Pastor’s (Elder’s) Perspective
By Susie Kirkpatrick, Elder
From Dave: This month, I asked Susie Kirkpatrick, an Elder at LvCC, to share her perspective on this past year. As I read her reflections, I was reminded of Psalm 89:33 “But I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness.” God has been, is, and will be faithful to you, me, and LvCC, as we continue to pursue His Heart!
What a first year with a new, first-time lead pastor who hauled his family clear across the United States to a newly-organized system of government and a new body of leaders in newly created elder positions! Throw in a global pandemic and political and social unrest at levels not seen in decades. If that doesn’t set the stage for “opportunity”, what does?!
I am so privileged to be working beside committed leaders who are thoughtful and prayerful about LvCC and where we need to be for our people and our community, now and going forward. At each step there has been careful deliberation, freedom to express varying ideas, and a commitment to being united as we move forward. Should we gather or not? Is it responsible? Safe? If we don’t, are we abandoning those for whom being together in our sanctuary is so important? If we do, can we manage the weight of someone getting sick, contact tracing, and sanitizing without it sapping our time, resources and broader mission?
There has been unprecedented effort to enable us to worship together online. We’ve known we needed to do it but it became critically important almost overnight. The commitment to starting and constantly improving that online worship experience has been exciting and inspiring. I’m so proud of everyone involved in that effort – which oftentimes took them WAY outside their comfort zones. We can connect from anywhere now. I listened on my phone in my car as I drove home from Spokane one Sunday and it was awesome. Rich and I drove out to Willow Grove another Sunday and watched/listened as the sun sparkled on the Columbia; it was also a wonderful experience.
As time has gone on and we’ve realized we are going to be apart more than usual for an undetermined time, we have seen amazing examples of that which previously seemed more a talking point. We have seen we don’t need to be AT the church to BE the church. As a team of us has made calls to people in the congregation, just to check in, we have heard countless stories of people finding ways to gather in settings in which they are comfortable – whether it’s a Sunday morning to watch the service together, pick up an M25:35 meal and share it at the lake, or picking up the phone to see if someone needs groceries or a prescription. I just see God all over that and it helps me realize we are finding our way and we will get through this just fine. In fact, we will have grown and be better for it. I am so encouraged.
As we consider what to do next, whatever decision is made probably won’t be perfect for everyone, but I am grateful for your understanding and support as we do our best to find the collective right answers for now. In the meantime, thank you for getting out there and BEING the church – wherever you are each day.
Elder Meeting Highlights
At the October 6 vision meeting, Dave asked the Elders to reflect on their first year and share their thoughts. They also discussed what it means to be “engaged”, as opposed to just attending, and how that might be encouraged.
During the business meeting on October 27, Randy reported that the HVAC system has been installed in the offices. The sound system is still a work in progress, but techs are learning how to use it and Dennis is constructing a platform to elevate the sounds and computer control station. This will later be enclosed. Dave reported that M25:35 will be paused after Nov.14 but Paul is considering a mid-week option, and focusing more on the St. Helens neighborhood when it starts up again. The proposed 2021 Budget was distributed and will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting. There was discussion about potential ideas for making the holidays special even though they will be different. More information will be available soon! ~ph
Online Worship-Behind the Scenes
By Patty Howland, Editor
It’s Sunday morning at 9:25 a.m. You go to Facebook, click on the Live Now button and voila! Worship begins. But there’s a LOT that happens prior to that, and during the service, to make that possible!
Earlier during the week, the Video Team usually meets with the person reading the Scripture passage, and sometimes whoever is preaching the sermon, to make a video recording which is then uploaded to the computer in the sanctuary. Dave also puts together the order of service which includes the time, service component, who is leading it, the camera “scene” setting and the preset camera angle.
