Saturday, February 02, 2013

musical stuff will happen again here ... eventually :-)

Yes, Wenatchee is overdue to get back into blogging about musical stuff ... but there's writing about music and then there's playing music.  Sometimes you have to focus more on the former than the latter. 

Not that Wenatchee hasn't been listening to a few things.  There's quite a few reviews of recordings of chamber music we've wanted to run with for 2013 but there's still a lot that's in the notes-taking stage.  There's going to be more blogging about music by Rebay, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and after years of meaning to get to the topic of Koshkin's Sonata for Flute and Guitar Wenatchee finally plans to blog about motiff development as a cyclical device in NK's piece.  We know that's pretty much for the hardest of the hard-core and you won't make head or tail of it unless you already know the piece well but perhaps some links to videos of a performance may help.

There's also plans to discuss Annette Kruisbrink's "Cirex" and Samuel Adler's "Into the Radiant Boundaries of Light" this year.  I may need some help hunting down possible scores or references but I've been trying to dig up Matiegka's guitar sonatas and maybe ... even Carulli.  Back in 2011 I blogged about sonata form in the solo guitar sonatas of Sor, Giuliani and Diabelli.  This year I'm mulling over a comparable survey of sonata form in the works of Matiegka and Carulli. 

I'd like to write about Ferdinand Rebay's solo guitar sonatas but I'll only be able to manage to write about maybe two of them.  I'll need help from musically networking friends but I'd love to write an overview of all six of Rebay's sonatas if someone could help me find them.  Knowing Rebay's work has largely gone unpublished and is only coming to light now I realize this may be a pipedream but a guitarist can dream, right?  :) 

there's also other stuff but, as mentioned before, things are still in a notes-taking stage.  But the musical "to blog" list is big and here's hoping some of that gets into the "done" list this year. 

Orthocuban on parents and vaccinations ...


All too many parents are basing their decision on statistics. That is, the chances of their child getting a particular childhood disease is negligible, therefore they are safe in waiting to vaccinate their child, or in not vaccinating their child. But, that is a terrible misunderstanding of epidemiology. In epidemiology, that negligible chance of contracting a particular disease is based on the assumption that children will continue to be vaccinated at highly compliant rates. If children are not vaccinated at that highly compliant rate, then the statistics are not applicable. The rising rate of measles infections is clear evidence of this tenet of epidemiology.

Which could be rendered as saying that when every American assumes his or her family is the exception to a statistic they change the nature of what can be measured and what happens.  If you feel the statistics say it won't happen to you then you decide something in a way that puts you in the risk category rather than the risk-reduction category.

Orthocuban has written at infrequent but somewhat steady intervals on this topic over the years.

As he's put it, on this topic he is uncharacteristically blunt:

... In other words, this is a well researched area. What is boils down to is that if most of a herd is vaccinated, then those diseases that are transmitted through things like airborne droplets, feces, etc., will have their chains of transmission broken by the high number of immune individuals. For most of the transmissible diseases, that threshhold is around 85%, though some require a higher threshhold. In other words, if 85% or above of a community is immunized, the chances of your unimmunized child getting one of the childhood diseases is close to nothing. So, those early rejecters of vaccination saw their children grow up and not catch a childhood illness. This fed the myth that vaccinations were nowadays unnecessary.
Needless to say, there are those who also reject the concept of herd immunity. You need only search in Google to find those individuals whose arguments appear to destroy the idea of herd immunity. They call it yet another conspiracy to get you vaccinated. But, the proof is in the pudding.
As you know, I work in a hospital. This means that periodically I go to infectious diseases continuing education. And guess, which diseases have numbers that are beginning to climb? Both influenza caused by Haemophilus and meningitis caused by Neisseria bacteria are beginning to climb among children in certain parts of the country. Which parts are those? The parts in which the percentage of vaccinated people has fallen below the threshhold for herd immunity. [Wenatchee: it may be worth noting that skepticism about vaccination can happen with secular progressives just as it happens with homeschooling Christian sorts]
In other words, the theory of herd immunity is being proved upon the bodies of our unvaccinated children.
Because we are dealing with children, I am going to be uncharacteristically blunt. No major Christian group has a statement about children not being vaccinated. If you decide to not vaccinate your children, please do not say that this is a result of your Christian beliefs. Please attribute it to something else. And, to be even more blunt, if your unvaccinated child gets ill of a preventable childhood disease, do not blame God or ask Him why this happened. It happened because of you.

Practical Theology for Women: Cinemagogue


During my five years helping with (leading?) women's ministry at a megachurch in Seattle, probably the most beneficial positive thing I took away from it was my interactions with James and his Film and Theology lectures. I came from a Christian background whose main answer to secular culture was simply that it was wrong. But as I explored culture on my own, I noted that it often reflected the very longings I had, for good or bad. I had simplistic, inadequate answers for how to think through movies and music in particular. James was helpful to me with strategies for decoding culture, figuring out what reflected God and what was a distortion of Him and His plans. ...

