February 4, 2022

With the announcement about the Officer Elections coming up on March 6th, I realize it would be helpful to give a little more background on that process. Also we will provide a brief bio on both Mark Buford and Jamie Burkemper in the coming weeks. Mark is being presented as a candidate for the office of Deacon at Crossgate. Jamie’s situation is more unique, being presented as a candidate for the office of Ruling Elder from Crossgate but in order to serve as an MTW Team Leader in Madrid, Spain.
In general, the process for the election of church officers (Elders or Deacons) involves four stages: nomination by the congregation, a period of training and testing of gifts, examination by the Session, and then being presented to the congregation for election. 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 give helpful guides for the qualifications the Bible gives for the role of Elder (or Overseer) and Deacon.
Mark Buford was actually nominated back before the pandemic but his leadership training was interrupted by Covid. However, he completed the training material this past September, has been regularly involved in serving with the deacons, and passed his examination before the Session in December.
Jamie and Jen Burkemper, have been long-term members at Crossgate, but, because they have been serving as missionaries sent by the church, you might not know them as well. Since 2005 they have been working with Missions to the World (MTW), first in Mexico, and this past summer they transitioned to Madrid, Spain.
Now Jamie, if elected, would not be serving in the regular shepherding and oversight role at Crossgate (that would be difficult to do from Spain!). Rather his election as Ruling Elder would be another step in Crossgate supporting and sending him as a missionary to Madrid, especially as the MTW Team Leader there. This past summer our denomination made a new requirement that all Team Leaders must be ordained elders. Additionally this past year Jamie completed his studies at Covenant Seminary as further training for his role.
In recognizing both Jamie’s abilities to serve as MTW Team Leader in Madrid and these new requirements, Jamie was nominated for Ruling Elder at Crossgate in July. In August when the Burkempers last visited, Tom especially made sure to introduce Jamie and mention this situation to the congregation. Then the session also examined and approved Jamie in August, intending to wait until the next congregational meeting to handle these officer elections together.
The congregational role of electing officers is an important and serious responsibility. In it, as you recognize gifts God has given for the benefit of the church, you are confirming God’s call on these individuals to these roles of Deacon and Ruling Elder, and affirming your desire to support them in it. So we want you to be well informed and have ample time for consideration before the congregational meeting March 6th. Again we will also provide brief bios of both men and we welcome further questions you may have.
We hope and pray that God will continue to raise up others to serve as elders and deacons at Crossgate. And we are thankful for the many gifts He has given all through this congregation and the ways we serve Christ and one another together.
In Christ,
David Story

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