Suspending The Search Process - Information From Our Elders May 01, 2021

Westover Family,

Over the past few weeks, the Elders have been in almost constant communication with our pastors, off-session elders, deacons and members of the congregation hearing feedback and answering questions. We have sought the Lord's direction through prayer and scripture meditation. As a result of this process, we've made the decision to suspend the pastoral search process and, by doing so, end Lucas Cooper's candidacy for Lead Pastor. We want to share a little bit more about what led to the decision and our desire for the future.

First, a statement about Lucas Cooper:

Throughout this process, which originally started in November 2020, Lucas has been honest, transparent, patient and gracious with the Search Team and the Elders at Westover. Even after 6 months of thorough vetting, two in-person visits from Canada to NC, including one with his young family, he was still willing to visit Westover again to help directly answer questions from our congregation leading up to the vote. The decision to end his candidacy didn't come as a result of new information coming to light, or the Elders finding fault with Lucas. The Session supported his candidacy, but recognized that moving forward would bring a risk of creating a significant schism in the church we all so dearly love and care for. We pray for God's blessings for Lucas and his family in this season.

This process has surfaced opportunities for Westover to grow in communicating, listening, and humbly loving one another as Jesus has loved us. It is the Elders desire that we experience this growth in order to prepare us to call a new Lead Pastor.

The world around us lacks the ability to communicate in humility and love. As followers of Christ, we are called to love one another better, as a testament to the power of His love. In an effort to build up the church, many of you have communicated in that love, and please know we so appreciate that. The difference between sharpening and dulling iron is very subtle. Our desire for Westover in this season is 1 Peter 3:8 "Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind."

Throughout scripture, God has used challenges to bring growth and strength, and we look forward to seeing what He will do at Westover as we move ahead.

In Him,

Westover Elders, 2021 Session