Wenatchee has the book and plans to write about it later this year but there's the matter of finishing the book and if you've read Wenatchee The Hatchet you know that Wenatchee can get detailed ... so if you're awaiting a review, be patient, please.  :) 

Meanwhile, Wendy has put in a good word for the book.  It can be easy for many people to come to Wenatchee The Hatchet looking for bad they already want to find.  Wenatchee doesn't plan to make it that easy.  There was a lot of bad observed within MH but it wasn't all bad and the film discussions, absurd though they could sometimes get (J.S. will remember) were fun.  Besides, Kayla mentioning how badly American viewers misinterpret and misunderstand the role of the Colonel in Akira was worth hearing.  Mars Hill was (and maybe still is) the kind of place where if you come from a Christian background you can still find someone to talk with about films like Akira, or Spirited Away, or Perfect Blue (yes, really), all anime selections presented over the years at Film & Theology. 

Again, there's plans to write about the book but that may take until spring.  Wenatchee tries to be a careful reader and not a fast reader when possible. 

Open invite: Share your tales of dating, courting, dorting and so on from MH

Most of the time people don't comment on anything posted by Wenatchee The Hatchet.  Well, let's see if we can come up with something that will inspire people to share, shall we?

How many of you met your spouse at MH, or tried finding him/her while there?  How many of you were at, say, the Covenant kick-off event that Driscoll hosted and remember the presentation materials from that?  You don't have to use your real name or campus affiliation but if you're brave or proud of how things went you certainly may if you wish.  Wenatchee has a few stories to share but here's a chance for you, dear reader, to share your stories of searching for true love, soulmate, and so on.  After all, this week marked the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride & Prejudice so let's end the week's blogging with a hat tip to Jane Austen's brilliance in a way that lets MH people past and present share tales of meeting or searching for their own Lizzy or Darcy.  :)  Or Collins or Wickham or Bingley (let's face it, Bingley is often under-rated and over-looked in the lexicon of catches). .

So Mars Hill managed to avoid slipping over its own fiscal cliff.

