As we look to the future, we give thanks for the past, and we root ourselves in the God who not only holds and sustains us, but who invites us to dream new dreams!  

In light of our Senior Minister Daniel Harrell's news that he will be leaving Colonial to become editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, and knowing that there are many short and longer term recommendations and decisions to be made, the Moderators and the Church council respectfully ask for your prayer for our church and its future.  We will keep you updated with the most recent conversations and decisions on this webpage.  Please check back periodically for more information.

Recent Update:

Senior Minister Announcement (Feb. 23rd, 2020)

Dear Members and Friends of Colonial Church,

It is with great joy that we announce that on Sunday, February 23, 2020, the Reverend Jeffrey Morrison Lindsay was called as Colonial’s Senior Minister by a unanimous vote from over 260 members. We thank the Colonial Council for their leadership, the Pastoral Staff for their diligence, and the congregation of Colonial for their engagement and support during this transition process. A formal installation ceremony for Jeff will be held on the morning of Sunday, May 17, 2020. Look for details on the ceremony at a later date.

Approval of the proposed bylaws amendment preceded the vote to call Jeff.  The following language of the amendment will be added to the Colonial Church current bylaws:

Section 1. Senior Minister, ARTICLE X – STAFF AND OFFICERS:
Notwithstanding the provision in the preceding paragraph for formation of a Senior Minister Search Committee, the Church Council shall have the authority without formation of a Search Committee to recommend to the Church members that an ordained minister who is currently employed by the Church be called as Senior Minister.  The Senior Minister shall be called for a fixed or indefinite period by a two-thirds vote of the Church members present and voting at a Church Meeting called for that purpose.

As we move forward, we ask that you keep holding our congregation in prayer. Pray for Jeff as he assumes this new mantle of leadership.  Pray for staff and leadership as we seek to make wise decisions. Pray for our congregation as we attend to God’s work in our midst. We are convinced that God is doing a new thing at Colonial and we are excited to be a part of it. 

In Christ's Service,

Pat Peterson, Moderator                                      John Seaberg, Vice-Moderator

Town Hall Video (Feb. 2nd, 2020)

On Sunday, February 2nd, Jeff Lindsay shared his vision for the future and desire to become Colonial's next Senior Minister. Watch the video above for that presentation as well as the questions and dialogue that followed. 

Senior Minister Process Update (Jan. 22nd, 2020)

Dear Members and Friends of Colonial Church:

After many meetings and much prayer, the Colonial Church Council has developed a plan for congregational consideration that will provide a timely path to call Colonial’s next Senior Minister.  The candidate we unanimously endorse is Jeff Lindsay, Acting Lead Minister. In order to move forward with this endorsement, the Council is calling a Congregational Meeting at which time a Colonial Church Bylaws amendment will be presented for approval followed by a congregational vote to call Jeff Lindsay as Colonial’s sixth Senior Minister. 

Jeff Lindsay has demonstrated his leadership capacity at Colonial, currently as Acting Lead Minister and, most recently, as Acting Lead Minister during Daniel Harrell’s leave of absence.  His track record at Colonial includes holding lead positions in Youth, Missions, and Pastoral Ministries. As Acting Lead Minister, Jeff has recently helped restore necessary positions for Confirmation, Youth, Pastoral Care, and Adult Education. He has created new structures for staffing and administration and has enthusiastically embraced all aspects of leadership. Jeff has the support of the Council and, importantly, he has a vision for our future and has publicly stated that he wants to lead the congregation he has loved for so many years.

We find ourselves in a crucial moment in the life of our congregation. Not only do we want to keep momentum in our current strategies and goals, but we also want to move forward with strong leadership in place and are excited about the vision that Jeff has put forward for the coming years. To that end, we have created an open and transparent process that will allow the congregation to be fully informed, fully involved, and ultimately to vote to call Jeff to the position if they so choose.   

