Remember the flowers we had each week in worship? We stopped our weekly delivery when the pandemic started.
We very much value our relationship with our neighbor florist and we know that one of the ways we live our mission is to spend our money in ways that show our faith in Christ. So, we encourage you to invest in this local business and order Mother's day flowers through them this year. You can order flowers from D'Anna's Flowers & Gifts by going to their website to pick out what you want and then emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 408-723-7111. (Ordering through the website sends a chunk of the money to Teleflora, rather than all of it to D'Annas.)
CGS will be hosting the Safe Car Park program throughout the month of June in our parking lot. Due to COVID-19, we will be taking extra precautions, and offering more limited services to our guests than we otherwise would. We now have a more detailed sign up available at the links below to volunteer or donate food/toiletry items. Thank you to those who have already expressed interest in helping!!
CLICK HERE FOR VOLUNTEER SIGN UP
We need volunteers (1) checking in on/swinging by the parking lot twice per day (maintaining social distance), and (2) providing and delivering breakfast or dinner.
Checking in on the site is to make sure everything appears safe, and there are no emergencies - you can do this from a distance as you walk or drive past. If you feel comfortable, we welcome you to chat with guests, find out how they are doing, and make them feel welcome.
Providing meals could include preparing the meal (Click HERE for information from Santa Clara County on safe food handling), getting take-out, ordering delivery, etc. We do not need to provide breakfast/dinner every day, just on days when people are available
CLICK HERE FOR DONATIONS SIGN UP
We are collecting non-perishable food items, beverages, and toiletries to distribute to guests.
You may bring your items to church (place in designated area in the Narthex), or you can request that one of us pick up the items from outside your home. Please indicate in the "comment" field on the sign up sheet whether you will bring the items to church, or if you would like someone to pick them up.
Please reach out to Rachel Visscher (email@example.com), Kevin Visscher (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Sarah Janigian (email@example.com) with any questions, or if you would like assistance signing up.
Dear CGS members,
I hope that you are well and staying healthy. As you are undoubtedly aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has required our church to change the way we do many things, including our Sunday worship services, Wednesday Bible study, our weekly offering, and more. At the CGS Council meeting on Tuesday, April 21, it was decided that we will not consider meeting in person to worship until after June 1 at the earliest. This decision is based on the current CDC and Santa Clara County public health guidelines and for the benefit of the most vulnerable in our congregation.
As a result of this decision, the in-person congregational meeting that was scheduled for May 31 will not take place. However, there is still business to conduct, including a vote for Treasurer and one Council Member. Therefore, we will be holding a mail-in election. Voting members should have received a letter along with ballots by mail. If you haven't received yours, contact Laura in the office. Thank you to the nominating committee for identifying and putting forth this slate of candidates. You may cast your vote for one of those people or write in the candidate of your choice.
Please complete your ballot and then return it by mail to the church office by Tuesday, May 26, 2020. After the ballots are received, two Council members will count the votes and the election results will be announced on Sunday, May 31, 2020, following our online worship service.
Thank you all for your continued presence in our virtual worship and other church activities. I miss seeing you all in person and hope that soon we will be able to worship together again!
God be with you all,
Daniel Thomas, CGS Musician
As we make our way through the second month of staying at home, Joshua is climbing.
He misses the playgrounds and parks all of the awesome climbing equipment, so he’s finding stools and chairs and tables and counters.
And our sofa.
In our desire to make our sofa last through one toddler and two dogs (and to avoid injury), we have repeatedly asked that he not jump/scamper/climb over the arm of the sofa – a request that was not immediately heeded. We warned him about the possibility of falling off.
So then, he fell off. Backwards. Onto his tail bone. Oh, the pain! The crying!
And we were tempted to deploy “I told you so” or “what did you think would happen” or “that’s what you get for not listening to us.”
Humans make terrible choices each and every day. We can be warned, cautioned, informed, cajoled, pleaded with, and yet we still make choices which harm ourselves, harm the people we love, harm our communities, and harm our planet.
What does God do when we falter? Does he wag his finger, cluck his tongue, and turn His back? Does God say “I told you so”?
Isaiah 12 says “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.” And Isaiah 66 says “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”
Rebecca scooped Joshua into her arms and held him tight. We gave him comfort and love. Joshua now has a lovely bruise, which is fading.
And he hasn’t climbed the sofa since.
