CGS Call Committee members Adolfo Ramirez, Julia Tranchina, Matt Byom,
Paul Thomas, Randy Presuhn (chair) and Sarah Janigian would love to
hear from you! We've been gathering demographic reports (thank you,
U.S. Census, ELCA, and synod staff!), financial reports (thank you,
Jean Hope!), mission statements and annual reports (thank you, Skye
Gordineer and Christina Unzen!), personnel parameters (thank you,
Michael Flanagin!) and other factual information for the
Ministry Site Profile (MSP). But that information gathering is
only part of our work at this phase of the process.
We also need to know your thoughts about the congregation's
"personality" and direction. Your observations about our life together
that would help us convey a meaningful picture of the "feel,"
aspirations, and realities of this community to potential candidates
would be especially welcome. What are the stories that would help
a candidate discern whether we are meant for each other? Talk to
any of us in person or by email, or reach the entire team by sending
an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have spent enough time with the previous MSP to realize much has
changed in the last eight years, and are now going through the details
of the profile to construct questions for the community when we are
unable to give confident answers ourselves. If there are questions
you think would be helpful to our bishop in identifying candidates,
or to candidates trying to decide whether this ministry
would be a fit, please let us know!
We have not yet decided what combination of in-person meetings and
on-line or paper surveys to use, and so would appreciate your
insights on this as well. We are trying to get through this as
quickly as we can while still assembling an accurate and useful
profile and hope the congregation is left feeling empowered rather
than exhausted by the process.
A frustrating aspect of this work is that timelines are elusive. The
Call Committee has been meeting electronically every week, and on
October 27th will be joined by our bishop, reviewing where we are in
the process and looking at the steps to come. We are acutely aware
of the coming holiday season and of the need for significant work on
the MSP. But we also know that too often the perfect becomes the enemy
of the good, and we must avoid the temptation to polish the MSP past
the point of diminishing returns.
Fortunately, our bishop has visited CGS many times over the years, and
has worked closely with some of our former pastors. The bishop may be
able to give us some guidance on how to determine whether the MSP is
"good enough" to be useful to them and to prospective candidates.
We fervently hope that this process will be as transparent as possible.
If you have questions or comments or ideas, please let us know. We have
to maintain information about candidates under strict confidence until
we have made a recommendation to our council, but anything else is fair
Please keep the Call Committee in your prayers!
- Randy Presuhn
Your CGS Church Council has been busy lately!
As you know, both our bridge Pastor, Pr. Jill, and the new community coordinator, Christina Unzen, both started this month. They have both been great so far and I think I speak for the entire council, that it is such a relief to have them here to help. While the entire council did an amazing job stepping up and covering all the roles that these two positions usually cover, we are happy to hand over the reins to them! If you haven’t met them yet, come see them both at worship each Sunday.
Also happening this past month was getting the parsonage ready for Pastor Jill. Pastor Manda moved out on the 30th of September and Pastor Jill moved in on the 3rd! That’s a fast turn around. Thank you to all who helped with that!
Lastly, the council has been planning our Congregational Meeting to be held Nov. 14th directly after worship. Please plan to attend as we need your vote. The major item on the agenda is approving our 2022 budget. The finance committee did an amazing job putting together the first draft. Look for the final draft budget via email prior to the meeting. We will also be sending a hard copy to those who need it. The council plans to have a budget informational meeting the Sunday prior to the Congregational Meeting. Come with your questions and comments! Also on the November meeting agenda is electing our nominating committee (any volunteers?), electing our Synod Representatives (June 1-4, Reno), and getting an update on our kitchen and bathroom remodel.
Don’t want to wait for a council update? Join us on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:30 for the council meeting!
-Skye Gordineer, Council President
The CGS Call Committee met for the first time on Monday, September 27. The Committee is composed of Randy Presuhn, Chair, Paul Thomas, Recording Secretary, Sarah Janigian, Council Liaison, Matt Byom, Adolfo Ramirez, and Julia Tranchina.
The Committee met primarily to discuss organizational issues as we get started. On one hand, we expect to be working closely with Synod which will inform us as to what it needs from us. On the other hand, the committee members will be looking at documentation that will help us decide how best to proceed. Among them will be the Congregational Profile we submitted to Synod seven years ago.
Once we get our bearings, the first and most important duty of the Committee will be to build a new Congregational Profile based on how we see ourselves in 2021. The process of creating the profile will help all of us at CGS, not just the Committee, better understand who we are and what our aspirations for the future are. The profile will also be used to help the Synod select candidates for us that are best suited to our needs.
At all times, it is the hope of the Committee that this process will be open and transparent. It is crucially important that we hear from all of you, and that all of you feel you have a voice in this process. While there will no doubt be formal meetings and surveys to obtain your input, please feel free to corner any of the members of the Committee to ask questions and to give us your ideas.
It is important to note, however, that as the process goes on and we get to the stage of looking at candidates, the Committee will be maintaining strict confidentiality about who they are. And no, we can’t answer questions such as whether they are local or male or female or any other specific information. We are aware it is especially frustrating not to be able to find out these types of things as we get close to submitting a recommendation, but it is necessary to operate this way for the good of the candidates. And yes, when that determination has been made, the members of the congregation will have the opportunity to find out everything about the candidate and will have the final say in the selection.
At the moment we can provide no timeline for this process. It can, and often does, take a long time, even though everyone is anxious to move the process along. We will do our best to avoid all those impediments that slow the process, but please bear with us as we do our work.
Please keep the Call Committee in your prayers as we begin our work
We’re doing it! The choirs are going to sing in person again in our worship, and we’re going to try it with masks on. As much as I’ve enjoyed putting our choirs’ videos together and play them during worship for everyone to watch, nothing compares to the experience of seeing and hearing our choirs live. I had to consider some concerns before finally coming to this compromise. Will our singers be comfortable? Will the sound we’ll be creating beautiful and clear enough to effectively deliver the message the music is trying to convey? And, more importantly, will it be safe to both our singers and congregation? After talking to some of our choir members and hearing their thoughts, and doing a number of research from different choir directors’ groups and forums I check regularly, I think it’s time for us to at least try. Considering that there’s really no clear end in sight of this pandemic, as ministers of our church, we just learn to cope, adjust, and sometimes make uncomfortable changes to continue our ministry of delivering God’s message and edifying our church through our music. As a verse of one of my all-time favorite hymns goes:
Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear that music ringing
It finds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?
One of these following Sundays in worship, you’ll see and hear our choir singers standing together in front, blending voices in harmony, making music to fulfill the ministry that God commissioned us, and wearing masks. Even a pandemic shouldn’t and wouldn’t stop us to proclaim, welcome, and serve.
~ Rey Lambatin, Choir Director
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.