The plan is as follows:

  • A Congregational meeting will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at which time a bylaws amendment will be presented that allows the Council to recommend an internal candidate for the position of Senior Minister (see below). Assuming congregational approval of the amendment, a recommendation from the Council to call Jeff will also be presented. The lead up to that meeting will include all of the necessary official notices (see below) and the opportunity to hear from Jeff in three identical presentations.
  • Presentations from Jeff will take place in a town hall format on Sunday, February 2 at 11:00 a.m.; Sunday, February 16 at 11:00 a.m.; and Wednesday, February 19 at 6:30 p.m. All of them will be located in the Meetinghouse. The first meeting will be recorded and available online. 
  • In order to ensure that there are multiple ways for your voice to be heard, you will be able to submit comments and questions via e-mail to moderator@colonialchurch.org or via USPS sent to Colonial Church, Attn: Moderators.  The e-mail address will forward directly to us (your moderators) and we will view, engage with, and pay attention to themes that arise from congregational member comments. Please note:  We have already received many e-mails and letters from members which have all been documented and shared with the Council.

As we enter into this process of congregational deliberation, we ask for your prayers and encourage your engagement.  Our desire is to serve the Lord and to follow God's leading throughout the next few weeks and into the future. 

In Christ's Service,

Pat Peterson, Moderator                                      John Seaberg, Vice-Moderator

Senior Minister Process Update (Jan. 1st, 2020)

Now that Daniel Harrell has officially concluded his tenure as our Senior Minister, the Council is meeting in January to finalize the next steps in the process for identifying the next Senior Minister. We remain committed to keeping you informed as the process unfolds. 

  • With the pastoral transition underway, we have identified the need for some new positions on our staff. We are thrilled to welcome Christian Collins Winn as our Interim Teaching Minister and Trev Erickson as our Communications Manager as well as 3 part-time positions with Tony Jones as the Confirmation Pastor, Mark Patrick as the Care Pastor, and Paul Bertelson as the Missions Director.
  • One-on-One Ministers will be available in the prayer chapel after the service for prayer. 

Dear Beloved Congregation,

As most of you know, Daniel Harrell, our Senior Pastor, has announced his resignation effective Dec 31, 2019 and on Jan 1st, 2020 will become Editor-in-Chief of Christianity Today, perhaps the most respected brand in Christian media. They will now be blessed with his writing skills, knowledge of theology and love of Jesus. Daniel will work from home and telecommute to CT’s Chicago headquarters until he and Violet move to Chicago in the summer following the end of Violet’s school year. Thankfully, Daniel gave adequate notice of his departure so that we can not only find time to say our loving goodbyes to him and Violet but also begin to plan for a transition to new leadership.

Because we feel we need to keep moving forward and make decisions for the future, your Church Council has decided to transition Staff leadership now to a leader who is currently on Pastoral Staff and will be in place in the coming years as well. With that thought guiding us, Council unanimously voted to name Jeff Lindsay as Acting Lead Minister.

Most recently, Jeff provided needed leadership while Daniel was on extended leave due to the illness and death of his dear wife Dawn. Jeff’s thirty-five year tenure as a Pastor at Colonial, his loving heart and his knowledge of each departmental function made for a very steady hand at the tiller during Daniel’s leave.  With that recent history in mind, and with Daniel’s blessing, Jeff will become Acting Lead Minister effective October 28th, 2019 and he will serve in that role until further notice. In that role he will assume leadership of both the Pastoral and Operations staff of the Church. Daniel will continue to preach through Christmas and will perform other non-administrative pastoral duties as well.  

In closing, our goal as Council has been to be God-honoring in this transition. Therefore, we want to do what is best for you, our wonderful congregation, Daniel and Violet as they begin a new season in their lives and what exemplifies Christian love in the process.

Please stay tuned for additional transition updates as the future events unfold.  You can find the most recent information on our website at www.colonialchurch.org/transition-updates

In Christ's love, 

Pat Peterson, Moderator
John Seaberg, Vice-Moderator
The Colonial Church Council