The world is trying to make difficult choices right now – how do we find our way back to “normal’? What is the balance between a healthy populace and a healthy economy? And it’s very easy to look at the choices people make and judge them, to wag our online finger and cast aspersions. Will this help? Will anyone “learn their lesson” this way? Will this build bridges or burn them down? As the world frets about a potential choice between physical or financial ruin, we need to remember that what everyone could use is comfort and love.
What does the ELCA teach about the nature and function of government in relation to God’s purposes? What is a faithful Lutheran response regarding citizenship and civic engagement? As much as we might like to remove politics from faith, it is impossible to do so. We know that from experience. We cannot separate our daily faith from our political actions. One informs the other. If we hope to remain one body of Christ that shares faith and is not divided by political actions, then we must take time to understand our common values.
The ELCA is drafting a social message on Government and Civic Engagement: Discipleship in a Democracy. This social message will be crafted from our Lutheran heritage, our scripture and theology, and the movement of the Holy Spirit through our members. It will be a unified message of our shared values where faith and civic engagement intersect.
A task force of individuals (from a diversity of vocations and social locations) has been putting together a first draft. They are now asking all ELCA Lutherans for input and comment on this draft. You can read the draft Social Message on Government & Civic Engagement here.
I hope you will take a moment to give the task force your feedback on their draft by filling out this survey. You may also email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments are necessary and important. The task force is not seeking expertise, original insight, or even profound statements. They need a reflection of the whole body of Christ if this message will represent what God is doing through us.
The deadline for giving input to this message is May 27. If you'd like to discuss this before giving input, Pr Manda will be hosting an online discussion on May 12 at 6:30pm. Click here for the Zoom info.
Here are some things that you can do
Knit prayer shawls for Synod Assembly
The Synod is asking all knitters and crochet-ers to wash their hands, grab their needles and hooks, gather up their yarn, and create mini prayer shawls roughly 6” by 3”. We will need about 600 total! As your fingers are at work, please pray for God’s blessings upon the recipient of your creation and that they receive the gift of spiritual discernment.
Donate to SVSP
We will need hygiene kits, toiletries and pre-packaged foods for our hosting month in June. Go here to sign up to donate and the team will get in touch with you.
Donate to Encompass Ministries
Encompass still needs their normal donations of hygiene and toiletry kits. Click here for more information.
Donate to the ELCA Covid-19 Response Fund
The ELCA has started a response fund. Click here to read more or donate.
Agenda for the Congregational Meeting
1. Elect Treasurer
2. Elect Council Members
3. Elect Synod Assembly Voting members
4. Celebrate & thank lay leaders
REY LAMBATIN, Choir Director
Life is full of ironies. About a month ago, I wrote an article intended for our church bulletin entitled Lent, Not Just Personal. It essentially discusses how our Lent journey shouldn’t just be a time for personal reflection, solitary prayer, reading or meditation, but also an opportunity for us to walk together in our faith journey. That we should take the added opportunities of the Lent season to fellowship and study together, gathering every Sunday to worship and collectively singing hymns of healing or inspiration as a choir or as a congregation, encouraging each other, engaging fully as the worshiping body, and participating in our community’s course of faith. The article’s aim is to emphasize that Lent should not just be a personal journey, but to deliberately take more time to gather and be together.
But then comes corona virus.
Now it’s all over the news - how the way families, schools, jobs, churches, the government, and countries all over the world are affected and altered. And to help prevent the virus from becoming more prevalent, we were ordered to shelter in, not to go out unless absolutely necessary, and practice social distancing. That for us to show concern and assure healing to our vulnerable church members, we should refrain from gathering in our worship space and avoid physical contact with each another. No hugs, no handshakes. Even when grocery shopping, we are asked not to bring our own bags, after years of encouraging us to do the opposite. And not visiting our grandparents or other elderly relatives and friends is an act of love and care for them.
Ironic, isn’t it.
All these consequences go against the basis of the article I wrote. But through all these, as part of our complexities as God’s creations, we learn to adjust and cope in every situation. We always try to find ways to make things work, and thankfully, we now have the aid of technology. We hold meetings and livestream our Sunday worship services remotely, and we continue to connect with our friends and families through social media or video calls. As different as it may feel, all these help us to continue on our faith journey as a community. We will get through this together, with the strength and courage in the assurance that God will never leave or forsake us. I’m looking forward to the day when we can physically gather in worship again, and our choirs will join voices to sing music in beautiful harmony. But until then, please stay home, stay safe, and stay at least 6 feet away from each other.
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.