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Compassionate Leave of Absence

Posted on: January 2nd, 2016 by Christy Jansma

January 3, 2016

Dear Church,

If you call E-Free home, we trust that this news will not come as a surprise to you. As we have read “Journeying with the Lawsons” updates over the last several months, and heard Ian speak personally and candidly about their current reality, we expect you sensed this day was near.

Some time ago, the Board acknowledged that Ian would need time away from E-Free to be with Connie and therefore approved a Compassionate Leave of Absence of three months for Pastor Ian. Ian recently made the request to initiate this leave and so on January 1 that leave began. The leave will extend for a minimum of three months. Ian is not expected to have any church duties during this period.

The Board has appointed Jeremy Light as “Interim Lead Pastor” during Ian’s time away. Jeremy has agreed, and is well positioned to take on the increased role and responsibility, and the Board has great confidence in him, for a time such as this.

The Lead Team—which are Ian’s five direct staff reports: Scott Currie, Ken Dosso, Christy Jansma, Jeremy Light and Cindy Smith—will continue to provide overall leadership and church direction.

The board is confident in the Lead Team, the staff team, our lay leaders, our volunteers, and our congregation, as we enter into this new reality.

We look forward to what God has in store for us, as we continue to fulfill the vision Pastor Ian has for this church, and the direction he has laid out for us.

We are saddened that this time has come. Please continue to uphold Ian and Connie, and their family, in prayer.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

—1 Peter 5:6-11

Thank you for your constant prayers and support.

Sid Bergsma
Board Chairman

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