Since I wished you a Happy New Year last month when we began our Advent worship, I am out of step with the world around us. For the church, the New Year began with the four weeks of preparation for Christmas we call Advent. But let me say it again, I wish you a Blessed and Christ filled New Year.
What do we have to look forward to in the New Year? Well, getting more acquainted with one another. One of the most joyful times I am having as your Vacancy Pastor is Bible class. I meet with a group of early risers on Thursday mornings at 6AM-way too early for an old man like me-BUT I have been encouraged by the regular attendance by this group of 12-15 men each week. Howard puts together a marvelous breakfast and we spend 45 minutes in studying God's Word together. We have completed a study on James which challenged us to apply our Christian faith to our everyday life. And now we are beginning to study Acts, the Acts of God encouraging congregations to tell everyone what He has done and how much God loves you and me.
In our Sunday morning Bible class we have studied the opening chapters of Revelation where Christ tells us what he expects of His church on earth. It has been encouraging as we pray for God's guidance in the next Pastor God has in mind for this congregation. Now we are studying Hebrews where God removes our doubts about the Christian faith - I hope you can join us at 9:30AM.
It is in these Bible classes that I feel what God is calling us to be. You see, Calvary Lutheran is not a corporation, even though we have a large staff and operate under corporation laws in California and with the federal government. But, God's design for a congregation is a family. We need to care for one another. We need to be with people we would like to spend our vacation with. Calvary Lutheran is an extended family filled with people we love and to whom we can reveal who we really are. I have caught this spirit here at Calvary in the several months I have been with you. I hope you have caught this feeling as well and I hope that we allow our guests and visitors feel as if they have been welcomed in our family. I think this welcoming feeling comes across best in these Bible classes where we can share and hear how things are going in our individual lives.
What do families do? They play together and they purpose together. They work at having fun and they work at keeping in communication with one another - they care about what the other members of the family are doing.
I would suppose that if there was ever a time a congregation needs to be in God's Word it is now as we seek God's plan for our new Pastor to lead this family. I hope this is part of your prayer request to God each day, not to convince Him that we need a Pastor, but to open our hearts to the Pastor God has in mind for Calvary.
Unlike the world, as we, Christians, step into 2012, we know that we are not alone. God is with us and he has placed us in a family of brothers and sisters in Christ so that we will grow in faith and in our love for one another as we face the challenges that lie ahead in the new year.
Thanks for making me part of your family. May the peace of Christ be with you today and always,
for 2012 available in Narthex, if you would like offering envelopes, contact the church office 278-2555.
Sermon Themes for January 2012
The "W's" of Christmas
Jan 1, 2012 Seeing Christ involves a lot of Waiting, Luke 2:25-35
Jan 8, 2012 "Christmas Wisdom," Matthew 2:1-12
Jan 15, 2012 "Let Your Light Shine - Willingness" John 1:43-51
Jan 22, 2012 "The Two Greatest Days in Your Life-Why Not?" Mark 1:14-20
Jan 29, 2012 "The World of Words" Mark 1:21-28
1/1 Saldate, Jose and Melody 21 years
1/3 Kreienkamp, Dan and Jen 3 years
1/10 Duvall, Rex and Linda 31 years
1/21Ann Marie Mrak
1/26 Vanessa Vincent
1/28 Mary Dorr
1/30 Hannelore Avalos
The Prayer Quilt Ministry now has plenty of volunteers to crochet crosses, thank you to all who have volunteered for this project.
Wanted also to add a special thank you to all who helped donate "goodies" for the Wittenberg Tea. They were really enjoyed by all of the residents at the tea. A thank you also to the many volunteers who willingly participated in the whole event: Barbara Arionus who organized the putting together of the bells pin/ornament for each of the residents, the ladies from the LWML who prepared sandwiches & desserts, served and cleaned up, Bill Sandau for the invitations and program, Joan Penrose and her Children's Choir from Faith Lutheran Church in Castro Valley, Carol Liston and all of the Calvary Ringers, members of the congregation who helped with serving and preparing desserts, one of our Elders, Dave Schultz, also helped serve food, etc. and Howard Goldhammer - Santa and his special message to everyone about sharing and giving and the reason for our beautiful season, Christmas, Jesus Christ. What a wonderful time we had and all to the glory of our Lord. Thank you!!!!!
A Word from 2nd Grade
The Christmas season has flown by. The second graders enjoyed preparing the Christmas Program "Sing a Song of Christmas". 2012 is now beginning with us looking forward to many adventures.
