Direct from David: Summer, Solve 7, Staff, and Supreme Court…

Things are heating up outside (it’s hot out there!), but also heating up with major activity as a church as we move into summer.

Solve 7 Summer will soon be upon us! Not only will we be dedicating a whole sermon series to this major initiative later this summer, we will also be worshipping with our hands and feet on Solve 7 Sunday on August 12. (More about that later!) Everyone and anyone can participate. Pictured here is my precious 86-year-old mom, Alberta, who resides at the Christian Village of Mt. Healthy, repurposing plastic bags so sleeping mats can be made for the homeless. What part will you play this summer in removing physical barriers to create spiritual opportunities?

Kevin Harney asks a hugely important question – How strong is our church’s outreach heartbeat? Take a moment and read/reflect on his words. Have you lost your first love? Has your love for the unchurched or de-churched grown lukewarm? We must never forget the why of what we do around here at Whitewater. It’s so easy to lose the why in the midst of the how and the what. If we’re going to be Like Jesus, we must remember our priority is to seek and save people. Period.  

Member Kim Smith is in dire need of a kidney. Kim said she is blessed to have found this church. Although she has not been able to attend these last few months (she was going through chemotherapy and was advised to stay out of crowds), she does watch the service online which makes her still feel connected, but she misses the feel, energy, love, and positive vibes by attending in person. Kim has been on the transplant list for 8 years now but, is praying she will find a hero. Kim has a website for finding a kidney if you’d like more info. If anyone reading this wants to be tested for Kim, her phone number is 513-585-2493.

We thank God for those who serve, give, and sacrifice at Whitewater – for those whose hearts beat fast for the least, last, and lost. Saw this amazing article recently about some men whose courage, compassion, and dedication saved millions.

As we approach the summer, I also want to share a couple of staff updates with you.

Associate Minister, Phil Coleman will be transitioning off our staff by the end of summer. Please see the note from Phil below:

“After some in-depth discussion with David Vaughan, I will be transitioning off of the Whitewater staff in order to pursue other professional opportunities that are more aligned with my passion and giftedness at this point in my career. This will more than likely include contract and consulting work. Over the next 90 days (my last official day on staff will be Friday, August 31), Laura Hamilton will be assuming responsibility to lead the worship and production ministry areas that I am currently overseeing. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of Whitewater Crossing over the past 8 years. I look forward to serving Him together in an exciting, but different way.”

We are thankful for the tremendous foundational work that Phil has laid in our Worship, Finance, and Facility ministries over these last 8 years.

Long-time Family Ministry Administrative Assistant, Dianna Morgan also recently shared with us that she and her husband are planning to move to Phoenix, Arizona soon. Dianna has been a critical part of serving behind the scenes in Harbortown and Student Ministry. Her infectious laugh, humble spirit, and hard work ethic will be missed. We are grateful for the tireless support that Dianna has given in our office and pray for the Morgan family during their move.

After a search that included 50+ candidates, we have extended an offer to Jess Adkins to join our team as an Executive Pastor of Ministries. Jess will start the first week of June, which will allow Chris Boue to focus more on Operations. I look forward to you getting to meet Jess and his wife Lori. Jess has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Cincinnati Christian University and is exceptionally qualified/experienced. Jess is no stranger to me as we were at Cincinnati Christian University at the same time! He graduated from Western Hills High School and knows the greater Cincinnati area well. Jess has a great sense of humor and a passion for the local church. Welcome Jess and Lori.

Staff transitions are sometimes stressful, but all of these moves are simply preparing us for what God has next. I remain excited and committed to our mission of helping people find help, hope, and a home in His church. See you this Sunday as we continue to learn more about becoming Like Jesus. It’s an all-season thing!

P.S. Circle the date of Sunday, June 10 on your calendar as we welcome Michigan State Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein to share his testimony. Bernstein is the first state supreme court justice who is blind. Much of his legal work has focused on protecting the rights of people with disabilities, which is done pro bono. In his spare time, Bernstein is a runner, completing 17 marathons before being severely injured by a speeding cyclist in Central Park in August 2012. Be here on June 10 and bring a friend with you because here comes The Judge!