Let’s start with gratitude. We all have much for which to be grateful and particularly in this time of significant transition at our church, gratitude gives us an ability to anticipate the future with assurance. Gratitude always lifts us up.
I am grateful to the first members of Ladera Community Church (even before it had that name and was part of the UCC) who held church services in school classrooms and Sunday School in people’s living rooms and even cars. They recognized that Ladera needed a community church and set about founding one that has thrived for over 60 years. They created a contemporary church building with a sanctuary where the pews are not bolted down! Week to week our needs change and in worship we experience qualities of flexibility and informality together with reverence and order. I love our Sunday services for the interaction and range of feelings and expression we experience during our time together each week as we seek, serve and grow. And even laugh.
We are actively engaged in our search for an interim pastor, someone who will work with us and help us articulate a vision of who we are and where we want to go as a congregation. At the same time this interim pastor will be here with us to lead worship, preach, attend Council and do all the things expected of a minister to help us keep our church going. I’m grateful to report on the progress of two important activities: First, Lindsay and the Worship team have planned and secured coverage for our services through the middle of June and if needed, we know what to do to extend that coverage. Second, the Northern California Nevada Conference (NCNC) of the United Church of Christ has supplied the Interim Search team with profiles of several candidates. We are actively engaged in the search process and have already conducted interviews. The selection process, which includes hearing the candidates preach, will continue and the team expects to recommend a candidate to Council toward the end of May or early June.
We can rejoice every day in the renewal of Easter—it doesn’t need to happen only in March or April. As Pastor Lindsay prepares to do this in her next life adventure, let’s continue the cultivation of gratitude she has brought to our congregation and practice being grateful every day.