It is amazing to watch the quality of light change daily since the Summer Solstice. Although it still gets light and the birds chirp super early and the sun goes down late, the arc of the sunrise and sunset shifts daily so there are always different patterns of shadow and light.
How do you think about shadow and light? In spiritual matters, we tend to talk about “being in the light,” or “moving toward the light,” yet we know that too much direct sunlight can cause sunburn. Deep reflection often occurs when one takes time to notice the nuances that exist in the shadows or the stars that glow only because of the dark night sky. Seeds depend on the deep darkness of the earth to burst and grow. Growth is not always that obvious. We are living in a time when it is good practice to discern the difference between “what do I think,” or “what is my opinion,” and what is a human right. Currently gun violence is taking away the lives of too many innocent victims. Assault weapons can fire of enough rounds to kill several hundred people in a matter of minutes. In the past months we have witnessed the murder of school children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas and more recently in Highland Park, Illinois, the murder of 7 people celebrating at a 4th of July parade. In both these incidents we have also witnessed the follow up grief of children now orphans, spouses now widows and communities crying for justice even as they mourn unspeakable loss. There are those in the congregation who have already expressed interest in some kind of action, beginning with a letter writing campaign. I am interested in hearing from others of you who have ideas about action. Action of course is always accompanied by prayer and reflection. As we are called to seek justice, let us begin together.
In Christ, Pastor Jill
Though at the time of this writing we are still waiting for the final
approval from our synod offices for our Ministry Site Profile (MSP)
to go "live," the content has been approved by the CGS Call Committee
and the Congregational Council, has been reviewed by our Call
Process Administrator, Pastor Cindy Beck, and the updates have been
submitted to the ELCA database.
Candidates considering whether they might be called to serve at CGS
will use use two documents during the early stages of their discernment
process to get to know us: the Ministry Site Profile <link>, and the
"Reflections on Ministry and Context" <link>. We hope these will give
a feel for this community and its ministries to potential candidates.
We encourage you to take a look at these, and hope they might spark
As is to be expected with any community, during the process of
assembling these documents we encountered a variety of visions,
perceptions, and desiderata. Sometimes there were clear, consistent
themes, and at others the only thing that was clear was that things
were not clear cut. We tried to synthesize all this material into
something that would be helpful to potential pastors, and tried to
write everything with that goal in mind.
As always, your Call Committee is interested in hearing from you!
Adolfo R., Julia T., Matt B., Randy P., and Sarah J.
“We are moving…” The Call Committee met last week with Synod Vice President Gail Kiyomura and Pastor Cindy Beck. Pastor Beck has been appointed our Call Process Administrator.
When we last reported, our Ministry Site Profile (MSP) had been approved by our Church Council and sent to the Synod office. A meeting had been set by then Bishop Rohrer to answer a few questions before our MSP was sent out to prospective candidates. Changes in the Synod Office put the process on hold. Since an interim bishop had not yet been appointed, Ms. Kiyomura was fulfilling some of the Office of the Bishop’s responsibilities, and she proceeded with the meeting.
The meeting went very well. Pastor Beck complimented us on our MSP and felt it was well balanced. We discussed with her next steps, and she encouraged us to get prepared for our interview process and materials that we will share with the candidates. This is something that we have already begun to do. We feel very confident that we will be prepared for our interviews.
Next steps…the MSP has been updated to reflect new congregational leadership and Synod contacts. It is our hope that the MSP will be approved by church council this week, and can be resubmitted to the ELCA, and approved for publication by our Synod office. As soon as it is received by the Synod Office, it will go “live” immediately, meaning it will go out on the Clergy Prospective Calls network. Synod staff will review all applications, and give to us 4 -5 candidates. The process may take some time (4 -6 weeks) and we should not expect immediate results. The Call Committee will be ready to set up interviews as soon as we get the list of candidates.
The Call Committee was reminded that our process was for a call not a job. We are looking for the best candidate that will serve us all in ministry together. It’s not going to happen overnight.
Please continue to keep the call committee in your prayers.
Any comments or thoughts, reach out to one of the members of the committee; Matt Byom, Sarah Janigian, Randy Presuhn (Chair), Adolfo Ramirez, Paul Thomas, and Julia Tranchina.
The resignation of our bishop affects the call process for CGS in a
unique way. For each organization posting a Ministry Site Profile (MSP)
a "call process administrator" is appointed. For any other congregation
in our synod, that person would be Pastor Manda Truchinski, but to avoid
any conflicts of interest our designated call process administrator was
the bishop. Before synod assembly, our MSP was waiting for approval by
the call process administrator before it could be published, but now,
without a call process administrator, it sits in limbo.
When a bishop is unable to carry out their duties, those
responsibilities fall largely on the synod Vice President. Until
August, that is Gail Kiyomura. She is aware of our peculiar situation,
and will be meeting with your call committee on June 30th to see how we
can get things unstuck. Depending on how that meeting goes, we may need
to make a few minor changes to the MSP, such as noting that we have a
new congregational president and entering the contact information for
whoever our new call process administrator will be.
This update will require the approval of our congregational council, and
we've already given them notice that this will happen. We anticipate
that they will be able to vote on approval electronically. This
shouldn't delay the process more than a few days from what we expected
before the drama in Nevada.
Your call committee is doing its best to keep things on track amid the
seeming chaos. As always, we (Sarah, Randy, Paul, Matt, Julia, and
Adolfo) appreciate your insights, and hope you will continue to pray for
our work and that of our synod's leaders and staff.
I write you this week in celebration of the Spirit of Pentecost. Even as our Synod continues to go through a difficult time and we are involved in actions surrounding it, we also are in a place to look forward to what we hope for and dream as a congregation. This summer, as we soak in sunshine and more casual days, I look forward to hearing about your faith stories and what you value about this community. As your “Bridge” pastor one of my goals is to live in the present with you as much as possible. Our relationships can grow deep if we are open and share the time we are given together. I would love to hang out with you. I am taking some vacation in June but otherwise I’m available to share coffee, a meal, a walk, any way you might like to get together. I am available Saturdays-Wednesdays. I enjoy the slower pace of summer and the more expansive time it gives us to know each other. Here’s finding joy in the small moments of each day!
I have been a church leader for over thirty years. During that time, I have been to my share of Synod Assemblies. At their best, the church gathers to worship, govern, create policy, elect Bishops and officers, educate, grow in fellowship, proclaim the Gospel and set a direction for the future. The best times are when folk can debate difficult issues with dignity, celebrate local congregations, listen, share the diversity of the area here the Assembly is held, reunite old friends, vote on resolutions and leave feeling blessed. The more difficult Assemblies seem to function without clear boundaries. Those speaking forget dignity, the voting membership is required to be in a large hall where loud angry voices boom with opinions, introverts generally do not have a voice. This year our Assembly will be held at a time when our Bishop is being requested to resign by the Presiding Bishop. Some of you have contacted me to understand the details of this request. I am including links to documents that are helping me to understand the situation. Thank you for your comments and questions. Please pray for Randy, Julia Jean, me, and all those who will be in attendance at the Assembly this week. I will send you daily updates on the proceedings while we are there. Please pray for the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA as we discern and make decisions If you have questions or comments please call or text me at 360-270-0295 or email me at email@example.com.
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.