Mars Hill | New Discussion Topic

Pastor Mark Driscoll
From Pastor Mark Driscoll:
Mars Hill family,
On a recent Sunday, I presented a church-wide stewardship update to recap our 2012 year-end fundraiser and share what’s in store for 2013. In case you missed it, here is the video clip:
In addition, everyone who gave in 2012 should receive a summary statement in the mail in the next week, along with the following letter from me to summarize where we’re at as a church:
Thank you for giving in 2012. What a year. By God’s grace, our most challenging year was also our most fruitful year ever.
1,277 reasons to celebrate
Over the course of last year, 1,277 people got baptized at Mars Hill—about ten percent of our entire church! We planted four churches: Rainier Valley (WA), Sammamish (WA), Portland (OR), and Orange County (CA). We also launched Mars Hill Students, Mars Hill Music, and a brand new curriculum for Mars Hill Kids.
“Entire families are coming to church,” said Donovan Medina, lead pastor of Mars Hill Albuquerque. “Bothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins—they are taking up entire rows at the church as they sit together.”
In Sammamish, Michelle is a brand new Christian who invited a classmate to a Mars Hill Students event. The friend heard the gospel and was saved! “Michelle meets Jesus, becomes a Christian, gets baptized, immediately gets on Jesus’ mission, and Jesus makes her fruitful,” says lead pastor Alex Ghioni. “This is the way it’s supposed to happen!”
Mars Hill Students is off to a particularly strong start in 2013. Most of our Seattle area churches have already hosted kick-off events. In just two weeks we’ve already seen over 400 kids attend, including many who showed up and got saved.
Jesus is alive and at work in our church.
How we avoided our own fiscal cliff
As we grow in numbers, we’re also growing in maturity thanks to the Holy Spirit. In early 2012, we moved to a new financial model, a change we’ve communicated in person at most of our churches.
Previously, our budget was based on annual giving. The problem was, a lot of our giving came in during December, which means we were operating at a loss during most of the year. Under the leadership of Executive Pastor Sutton Turner and Deacon Kerry Dodd (our CFO), we made a hard course correction and moved the church to a budget that does not depend on big giving spikes. We now live within our means year round, and as it turns out we made the shift just in time.
For the first time in a long time, the big December giving spike did not come. In the past, we’ve had some generous donors contribute significant gifts that have really helped us float from year to year. That didn’t happen last year. Our large givers are still with us at Mars Hill, but the national fiscal climate is such that no major year-end gifts came in. We understand and we’re praying for our brothers and sisters in this situation.
As a result, we were unable to raise our above-and-beyond goal in December. We did, however, raise enough to cover our operating expenses for the year, in large part because we spent $670,000 less than what we had budgeted for during the last six months of 2012. Throughout the church we are doing everything we can to be good stewards of what God has given us, and so we have significantly cut our spending as another part of our budget reform.
So the good news is, we implemented our new budget model just in time—had we not made the changes when we did, we would have faced our own version of a fiscal cliff. The not-so-good news is that we have inadequate funds to complete some necessary renovations: in downtown Seattle, we have a row of frozen outdoor porta potties instead of indoor bathrooms; in Everett, we have $126,000 to complete $750,000-worth of work on the building; and we can’t move into Tacoma until we raise another $600,000. Budget is tight, and we simply don’t have a lot of margin to complete these and other projects.
One of the bright spots in all of this, however, is that more and more giving is now coming from our extended family. People around the world are not only listening to our sermons and praying for our ministry, they’re also giving to support what God is doing through our church. On a monthly basis, giving from Mars Hill Global now equals the giving at our largest churches. And over 2,000 people from outside of our church have created an account at (by contrast, Bellevue has the most online accounts of all our churches). I hope you’re encouraged by this, Mars Hill. God is multiplying our efforts to reach more and more people with the hope we have in Jesus.
Good work to do
Of course, we have a lot of people to care for and reach right here at home, and that’s exactly what we plan on doing. Right now is the most important season of the year for our church. From January through Easter we see our highest attendance, the most baptisms, and the greatest influx of newcomers for the year.
Our overall plans for 2013 haven’t changed: the grand opening for Mars Hill Downtown Seattle’s new home was January 13 (frozen porta potties and all), we’re still hoping to open Mars Hill Tacoma later this year, we’re still trying to secure buildings in Everett and Orange County, and we’re still supporting 43 church planters in India and Ethiopia. The work is super complicated because God’s grace is with us (he’s given us a lot to do) and Satan hates us (he’s always doing something to dissuade and distract us).
For all who are with us in prayer, in giving, and in service, your church needs you now more than ever. Thank you for your faithfulness in 2012. I pray for more of the same in 2013, as we continue on Jesus’ mission together.
On behalf of the Mars Hill Church executive elders and our Senior Pastor Jesus Christ,
Pastor Mark Driscoll
It's not clear that Driscoll has thought through the implications and significance of even saying that Mars Hill could even have a "fiscal cliff".  Or maybe he has and that's why MH has a history of Driscoll saying they suck at giving while not conceding that the executive leadership has, by its own admission, committed to a "grow even when it's a bad idea" policy.  First, the guilt-trip side of things.
The last thing to get saved is someone’s wallet. It’s felt; giving at Mars Hill pretty much stinks. But Jesus is going to save people, and if you’re here and you believe this is true, then you need to be asking God how much he wants you to give and be involved. This is the best possible time to come, give, and serve, and you’re gonna tell your grandkids about it.
Now the other bit, where Mars Hill executive leadership has committed to growth ("even when it's not a good idea")  Take this:
... In the face of a struggling economy, a divided leadership, a lack of generosity—whatever your church is going through—here are four reasons to pursue and pray for expansion anyway: ...
Remember that Driscoll said Munson was always above reproach so this means that the executive leadership may have committed to an economic model that wasn't viable for the long term future of Mars Hill ... but that can't for a moment indicate that a fiscally irresponsible model could reflect badly on the basic approach of leadership.  If you're a member who signed a contract and didn't or couldn't make payments you might get a letter and a copy of the DVD God's Work, Our Witness in the mail.  If Mars Hill avoided the fiscal cliff that its own executive leadership were heading toward, okay ... but in Driscoll's understanding of things the main thing seens to trust the pilot, even though the pilots have conceded they were flying the plane toward a fiscal cliff?  
Well, don't bail out of the plane just because the pilots were flying the plane toward a fiscal cliff.  :)  Pilots with kingly gifts apparently get to fly planes toward fiscal cliffs that regular tithing peons should avoid.  Maybe the Mars Hill bus qualifies as a triple-changer ... .

Friday, February 01, 2013

Cinemagogue on two centuries with Pride & Prejudice

It happens that it's been a while since we linked to Cinemagogue and since this week's the 2nd century anniversary of the publication of a sweet little classic in English literature ... .

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

MH Pastor Tim Beltz, MH financials, and the last year of Moi as a MH pastor

This is a very long single post and you will need to read it carefully and patiently to grasp the full signiicance of it, the story it tells about the last year in which Lief Moi was a pastor at Mars Hill Church.  This is not exactly a story, but a trail of documentation from first-hand participants in the re-org of 2007 and comments from someone who opted to publicly comment on some events that he did not know about or adequately understand while making a defense of Mars Hill.  Read slowly and carefully and by the end you'll get to see what happened to Mark Driscoll's best friend. 

But first we'll have to provide some background on this guy, currently biblical living pastor at Mars Hill Downtown, at least lately. Up until the end of February 2012 he was a pastor at Mars Hill West Seattle and a week or so after this blog post went up he got moved to Mars Hill Downtown, for whatever reason.  There's some more background , a lot more ...

In October 2007, Tim was ordained at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA and served as the executive pastor until November 2010 when he became pastor of operations. [emphasis added] As executive pastor, his responsibilities included overseeing the financial, HR, legal, technology and capital programs for the church. He transitioned off staff July 2011 and now serves as an unpaid elder at MHC West Seattle and as a member of the MHC Board of Elders. Tim is a faculty member at the MHC Re:Train program and regularly presents workshops at regional and national executive pastor seminars and conferences.

