Proposed Church Merge FAQ
How are the two churches “Merging”?
There are a few different church merge models, but we have chosen the “Adoption” Model because we believe it best fits our context. An adoption model is when a stable or stuck church integrates “under the vision of a stronger, vibrant, and typically larger church. Like an adopted child, they take on a new name and relationship, but they also add a dimension to their new parent that enhances the whole family.” Although Kerman Covenant Church will be the “adopted” church, as we move forward, we become one healthy, missional church together.
1. DOCTRINAL BELIEFS, GOVERNANCE/ AFFILIATION/ PHILOSOPHY/ VISION/ VALUES/ DISCIPLESHIP STRATEGY
Kerman Covenant and La Vina Covenant are both members of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) and the merged congregation will also be a member of the ECC.
As a denomination, the ECC takes its doctrine from Scripture and the Covenant Affirmations.
La Vina Covenant Church is a multicultural, multigenerational, missional church on the move with God in mission. This vision, values and philosophy that have guided La Vina Covenant for sixteen years will continue to guide the merged congregation.
Both La Vina Covenant and Kerman Covenant have followed the Leadership Team Model of governance and will continue to do so in the merged congregation. The La Vina Covenant Church Constitution will be the constitution for the merged congregation.
The Discipleship Strategy utilized by La Vina Covenant will continue to be the strategy of the merged congregation. Membership and discipleship are addressed below.
2. WORSHIP / PREACHING
What will the culture of Sunday morning worship be?
We will have two services, one in English and one in Spanish. They both will reflect and encourage the multicultural and multigenerational community that we desire to be and we want to reach.
Who is going to be preaching?
The preaching responsibility for both services will be shared among a Preaching Team made up of pastoral staff and lay preachers. Primarily, Pastor Michael Jordan will preach at both services. We anticipate presenting the same theme at each service.
3. MEMBERSHIP/ MISSION & MINISTRY
What are the requirements for LVCC membership?
The membership requirements for LVCC are similar to KCC requirements:
• Be a believer.
• Be baptized.
• Take LVCC membership conversation class.
• Fill out a membership application.
• Sign membership covenant.
• LVCC LT will then process the membership request & approve.
• Post names of new members in church bulletin two weeks prior to membership official public announcement.
• Public announcements – Hand of Fellowship
How will the current KCC memberships be transferred?
KCC members will be required to take part in the LVCC membership conversation class. This will allow KCC to better know who LVCC is, what their mission, vision, and discipleship process is. At the end of the class, participants will be asked to sign the LVCC membership covenant to complete the transfer process.
Which KCC missionary support and ministries will be transferred to LVCC and which will be phased out?
• LVCC will continue all missionary support for one year after the merge is completed. After one-year LVCC LT team will then review and reevaluate whether to continue further support.
• All ministries will be reviewed and evaluated to determine effectiveness in moving LVCC's mission and vision forward.
Current list of KCC mission support:
• Kerman Christian School
• Nate Smith – InterVarsity
• Ben & Emily Mooney – Bethel Ministries International Guatemala
• Kerman Care Center
• Kerman Food Bank
4. STAFFING, LEADERSHIP, AND NAME
Who will be our pastors?
Pastor Michael Jordan, as lead pastor for LVCC, will be the Lead Pastor of the merged church. As we prepare to merge the two congregations, Pastor Paul DePledge will continue to preach as needed, provide pastoral care, and work with Leadership to successfully navigate the transition plan. With prayerful consideration, Pastor Paul has determined that, when the transition is near completion, his ministry in Kerman will come to a close, and he and Grace will be seeking a new call of ministry.
Who will be on staff in the “merged” church?
Chelsea Weber will continue to be full-time, paid staff as Children’s and Youth Pastor.
Reyna Valencia will be taking on a full-time, paid position as Administrative Assistant.
Sheryl Betancourt will continue to serve in the Worship Ministry as part of a growing volunteer staff.
Paul Betancourt and Sandra Mendoza will be part of the Pastoral Staff as interns.
Current custodians will continue in the present positions.
Who will be on our Leadership Team?
Our Leadership Team (Elders) will consist of four of LVCC’s current five Leadership Team members and two of KCC’s current Leadership Team members - Will Nord and Doug Clayton. Those members of KCC’s current Leadership Team will be taking on other important roles as we move forward.
What will be the name of the “Merged” Church?
The name of the new church will continue to be La Vina Covenant Church. The merged church will be presenting something extraordinary and new to the community, so much thought was given to possibly renaming the new merged body. However, the community awareness and interest in the growing ministry of La Vina CC led to the decision to build on that “name recognition”. We will carry on the “name recognition” of Kerman Covenant Church through our long presence at this location and the continuing participation of our members in this remarkable new church. Our hope is that all the body will joyfully and proudly identify with the multicultural, multigenerational Covenant church called La Vina Covenant Church.
5. FINANCES AND PROPERTY
How will church finances be handled?
We recommend continuing the use of Aplos as bookkeeping software. (We also recommend that the new leadership team determine what fiscal year we shall use.)
What will happen to the title to the property?
The property is ours (not mine and theirs). KCC and LVCC will bring all property, facilities, and equipment to the merger. As the joining church KCC’s property, facilities and equipment will become part of LVCC in the merge. Our PSWC can help with registering any title issues with the State of California.
What about the Christian School?
Bob Cain will meet with the La Vina Leadership Team and explain the history and relationship with the Christian School. The lease with Kerman Christian School will be honored and reviewed at the end of the first year. We intend to strengthen our relationship with Kerman Christian and look forward to continued ministry together.
How will the care of the buildings and grounds be maintained?
Juan Cantu will share with members of La Vina about the care and maintenance of the property.
FAQ: Adoption Process
How will the merge be decided on?
The idea of a merge is being presented in April 2021.
Discussion will take place within and between the two churches. The vote will follow the rules set down by each church’s charter with their rules for quorum and required majorities. A majority vote is required for each congregation.
A vote will be taken by each church on June 6th.
If both churches agree we will begin joint worship by November 2021.
If both churches do not agree we will continue as we are.