CCC Town Hall Mtg – Nov 10, 2019 (Plus a Few New Updates)

November 16, 2019 | Gregg Caruso

The primary reason for me [Pastor Gregg] being here is to be with you as you (i.e., CCC members and attenders) seek the Lord for God’s heart concerning the next season of fruitful ministry at CCC. One of my main roles is to ask clarifying questions along the way to help you make the best use of this transition season. I would see this season as an opportunity—to get to know God and one another better. Some of my areas of experience are leadership development as well as systems and infrastructure development. One of my primary goals is to give the (bulk of) ministry back to people.

The primary role of our elders is threefold:

1. Doctrine, which is to refine and articulate our core beliefs and to distinguish between the essentials (i.e., non-negotiables) of our faith and secondary (i.e., non-essentials) doctrines of our faith. Here is a very common description that dates back to early Reformation days:

In the essentials we must have UNITY (Eph 4:4-6), in non-essentials, we must have LIBERTY (Rom 14:1-6), in all things we must have CHARITY (1 Cor 13:1-3).[1]

2. Direction, which has to do with vision. Elders, with input from the staff and congregation, are tasked with determining what the Holy Spirit is saying to CCC. (Some variation of “s/he who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying to the church” is used 15 times in the New Testament — Matt. 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mk. 4:9,23; Lk. 8:8; 14:35; Rev. 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22; 13:9.)

3. Discipline, which is the process of correcting sinful behavior among members and attenders of a local church body for the purpose of protecting the church, redemptive restoration, and renewing fellowship among the church members and attenders. (For a more in-depth look click here.)

The primary role of our staff is shifting more intentionally to equipping (see Eph 4:12) and team building. Again, the (overall) goal is to give ministry back to our people. Also, the larger a church becomes the more ministry needs to be accomplished by volunteers.

