We would like to bring you into a family conversation that we have been in now for the past several months. As Elders charged with guiding our community, we find ourselves in moments of great celebration as we watch the countless ways God is moving through ROCKHARBOR Church. Weekly we hear stories of people coming to know Jesus, of life transformation, and ways that people are engaging in their communities. It is one of the privileges of the roles we carry to hear firsthand how God is at work in and through you the Church body. With the good stories there are also stories that bring us grief and deep sadness. Today this letter is being written to share with you about a decision that has been made regarding the Huntington Beach Campus.
It’s with heavy hearts that we share with you the Huntington Beach Campus Leadership has decided to leave ROCKHARBOR.
While providing perspective is challenging, we know it is an important part. The following is a bit of context to help bring you up to speed on what has taken place leading up to this decision.
Many months ago, the Huntington Beach Campus Pastor, Andrew Schey, began discussions with the Church Wide Elders around his convictions and differing beliefs on the future of our church. These convictions were varied, but the biggest piece had to do with the structure of multiple locations and church leadership.
This led to a series of meetings and eventually a breakdown in communication. Andrew was unable to cooperate and work with the Church Wide Elders at this point. In these meetings and after much prayer and discussion the Church wide Elders decided to dismiss Andrew from his duties as Campus Pastor. Andrew was not let go because he held differing beliefs about the future of ROCKHARBOR. While problematic, ultimately the decision was made because through these discussions we felt that his ability to cooperate and work together was no longer there. We want to be clear that Andrew was not removed from his position for any moral failings.
The Church Wide Elders and the Huntington Beach Campus Elders have been meeting over the course of the last several months. These meetings were mediated by Roger Tirabassi who led through a clear process which included hearing from Andrew, The HB elders, and the Church Wide Elders. Information was gathered, barriers were discussed, and potential solutions ideated. After listening to the Church Wide Elders and HB Campus Elders share their hopes and concerns over hours of meetings a decision was made. The Huntington Beach Campus Elders and staff have decided to leave ROCKHARBOR, become an independent church, and reinstate Andrew as the pastor. We are deeply grieved at this decision. The Church wide Elders and ROCKHARBOR Leadership are in disagreement with this decision. We do not believe this is best for the Huntington Beach team, the whole of ROCKHARBOR, or the Kingdom of God. Our hopes and prayers were for unity and reconciliation, for RHHB to remain a campus, and that a preferred future for both could be arrived at together over time.
These decisions leave the ROCKHARBOR Huntington Beach Campus without viability as it will no longer have a Campus Pastor, Elder Board, or staff. Therefore, the final day of worship services as ROCKHARBOR Huntington Beach will be February 5, 2017. After that date Andrew, the former RHHB elders, and staff will begin the process of operating as an independent church.
While this separation will be difficult, we still remain hopeful for what’s to come for ROCKHARBOR in 2017. In fact, Romans 15:13 says, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Our hope comes from God; this is good news. We continue to celebrate the many opportunities we have to worship, pray and love others across Orange County, Charlotte, and around the world. We see continued growth and multiplication in our future and will pray fervently for the Kingdom of God to expand here on Earth, as it is in Heaven.
If you have questions or would like to talk, we invite you to reach out to your Campus Staff and Elders. If you have additional needs, you can also contact us at email@example.com. We will continue to pray for wisdom, direction and guidance as we all do our best to love God and The Church during this time.
ROCKHARBOR Church Wide Elders
Craig Motichko, Jim Masteller, Bart Scharrer, Chas Leeper, Tim McMahan, Robb Hammond, Kit Rae & Chad Halliburton