Tim has extensive executive experience in the non-profit, public and private sectors...7 years as a CEO and 8 years as a COO. From 2003-2007 he was the executive vice president and COO of CRISTA Ministries, a North Seattle-based Christian organization of nearly 2,000 employees and a $170M annual budget...the 2nd largest non-profit in the state. [emphasis added]

Tim Beltz has a diverse background with 7 years experience as a CEO and 9 years as a COO in leading military, business, and non-profit organizations ranging in size from 8 local staff to 1,900 spread around the world. Since 2006, he founded and operates 10 Talents Consulting.

He currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington - one of the fastest growing and most innovative mega churches within the United States. He oversees Human Resources, Finance, Legal, Technology, Logistics and campus launch functions.

Prior to that, he served as the COO of CRISTA Ministries, a large faith-based and multi-faceted organization in Shoreline, Washington, where he oversaw the operations of 10 ministries and Human Resources. [emphasis added] Tim also served 25 years in the US Coast Guard where he attained the rank of O-6, commanded multiple units and served as the Special Assistant to the US Secretary of Transportation.

Puget Sound Business Journal

Tuesday June 20, 2006

"The larger adoption agencies may be the only organizations able to survive in this arena. Time will tell," said Tim Beltz, executive vice president of Crista Ministries, in a statement.

Prior to joining the staff in 2007, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of CRISTA Ministries, and Executive Director of the Millionaire Club Charity serving homeless men and women.




Part 26: One Body, Many parts

1 Corinthians 12:12-26

Pastor Mark Driscoll

July 30, 2006



There is the building a block away. We purchased it a year ago. It was heading into foreclosure. We purchased it for under market value. It has increased in value since that time, and this is just some interior and exterior shots of the space, and our plan was to turn that into a large room to see maybe 800 to 1,000 people. And so, what we have instead decided to do, first, we’re going to keep that building – and it’s been great – ‘cause according to King 5 television, they had a report that said that 98105, which is this zip code, is one of the five fastest, increasing valued zip codes in the State of Washington. Since we bought that building, as it was going to foreclosure, we already have gained a million dollars in equity in that building. We have no intention of getting rid of it, but here’s what we do want to do with it. We want to knock half the building down and just turn it into parking to increase our parking capacity. Secondly, the other half of the building – we don’t feel that we have to use right now because of some other things that have come available that we’re gonna tell you about – but we’re gonna keep it. We’ll rent it out with the hopes that a tenant will pay most of our mortgage. We can keep it then, and then if we ever do wanna build on it, we can develop it and do whatever we want with it but we feel it’s important right now to watch and see what happens with this neighborhood, particularly what happens to parking, and then make a determination down the road as to best use.


And the reason that we don’t need to develop it as we had thought is because of some other things have come available. Among those is Shoreline and these are some shots from the Shoreline campus and where we are meeting at Christa Ministries, at Shermer [Schirmer] Auditorium. Four hundred seats, plus a full daycare. It’s amazing kid space. Huge gym for the kids to run around in. Lots of parking. They’re letting us use that on Sunday and now this fall for beginning, for midweek programming for nothing. It’s free. We don’t even pay for janitorial, we don’t even pay for utilities. It is a savings of over $100,000.00 a year. We can be there for two more years. It’s a savings of 200 plus thousand dollars. We love Christa. We’re very, very grateful for their kindness to us. Eventually, we will need to purchase a permanent site for our Shoreline. We’ll need to get them a permanent purchase campus, ‘cause we can only be there for two years. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if somebody let you have the house for two years for free? I mean that’s a very kind gift, so we are actively looking for another place to buy.



Earliest screen capture May 7, 2008

Tim Beltz - Executive Pastor
Pastor Tim oversees the business operations team, which includes finances, real estate, technology, human resources, and new campus assimilation. Tim and his wife Patty have attended Mars Hill Church for four years. You name it, he’s done it–Tim has twenty-five years of military experience, was COO of a large non-profit, started a consulting firm, and has two grandchildren. More about Pastor Tim.


In the sermon excerpt below Driscoll describes Tim and the Tim in question

Another man we appointed to that board is a man names Tim. I’ll tell you his story. He has an MBA in not-for-profit management. He has 20 or 30 years, I can’t remember, of not-for-profit manage experience. He’s run some very large, very significant ministries. He’s consulted for very large, very significant ministries. He nominated himself for eldership. Was a faithful member of this church. And he said, “You know, I think I can help. I think my management background will help organize Mars Hill.” We said, “Okay, well what’s your proposal?” He said, “I’ll work 50 hours a week for six months free of charge. I’ll quit my well paying job. I’ll shut down most of my consulting business. I’ll reduce my expenses, live off of my savings. I’ll nominate myself for eldership. I will work for free for six months, and I’ll come under Pastor Jamie, who’s young enough to be my son, and has none of the experience or education that I do so that I can humbly serve him so that Mars Hill can become a better church.”