Here are the bullet points from last weekend’s town-hall meeting plus a few extras (and thank you to all who attended!):
  • Transition Vision — “We are a community of Jesus followers who are seeking to move from consuming to contending for gospel renewal in our lives, our church, and in our region.”
    • This is not meant to replace anything that is currently on our website. It is simply an attempt to describe our current transitional opportunity.
    • The Western/North American Church has been assailed with a consumer mindset. Has this affected CCC? Yes, I think it has to some degree. (Parents, check out this article: When Church is Optional, You Set-Up Your Kids to Fail.)
    • “Gospel renewal” means that we, as a church, are expressing a refreshed commitment to the gospel – and Jesus Himself – is our greatest hope and boast, our deepest longing and delight, and our most passionate song and message. It means that the gospel is what defines us as Christians, unites us as brothers and sisters, changes us as both sinners and saints and sends us as God’s people on mission.
  • Our newly formed Financial Advisory Board (FAB) has met twice. They are an extraordinary group of committed Jesus followers and CCC members/attenders. The overall objective is to maximize the wise stewardship of the resources God provides for CCC. Kim is the Facilitator and here’s a bio of all four (Edward has returned from travel and joined the FAB):
    • Rob McDonald holds a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Rhode Island, both in Finance. He has spent 51-years in the financial services industry and also has taught Investments, Personal Finance, and Accounting at various area colleges, including Stonehill College in North Easton. Rob and his wife Melanie began attending CCC in 1977. He has served in various capacities, including as an Elder for over 20 years and Treasurer for 14. Rob and Melanie have begun a 2-3-year transition of moving back to their hometown of Falmouth, MA.
    • Kim Pierson is the Director of DataSpark, overseeing a program at the University of Rhode Island that provides data analysis services to government agencies, academic institutions, and community-based organizations. She is passionate about using data to improve lives. She holds degrees from Rollins College and the University of Illinois. Kim has been attending CCC for the past 6 years and serves on the Family Team in the Beginnings Room. Kim lives in Pawtucket, RI with her husband and three daughters aged 2, 4, and 6.
    • Sally Thayer is a graduate of Trinity College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy. She currently works as the Business Manager for an electrical contracting company in Medfield and does bookkeeping on the side for small businesses. Sally has been attending CCC for the past 4 years and has facilitated three Financial Peace classes. Sally is a Massachusetts native and lives in Rehoboth. She has three daughters; two are away at college and her youngest is a sophomore at Dighton Rehoboth High School.
    • Edward Kuo is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with dual Master’s degrees in Hospitality Administration and Accounting. And, believe it or not, his undergraduate degree is in Animal Science. He is currently a CPA and the partner of an accounting firm in Lincoln, RI. Edward has been attending CCC for 3.5 years and prior to that spent 22 years at Chinese Christian Church of RI in Pawtucket, RI. While at Chinese Christian Church, he served as Church Controller, bookkeeper, and member of the governing board. Edward presently lives in Barrington, RI with his wife, Salina, and two sons, Jeremy and Justin. He also has one daughter, Josephine, who is away attending a college in Boston, MA.
  • We have staffed our Administrative Coordinator office role with Susan Leatherwood (and we couldn’t be happier!). And by-the-way, she won’t be working on Sundays, so she’ll remind you to call or email her on weekdays.
  • The elders are practicing a governance model (Policy Governance) that is allowing for more effectiveness AND efficiency (see above). The elders delegate all staff and operations to the Lead Pastor (who is also an elder) AND hold him accountable. The elders are accountable to two primary “stakeholders”: 1) God (first and foremost), and 2) The members and attenders of CCC.
  • One of the recommendations from the VitalChurch Oral Report (you can view it here) was that we form a Transition Team (TT) to take on specific responsibilities during this transition season to keep our staff from being overburdened. Nominees were solicited from elders and staff. An “application packet” was sent out and I (Pastor Gregg) have been interviewing the nominees. We are looking for a team of men and women who fit the biblical qualifications of a deacon/ess, who have administrative capacity, and leadership potential. I hope to have our first meeting in early Dec.
  • We’re tweaking the Sun service
    • We have inserted our announcements video back into the main service in an attempt to up our overall communication game. (Healthy families communicate well and often, right?) 
    • Our staff and elders are inviting you to make your way into the Worship Center before the music begins. The music is not a prelude to the sermon, the whole service: singing, sermon, receiving tithes and offerings, and celebrating the Lord’s Supper are ALL essential forms of our worship and adoration.
  • We want to have a Prayer Ministry Team available after each service (each person rotating in maybe 1-2 times a month). We’ll need about 25-30 to take the training. 12 people recently took the training. We will hold the training again. Please pray about attending.
  • We are taking a special offering to upgrade one of our tech computers in the sound/lighting/tech booth as well as provide our Admin Coordinator with a laptop. Last week $1,090 came in and we are prayerfully seeking $2,000.00. If you would like to contribute click here.
  • Barbara Mammano will be returning from CA in early Dec and will jump back into her full-time role on January 1, 2020.
  • CCC is operating on a “shoestring” budget for 2020 and we mostly operate month-to-month with no real reserves to speak of. We are inviting all those who identify CCC as their home church to increase their giving as the Lord leads. Theologically, we believe that giving 10% to one’s local church is a “baseline” biblical admonition. While some can (and do) give more, others need to begin with less and seek to increase their generous and sacrificial giving. For a short article on tithing click here.)  
  • With elder and staff input we will also be asking each household that identifies CCC as their/your home church to consider a year-end financial gift over-and-above your regular giving to begin the new year with some margin. You will be receiving a letter from me in early December.
  • Finally, Dr. Tom Wilkens, a VitalChurch Managing Partner was in town this last week to facilitate Mid-Career Assessments for both Pastor Chris and Pastor Frank. Both men put together discernment teams of their choosing and took (or passed on) personality and spiritual gifting inventory scores to Tom and Tom facilitated a day of dialogue and discernment regarding “next step” possibilities for each of them regarding their current and future roles at CCC. Feel free to ask them about how it went. Tom is my VitalChurch coach and he will also be back after the first of the year to facilitate a Mid-Career Assessment with Barbara and her Discernment Team.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog posting. As was said, we are attempting to “up our game” in communication, authenticity, and transparency. We have an amazing staff and eldership team and it is an absolute joy for me to serve alongside them at CCC.

[1] http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/essentials-unity-non-essentials-liberty-all-things/




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