Eugene Cho

church merger transition

This upcoming Sunday is a fairly monumental day for Quest church [and Interbay].  Our neighbors – Interbay Church – also our landlords – will be taking their 2nd and final vote to decide whether they will merge with and into Quest Church.  During the first vote, 82% of their membership (total adult congregation = 60 folks) voted to move forward to work on a ‘Transition Plan.’  This upcoming Sunday, they will vote on the ‘Transition Plan’ and ultimately, on the merger as it will only require 51% of the members’ vote.  The past couple months have been filled with meetings, prayers, discussions, and lots of hard work on the formation of this ‘Transition Plan.’ 

Because so many people have been interested in the progress of the ‘merger,’ I’ve attached some parts of the Transition Plan (minus certain confidential info and full names).  You can read two earlier posts to get a better context of the situation:  An Amazing Story and Church Merger.  I will share early next week the result of Interbay’s vote.  If they vote in favor of the ‘merger,’ the Quest membership will take a formal vote, and we will be one church as of June 1, 2007.  About six weeks away.  Wow.

Update: Interbay has voted to merge with Quest.

_____________________

… As one, new, diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-generational faith community we will more closely reflect Christ’s vision for the church and, consequently, be more effective and authentic in communicating the love of Christ. Quest has a demonstrated passion for urban ministry and for being a church that resonates with the emerging generation. They embody ministries of compassion and justice and creative ways of connecting with the urban Seattle culture. Interbay has a long and rich history in Seattle with a heart for local and global missions and “sending out” disciples. We have valuable experiences in ministry that need to be passed on to future generations. Our properties and assets are strategically located to serve a growing Seattle and a developing Interbay neighborhood. Together we can have a stronger, more vibrant and effective impact for the cause of Christ. The legacy we leave now will bear fruit for the kingdom of God and to the glory of God for many generations to come.  The following plan assumes a perspective that is multi-generational, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and gender sensitive, taking into account the character, system of values and attitudes, some of which are unique to the Interbay community.  In that end, the purpose of this Transition Plan seeks to not only honor the Interbay Community but to be mindful of Quest Church’s ministry philosophy and vision. 

Church Name and Government.  The name of the church shall be Quest Church and the QC constitution shall be the governing document.  While Quest Church seeks to genuinely honor the history and legacy of Interbay Covenant Church, the name shall be called ‘Quest Church’ to articulate its mission to reach the larger city of Seattle and beyond. 

Church Membership.  Following ICC’s adoption of the Transition Plan, all ICC members on the roll at the date of adoption shall have their membership transferred to QC, with full voting privileges. Within one year following transfer of membership all former ICC members will be encouraged to attend a membership class for ICC members.  Regular ICC attendees will be invited to seek QC membership.  Special membership provisions are made for ICC’s “shut-ins,” out-of-town college students and missionaries. “Shut-ins” will remain on the membership roll. Out-of-town college students must attend a special QC orientation / membership class for ICC members and complete a QC membership application within two years following the merger. ICC’s supported missionaries will be contacted and asked to indicate their wishes. If desired, they will remain on the membership roll. 

Worship Services.  Any worship services to be held in the Interbay sanctuary will commence approximately four (4 to 6) weeks after ICC approves the Transition Plan. This is intended to give ICC time to honor and celebrate our history and prepare us to welcome and celebrate our new future with Quest Church at a worship service on June 3, 2007.

Schedule of Sunday Services: 9:30 am, 11 am and 5 pm.   a) The 9.30 am service shall be sensitive to the Interbay worship ethos and community, and will be held in the ICC sanctuary.  b)  Pastor George will continue his leadership as the worship pastor.  As such, he will have responsibility for leading and scheduling musicians, vocalists and soundboard technicians.  For the first six months following the merger, an intentional commitment of integrating ICC musicians and volunteers will take place.  c) For the first six months following the merger, the Interbay musicians shall be incorporated into the worship ministry and will be used as available and willing in the two morning services.  d) For the first six months following the merger, the Interbay worship leaders may lead as able. When they lead, they will have responsibility for music selection and coordinate the worship plan with both Pastor George and the appropriate teaching pastor.  e) Pastor Ray shall preach at the 9.30am service at least twice a month for six months following the merger.  After six months, Pastor Ray will join the teaching rotation with the other associate pastors.

Interbay’s Missionaries.  ICC’s missionaries will be financially supported at the 2007 budgeted level through 2008. After that time, the budgeting process of QC shall apply. 

Interbay Ministries (e.g., Prayer, Bible Studies, Small Groups, Women, College & Career, Youth) Ongoing ICC ministries will be identified and communicated to the Elder Board, including purpose, group leaders, participants, and schedule.  These ministries will be integrated into the larger mission of QC in order to utilize the gifts of the Interbay Ministries and to deepen the community and ministry of the church. 

Church Building, Furnishings & Equipment.  To minimize the degree of change for the Interbay congregation immediately following the merger, the sanctuary pews and other major furnishings will be retained through July 2007. However, to accommodate the anticipated attendance growth in September, the seating capacity of the sanctuary needs to be maximized. Consequently, during the month of August, the pews will be replaced with comfortable, attractive sanctuary chairs. Concurrently, other decorative changes will also be incorporated.

Filed under: church, emerging church, ministry, quest church

4 Responses

  1. Dan K. says:

    We’ll be praying for not only good results but a fruitful transition.

  2. daniel so says:

    Eugene — Thanks for keeping us updated and for the insider’s glance at the transition through which your churches are going. What a tremendous amount of planning and work — I feel tired just from reading😉 But what a great witness of the power and love of Christ to reach across cultures and generations. May God richly bless this endeavor!

  3. Blake says:

    P.E.- I am amazed. I am amazed by the work that God is doing in our communities, and I am flat-out amazed by the graciousness and courage of the I.C.C. community going into this merger. Talk about humbling. There is no doubt in my mind that God is all over this. May all of us at QC honor our new ICC brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers in ways that do the justice. I cannot wait to begin journeying together with them.

  4. […] team, their constitution, and simply, their ‘ways of doing things.’  A well discussed ‘Transition Plan’ will be implemented to ensure that the most important asset in any church community – the people – […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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