Leadership Update

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We offer our sincerest thanks and gratitude to Kevin Wehr for joining our ministry in late fall of 2019. Little did he or we know the losses and struggles that the Wehr family would undergo, not to mention the incredible challenges that this past year has brought to all of us. It has been an unprecedented season, and at every step, Kevin has sought to serve the Lord and WCC faithfully.

We always have and always will believe that the health of our staff is of the utmost priority. Their relationship with Jesus, with their spouse, and with their family is their first ministry, and we honor Kevin’s decision to focus on his personal health and wellness so that he can serve Jesus and his family with sustained strength and passion in the future. We stand with him in this decision and as a church, we are supporting them to make the healthiest transition possible.

We have sadness both for what the Wehrs are experiencing and the impact that another transition has on our WCC family, and yet we have incredible hopefulness that this transition will glorify God even as we all experience disappointment and concern.

Your elders and I, along with all of our staff team, are committed to prayerfully, carefully, and transparently leading through this time of transition. We are available to meet with you, answer questions you may have, and pray with you. You are welcome to contact me at [email protected] or to contact our elders at [email protected] and we will respond to you. Additionally, below we want to provide you with answers to questions that may be in your mind.

Thank you for your love for the Wehrs, and your love for Willamette.

Chris Yarco

Lead Executive

What is Kevin going to do next?

Kevin, Molly, and their three kids are going to take a season off from ministry, spend some time in Southern California, heal, and seek the Lord for what is right for his future.

What is WCC doing to support the Wehrs?

We have and will continue to walk with the Wehr family into health and wholeness, and while we and they prayed, planned and believed that this call would be long-term, we have nothing but love, affection, care and commitment to them as Kevin pursues health and as they as a family pursue their next.

What can we do for the Wehrs?

Please pray for them and if you’d like to send a card or note their way, you can send it to Kevin Wehr c/o WCC, 3153 Brandywine Drive, West Linn, OR 97068 and we will make certain he gets it.

Is this unusual?

It is not unusual to see Pastors and church leadership suffer from increased mental health pressure – it is a part of the overall life of ministry leadership. But, in a year that has brought a global pandemic, racial injustice, and extreme polarity for our country, Barna research has suggested that over 80% of pastors have reflected that they’ve experienced anxiety, depression, and lack of thriving in ministry in this past year. They go on to share that 1 in 5 churches are projected to close their doors in the next 18 months.

We do not want any of our leadership, our staff, or our campuses to be a statistic and we are proud of Kevin for sharing the struggles that he’s experiencing so that we can walk with him back to health.

How is the staff at WCC?

We have an incredible staff team. As you can imagine, the staff is experiencing a similar range of emotions as you may be, from sadness and concern for the Wehrs to a level of uncertainty and expectation for what the future will look and feel like. They have been resounding in their understanding for Kevin and their anticipation for Brian. They are very important to us and we will continue to seek to care well for and steward them and their families as they seek to care and steward their responsibilities for you and our church.

How did you come to the decision to call Brian Becker to WCC?

We truly believe God has been orchestrating a journey for His purposes that started over eight years ago. WCC has been in relationship with Hope City since that time, providing prayer, care, and financial support to help the ministry thrive under the Beckers’ leadership in SE Portland. Over three years ago, through relationship and shared vision, Hope City became part of the Willamette family. In 2018, we adopted Milwaukie Christian Church and they combined with Hope City as one church family. We have walked closely together, and Brian has been part of our senior leadership team.

Jenn Becker also served two years as the Community Life leader for the Willamette campus, and has a love and affection for so many of you and especially for the WCC staff. Both Brian and Jenn are already deeply woven into the fabric of WCC.

Brian and Jenn have begun transitioning their leadership from the Hope City campus to the Willamette campus. We are maintaining our shared leadership model and teaching rotation, however, so Brian’s leadership will continue to impact the Hope City campus and he will still be seen teaching across our campuses on some Sundays. In the meantime, we've begun our search for a new lead pastor to serve Hope City as its primary communicator and leader of ministry.

While we did not anticipate this, our elders and senior team began seeking and praying for clarity, conviction and peace in the way forward, and we unanimously believe that this is the right call to place. Simultaneously, Brian and Jenn unequivocally believe in this call for their lives, the life of Hope City and the life of WCC.

What about Hope City?

Hope City is part of our family, and is a thriving church that serves the Milwaukie and SE Portland communities incredibly well. We have begun the search for the Lead Pastor to serve that community into the future, and the Beckers will be a large part of making the decision of who serves there. In the interim, we will serve and support that campus fully.

When can I meet the Beckers?

We will do a safe, socially distanced meet and greet with the Beckers on Thursday, February 11, at 7:00 pm at the WCC Campus. You can register to attend the event either in-person or via Zoom here. And then, starting February 28th, Brian will begin teaching online and live, in-person for the WCC campus. Brian, Jenn, Elliana (12) and Eva (9) will all be onsite for you to meet.

When are we meeting for live, in-person worship and teaching on Sundays?

We are looking forward to both online and in-person worship, teaching and communion gatherings starting Sunday, February 21st at 10:00 am. For our in-person gatherings, please register each week. You will find a link to register for these in-person gatherings on our home page once registration opens a week before the first gathering on February 21st.

Anything else I should know?