March 3rd Update

Four months ago, Senior Pastor Fred Herron left Kansas City to undergo treatment and counseling for dependency and substance abuse issues.  As requested, and at times as required, we’ve had little contact with Fred during this period.  However, as Fred nears the end of his counseling, representatives from the Board of Directors and Pastor Serve met with Fred to discuss, among other things, his health and his plans.  We would like to share a recap of that discussion with you.

Fred reports he is healthy and sober.  That said, Fred would like to continue his counseling when he returns to Kansas City.  Further, Fred has chosen not to return to being the senior pastor at Vineyard Church or being a pastor anywhere else.  He believes his focus should remain on healing, restoration and recovery.  While the specifics of those activities have yet to be defined, Fred will be making those decisions with input from his family and friends.  Vineyard Church will support Fred and Janet as they heal and look for God’s direction in their lives.

 

The following is from the letter that Fred has submitted to the Board of Directors:

“It is with great sorrow that I resign as Senior Pastor and President of the Board of Directors of Vineyard Church, Kansas City, Missouri.  I deeply regret that I have failed to live up to the leadership standards of a pastor.  I know I can no longer serve as your pastor.  My prayer is that God will have the right person who is called and ready to lead this great church.  It has been an honor to serve as your pastor and I will always be grateful for God’s work of grace through you.  I will be praying for you as you continue to follow Jesus in all you do.”

 

Later in the year, we as a Board will begin a search for a new senior leader.  We’ll  continue to be led by the excellent and capable staff, under the direction of the Lead Pastor Team and the Board of Directors. Teaching will be done by both our teaching team and by additional outside guests. 

 

Our church has always been about grace, about bringing the words and transforming power of Jesus to sinners like we all are.  While we’ll no longer have Fred’s inspiration, personality, and spirit in the pulpit, we will continue to make Vineyard Church a place where all are welcome, where children and youth meet a loving Jesus and where all can share in God’s grace in community with each other.  This is God’s church and we re-dedicate it to Him as He leads us in this time.

Lets close with this prayer from Paul, an early church starter, teacher, and missionary.

14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[a]15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[b16 I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower [us] with inner strength through His Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make His home in [our] hearts as [we] trust in Him. [May our] roots . . .  grow down into God’s love and keep [us] strong. 18 And may [we] have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May [we] experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then [we] will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.21 Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. 

Ephesians 3:14-21

Fred Update Dec 21st

As Fred Herron is on indefinite leave of absence and in phase two of his rehab, we have been provided with a prayer guide by the team at his rehab.  Each day has a different focus both for Fred and for you as you pray.  Keep in mind that the rehab has a weekly focus and rhythm, so doing this each day is helpful to connect you to the healing that we are praying Fred goes through.

Thank you for your prayers!  May you be blessed as you pray for Fred.

On Mondays:

For Fred:
Pray that God will bring to mind a truth from yesterday’s worship experience at church that deepens Fred’s trust in God’s love and acceptance.  – Luke 15:20

For Yourself:
Be honest with God about your feelings toward Him right now.  Ask Him to help you see how much He loves you.  Romans 8:38-39

 

On Tuesdays:

For Fred:
Pray that God would be actively at work, renewing Fred’s mind, replacing old thinking patterns and attitudes, with new beliefs based on healing experiences with God and others.  Romans 12:2

For Yourself:
Invite God into your pain.  Share with Him what you are feeling today. Take a few moments to be quiet with Him, resting in His love and compassion for you.  Matthew 11:28

 

On Wednesdays

For Fred:
Pray for Fred’s individual counseling time.  Pray that the counselor would be in tune with God’s work in Fred’s life – that any unacknowledged guilt, or unhealed wounds would be discovered and cared for, with both compassion and skill.  Psalm 147:3

For Yourself:
Ask God to reveal any personal wounds that need His healing touch, or guilt that needs to be acknowledged and confessed.  Give Him permission to search your heart, and spend a few moments quietly listening.  Psalm 139:23

 

On Thursdays

For Fred:
Pray for Fred’s relationships with other clients in the rehab program.  Pray that this community would help Fred learn to relate authentically, develop empathy for others, and grown in emotional maturity.  Romans 12:15-18

For Yourself:
Ask God to lead you to safe people with whom you can share your feelings and struggles without fear of judgement or unwanted advice.  Invite God to use your story to encourage and comfort others who are walking through painful situations.   Galatians 6:2

 

On Fridays

For Fred:
Pray for God to grant Fred wisdom and insight as well as the ability to apply in daily life what he is learning through the teaching and homework assignments.  James 1:5

For Yourself:
Invite God to take the lead in your life today.  Surrender your own agenda and your desire for control.  Ask Him to guide your steps, to monitor your thoughts, and to remind you of His presence throughout the day.  Proverbs 3:3-6

 

On Saturdays

For Fred:
Pray that Fred will understand how his behaviors have impacted others and experience true sorry and regret for the hurt he has caused.  Pray that this sorrow will lead to genuine repentance and enduring change.  II Corinthians 7:9-10

 

For Yourself:
Be honest with God about how Fred’s addiction has hurt you.  Acknowledge your anger and your fears.  Ask God to begin a work of forgiveness in your heart, and trust Him with all of the losses. 

