Our Future

Steward Team Candidates and Reconciliation

Tonight, we announced the names of the two candidates for Steward Team. (Two posts from our 2015 transition process lay out the role of Steward Team at Open Door and our nomination process which has been underway the last few months.)

After community nominations were received, a discernment team comprised of a cross-section of leaders at Open Door prayed, affirmed and discerned a smaller list of candidates to present to the current Steward Team. In light of Open Door's current season and next steps, Steward Team prayerfully invited candidates into conversation about joining Steward Team. After their own discernment and prayer, two candidates - Julie Fiske and Nathan McKnelly - accepted the invitation and were announced to Open Door.

Reconciliation is essential to our understanding of God's activity in the world and, as such, believe it to be a necessary practice for us in the Open Door family. Before commissioning Julie and Nate as members of our team of elders, we make space for and invitation into reconciliation. If there is any relational interruption or potential questions you have for either candidate, please prioritize and initiate reconciling conversations with them at this time. If any situation might require mediation or coaching, please be in touch with Dave or another member of Steward Team. 

At the conclusion of this reconciliation stage, we will commission Julie and Nate as members of Open Door's Steward Team (tentatively scheduled for the August 21 Gathering). 

Join us in prayer and reconciliation!

Open Door's Next Horizon Line (and an Invitation into Next Steps)

Each autumn, our Steward Team takes a weekend away together to pray, listen, storytell, and dream about our next steps as a family of sojourners learning to walk in the way of Jesus for the good of the world.

Our time is spent creating space where we can listen to each other, the voices of our community, and the promptings of the Spirit to come to a shared sense of the direction into which we must push forward during the year ahead. 

This year, we've framed this focus as our horizon line.

The horizon is our continual guide as we press into the future. We constantly look to the horizon for guidance, clarity, and next steps. It shapes our conversations, meetings, rhythms, and pace.

We sought a horizon that neither aims too high (trying to accomplish in a year what could take a lifetime) nor too low (setting out to accomplish in a year what might take a week or a month).

A horizon line is not static but dynamic. While we believe we can reach the horizon we've defined for the coming year, once we arrive at that point, we'll seek to discern and set out toward a new horizon that comes into focus as we step into our next season of continued faithfulness in the trajectory God's set forth for us.

As we look ahead to Spring and Summer 2016, our horizon line is as follows:

To further clarify and define how we intend to move toward this horizon line, we've outlined several signposts - defining objectives - that will help move us closer to the horizon.

This horizon's signposts are:

  1. To reimagine our Gathering as a propelling/sending place.

  2. To focus creative connections and storytelling around the extending and cultivating life.

  3. To equip and activate everyday influencers.

  4. To leverage The Global Immersion Project as a continued opportunity for cultivation.

  5. To seed collaboration in neighborhood centers.

  6. To clarify our staff structure and initiate the processed to fill that structure.

We'll continue to clarify, communicate, invite, and co-create the specific next steps in each of these areas we push forward toward the horizon.

We want this to be an initiative of the Open Door family, not just Steward Team! As a first invitation into more conversation and action around our horizon, Steward Team will gather after this Sunday's Gathering at Extreme Pizza to talk more about questions or thoughts you might have about our next steps forward.

If you have any questions, please speak with a member of Steward Team or email Rebecca, our Steward Team Chair.

Open Door Hiring Update (9.27.15)

Open Door Community's Hiring Team initiated a hiring process starting in June of this year to fill the position of Pastor of Worship and Formation. Over the course of several months, we received 17 applications and engaged in conversations with 9 candidates and narrowed it down to two finalists. Last month, we decided not to move forward with either candidate and are currently re-evaluating our hiring process and considering next steps. Both final candidates were strong and compelling but Steward Team and Hiring Team were unified in believing that neither was right for our community at this time.  

Throughout the process, the Hiring Team and Steward Team have felt a sense of peace and patience - the desire to wait for the right candidate who will become an integral leader in our community. We have experienced significant transition as a community over the summer and have realized the need to pause to listen to our family's voices and take time to let God help us re-imagine our hiring process, if needed. We will be hosting a "Living Room Session" on the evening of October 14th (location TBD) so that we can explore what God is doing in our community, allow space for reactions to the hiring decision and process and learn more about our needs for this new leader. We hope you'll make the time to attend, listen and share your perspective.