God opposes the proud. Gives grace to the humble. The elders vote and say, “He should be an Executive Elder and on the Board of Directors.”



... Not all of these men are paid staff. Executive Elders – A sub-team of the Board of Directors who serve as the leadership team of Mars Hill. The Executive Elders are responsible for the day-to-day leadership, management, and oversight of Mars Hill. At present, the Executive Elders are: Jamie Munson, Mark Driscoll, Scott Thomas, Bubba Jennings, and Tim Beltz (read more about them here).


December 21, 2008

Part 4: Generous (Part 2B)

Pastor Driscoll: Along that line, what I wanted to do is bring out Pastor Jamie Munson (your lead pastor), Pastor Tim Beltz (your executive pastor), and I wanted them to describe to you kind of where we’re at, where we’re going, what we’re doing. A little bit of business, and then we’ll sing some Christmas songs.


Hey guys, you want to take it, buddy? Maybe introduce Tim. You guys all know who Jamie is, right? Lead pastor – was up last week? Yes? No? You guys know Jamie? Cool.



I don’t oversee the money. You don’t want me counting stuff, that’s for sure. I’m not a systems, policies, and procedures guy. These men have great skills, gifts, and abilities. And they run the administrative and stewardship load of Mars Hill. And so, rather than me making mistakes, I thought it’d just be best for them to let you know what’s going on.


Pastor Munson: Appreciate you guys making the hike in the snow. So, this is Pastor Tim Beltz. He’s the executive pastor of Mars Hill, a dear friend. He runs all of the operation side of what we do as a church. So, we’re a church, we’re about ministry, but we have to have budgets, we have to have buildings, we have to have staff, we have to have policies, procedures. Tim oversees all of that.

He has a lot of experience in nonprofit management. He was the chief operating officer at Crista Ministries, and the interim CEO up there for a number of years. He has an MBA. He’s overseen a $200 million budget in the nonprofit world. Lots of experience.


And so we brought him in about a year-and-a-half ago, to come on and oversee this area for us. He does a great job. I love working with him. A good man. So, I’m gonna turn it over to him to give you guys an inside look at some of the not-so-sexy part of Mars Hill, but the important part.

He keeps us out of jail. He does the good work, the hard work, to make sure we’re above reproach in a lot of those systems. So, I’ll let you kind of give us an overview of what does some of the financial accountability look like at Mars Hill?


Pastor Beltz: That’s a tough act to follow. Thank you. Just a couple of real quick points. We take this really seriously, the financial controls of the church. Our generosity as a – I’m a members of Mars Hill Church, obviously, and so it’s our generosity that really gives us an opportunity to be great stewards here at Mars Hill Church.


And so, just walking through this, the financial controls piece, it’s as simple as the two people that count the money and then deposit it. We have a chain of custody for that money, to make sure that there’s no opportunity for making errors or mistakes or having any problems.


It’s as complicated as having budget and expense reports that are reviewed at multiple levels of management. It’s also a system where Pastor Mark and Pastor Jamie, they don’t sign any checks. Their names aren’t on any of the accounts so that we can keep them above reproach, and that we can allow those who really enjoy doing those kind of things, and who are good at it, that we can.

Pastor Munson [from the same transcript]:

In addition, we’re gonna give $500,000.00 to our Shoreline campus, to help them find a permanent home. We launched that campus in January 2006, so this will be it’s third year. It really paved the way for the multisite movement of Mars Hill and allowed us to add other campuses. They were the guinea pigs in a lot of ways.

We’re gonna give them half-a-million dollars and then raise some more money to then be able to go find a permanent home for them. They’re meeting right now on the campus of Crista Ministries, King Schools, up in the North End. We’d like to get them a permanent home.

So, we wanted to bless them, get that fund started by giving them a half million

In October 2007, Tim was ordained at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA and served as the executive pastor until November 2010 when he became pastor of operations. As executive pastor, his responsibilities included overseeing the financial, HR, legal, technology and capital programs for the church. He transitioned off staff July 2011 and now serves as an unpaid elder at MHC West Seattle and as a member of the MHC Board of Elders.

Appendix B (p 113 of 145)
Mars Hill Re-organization document
previously sent to members on June 23, 2007
(pages 3-4)

Changing our Executive Team
A pivotal shift was streamlining our Executive Team. On June 11 at the All-Elders' meeting, Pastors Tim (Smith), Steve (Tompkins), Mike (Wilkerson), James (Harleman) and Lief (Moi) stepped down as Executive Elders. Subsequently, Scott Thomas and Bubba Jennings nominated themselves as Executive Elders and were voted in, establishing the Executive roles corresponding to the new team structure and transitioning the other pastors to their new roles in the revised organizational structure. Additionally, Tim Beltz, who is an elder candidate, is serving on a consulting basis to the Executive Elders and helping provide a wealth of nonprofit management experience to our decision making.

