Manteno Church Family,
God has called us to be people of prayer as we seek after the leadership of Christ. We would ask that during these days, you join us as we seek to be unified by the Spirit.
Your church board met Monday, August 24 with Dr. McKain, the District Superintendent. He met with the church staff for much of the day August 25. After much discussion, we would like to provide information on several items:
The church board has secured Pastor Scott Whalen to provide pulpit supply through the end of September. Pastor Whalen is a product of Manteno, having grown up in town and attended our church as a teen. We look forward to Pastor Whalen sharing from the Word over the next few weeks.
Pastor Whalen will join the Reopening Committee. The committee will examine what Gov. Pritzker’s requirements for mitigation in Region 7 (Will and Kankakee Counties) will mean for the church. The first priority is examining options for Sunday. Please watch your email, the church website, and social media for updates on our plans for Sunday’s service.
Tuesday, August 25, the District Superintendent met with church staff to discuss a wide range of items and hear from each of them. All staff are willing to continue their ministry at the church and we are finalizing all of the details as we move ahead. Further details will be provided soon as we work out specifics.
In loving service,
Manteno Church Board
Manteno FAQ Page
There have been many questions surrounding the pastoral review process our church has just gone through. The bylaws of Manteno Church of the Nazarene explain the process of “Renewing the Local Church/Pastoral Relationship.” It is found in the Church of the Nazarene Manual, 2017-2021, paragraphs 123-123.7.
Pastor / Preaching
Q. Who will be preaching on Sundays?
A. Pastor Scott Whalen has been asked by the board to assume the responsibility of preaching through the month of September. As she normally does, Pastor Hannah will be speaking on the first Sunday of September.
Q. We are a church family and I feel it has been fractured, with little or no input from the church body. The Board and Dr. McKain should explain to the church why Pastor Ken was fired. Can you please do so?
A. In the polity of the Church of the Nazarene, neither the district superintendent nor governing board of the church has the authority to remove a pastor. That authority is only given to the same members of the church who voted to affirm the pastor’s leadership. The Nazarene Manual clearly explains the responsibilities both pastors and church boards have in the review process. The authority of the church board during the review is only to vote whether or not to present the question of continuing the pastor/church relationship to the members of the congregation (Nazarene Manual par 123.3). As explained in Manual par 123.4, the vote of the governing board to refer this question is not a simple majority, it requires at least 2/3. This means that a pastor continues as pastor of the church for the coming four years if they simply maintain 1/3 of the church board’s support. When this did not occur, Dr. McKain spoke with Pastor Ken and it was Pastor Ken’s decision to not allow a congregational vote. He instead chose to resign as Lead Pastor and shared that decision with the congregation on August 23. According to Manual par 123.6, if the pastor decides not to allow a congregational vote to be taken and resigns, the superintendent is responsible to set the date the pastoral relationship will end. It must be “not fewer than 30 nor more than 180 days following the pastor’s decision not to proceed with the congregational vote.” Dr. McKain has requested and the church board has agreed to provide financial support for Pastor Ken for 130 days, or until December 31, 2020.
Q. In Nazarene church polity, doesn’t the Pastor lead the church? Please explain the relationship between the Pastor and the Church Board.
A. The church board has the elected responsibility and authority, given to them from the members of the church, to govern the congregation. The Pastor and Church Staff do not govern the church, they manage and lead the day-to-day operations of the church. The Pastor is accountable to and works closely with the Church Board. During times of pastoral review, the Pastor must receive at least 1/3 support of the church board. Less than that support automatically sends the matter to a congregational vote. The details of the pastoral review process are explained in detail, in Nazarene Manual par 123.
Q. Will the church be retaining our current staff members?
A. Pastor Amy has agreed to remain in her position as Pastor to Children. Pastor Hannah has agreed to remain in her position as Pastor to Youth. Pastor Tim will not be remaining in the church long-term, but has graciously agreed to serve the church between now and the end of October, helping prepare and equip our people in using their musical gifts for the church’s future.
Q. Does the Pastor or does the Church Board have the authority to both hire and let church staff go?
A. While they serve everyone within the congregation, the church staff are not accountable to the board or the congregation in Nazarene church polity. The church staff work for the Lead Pastor. They are selected by the Lead Pastor, who then recommends them to the church board. The church board meets them and approves the staff being hired.
Q. Who is qualified to serve on the church board and what authority and responsibility does the board have?
A. The Lead Pastor is accountable to the elected, representative members of the church board. Every person in the congregation, if they are qualified (a spiritually mature, tithing, participating member of the local church), may be considered for service on the church board. The board has the elected responsibility and authority, given to them from the members of the church, to govern the congregation.
Q. Who are the church board members and when does their term of service expire?
Shari Boudreau – 2021
Justin Brown – 2020
Dan Ferris, Treasurer – 2021
Melody Grimm, NYI Representative – 2020
Tony Grimm, SDMI Chair – 2020
Nathan Lacher – 2020
Sam Lyle – 2020
Mark Mountain, Board Secretary – 2020
Jean Moy, Recording Secretary – 2021
Rick Ouwenga – 2021
Bruce Paarlberg – 2021
Nathan Rattin, Head Trustee – 2020
Kevin Reardanz – 2021
Brian Utter – 2020
Lynne Utter, NMI (Missions) Representative – 2020
**Names bolded have terms expiring at the end of this year, December 2020.
Q. What is church attendance and what portion of that number are members of the Church of the Nazarene?
While it is difficult to know the attendance currently with some attending in person and others viewing services online, in March, when we were last together, we averaged about 340 in Sunday morning attendance. We currently have 212 people on our active membership rolls. A membership class is planned for Saturday, October 17 and we encourage any interested to plan to take part.
Q. How are Town Hall gatherings conducted on the Chicago Central District?
A. Everyone from the church is invited to participate, both members and non-members. We ask all questions to be texted or written out and shared with Martha, who will get them to the church leaders facilitating the Town Hall.
Q. I am not a member of the church and am unaware of the polity of Manteno Church. It became very obvious on Sunday our church has experienced major conflict. As the responsible Superintendent, I want Dr. McKain to explain why and how this has happened.
A. There are numerous factors and complex issues that are involved in the current situation being faced in Manteno Church of the Nazarene. When the communication and relationships within a church are harmonious and church operations are filled with slow changes and lots of stability, little conflict occurs within a church. The greater the change and the faster the change, the greater the need for clear policies and procedures in how church decisions are made by the board, the staff and the congregation. This is just one of my initial observations. The speed of congregational change in the Manteno Church has revealed some major holes that exist in both the operational polices of the board and the staff. In any church experiencing great change, major church conflict is the inevitable result if clarifying the process of decision- making on all major church issues and clear communication does not happen between the board, the staff and church members. I am discovering other issues that I will bring to the attention of both the board and the staff that should be dealt with by the church.