We know this news may be discouraging or disappointing; Steward Team and Hiring Team have certainly felt both of those emotions as we approached these decisions. However, we feel peace knowing God will call the right person to Open Door at the right time. We invite you to pray with us for God's continued guidance and join us on October 14th as we process together.

Please be in touch with any members of Steward Team if you have any questions!

Steward Team Candidates and the Priority of Reconciliation

On Sunday, we announced the names of the two candidates for Steward Team. See this post for an explanation of Steward Team and this post for a description of the nomination process.

After community nominations were received, a discernment team comprised of a cross-section of leaders at Open Door prayed, affirmed and discerned a smaller list of candidates to present to the current Steward Team. In light of Open Door's current season and next steps, Steward Team prayerfully invited two candidates - Erik Polzin and Kate Schwass - into conversation about joining Steward Team. After their own discernment and prayer, both candidates accepted the invitation and, this past Sunday, were announced to Open Door as the two candidates to join Steward Team.

Photo by Adam Powers (instagram.com/ylpowers)

Photo by Adam Powers (instagram.com/ylpowers)

Reconciliation is essential to our understanding of God's activity in the world and, as such, believe it to be a necessary practice for us in the Open Door family. Before commissioning Erik and Kate as members of our team of elders, we make space for and invitation into reconciliation. If there is any relational interruption or potential questions you have for either candidate, please prioritize and initiate reconciling conversations with them before June 21. If any situation might require mediation or coaching, please be in touch with Jer, Dave, or another member of Steward Team. 

At the conclusion of this reconciliation stage, we will commission Kate and Erik as members of Open Door's Steward Team (tentatively scheduled for June 21's Gathering). 

Join us in prayer and reconciliation!

April 19 Steward Team Update

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Steward Team Update #3
April 19, 2015

Future Staffing

After discernment and prayer over Open Door’s upcoming season, Steward Team voted upon and approved a staff structure including Dave’s role and three new positions.  

  • Pastor of Mission and Directional Leader (Dave). In this position, Dave will champion and develop our formation through the ongoing expression of Circles, guide the staff and continue to develop and equip for our ongoing and expanding mission and identity.
  • Pastor of Worship and Formation (new hire). This full time pastoral position will champion and develop our formation through Gatherings with particular attention to worship through music and other avenues of formation.
  • Pastor of Kids and Family Formation (new hire). This part time pastoral position (15-20 hours/week) will champion and develop Open Door Kids with attention to the integration of families into the holistic cultivation of the Open Door family.
  • Admin (new hire). This part time role (5-10 hours/week) will support the infrastructure of Open Door as needed.

More information regarding job descriptions and the hiring processes will be available soon. If you have any questions, please contact a member of Steward Team or email Ben Johanson, Steward Team's chair at ben@opendooreastbay.com.

Steward Team Transition

On April 19, the Steward Team transition process will begin with the intention of having two new members in place this June. Please consider setting aside Monday, April 27 for a day of praying, fasting, and discernment around Steward Team nominations.

In addition to Ben Johanson and Tony Collins completing their terms on Steward Team, Alison Knox will be finishing her role on Steward Team as well due to her impending move to Portland. Former Steward Team member Kerry O’Brien has been asked to complete the remainder of Alison’s term and has accepted. Due to the nature and timing of staffing transition, we have timed this year's transition to have overlap between the welcoming of new members and the transition of Ben, Tony, and Alison to provide additional guidance and leadership in this season.

Nominating (April 19-April 26) 
The Elder transition process will be introduced at Sunday's Gathering and the nomination process laid out. The community is invited to send nominations (name + 2-3 reasons this person is qualified) to Brooke Arnett (brooke@opendooreastbay.com) by April 26. 

Discerning (April 27)
A cross section of Open Door leaders and guides will spend time in prayer and fasting before convening to consider, affirm and discern six candidates from the pool of nominees. The names of these candidates will be sent to Steward Team. On Monday, April 27, you are invited to fast and pray along with this discernment team.

Inviting (April 27-May 24)
Steward Team will meet, pray, and discern over the six candidates, ultimately interviewing and introducing two candidates to Open Door at our Gathering on May 24.

