A huge shout out to Noriko, Theo, and their amazing brunch crew who decorated, prepped, cooked, served, and cleaned up the LIRS fundraiser brunch for Ukrainian refugees who will be settling in the United States. Also, a round of applause for all the musicians: Rey, Daniel, soloists, ensembles, and choirs for providing inspiring entertainment. And finally, special thanks to Wanda for sharing in a beautiful table display of her Ukrainian heritage. It was a Sunday of celebration, fellowship while focusing on social justice by raising awareness and funds for people who have been forever affected by war. As your pastor, it was a joy to share a meal with you in the Great Hall for the first time. Since we are able to gather again it is so easy to see what we have missed the past two years when we couldn’t gather because of Covid. Thank you all for making this church the vibrant and inclusive place that it is.
- Pastor Jill
Newsletter Article for May 23rd, 2022
As most of you know we had a very successful Congregational Meeting on May 15th, 2022. CGS voting members, by acclimation elected four new council members and Treasurer.
Welcome to council Lynn Hunger, Margaret Valliant, Isabel Coste, Robert Teufel and for an encore as Treasurer Jean Hope! I think you will all surely make a positive impact by giving of your time and talent to our congregation. Thank you!
So … what does the CGS council do?
Guided by our constitution, the council serves as the board of directors for CGS, providing direction, guidance, and leadership. The council is responsible for many areas of our church life, ministries, worship, evangelism, fellowship, property, social concerns, stewardship, youth, policy decisions and practices, etc. Meeting once a month, things start with a beginning prayer, the reading of the Behavioral Covenant, approving the previous agenda minutes, discussing current and new business, reviewing action items, and ending with a closing prayer.
The remaining obligations include writing one newsletter article during the year and making announcements a few times during the year. Not too bad of a commitment, it's not like you have-to-do something like sing!
You don't need to have prior council experience to be a mover and shaker in church leadership. So, if you want to better understand what makes CGS tick, next time elections are held, consider being on council and make a difference!
We soon will enter the liturgical season of Pentecost. In the book of Acts (chapter 2), before Jesus ascended into heaven, he left the disciples with his word that the Holy Spirit would fill them. His word must have seemed abstract and even more mysteriously joyful when it came to pass amongst signs of fire, wind, people understanding languages other than their own as one voice. In these weeks leading up to Pentecost I will be praying for wisdom to understand the things that have changed over the past few years and will be looking how to be filled with a new Spirit as I and we live into a time when we can’t necessarily do things “the way we always did.” Covid isn’t quite in the news in the same way it was when the pandemic was at its height, yet with a rapid increase in cases in the Bay Area, we will all have to mindful if their needs to be a change of protocol to keep us safe. Hopefully this uprise will calm down and we will be able to gather and reclaim and rekindle some of the simple pleasures of summer like sitting in the garden enjoying each-other’s company and coffee or shared meals, time to travel, vacation and relax and the opportunity to have late evening light conversations in a leisurely manner. For now, I love watching the butterflies dance outside the office window, the fragrance of late Spring flowers, songbirds songs, and the rapid growth of all the plants as they bask in the light.
- Pastor Jill Ross
The SafeCarPark@CGS is over, and the guests have moved to the next location. Thank you CGS community for your efforts and support of this ministry. During the month we hosted 18 guests including several families made up of fathers and sons, a few couples, and a group of refugees who had just arrived in this area.
The outpouring of assistance and love to this ministry has been tremendous. It is because of the efforts of the volunteers that it came together. Thank you, check-in/check-out volunteers, to those who donated snacks, beverages, gift cards and made cash donations, and to those who hosted the Monday night dinners. Thank you, to Comfort for keeping the area clean, to Pastor Jill for her support , to Christina for being the onsite representative and making sure that things ran smoothly, and to members of the Property committee who got things set up and in working order for our guests. Thank you to the groups that use the CGS property. Many made contributions to help our guests.
This is the fifth time CGS has been a Safe Car Park site. It is the first time we have hosted post-COVID restrictions, and we did learn a few new things. Our facility is now open to rental groups and other church communities. We learned that sharing space takes a bit of effort and communication is critical. Parking is a big deal, and we had to share our parking space while making sure that the Safe Car Park guests felt safe. Monday night meals were a hit. There was always plenty of food, so anyone who happened by was invited to join in. The guests felt the love and generosity of everyone.
CGS will host the Safe Car Park again in the fall, probably in October. The Silicon Valley Safe Park network, of which we are a part, may be adding a few faith communities as hosting sites. If this happens, we may work with the new sites to get things set up in new locations. Working together, we hope to continue to provide a safe place for those whose circumstances have them living in their cars and needing help.
If you would be interested in learning more about the Safe Car Park program at CGS and working with the team, please contact us.
Again, thank you CGS community for your support, love and prayers.
