Budget Updates & Staff Changes
Mar 14, 2021

Dear Church Family,

At our January annual meeting we shared that we had a major budget shortfall in 2020 and that if 2021 continued in the same way, we would very likely need to make a staff reduction to prevent a continuing financial shortfall. Being wise stewards with our finances, and maintaining good financial planning frees us from focusing on money as we carry out our mission to Embody Love. To be clear, for a church our size we have a healthy income. Our community is very generous, and we are very grateful for that. We also want you to know we are working together to put practices in place to avoid situations like this in the future.

After much prayer and gut wrenching discussion among the elders, it was clear to us that the only long term solution would be some kind of change to the staff. We have a fairly minimal staff overall, but that staff currently includes two full-time pastors. Now that we have a clearer sense of our financial outlook, it has become clear that two full time pastors is not sustainable.

At the end of our most recent elder meeting on February 28th, John joined us to discuss the situation. Because of his love and care for our community, John told us that he knew the only solution to our financial situation was a layoff and that while he doesn’t want to leave ECL, it was the only solution. In order to make the transition easier on all of us, which was amazingly generous of John, he asked us to make that decision which would then allow him to begin a search for a new position. While we are still working on the timeline, we felt it is important to share with all of you to ensure you heard about John’s layoff from us first. We know this decision may come as a shock, and if you have any questions or concerns please reach out to one of the elders at elders@ecclesiaclearlake.org.

We plan to give John a proper send off and celebrate his contributions to our church community at our in person meeting on May 23rd.

We know this has been a frustrating and difficult year for all of you and that this change does not come at an easy time, but changes rarely do. We trust that God has a plan and continue to seek out His will for ECL. Please continue to pray for John and the Hatfield family, that God will lead them into just the right place. As elders we take very seriously the decisions you have entrusted us with, please continue to pray for us.


The ECL Elder Team