This month we will be attending the San Francisco Symphony. The program is designed for children and their musical enjoyment. We will learn about the different instrument families and the sounds the instruments make.
Then we are getting ready for the School-wide Open House that all of you are invited to. We have made covered wagons for when we learned about the pioneers going west.
We will learn about slavery and the Civil War. We will move on to Immigration and learn a little about our ancestors.
We are learning new words to spell for the Spelling Bee.
We just finished learning about the seasons in Science. We are going to learn about Simple Machines and Magnets soon.
The annual Amtrak trip to Sacramento will take place in May again. This is fun for all.
The Second Graders wish all of you a Blessed New Year.
BOARD OF GOVERNANCE
December 1, 2011
Present: Barbara Adams, Jeff Jensen, Lee Strom, Darlene Goldhammer, Pastor Gary Mohr.
Opened with prayer. Minutes from November 17, 2011, were confirmed by email.
Our discussion focused on situations in our congregation. All who are committed to Christ are commissioned to serve. Can each of us say we are living out that commitment? Are we as a congregation living out that commitment? How can we overcome the apathy that prevents us from growing as individual Christians and also prevents us from reaching out to others?
In our school we have an opportunity to reach out to a number of unchurched children and their families. How can we do this? Pastor Mohr is working with the school staff on ways they can connect with these families. We want to encourage school families to attend church happenings such as soup suppers. However when these families do come and sit by themselves, what is the chance they will return? What can you do to remedy this situation?
Barbara Adams will meet with Brian Pye and Christina Grace, youth workers, to discuss ways in which families can be involved with our program through their teenagers. We have around 50 teenagers in our two youth groups, many of them from outside the church.
BOG is also recommending that we return to our summer schedule of one 9am blended service at the beginning of the new year. The Board of Elders will be asked to consider this recommendation.
We discussed our ministry to Wittenberg, which is currently one Bible study every week and one monthly service. Publicity to the residents about schedule times sometimes is a problem. Barbara Adams will meet with the site administrator to review our boundaries at the facility.
Two additional names were suggested as possible BOG candidates. They will each be personally contacted by a BOG member.
We are still in need of a voting delegate at the April 27-29 District Meeting; Dave Schultz will be our voting delegate at the LINC meeting in Fremont January 14.
Pastor Gary ended our meeting with a devotion based on Rev. 2:8-11, the Smyrna church, a church which was experiencing difficult financial persecution. Smyrna was an area, which was largely non-Christian, worshipping the emperor instead of God. God was well aware of their troubles and said, "Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer."(Rev. 2:10) Those words also apply to us today as He also says, "Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life." (Rev. 2:10) We are to be continually encouraged by His assurance in Rom. 8:38 that nothing can separate us from His love for us.
We closed with prayer by all present participating.
Frank Mitchell's successful hip surgery; For a successful Christmas program and
Advent soup suppers
Peace in the World
President Obama and our country's leadership - For our soldiers in Afghanistan: Kyle Hyden, nephew of Skjong's; and for Thomas Caspersen and Antonio Landaverde who are overseas; for Jonathan Ellis
For our Staff
Fred Brauer; Margie Luehrs; Chrystle Vincent; Traci McClain; Amy
Sosa; Christina Grace; Bethany Chhom; Carol Liston; Ellen Hackerd; Kristi Morlock; Abby Einspahr; Mike Souza; Doug Henry; Kim Heggins; Blenda Schultz; Michelle Michael; Sherrie Akre; Cecilia Guerra; Cindy Suppus; Lydiana Sanchez; Holly Contier; Pastor Gary
For our interim ministry need; Marketing Ideas; Wittenberg Manor Outreach; Evangelism; Children's, Family and Youth Ministries; Parish Education; School Enrollment
Peace and Comfort
For the family of Marty Martinez (former member); For Kim Heggins & family at the sudden loss of her aunt, Shirley Ramos
For Christina Grace's uncle Robbie, heart problems; Frank Mitchell; Mabel Stafne; Susan Hoffman; Bill Olsen, Annette English's dad; Esther Garguilo; Willine Watson; Marlene Mueller; Angela Garcia; Adolph Stafne; Marie Curtis; Van Deckert; John Ohanesian;
Tyler & Dave Flynn
Megan Irish- due Jan. 6; Melissa Piering- due Feb.; Tiffanie Kelly- due Feb. 10; Vicki Blank- due March; Candice Kofsky- due March; Emily Blank- due June 16
Please help to keep prayer requests current.
Call the church office with updates. Thank you. 278-2555.