 

On Sundays

For Fred:
Pray that God will be very present with Fred today during worship.  Pray that Fred will know that God the Father is actively at work in his life.  Romans 5:1-5

For Yourself:
Ask God to give your soul rest today, to fill your heart with peace and gratitude.  Take a few moments to thank Him for things you normally take for granted.  Assure Him that you notice, and that it reminds you how much He cares about you.  Philippians 4:6-8

Initial Statement Nov. 18th

Dear Church Family,

Do you ever have a time when things are confusing, answers are hard to find, and circumstances way different than you assumed? We are at just such a crossroads right now. Let us share why with you.

This week, our Senior Pastor Fred Herron was placed on an indefinite leave of absence due to his inability to perform his job duties. Fred is suffering from various health issues, including addiction and dependence problems, the extent of these issues has only come to light, even to his wife, Janet, in the last seven to ten days.

This past weekend with the help of friends, his wife Janet, and the church's Board of Directors, Fred entered a treatment facility away from Kansas City to begin his recovery. During the initial recovery and treatment stages, Fred also confessed moral failure to his wife, Janet.

Fred Herron has personally led many of us to Christ. Many of us are friends of Fred's and love him dearly. This situation changes none of that. We cannot understand this situation except to say that Fred is human. Like all of us, Fred needs the grace of Jesus for healing and forgiveness.

All of us have benefited from Fred's teaching of the gospel. His love for Christ is obvious and abundant. Fred's love for our church, those who serve here and those who have attended is extraordinary. He blessed our church by putting a group of strong men and women that love Jesus in leadership and support roles. These leaders have been developed and trained for their roles and will continue to lead the church during this time. The pastors and staff will continue to have the day-to-day responsibilities of making things happen here at the Vineyard as they always have.

Executive pastors Roger Sodsod, Tony Wilks, and Roger Wilson will jointly assume the church's leadership position with direction and oversight from the Board of Directors. In addition, the leadership of the National Association of Vineyard Churches is providing counsel to the Board of Directors as is a team from PastorServe, an organization which comes alongside churches and church leaders in situations like this. Vineyard Church, and all its leaders, has, and will always be about loving and serving Jesus Christ and bringing more people to Him.

We will never have all the answers to our questions on why things like this happen. God knew there'd be times like this as He tells us through Paul in Romans:

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

There is hope, always hope, in Jesus, no matter the situation. That's as true now as when Paul wrote that letter to the Romans Jesus is indeed our Lord and He loves us way more than we'll ever know. Let us examine our own hearts and lives and let Jesus heal us all through His living presence. Support and pray for Janet and Fred as they navigate this unforeseen journey. Support our pastors, support each other and support our church family through your continued faithful prayers, serving, reaching and giving. Let this be an opportunity to make our church healthier and draw us closer to Jesus. We believe the best is yet to come.

Biblical, spiritual and emotional support, and prayer will be provided to staff and church members to help process this news and developments. Remember, we are a community that always extends grace to anyone who comes, regardless of position. We as a board are committed to Fred’s healing, his wellbeing, and to see him someday walk in freedom with our Lord. We will continue to uphold, pray for, and support Fred as he first overcomes dependency and then,restores a right relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ, and then restores right relationship with others.

Also, we will care for and protect Janet, Fred’s wife, as she goes through an extremely difficult time. The extended Herron and Favazza families are in our prayers and should be in yours. We love them, and will always, as a church, extend our open arms of grace, mercy, and compassion to them.

Let's pray.

"Father, thank you for your love for us and the blessing that is the Vineyard church. We hear your word in this place and look to reflect your light of love through the prisms of our lives for all to see. We love you and trust our lives to you. Wrap your arms around Pastor Fred, Janet, their families and friends. They are all confused and hurting from this all too human failure. Heal their wounds, show them your redemptive power. Wrap your arms around all these people Lord, those who serve and those served in your church. Let us grieve, let us learn and let us reflect your love by being steadfast in our faith to you and our Vineyard church family.

Thank you for your endless love. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen "

The Vineyard Church Board of Directors