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Pastoral Search Team Update #15

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We have a candidate! After reviewing all the applicants, we have selected one man whom we are pursuing as a candidate. The elders held a time of prayer and fasting, and came to a unanimous decision to pursue this man to be our next pastor. We are currently interviewing a list of references for this individual which will prepare us for another interview.

Thank you for your prayers, as our process is moving along smoothly. We will have the interviews and reference checks completed by the beginning of September and, Lord willing, we will be able to introduce the candidate to the congregation in September. Once the candidate has been introduced, we will schedule a week for the candidate to be with us. This week will allow him to meet with us, share his vision for our church and community, and have lots of interaction with our congregation. This visit will be followed by a congregational vote.

Things are moving along well. Please continue to pray for the elders, pastoral search team, and the candidate as we move steadily forward.
*Please do not ask us who the candidate is, as we are not able to share that information yet. We will introduce the candidate as soon as we are able to.

Posted by Craig Kraft

Meet Gatlin Saip

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Almost a year ago, I was praying for our church, asking God how to unify our congregation in a special way. It was revealed to me that it was time to combine our two separate worship services into one. We needed to worship together as a community of believers. After thinking and praying about this for a period of time, I asked God how we would accomplish this. I had some sleepless nights and anxious days until I understood that it would take the right person to make this happen. I did not know who this person would be. I felt overwhelmed with what to do, and totally inadequate with how to do it. I addressed this with our elders, who had also been praying, and they agreed it was time to unite our services behind the right person.

During multiple conversations with different men, God led me to speak with Gatlin Saip, someone I did not know personally. We met over coffee and I shared our vision for what we wanted to do in moving to only one service. As we talked, Gatlin shared a bit of his life journey. He and his wife Mackenzie had been married at SDBC, and he was a school teacher at South Delta Secondary, working 3/4 time. He shared that he had been approached a few times before to consider leading worship in other churches, yet he had declined those opportunities. Gatlin was intrigued, however, by our vision and what God had been doing in his and Mackenzie’s lives for some time. Gatlin agreed that he and Mackenzie would consider and pray over what we wanted to do, and whether it was a fit for him. I would pray over this. I left this first meeting certain God had led me to the right person. For me, it was God continuing to lead me through answers to my prayers.

Over the course of several months, we continued to pray along with our elders. It became clear to Gatlin that he was being called into this ministry. We agreed on a process by which a final decision would be made. He had the challenge of leaving his current church that he had been a part of since childhood. That was a very significant issue for all of us. He wanted to leave well and we agreed this was important. In order for him to leave well, it required SDBC to hold his name in strict confidence, giving Gatlin the time to tell people around him and in his church what he and Mackenzie were going to do. It also required us to wait until God moved in such a way that Gatlin’s church gave him and Mackenzie a wonderful blessing and their best wishes as they left. Only after this, could we start our process of properly vetting Gatlin with a support team led by Pastor Paul. Their assignment was to verify what I believed God was doing in Gatlin’s life and in our church life. On July 31st, that team gave me a unanimous endorsement of Gatlin, agreeing he was indeed the right person to lead us into a one service format.

As many of you have discovered by now, Gatlin, in the words of his friends and mentors, is a "young man with an old soul." We have seen him lead both our traditional and modern services. He is a gifted musician, singer, and, I think, a gifted leader. Over the next month, Gatlin will begin to assume more of the leadership of our worship arts ministry. Doug Harris will continue leading the traditional service, and Mary Uher will continue to lead the modern service. On Sunday, September 10th, we will no longer hold these two services. We will meet at 10:00 in the auditorium for one 60-70 minute service, with Gatlin leading our combined worship team made up of those already serving in worship, as well as some new people.

This is indeed a God story of answered prayer and fulfilling vision. Gatlin was officially hired on August 8th. Please welcome Gatlin Saip as our new Director of Worship Arts.

Posted by Rick Burdett

Pastoral Search Team Update #14

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Before we provide this week’s search update, we, as elders at SDBC, want to publicly thank our pastoral search team for the countless hours they have spent reviewing applicants, listening to online sermons, meeting, discussing, and--most importantly--praying over the search process. The elders and PST have had two combined meetings and both have been very encouraging as we listened and discussed the applicants and progress of the search.

As previously mentioned, on July 17th, the PST presented a short list to the elders. The elders have now interviewed each of these men and are entering a time of prayer and fasting while we reflect on all the information we have received to date. We continue to fervently seek God’s will for our next step. Our desire is to choose one of these applicants to become a candidate at our next board meeting on August 9th. The candidate will then undergo further scrutiny and due diligence for us to be able to discern whether he is the right man to be our next lead pastor. As always, your prayers are gratefully accepted as each of us takes this time to seek the Lord’s will and guidance. We also encourage you to pray for the short-listed applicants as they wait patiently and similarly seek God’s leading in their lives.

Our God is at work at SDBC and His timing is perfect. As elders, we are humbled and privileged to walk through this process of seeking God’s clear will for the future lead pastor of SDBC.

Posted by Peter Grierson

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