A Word from the Pastors | June 2021 Church Council Report

A Word from the Pastors

6/17/21

Church Council

Your elected servant-leaders gathered for a Zoom meeting on Monday, June 14. They will probably next meet on July 12 for a Zoom meeting beginning at 7:00PM. Some notes from the June meeting:

    • Minutes from the April 12 and May 10 Zoom meetings were reviewed and approved.
    • Pastors Gwen and Neil reported that they were meeting with Synod Bishop Patricia Davenport on Wednesday, June 16 to share their story of the journey of Pastor David Maddox II from first contact with the Synod staff about the candidacy process… through seminary and into serving as an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament… and ending with his decision to resign his call as an ordained clergyperson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. They asked for prayers for this meeting, prayers for Pastor David, and prayers for his family.
    • Ben Shipanga summarized his written financial report. 2021 Budget Income for January – May was $75,708.61 and Budget Expenses were $72,282.40. Income from the “Cheesecake Sale” for the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering was $814.36.The total for the online Scholarship fundraising event (“An Evening with the Bishop, Rev. Patricia Davenport, and our Church Musician, Dennis Fortune”) increased slightly to $614.30.
  • Property. There were several tasks that we wanted to accomplish that we have done little about: (1) Repainting the large classroom with a lighter color, then moving furniture back in from the hallway; (2) Polishing the kitchen floor and returning equipment and utensils into closets and shelves from their current Rhoda Hall “rest stop” location; (3) Completing the downstairs ceiling tile replacement project (Rhoda Hall and two adjacent areas) and clearing the construction materials and debris left on the stage. The Council tried to determine potential persons and times to get these tasks done and resolved to move forward at a faster pace. It was also reported that Women’s Ministry is gathering estimates as it considers carpet replacement projects in Livermore Lounge and Knapp Chapel.
  • Baptism event. The Pastors believe that a requested Saturday baptism (the day and the date are determined by the travel schedule of former St. Peter’s members now residing in the South) can be safely held in the Sanctuary at the end of June. But Council elected not to allow the use of Rhoda Hall for a reception of several hours after the baptism. We’re still seeking to be cautious, to value safety, respect, and concern for one another above a rush back to what used to be “normal”.  
  • Re-opening. A Council committee of Ben, Roland, Veronica, Diane Hughes, Carol Lee, Judy West, and one or both Pastors was created to help focus on planning and preparation such things as: (1) cleaning what has been dormant for over a year, as well as cleaning in these COVID recovery times; (2) sharpening the estimated costs for video equipment and connections  so that we might do the necessary preparation for  “hybrid” worship that will include both physical, in-person gathering and digital, online worship; (3) exploring medical guidelines about such things as vaccination or mask requirements, air exchange, seating capacity and spacing, shared singing or reading, Holy Communion, physical touching, fellowship meals and programs, rental events, etc.
  • Website, Facebook, YouTube. We forgot that there are license and copyright laws that affect even small congregations trying to have public worship online. Those who help with some of our online posting are exploring requirements and solutions.

In the United States, we have just recently crossed that milestone of 600,000 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Can we even comprehend that? Could it be even higher than that? Across the face of this earth, many people in many lands are still in the fierce middle of the storm, struggling to survive and mourning those who have been lost. While our nation is seemingly moving towards recovery, what about the others? How many more, O Lord?

It has been such a long-shadowed valley that we have all walked through… or even been lifted and carried by others. But now there is a small glimmer of light. Now there is more hope. Now we are anticipating and pondering renewal. What will daily life be like on the other side? What might become “new norms”?

 Pastors Gwen and Neil are so very grateful that – during all these months of uncertainty and challenge, these seasons of suffering and of sorrow – the St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church faith community received God’s grace and pressed on, held together from both near and far, and continued to seek and serve the Lord! Now some who have been with us from a geographical distance are beginning perhaps to return to former church responsibilities and activities in their local settings. As you return home, we thank you for being “at home” with us during a rough part of the journey… we thank you for your faith, your love, your support, your discipleship. You’ve been a blessing to us. You’ll be a blessing to others.

Go in peace and serve the Lord! Stay in touch if you have the time and the urge.

With our sincere love and humble gratitude, 

Pastor Neil & Pastor Gwen

Upcoming Events

Jul
14
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jul 14 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
17
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 17 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jul
21
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jul 21 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
28
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jul 28 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
31
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 31 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.