One of the church’s most beloved hymns, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” comes out of the prophet Jeremiah’s deepest sadness. He is suffering from great and continual affliction as noted in his book called Lamentations. He says, however, that he has hope because he remembers this: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness,” (3:22–23). If there is a painful and difficult situation in your life now, may the Lord’s unending love and mercy be a comfort, consolation, and encouragement to your hurting soul. May it give you hope and be fully sufficient for today until his mercies are new again tomorrow.
Update From Your Lead Pastors & Board of Elders
Your Lead Pastors and the Board of Elders sent out an update via The City earlier today that addresses some current situations affecting our church. We have posted this update on the blog as well. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to read this important note from your pastors.
New Sermon Series | 1 John: Love One Another
Thank you to those who joined us at one of our churches this past Sunday. All of you heard a message from Pastor Mark’s heart about the difficult season we are currently in, and all of the other church locations will hear his introductory sermon in the 1 John series this Sunday.
We praise Jesus for his grace and faithfulness in caring for Mars Hill Church for 18 years. In January 2014 the church was in great financial shape. God continued to be faithful, through your gifts, to also help us end the fiscal year strong this past June. Thank you for your support and service, as many have learned about Jesus and countless lives have been changed by Jesus’ work through you.
It is your continued support that is needed now more than ever. While we were able to end the fiscal year strong, giving and attendance have declined significantly since January. Specifically, we have seen a substantial decrease in tithes and offerings these past two months, due to the increase in negative media attention surrounding our church.
We have done much this year to prepare for a decline in giving, such as two rounds of staffing reductions and the cancellation of various events and projects, but we now find ourselves in a tougher financial position than we expected. The drop in giving revenue has exceeded what we have been able to cut in expenses. This has required us to now consider further ways we can reduce expenses, such as additional staffing reductions. The reality is that just because we are a church does not mean we can defy economic gravity—we can only operate the ministries and programs our members and attenders provide the resources for. We simply cannot spend money we do not have; this is true for any church.
Please pray for your church as we make some tough, but needed, financial decisions. If you consider Mars Hill your church home, now is the time to pray, serve, and give. As we head into the fall, we need your support more than ever, and we are trusting Jesus to continue his good work through you and Mars Hill Church.
As always, you can make a gift and manage your giving online at marshill.com/give.
Update on Paul Tripp and the BOAA
As we have shared before, Paul Tripp recently resigned his membership from our Board of Advisors and Accountability. To the best of our knowledge at the time, this was due to his intent to help Mars Hill as a paid consultant.
Paul later released a statement, adding additional comments that he did not believe the structure of the board that he joined was healthy, and that we should add accountability from local members of the church. Paul’s concerns were not made known to the board as a whole before he resigned; however, we agree there is wisdom in adding local members to this board and we were already in the process of doing just that.
We have now become aware of new comments and concerns that Paul Tripp has voiced about Pastor Mark and Pastor Sutton within the last week to a small group of current elders at Mars Hill. These elders then posted these comments as a letter in an unsecured place, and the letter has since been posted online by various critics and media sources.
Paul Tripp’s comments to our elders were never made directly to the Board of Advisors and Accountability, as we have minutes of these meetings. We are deeply disappointed that Paul did not bring these concerns to our full board or to the Executive Elders directly.
The concerns brought forth by these elders and the comments from Paul Tripp have been heard and are being taken seriously. Their letter, as with past letters voicing accusations toward Pastor Mark, will be processed in accordance with our bylaws. This means the accusations will be thoroughly examined and a report issued when the review is complete.
As for the Board of Advisors and Accountability, we are pleased to announce that the vacancies created on the board were filled with local members of our church who meet the ECFA guidelines for independence. Pastor Matt Rogers is a local Seattle business leader and has been serving as a volunteer elder at Mars Hill Church Bellevue. He will also serve as the Chairman of the Board of Elders which will provide increased accountability in areas of financial responsibility, staff and elder transitions, and church culture. The other vacancy on the BOAA has been filled by Jon Phelps. Jon is a successful businessman and longtime member of Mars Hill. We are excited for these men to provide local perspective and accountability on our Board.
Short-Term Mission Trips to Ethiopia
If you are interested in going to Ethiopia with Mars Hill in 2015, we need to hear from you soon. Fill out this form to receive updates as they become available. You can read about current plans for these upcoming missions here.
- Aug. 31: 1 John: Love One Another series launch
- Nov. 13: Vision Breakfast
- Dec. 24: Christmas Eve
Bellevue: One of the hospitality volunteers who has been attending for nine years was happy to hear Pastor Mark’s message and his statement on Sunday. She said it strengthened her, and encouraged her to continue serving. She’s been a dedicated volunteer and has grown with Mars Hill Bellevue since it was at the Vine, then ECS, and now at the Danz theater. It was encouraging to see her being uplifted, and inspiring for others to want to serve the church like she does.
Spokane: We received an email from a member of the new Spokane core group. She wanted to say that she was personally blessed by the church’s gathering on Sunday. “It was so wonderful to have that many of the core group together watching Pastor Mark on the big screen. It was a little glimpse of what’s to come. Also, I was greatly encouraged to pray and be in the Word all the more, and to just love Jesus. Even through all that Mars Hill is going through right now, I hope that it will strengthen individuals and bring new growth and a sense of community to the church, and that people will continue to be pointed toward Jesus. We are excited to be a part of what God is doing here!!”
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