On Sunday morning, the tech crew begins arriving around 8:00 a.m. Dave verifies that the camera and operating software (OBS) are on and connected to Facebook. He also checks that his sermon slides display properly on the in-house monitor. The computer operator, currently Sue Boaglio, builds the service program by adding the lyrics for the worship songs, the Lord’s prayer or other readings, and the text for the Scripture reading. She verifies that the sermon slides, announcement slides, Scripture video and any other videos are loaded into the streaming software program. The sound technician, currently Jeff Inman or Stan Noteboom, verifies that the sound and lighting systems are on and presets working properly.
The worship team arrives around 8:30 and, working with the sound technician, check sound levels in their in-ear monitors. They rehearse the songs for the morning while Sue double-checks that the lyrics slides match what they are singing. She also verifies that the video alignment is such that everyone can be seen on the camera. Hunter Chace or Matt Avalon, the technical “producer” for the day, then syncs the audio with the online video.
Before the service begins, Dave, the worship team and the techs meet to pray. Afterwards, everyone gets in place and Hunter or Matt activates the “go live” button on Facebook and gives the cue to begin. Following along on the order of service, the techs move through the sheet, preloading items and following the cues. When the worship team sings, the sound tech adjusts sound levels and makes sure the mics are muted when not being used. When the Scripture video plays, Sue wears headphones to follow along and advance the slides to match what is being read. During the sermon, she watches a laptop to see when Dave advances the slides with a remote control, and then she manually advances the slides for the online display. This continues until the final song is played, the final closing slide is displayed, and the “end” button is pushed. The recorded service is then saved and uploaded to the t.v. station and to the church website and everyone goes home until next week! Thank you Dave, Denny, Hunter and the rest of the team for making our online worship experience flow so smoothly each week. We appreciate ALL that you do behind the scenes!
Youth: “Plugged In”
By Kyle Beasley, Interim Director of Youth
All of the programs and activities listed below are for those in middle school and high school (grades 6-12). The best way to stay informed with what is happening in our youth group is to sign up for our weekly email. Just fill out this form to get signed up.
You can also contact our youth pastor, Kyle Beasley, if you have any questions. (360) 430-9701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ZOOM Youth Group—Wednesday, 7:00pm
Meet us on Zoom each week for games, worship, and study of God’s Word online. We will be finishing up our series entitled True Story, where we are using some of our favorite Disney movies to talk about who we are and what we were created to do. Download the Zoom app to your phone or computer and then click the following link: https://zoom.us/j/92788588628?pwd=djU5RHBmNU02bnRzZkZySzQxckc2Zz09
or open Zoom and enter the following information: Meeting ID: 927 8858 8628 Password: 014494
Youth Group LIVE—Sunday, 6:00pm-7:30pm
We are meeting in person, but we still need to follow the COVID-19 guidelines—masks, social distancing, and frequent hand washing. Please do not come if you are symptomatic (fever, cough, chills). We will be doing games, singing and hanging out IN PERSON!! We will be finishing our Us for Them series, and then start a new series called Doubt.
Veteran’s Day Paintball—Wednesday, November 11, 9:00am-3:00pm
November 11 is a national holiday to honor the people who have served our nation in the military, therefore students do not have school that day. We are planning to spend the day at Woodland Paintball Action playing games like Capture the Flag, Zombie, and King of the Hill. The cost is $40. This Includes field usage, game guide and referee, all gear (mask, marker, hopper, CO2) and 500 paintballs. An extra bag of 500 paintball is $10. Do not bring other paint or personal markers. Bring a sack lunch and wear clothes appropriate for the weather and being in the woods. There is a link to the sign up sheet below. You are welcome to bring friends, but there is a limit to the number of people who can participate. Don’t wait to sign up! https://longviewcommunitychurch.breezechms.com/form/Paintball2020
By Mary Gronseth, Interim Director of Children’s Ministry
We have a couple of fun things coming up for our kids. First, we are going to do a CEREAL, CRAFTS AND CARTOONS morning. This is where your kids will come in their pajamas and bring their favorite cereal. I will have milk, bowls and spoons. We will play a couple of games, make a craft and watch a cartoon or movie (undecided yet, I’m open to suggestions). We will be social distanced and children will need to wear masks when they are not eating. I am looking forward to getting together with our kids and just having some fun. Watch the Facebook page for sign-ups. We are limited to 12 kids and 3 adults, so if parents want to hang out and help, you will need to sign up as well. I am going to offer two dates to be sure everyone that wants to come, gets to come. The dates will be November 14 and 21st from 9:00 – 10:30. Watch for the sign-up.