Jeremy Echols says:
October 18, 2008 at 2:50 am
Lief Moi did not leave because he was uncomfortable about the direction that the church was going in. He was actually “de-eldered” as you call it due to multiple run-ins with the law over repeat issues and no solving these issues – eventually leading to his arrest. Also within this, he did not walk in the light regarding these issues, thus breaking the accountability that elders in Mars Hill are to have. Anyone who is a member at Mars Hill can read about it on The City…

At the Full Council of Elders meeting for Mars Hill Church...honored and privileged to be among these men

7:05 PM - 8 May 12

So we can safely surmise from these identical photos for both Gravatar and Twitter that the Jeremy Echols who commented on Lief Moi’s no longer being an elder at Mars Hill are “probably” the same person. 

There's also this:
June 1, 2011
At this date one Jeremy Echols was presented for elder candidacy. In this video David Fairchild, pastor at the West Seattle campus mentions:

Jeremy has been in the elder candidacy process, pastor's process, gosh, I think they've had their eye on you for about three years and specifically about the last two years. And, at no fault of his own, there's just been transition and things like that ... .It's been two years since the elders said `Yes, he should be an elder.' ...

So this established that roughly some time in 2008 Mars Hill elders had had their eye on Echols as pastor material. Fairchild invited people to speak into the process. This was the opportunity, Fairchild said, to contact them if there was anything people were concerned with in his life.

And then this, on June 15, 2011 Jeremy Echols was installed as an elder at Mars Hill West Seattle.

You won’t find him listed as a pastor in any capacity at Mars Hill now.  In mid-2012 Driscoll mentioned that Mars Hill had had a wave of layoffs and it was not because anybody sinned but because Mars Hill had pursued a financial model that was not viable for the long-term future.  So a bunch of people got laid off.  We won’t know if Echols was necessarily one of them. 

So Echols turns out to have at some point been on staff at Mars Hill and, like many in the leadership scene within Mars Hill, has a blog.  A sample for consideration:
One Point Calvinism
Posted on 17 October 2008 by Jeremy Echols

Pastor Scott Thomas (the Pastor of the Church Planting branch here at Mars Hill Church) recently posted a blog concerning what J.I. Packer has had to say about the issue of Calvinism. I highly recommend you go to read it. Packer describes the primary one point of Calvinism that the five points of Calvinism are seeking to explain and uphold. The excerpt is taken from the intro to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. You can check out his blog post here.
And in the profile for his blog he wrote the following:
This is the blog of Jeremy and Abigail Echols. We are from Georgia, then Texas, and now in Olympia, WA. Both Jeremy and Abigail graduated from the University of Georgia. Jeremy has gone to Truett Seminary at Baylor University and is now on staff with Mars Hill Church working to help establish a campus of Mars Hill Church in Olympia.

The statements on this blog do not necessarily represent the views of any of the above institutions.

Fair enough, so in what capacity was Echols commenting on Moi’s absence from eldership at Mars Hill?  If it was not necessarily as a staff member was it as a church member?  Only members would have had access to any documents posted on The City designated for members.  The platform was designed in a way that allowed careful vertical control of what information went down the line, give or take some moments of what Justin Dean called unclear communication.  Generally people on staff at Mars Hill have tended to also be members. 

Echols claims are very stern, very bold, and make a specific set of claims.  Let’s look at them again and consider the date at which they were made.

Jeremy Echols says:
October 18, 2008 at 2:50 am
Lief Moi did not leave because he was uncomfortable about the direction that the church was going in. He was actually “de-eldered” as you call it due to multiple run-ins with the law over repeat issues and no solving these issues – eventually leading to his arrest. Also within this, he did not walk in the light regarding these issues, thus breaking the accountability that elders in Mars Hill are to have. Anyone who is a member at Mars Hill can read about it on The City…


Echols very explicitly claims Moi had multiple run-ins with the law over repeat issues which led to his arrest.  Echols never mentions what these alleged issues are but claims that “Anyone who is a member at Mars Hill can read about it on The City.”  Now perhaps that was not true, perhaps it was.  But the question at hand is what on earth this information was, what document, Echols so confidently referred to in his comment on October 18, 2008.

Well, before we attempt to get to that topic we might want to include some information that Jeremy Echols may or may not have known about. Be patient here as this will review a number of things that may not appear to be relevant.  Here is the point at which we consider the salary and time at work spent by Bill Clem and Lief Moi.



Part 26: One Body, Many parts

1 Corinthians 12:12-26

Pastor Mark Driscoll

July 30, 2006


… In the meantime, we also picked up another miracle. This is West Seattle. This is on 35th at the top of the hill in West Seattle as you head toward White Center. I grew up in this neighborhood. This is a church building that is an absolute miracle. I’ll tell you the story on this space. I tried to launch Mars Hill Church in that building ten years ago, and we were rejected, and I’ve always wanted to be in there since. And what happened was, is we were growing. I went to Pastor Bill Clem, who was leading that congregation. He planted it for Acts 29 Church Planning Network [emphasis added], him and James Noriega, who is the other elder there and I said, “We’re maxed out. You got a fat building, 50,000 square feet, 1,000 seats.:” It’s a bigger building and the one you’re sitting in right now. I said, “Is there any way we to use it?” They said, “Well, we wanna reach as many people in West Seattle as possible. How about if we give it to you and work together?” we prayed about it for a second and said, “Yes.”


