An Update from the Elders
MARCH 11, 2021
Highlands Family, we have an update to share with you in two areas. First, we want to share about where we are in the process of onboarding new elders, and second, we want to update you on the status of the GRACE investigation.
Onboarding New Elders
Thank you for your continued prayers and participation in this important process, as you submitted nominations last month. This week, we have interviewed more than a dozen men who were nominated for eldership by the congregation. We have carefully screened these candidates to confirm their Biblical elder qualifications and alignment with Highlands' doctrinal positions.
Below is the list of nominees who have initially been accepted into the elder onboarding process, which will occur over the next few months and includes ongoing evaluation. We ask your further participation in this process by prayerfully reviewing this list. If you have concerns that any of these men do not meet the biblical elder qualifications, please follow the steps found in Matthew 18:15-16 and first take your concerns directly and privately to them in the spirit of restoration and growth. If this is unsuccessful, please bring the matter to the Chairman of the Elders via the Elder contact form at this link by March 21. The document at this link contains the Biblical elder qualifications for your use in this process.
Thank you very much for prayerfully considering these elder nominees.
GRACE Investigation Update
As we have shared previously, we have been working with an outside organization called GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment) to conduct an independent investigation and assessment, following the termination of Derek Nelson from staff back in June 2020 (for more of the background on this, please see the Elders page, under the Highlands Family Updates section). One of our main goals in hiring GRACE, was to provide a safe, independent avenue for any additional victims to come forward and experience healing. (If you are a victim or have relevant information, you can contact GRACE directly and confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
GRACE is continuing to conduct interviews, and encourages anyone with information that is or may be relevant, to contact them. They are also working on a survey that they plan to provide to our church as a whole, in an effort to determine whether there were any other victims. They believe that the relative anonymity of a survey may encourage any additional victims who have not come forward, to do so.
We plan to keep you informed with new developments in each of these areas. Thank you for your continued prayers for our church! – Highlands Community Church Elder Board