Cedar Grove Church Leadership Transition

Dear Covenant Members,

As you heard in the video message, after 24 years of faithful and dedicated service to Cedar Grove Church, Pastor Kevin and Cynthia have made the decision to step down and retire from his position as Lead Pastor effective July 25. This was not an easy nor quick decision for Pastor Kevin to make nor for the Overseers board to talk through and accept. Pastor Kevin is loved and deeply appreciated by all of us. His contributions to Cedar Grove since becoming Lead Pastor in 1997 have been immense and we are deeply grateful for his obedience to God's call. After much prayer and discussion, the leadership team believes that Pastor Kevin's decision is the direction of the Lord for Cedar Grove at this moment in our journey as a church.

In light of this, the board and Pastor Kevin have agreed to the following timeline for his transition as well as plans to recognize his leadership, sacrifice and ministry to Cedar Grove.

  • Sunday June 20: Official announcement to the church
  • Sunday July 25: Final message from Pastor Kevin & Farewell Celebration Event for he and Cynthia.

The following are answers to some questions members may have about this transition.

Why are these changes happening at this time?

While this announcement may come as a surprise, Pastor Kevin and the board have been discussing a leadership succession plan and transition for the church for a number of years now. This timeframe ranged from as early as this year (2021) to the fall of 2022. God has given Pastor Kevin and us the clear direction that now is the time. 

In past years, Pastor Kevin has preached through to the end of July and has taken a reading break in August. September is always the kickoff to a new season, with increased programs and ministries. So Pastor Kevin and the Board agreed his August break would be a timely moment for the transition, before we head into the rest of the ministry year. 

There is never a perfect time for a long-standing Lead Pastor to retire. While this change will be hard, we can have peace knowing God is a part of this process.   

What do I do if I’m feeling emotional about the transition and wish to talk to someone?

We know that this transition will bring up emotions and that is expected and okay. We want you to reach out to us at overseers@the-grove.net if you have questions or would like to talk. We also encourage you to reach out to Pastor Kevin, as he wants to connect with members. This will ensure that he ends strong and that we celebrate him and his legacy to Cedar Grove.

We know it may take some time to work through the many different emotions. So, we will be focusing on the needs of our staff, our members and the church as a whole as we navigate this change together. Our heart and prayer is: How can we bring God glory in all of this? God is faithful, He knows what He is doing and He is guiding our path. His love for us and for the body of Cedar Grove is everlasting.

Who will provide leadership to the church following these changes?

Following Pastor Kevin’s departure and before a new Lead Pastor is chosen, the church will be led by the overseers board. The board is also appointing Pastor Michael as the interim Lead Pastor. Direct responsibility for church administration, ministry, preaching and pastoral care will fall to Pastor Michael. The overseers have confidence that Pastor Michael and all of our Pastors and staff, who each bring unique and strong leadership and spiritual strengths and varied experience, will be able to serve our members until a new Lead Pastor is chosen.

What are the longer-term plans to fill the Lead Pastor position?

The board has been and will continue to work on a plan to fill the Lead Pastor position and will share this with members in the coming weeks. Ultimately, it is up to the Covenant Members to vote in a new Lead Pastor. We do not want to rush this process. We continue to seek the Lord on this and ask you to pray into this with us. We submit our plans to the Lord and seek His direction.

Are you making any changes to staff roles or any additional leadership changes?

No, there are currently no anticipated changes in church staffing, nor are any immediate changes planned. The board will be connecting with staff to support and come around them as we build for our future and prayerfully seek the Lord on next steps. 

How will Cedar Grove be honouring Pastor Kevin for his many years of dedicated service? 

We will be planning a celebration service for Pastor Kevin in the afternoon of Sunday July 25th. In the meantime, Pastor Kevin is going to make himself available to those wishing to connect with him. We will also be incorporating celebrations of Pastor Kevin into our prayer nights. More details on this to come. 

Is the COVID vaccine the mark of the beast?

Do you have questions about whether or not you should take the COVID-19 vaccine as a Christian? Concerned about social media posts that link the vaccine to the sign of the anti-Christ? To help you navigate these and other questions, we are sharing these short videos from a helpful website developed by several churches and Christian organizations, in partnership with the U.S. National Association of Evangelicals. 

While respecting that these are personal choices that no one can make for you, we encourage Cedar Grove members seeking Biblical guidance to use this resource in making their own informed and Scripture-based decisions about the vaccine and COVID.

The Bible vs. Science?

Common evangelical concerns addressed by Christian scientist and one of the world’s top experts on the COVID-19 vaccines, Dr. Francis Collins (8:42 mins.)


Ethics of rolling up your sleeve

Questions about the Biblical morality of taking the COVID vaccine, answered by Christian ethics expert Dr. Jim Denison (5:03 mins.)



Jesus and the vaccine

An evangelical pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, explains how the example of Jesus can help church members make decisions about the vaccines (6.52 mins.)



COVID, politics and the Bible

Bible teacher and former pastor Dr. Curtis Chang tackles issues such as whether the vaccine is a form of government control, how Christians should respond to COVID restrictions, and why taking the vaccine is a way to serve others (9:45 mins)



Pro-life, pro-vaccine

Bible teacher and former pastor Dr. Curtis Chang looks into whether it’s Biblically consistent to be against abortion and still take the vaccine (12:58 mins)



Discerning fake COVID information

Bible teacher and former pastor Dr. Curtis Chang explains how Christians can spot fake news about the vaccine. (8:07 mins)



Sign of the beast?

Bible teacher and former pastor Dr. Curtis Chang considers whether the vaccine is the mark of the beast described in the Book of Revelation (18:07)



This new initiative will make our pastors more available to you. Go ahead and sign up for a 30 minute connection time with a pastor at Cedar Grove ... time for questions, discussion, and prayer. Sometimes we just need time to talk!


Pastor Rico Galindez  |  Thursdays 10 am - Noon  | rico@the-grove.net
Pastor Sam Tse  |  Tuesdays 2 - 4 pm  | sam@the-grove.net
Pastor Michael Vuorensivu  |  Sundays 3 - 4:30 pm  | michael@the-grove.net

Cedar Grove Church is now an off-site Food Bank Depot for the residents in the Guilford/Whalley area, in partnership with the Surrey Food Bank. We are open to the community bi-weekly from 10 AM - 12 PM.

Anyone in this area that needs access to food bank services, please call: 604.581.5443 to register for an appointment. Any questions about this depot, please call and ask to speak with our Client Services Coordinator.

Covid safety measures will be in place.

#cedargrovechurch #biblebelieving #surreychurch



At Cedar Grove we believe real LIFE change and lasting growth happens best in community. Transformation takes place!  God never intended for us to do life alone.  Perhaps that's why He put each one of us in a family to learn, grow and mature.  We believe the same applies to our spiritual growth. We invite you to join us on the journey.


Questions?  Email church@the-grove.net



10330 - 144 Street
Surrey, BC   V3T 4V3




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