Last September, I began a 9-month course at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary on Climate Change. Twice monthly, via Zoom, I have met with colleagues from Africa, Central America, Asia, North America and Europe to learn from each other about how climate change is affecting local communities, and how local congregations are coming together to discuss and plan action on devastation that has change their daily living. This next two weeks we will be coming together via zoom to share. My project has been to use visual art as an expression to open up conversation about climate change. The issue seems to be so vast that sometimes it is hard to know how to enter in to talking to each other let alone making action plans. Something magical happens when folks are encouraged to tell story around artwork. My own project is only in its infancy. I have been and will be asking folk to reflect on something they care deeply about that has already been lost or changed by climate change then to express that loss with an image or poem. From there I hope to teach people how to organize, share resources and plan action around issues unique to their community. I have made a series of mosaics and paintings that I hope to curate into a traveling show. I also invited a group of artist friends to submit pieces and now have nine pieces to share submitted by four artists. Most of the mixed media artwork deals with the devastation caused by wild fire and some deal with animal extinction. The mosaic making group from CGS/Prince of Peace Lutheran that gathered during Lent helped me begin a large community mosaic that will weave together themes of loss around climate change. I plan to travel with this mosaic and have people add to it during talks and workshops to follow. I am very excited that I have been invited to PLTS to preach this month and share some of the artwork. I also will be giving a workshop at our Synod Assembly in Sparks Nevada in June. I ask for your continued support and prayers as the Spirit continues to bring life to this work.
The Call Committee (Randy Presuhn, Chair, Paul Thomas, Sarah Janigian, Matt Byom, Adolfo Ramirez, and Julia Tranchina) has finally submitted our Ministry Site Profile (MSP) (after approval by the Church Council) to the Synod. In addition, our references have been received by the Synod. (Yes, as part of the MSP, the Synod requests that we ask several people to submit references about us.)
Our Bishop, who is in charge of this process for CGS, will look at our MSP. Unless our Bishop has any questions for us, the MSP will be made available for pastoral candidates to view and decide if they wish to submit an application for the CGS position. Once those applications have been submitted, five candidates that are felt to be the best fit for CGS will be sent to the Call Committee (along with all their pertinent information). We do not have a time frame for this process, but we will inform everyone as these developments occur.
Once the five names have been received, the Committee will have an initial screening interview with each one via phone or Zoom call to decide which candidates we might wish to bring here for an in-person interview. If none of the five candidates seems to be the right fit, we can ask Synod for additional candidates to be sent to us.
Please continue to keep the Call Committee and its work in your prayers.
I am participating in Relay for Life once again this year. So many of us have been touched by cancer. If you would like to support my efforts to raise money for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life, please click the link below.
As many of you might know am a Breast Cancer Thriver (Survivor). In 2020 during all of the world pandemic chaos, I went in for my annual breast cancer screening and after an additional ultrasound and biopsy, I got the news that nobody wants, I had cancer. I was blessed to have an awesome medical team who took care of me and after some grueling treatments, I was told that I was NED (No Evidence of Disease). My care team knew how to fight this terrible disease because research that was in part funded by the American Cancer Society and that is why I support ACS and participate in Relay for life.
Please consider making a donation to this special organization. America Cancer Society not only funds research, but they support cancer patients and caretakers through out their journey with the disease. They gives rides to treatment, provide counseling and so many other services.
If you have a person who had or has cancer that you would like to honor or remember, you can purchase a Luminaria Bag at the link above that will have that person's name on it and will be lit at the event. It is amazing to see all of the Luminarias at the event each year.
I am raffling off the lap quilt pictured below to raise fund for Relay for Life. The tickets are $5 each or 6 tickets for $20. I will enter all donations into the drawing unless you let me know by email that you decline the raffle tickets.
Thank you for supporting me over the years. This will be my 9th year participation in Relay and your support means the world to me.
The Call Committee resumed meeting this week, and celebrated a milestone in the process to call a new pastor. The church council approved the Ministry Site Profile (MSP) and the document was sent to the Synod office. After months of gathering information, talking to members of the congregation, and meeting weekly, a very important phase of the call process is complete. The Bishop and Synod staff will now review the document, and ultimately send us a group of five candidates that they believe would be a “fit” for our church community. How long that takes, we do not know. We are anticipating that it may be weeks before we hear from the Synod. In the meantime, the committee will not be idle. Our task now turns to preparing for the candidate interviews. We will spend the next few meetings formulating questions and preparing ourselves for the interview process.
Again, we welcome input and thoughts on whom you would like to see as our new Pastor. Please feel free to contact any member of the Call committee.
Members of the Call Committee: Matt Byom, Sarah Janigian, Randy Presuhn, Adolfo Ramirez, Paul Thomas and Julia Tranchina
Hello my fellow CGSers!
It has been a privilege to service on your Council for the past 6 years and on the property committee for 9. They have been challenging years and also very rewarding. Accomplishments far outweigh any failures and are way too many to speak of here.
One big accomplishment, is that we are moving forward with much needed work on our bathrooms and kitchen. With much of the work being done so far by Skye Gordineer & Steve Weirauch, and other members of the property committee and Church Council. We are very excited to show the progress to you in our upcoming congregation meeting. Make sure you all attend!! We need all of you to participate, and we pray you will like what you see!This is a time CGS surely needs us all to step-up and volunteer your time and talent. PLEASE when asked do lend your talent and when asked for volunteers step forward or volunteer where you see a need, talk to one of the council members. Please let us know what you think. I asked someone what I should write about and they gave me a great suggestion. To point out how this congregation takes care of each other and we how much love we have for one another. We recognize and celebrate for taking care of people outside of this church. We need to do the same on how we care for one other, by visiting each other, giving comfort, by truly listening and caring for each other. I have seen it in so many ways and by hearing about it from others. This is one of the main reasons I love this community. Hope Russell may God rest her beautiful soul was the 1st person that talked with me on my first Sunday I came here. Her warmth and caring lead me to want to be a part of this faith community. I am continually amazed by our community’s generosity both financially and emotionally. May God bless you all.
As always in God’s blessing,
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.