Mars Hill West Seattle


Mars Hill West Seattle was a result of conversations I had with Pastor Bill Clem, who now leads our Ballard church. Bill planted Doxa Fellowship in West Seattle after having served as the North American Director for Sonlife Ministries, a national discipleship ministry. The church was part of the Acts 29 network and running under 100 people when Bill and I began talking.


At the time, Bill’s wife was diagnosed with cancer, from which she eventually passed away. I called up Bill to offer support for the tough battle he and his wife were facing, and I also asked if he’d be open to letting us use Doxa’s building on Sunday mornings, as Doxa was only meeting on Sunday nights. [emphasis added]


Eventually, as our church met in his building in the mornings, as we talked more and more, and as Bill’s wife faced a continuing and difficult battle with cancer, Doxa decided to merge with Mars Hill and become part of our church. We gave Bill many months off, paid him a full salary, and let him care for his dying wife and get a break from the exhausting work he’d undertaken in planting a church with an often bedridden wife. Her funeral was held in the church building that Pastor Bill had been given, and once he was ready, he started working for Mars Hill and is now our lead pastor at our biggest church, Mars Hill Ballard. Additionally, he has published the book Discipleship for us, and is the Northwest regional director for Acts 29. [emphasis added]


The old church building we inherited needed a lot of work. So, the people of Mars Hill generously gave $1.8 million in one massive special offering to renovate it. It’s been a great transition over the last five years or so, with the church growing from less than 100 people to now well over 700 people coming together to worship Jesus and serve the West Seattle area, many of whom are new believers who’ve met Jesus and been baptized at Mars Hill West Seattle. Not only that, Mars Hill West Seattle has gone from being a church plant to planting churches, having planted Mars Hill Federal Way in 2009.



Page 7 of 145

A letter from Pastor Lief Moi


November 9, 2007


Dear Mars Hill Members



The following is a brief account and explanation of what has transpired with me and Mars Hill Church over the past few months. I hope this gives comfort and answers to those of you who have been concerned.


In June of this year I was asked to step down from the executive team and the role of campus pastor at Ballard. The primary reason, and I believe a valid one, was that I do not have the administrative skills to run a campus the size of Ballard. [emphasis added] Although I agreed with the assessment of my lack of Kingly skills, I felt that I was being removed from a role that God had called me to and as a result I resigned from the elder board. There were many elders who spoke with me and asked me to reconsider, but at the time my heart was hard and I was not interested. After much contemplation, prayer and speaking with Pastor Mark, I asked to be reinstated as an elder and the vote was unanimous with one abstention to reinstate me.


Because of a major role change and the re-org, it was determined that my salary was to be cut by almost 40%.[emphasis added] At that time I told Pastor Jamie that I would not be able to stay on full time would consider a part time position so I could work on other means of providing for my family.


So as of today I am working 20 hours a week in Ballard counseling on Sundays and Wednesday evenings. I need you all to know and I ask your forgiveness for times during this process that I have not thought about the gospel first but considered my feelings most important and therefore have sinned. This has been one of the most difficult times of my life but am now looking to the future with my hope in Jesus and trust in the elders of Mars Hill to leada us into what Jesus would have us do and be. And it is this that I would ask you to do as well. These men love Jesus and they love you. We might not always agree on the method but we can always agree on Jesus.




Pastor Lief

From Appendix B (page 115 of 145)

Mars Hill Re-organization document, previously sent to emmbers on June 23, 2007

...Initially, Pastor Lief Moi was uncomfortable with the transition plans and uncertain that his conscience would allow him to continue as an Elder of Mars Hill Church. This precipitated several tense and difficult meetings for us as an Elder team, striving for unity but also the most effective way to organize and lead our church. After a few weeks off with his family to think and pray, Lief Moi resigned from his position on staff as well as his office as Elder of Mars hill Church. (emphasis added) Loving our brother and unwilling to olet this matter go without every possbile effort for reconciliation Pastor Mark, and Pastor Bill Clem spent hours laboring over Lief's concerns and frustrations. Following the extremely fruitful meeting with Pastors Mark and Bill, Lief sought reconciliation with several pastors who felt they had been wronged in the matter by him, and submitted himself humbly for restoration as an Elder of the church. The Elders assembled, discussed the matter soberly, and after much prayer and discussion voted to restore Lief as an Elder of Mars Hill Church and a member of the Ballard Campus team. Lief will continue to employ his unique gifts, which many of our members have been blessed by for years, to strength faith, fortify marriages, and equip the saints for acts of service as we love our city with Jesus. This process put many of our men's faith, endurance, constitution, and their trust in Jesus to the test. It drove many men deep into God's Word for wisdom, seeking His discernment and leading through prayer. Despite sleepless nights and frayed nerves, we are a truly a stronger Elder body because of this incredible labor God has shepherded us through. In His wisdom, He has made us bear this weighty issue as we move to a structure that distributes and delegates authority and mandates more trust and confidence in one another. Praying together as 24 men united by our love of Jesus and His great commission, it is evident He has uniquely tempered us for the coming season as a lovingly unified yet honest and effective team.