Reconciling (May 24-June 6)
As followers of Jesus, reconciliation is an essential practice. After the two candidates are introduced, the candidates and community alike are invited and encouraged to pursue any reconciling conversations needed to name and address any relational distance that may be present within the Open Door family.  

Commissioning (June 7)
Following the reconciling phase, the two candidates will be commissioned into their term on Steward Team at our Sunday Gathering. 

If you have any questions or comments, send them to ben@opendooreastbay.com. Steward Team’s next meeting is on April 20. Stay tuned!

 With gratitude,

Ben, Brendan, Rebecca, Alison, Tony and Heidi

An Update from Elizabeth

On Sunday evening I made an announcement about my next steps and, if you missed it, here is the audio as well as the written transcript.  The audio also includes an update from Steward Team member, Alison Knox. [audio mp3="http://www.abluedoor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Elizabeth-NewSeason-3-22-15.mp3"][/audio] ehunnicuttsmTonight I want to bring you up to speed on some exciting new developments in my journey.  I’m really excited about what is ahead, but it is bittersweet as it means that I will be transitioning out of my staff role at Open Door.

For the last several years, the Lord has been stirring something new in me.  He has been awakening me in a fresh way to His Spirit and His heart for His people.  A few years ago, here at Open Door we were walking through the book of Acts in a series called Seismic.  During this series we took several weeks to look at the Holy Spirit.  This was a very transformational time for many of us, and God used that series and many people at Open Door to really rock my world.  We were all challenged to both look for the ways that God was speaking to us in a moment-by-moment by way, and then take a risk in responding to His voice and invitation.  This experience with Open Door sent me on a journey of wanting to step into all that God has for me, with a renewed faith that “with God all things are possible."

The Lord has been doing a great work in me personally and as a worship leader.  I have felt challenged to step out and take risks as a worship leader, relying not just on what I’ve prepared and my own skill, but responding to what God wants to do in the moment.  As the Lord has been stirring up all these new things, I have felt a desire for further training in some areas.  I have sensed the Lord inviting me into a time of receiving - of learning more about Him and being further equipped for ministry.  I have felt God leading me on this journey, and I have decided to move to Redding and attend the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry this Fall.  It is a 9 month program focused on both personal spiritual growth and ministry training, and I’m really excited to see what God has in store during my time there.

This program begins in September, but I will be wrapping up my time at Open Door on June 7th.  This will provide me both a window of time to transition, as well as time to step into an overseas ministry opportunity. I will be spending 6 weeks in Spain serving on staff for a discipleship program for U.S. college students.  This program is part discipleship, part immersion into the community, and part Arts component.  I will be serving alongside Cari Jenkins, a dear friend of Open Door.  I am really excited to be part of this unique opportunity and see all that God does during my time there.

I know this will naturally prompt some questions, so I want to clear the air and let you to know that I’m not leaving because Jer is leaving.  Yes, Jer has been a friend of 17 years, a dear dear ministry partner, and like a brother to me.  I have utmost respect for him.  But the bottom line is that God has been stirring a lot in me for the last couple years, and it feels like He’s giving me the green light now.  I don’t always understand God’s timing, but I know that God is so much bigger than what we can wrap our minds around.

I also want you to know that I think Dave is an incredible leader and I have absolutely loved working with him for the last 9 months.  He is a fantastic human being and pastor and I’m sad that I won’t be here to see all the amazing ways that God uses him stepping into the future.  I know that Open Door is in great hands.

This community has meant the world to me over the last 6 years.  I have been shaped, cared for, and loved by all of you in extravagant ways.  Open Door has been a place of healing, restoration, equipping, and now will be a place of sending.  I am forever grateful to each and every one of you.  I am excited for Open Door and this next season.  I believe that God is birthing something new and beautiful here. I believe that the East Bay will continue to be profoundly impacted by each of you as you step into His calling on your life. And I believe that more and more of you will be raised up and sent out to do Kingdom work in other parts of the world.   I am proud to be part of this community, and part of the ongoing story that God is unfolding around us and through us.  This is not goodbye. I have two and a half more months with all of you, and I look forward to continuing to walk alongside you all as we seek God together.

If you have any thoughts or further questions about this next chapter for me then I'd love to talk with you so don't hesitate to reach out to me (elizabeth@abluedoor.com).

- Elizabeth