2020 Congregational Meeting Info


2020 Nomination Letter for Elders

Elder Expectations and Responsibilities

Proposed 2021 Budget 

The following information is in preparation for the upcoming congregational meeting.  Note you will find links to the 2021 budget and other important items at the top of this page. 

Hard copies of the budget and this newsletter will also be found in your church box. 

As always if you have any questions don't hesitate to contact Pastor Chad or a Council Member.

1.Are we having a Congregational Meeting?
YES!!! We are currently planning a meeting after the Worship Services on December 13, at 11:30am to vote on the 2021 budget and Council’s motion to allow women to serve as elders.

2. How will voting be done?                                                                                    
The Council decided that along with a ballot for those present at the meeting; a vote can be cast via an absentee ballot and Google forms.  These forms will be sent out or made available this week and are expected back by noon on Saturday, December 12.

3. What is a Google form?                                                                                        
The office will send a link to your personal email of an online fillable form.  There you can make your affirmations and submit them back.  Your email address on the form will substitute as your signature.  

4. Where can I find the absentee ballots?
In preparation for the vote, absentee ballots will be found in the Upper room near the office doors. Each ballot will have an envelope available for you to submit your ballots in. Or you can request Jennifer to mail you a ballot. Please request your mail in ballots before noon on December 8 to ensure it arrived back on time.

5. Where do I submit absentee ballots?
You can return your absentee ballot in a sealed envelope back to the Pastor’s office.  You can hand it to him personally or slide under his office door after hours.

6. What is on the ballot?
The ballot will have two items on it for congregational affirmation: 2021 Budget and Motion allowing women to serve as elders. (sample ballot at the bottom of this email)

7. How will the ballot work?
This is a straight affirmation ballot. Voting is a simple "yes" or "no" vote as to whether you affirm the decisions or disagree with the decisions.
     Mark YES to affirm.
     Mark NO to disagree.                                                                                                                     
The Budget will require a 51% affirmation to pass, the motion allowing women to serve as elders which will need a 66% affirmation to pass. Only Pastor Chad, Jennifer, and the counters will see your ballot.  

8. What will happen at the Congregational Meeting?
After the service on December 13, we will extend our Facebook live broadcast to include a time of praise and prayer for God’s faithfulness throughout another year followed by a brief discussion of the budget and voting. There will be no discussion at the Congregational Meeting for the Motions involving women elders.  Those discussions took place at the most recent townhalls and if further discussions are desired you can speak with Pastor Chad or a council member anytime before the vote.  Once the vote is counted the results will be reviewed followed by a closing prayer.

Below is a Q&A from the recent townhall meetings followed by links to documents you might find helpful.

Will there be a 7 year "waiting period" of the discussion of Women as elders after this Congregational Vote?

Their had been talk of this. However, after listening to the concerns of the congregation at the townhall meetings this will no longer be on the ballot.  

What are the duties of an elder at PLC?

See the “Elder Expectations” & “Nomination” documents

Will women be allowed to preach at PLC?

Women elders will have the same responsibilities as men elders.  However, after a thorough review of PLC’s Elder Expectations the likelihood of any elder having to take on this responsibility is minute.

Does this open the door to voting on a woman as pastor in the future?

While we cannot speculate on what the future holds; this was not a motivation for Council’s decision. 

Who will be allowed to vote?

Participating Active members of PLC for that last year will be eligible to vote

How practically would having women elders work if you adhere to gender roles?

All office bearers regardless of gender need to be respected as those called by God.  Having said that Paul calls husbands “to love their wife as their own body.”(Eph 5:28)  If the husband is indeed sanctifying his wife as called upon, and she is gifted in the role of elder, the husband is fulfilling his responsibility as spiritual head by encouraging her growth. For matters where discipline may be necessary, Matthew 18:15-18 supplies the framework for reconciliation by calling upon another elder to mediate the matter. 

Is PLC giving in and following culture over Scripture?

Honoring Scripture has always been placed at the top of Council’s desire when wrestling with this topic.  Council is following synodical guidelines on the election of women in office.  Our discussions revolved exclusively around the Biblical themes of calling, roles, and giftedness.   Our posture has been one of instilling servanthood.

How would Council care for those who would be upset after the vote?

Starting December 2 through December 23, Pastor Chad will host prayer meetings on Weds from 6-7pm.  During these meetings prayers for unity, wisdom, and healing will be offered for PLC.  Council also encourages you to sit down with Pastor Chad or a Council member to discuss and process.

What is the recourse for people who feel the vote went wrong?  Do they have little choice but to leave the church?

While Council understands the emotions behind this topic; we would like to encourage those that feel the vote was wrong to continue worshipping with PLC and discuss with Council their concerns before making any decisions.

If the vote passes, does this affect our standing in Classis Heartland?

PLC will continue to attempt to bring our three representatives to Classis.  Since, Heartland Classis only recognizes male delegates our representation will be determined by who is in office as is our current situation

Sample image of the ballot for the Dec. 13 Congregational Meeting