Annual Meeting Participation Instructions

As a Leadership Team, we look forward to your receiving our discernment report (see below),  and hearing your questions, comments and thoughts at our Annual Meeting this Sunday, Jan. 31, 1:00 PM at the Church. This feedback process is essential in taking our next steps. 

There are several ways you can participate in our Annual Meeting and the feedback process.

First, for those who CANNOT ATTEND there are three options:

    1. Read the report and call the Church to leave a phone message concerning your interests PRIOR to our meeting on Sunday.

    2. Read the report and send your comments and questions to the Church in an email PRIOR to our meeting on Sunday. We will email a recording of the meeting so you can see it afterwards.

    3. Read report and attend the meeting by Zoom (see link below). You will have the opportunity to share your thoughts and concerns via the Zoom meeting.

Second, for those who CAN ATTEND, read the report and bring your feedback to the meeting so we can share together. We ask that you follow the COVID safety protocol in meeting with us. Please wear a mask and keep a distance of at least 6 feet. Weather permitting we will meet outside.

Once again, we underscore the importance that we hear from you so that everyone at Grace Hills is included in the important decisions before us. We need everyone’s input concerning our Church and the discernment report.

Finally, but most importantly, pray for everyone involved that we will make God-pleasing decisions together. If anyone has any questions, please call or email the Church office prior to the meeting this Sunday. The following scripture has been very helpful for our Leadership Team during their discernment process over the past months:

Romans 12:1-2

Be joyful in hope,

patient in affliction,

faithful in prayer.

We are praying that all of us will know God’s will by:

        * God’s mercy,

        * Our sacrifice to spiritual worship,

        * Yielding ourselves to Godly transformation, &

        * Following God’s perfect and pleasing will.



January 2021

The past year at Grace Hills has had a number of changes, challenges and hurdles. In the past two months we have been blessed with Pastor Jeff Mitchell serving as Interim Pastor. Since November he has led us through a discernment process, and recently his Sunday messages have also been devoted to the topic of discernment. We trust that you have spent time reflecting on Pastor Jeff’s words. As your leadership team, we have spent a great deal of time seeking God’s voice through scripture, prayer, and contemplation. We have been evaluating our church’s strengths and challenges, and examining the current health and stability of our ministries. Most importantly we have been discerning what the Lord’s desire is for the future of Grace Hills.

First and foremost, we would like to begin with sharing how we have seen Grace Hills serve one other and our community with the gifts God has given us.

  • GH has been a place where people have gathered and connected as a family full of love, support and acceptance. We have had the blessing of a true fellowship of believers. In ten years, we have seen over 80 people baptized and have built bonds with those who have attended Grace Hills over the years.
  • We have been involved in the needs of our local community as well as always looking to meet the needs of others. We have all participated in serving others in our community through meals, holiday gift giving, and/or helping meet personal needs as well as support of our missionaries out in the field abroad.
  • We’ve maintained a focus on faithful service and the hope of continuing to grow as a fellowship. We have never focused on becoming a certain type of church but instead, accepted ourselves and others as we are: Followers of Christ, in need of a Savior.

We have many positive qualities as a congregation and family of Christ but we are also very aware of our weaknesses and consequently, our future. These issues have also been increasing over the years and we have planned for changes, but no changes have happened.

  • Our members have suggested and implemented wonderful ideas to serve, worship, and gather but we have lacked the energy and/or faithfulness to follow through with those ideas.
  • We have taken advantage of different trainings and workshops to discover opportunities for growth and to identify ways to build leadership - but for the most part, there have been far too few volunteers interested and willing to serve at Grace Hills.
  • Prior to Covid we frequently had to find volunteers for children's ministry on a weekly basis.
  • Worship singers and/or musicians were sought out week by week and most often reverted to the same handful of volunteers.
  • Attendance has been declining since 2017.
  • Additionally, our finances have continued to diminish as a result of fewer participants.
  • In 2020 our expenses exceeded our offerings by $29k.
  • From 2018 to 2019 we saw decreases in tithes and offerings and increases in expenses i.e repairs/updates to the building

We feel the new challenges brought on by the pandemic have only exaggerated all of our pre-Covid difficulties. The burdens described above have been part of an ongoing discussion since 2017. They have been communicated to the congregation and discussed among leadership members. A treasury report was shared with the congregation in August of 2019 to indicate our financial struggles. At that time our income and expenses were communicated through the bulletin and emails. Our leadership team discussed and has continued to address the options available to us that could cut costs. (It was actually due to the pandemic that we took the opportunity to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, which enabled us to continue offering services, supporting our pastor and part time staff, and paying for the ongoing costs of the building) Furthermore, from the beginning there has been an ongoing discussion regarding the lack of congregational members willing to step into leadership roles, develop and run ministries, and offer a committed time to serve, etc. We are committed to each other yet we have continued to grapple with stewardship of our time, talent, treasure, and testimony that could support Grace Hills as a growing church.

At this time, we are considering the following options for the future of Grace Hills and would ask that you also prayerfully consider these options as the leadership team has done.

  • Take a break and re-launch
  • Partner with another small church
  • Continue as we are - status quo
  • Complete our ministry of Grace Hills Covenant Church

In order to move forward and make decisions for the future of GH we are opening a discussion for discernment this Sunday, January 31, 2021 at our Annual Meeting at 1pm. We are asking you to prayerfully consider the observations indicated in this report; observations made through our discernment process as a leadership team through our prayer, scriptural studies, as well as Pastor Jeff’s recent discernment sermon series. Our goal is for you to know and understand the discoveries that have been made.

While the past year has been very challenging for the Leadership Team and the transitions that have taken place at Grace Hills, we know and trust that the Lord is God and we trust His perfect will.

Grace Hills Leadership Team