So Mars Hill confirmed that Lief Moi did, in fact, resign.  Jeremy Echols may have thought he was right to claim that Moi did not resign because he was concerned about the direction Mars Hill was going but Mars Hill says Jeremy Echols was wrong.

But there is something else that is important to note about Moi’s situation in 2007.  There wasn’t just the nearly 40% salary cut noted by Moi himself.  We also know that Lief Moi and his wife Tonya were in poor health.  How do we know this? Because Mark Driscoll himself confirmed it here in a document dating from November 2007.

page 23-24/145

This is from the section Pulpit and Preaching
responses submitted by Pastor Mark Driscoll

Q. Will we get to hear Pastor Lief preach again some time soon? I haven't heard him preach since the Mother's Day sermon and while I can understand why that sermon got pulled I hope he gets to preach some more in teh future if he's in better health (I read the prayer request that said he was in bad shape and his wife was not in good health, either). My hope is that we get to hear at least a little preaching from all our pastors at some point. I haven't heard a sermon from Pastor Tim Smith in a while or from Pastor Bubba at all and Pastor Bill's sermons on Jude were fantastic.

A. First, please do pray for the health of my friend and brother Pastor Lief. He has had very painful back problems for many years and he still stuffers from constant pain. Second I have a monthly preaching cadre where multiple Mars Hill pastors, along with pontential elders, potential church planters,and some Acts 29 church planters, are trained in preaching.  ...

So Driscoll referred to “my friend and brother Pastor Lief” as having had “very painful back problems for many years and he still suffers from constant pain. And that’s it.  No actual answer as to when Moi would be heard preaching again.  Anyone who read the initial letter from Moi himself could observe that Moi was given a nearly 40% salary cut and told that he lacked the “kingly gifts” to run a campus the size of Ballard.  At length it appears that Clem has decided he’s not up to running Ballard as it is now, though the wording of Driscoll’s story about how “when he was ready” suggests that at some point Driscoll had planned for Clem to run the Ballard campus earlier than when Clem formally led the campus as lead pastor. 

As has been established at various  points by Mars Hill documents Tim Beltz was brought on us a consultant during the re-org.  He was installed as an executive elder in later 2007.  He was also described by Pastor Jamie Munson as the guy who established policies and procedures.  Beltz, in other words, could have been in a position to help establish salary as a part of policy. Beltz appeared to be attending Mars Hill while Chief Operations Officer for CRISTA Ministries when said ministry made Schirmer Auditorium available free of charge for Mars Hill to use for a couple of years.  Beltz described a set of processes that ensured that neither Mark Driscoll nor Jamie Munson would sign any checks and that this would keep them above reproach. 

That was admittedly a long digression but it had a purpose.  Let’s recall that Jeremy Echols, who was once on staff at Mars Hill and probably a member, stated that there was a document posted on The City that anyone who was a member of Mars Hill could read explaining why Lief Moi was no longer an elder.  It is apparent Echols did not have some important details of Mars Hill history well-established from even a single year earlier, back in 2007, when he made the comment at the Praying Heart Wordpress blog. 

So what was that document Echols alluded to? Well, before we consider that let’s review the role Tim Beltz had within Mars Hill in 2007 and 2008. He was brought on as a consultant for his reputed wealth of experience in non-profit management. He was also described as overseeing the financials of Mars Hill and establishing policies to ensure Munson and Driscoll were above reproach.  Whether or not Beltz was the one who decided that Lief Moi was going to get a nearly 40% cut in his salary he was in a position to know about it.  He was also at CRISTA during a period when the ministry gave Mars Hill free access to Schirmer Auditorium while he was attending Mars Hill Church and also Chief Operations Officer.  With that in mind, If Jeremy Echols was referring to a document posted on The City that explained why Moi was no longer a pastor keep in mind that this document may date as much as a year after it was determined that Lief Moi’s salary was to be cut by nearly 40% and the year after Mark Driscoll himself testified that Lief Moi was suffering constant pain. It is only with those details established and Beltz’ role handling the financial side of Mars Hill that there’s a fuller context for understanding what comes next.  This would appear to be the document Jeremy Echols was referring to and it appears to be signed by none other than Executive Pastor Tim Beltz of Mars Hill Church.  It is only having established all the details above that Wenatchee The Hatchet considers there to be any suitable context to even begin to understand what this document is, apparently addressed to every single contracted member of Mars Hill at that time, courtesy of Tim Beltz. ...