The elders accept the responsibility for this, and will seek to do better in creating the right conditions for church-wide unity for future decisions. And yet, I’m hopeful that although we have had difficult conversations, we can still walk away knowing, and feeling like, we are truly family.
I’m very thankful that the Elders and Deacons had already planned a joint leadership meeting the day after our Annual General Meeting, on May 29. We were able to talk through many issues and discuss what went well and what should have gone better during the meeting. I’m pleased to say that there was openness, humility, clarity, forgiveness, and reconciliation in that meeting, and I am thankful that I get to serve alongside these outstanding family leaders. The elders will seek to draw a clearer picture and create greater unity around the question of an additional manse for future discussion.
May we each take up the cause of unity and peace, not just when it’s easy and we all agree, but when it is hard to reach agreement. We are all a family seeking the same thing together—we are joyfully leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus.
The Elders Board