AND in January, you will not want to miss our VIRTUAL ACADEMY AWARDS TALENT SHOW. All children and youth will be invited to submit a 2-minute talent video. We will then put it together and present this great talent show on Facebook. So kids and youth, start thinking about what you could do to show us your great talent! Some suggestions might be: sing, dance, gymnastics, tell a story, show us a piece of art you have created, or use your imagination to come up with a unique entry. The choices are unlimited! There will be a prize for anyone that submits an entry. We will be inviting everyone to watch and enjoy our great kids and youth. Sooo…you have until January 17 to get your talent together and submitted. Watch for more details to come. I hope all is well with everyone. Sure miss seeing you!
By Karen Pickett
Zoom, Facebook Live, Stream, Podcast — new words to me, but I’ve had to learn to adapt during this coronavirus pandemic. That got me wondering — How has the church communicated to its members and the community during our 97 years? So, I went through our files, our newsletters, and some notes. Although we don’t have a complete year-by-year record of all of the kinds of communication going on, I did find some interesting patterns and tidbits.
Back in the 1920s and 30s in addition to the weekly church bulletin, the Longview Daily News carried quotes from Rev. Gebert’s sermons and often mentioned activities going on in the church, to which the whole community was invited. In addition, Rev. Gebert had as his goal to visit each church family in their home at least once a year. A tidbit that we picked up: Rev. Gebert always wore a dark suit when he preached and at all other times. One day as he was making his family calls, a little boy opened the door, took one look, and called out, “Mom, God is here!” That must have brought a smile to Rev. Gebert’s face.
In 1946 a publication, “The Communitarian,” was started as a monthly church newsletter. It was begun by a men’s group, Community Churchmen, and was so-named in honor of a 1933 publication to celebrate the church’s 10th anniversary. The stated purpose was “to bring news of the church and groups working in the church into the homes of those affiliated with the church in some way.” It was financed by local businesses and the Longview printing company. It cost the men’s group $50 per issue and church members were asked to donate 50 cents per year for a “subscription.” In 1950 our current newsletter was begun and has been published without interruption, sometimes weekly and now monthly, since then.
You may have thought that Pastor Dave’s “Daily Prayers” on Facebook Live was a new way of communicating within our church community. However, although we don’t know when this began, by 1956 we have a notation in our files that Dr. Gebert had a daily telephone message, “Dial-a-Thought,” and in 1957 he added another message, “Thought for the Week,” which included portions of the church service music. This was also on radio.
In 1965 our Sunday morning service began to be broadcast weekly on KLOG radio, and in 1988 that was joined by the taping of the service for television, which was broadcast later in the day. The TV showing of our weekly service continues today and can be viewed twice a week, but it is one week later than the actual schedule.
A consistent and very important part of our communication network has been prayer. We have the Prayer Chain, and emailed requests are sent by staff to a list of people who are committed to praying for anyone who has asked for prayer for themselves, their family, or their friends. Through the years we’ve also had “Prayer Partners” sometimes called “Prayer Warriors.” Its focus was to develop relationships between our youth and adults, and it continues today.
So what has happened in 2020, the year of the pandemic? Church staff has worked very hard to keep communication going, even when we are the church “dispersed.” Our Sunday services are watched on Facebook Live. Pastor Dave has “Daily Prayers” Monday through Thursday, also on Facebook Live. Small groups and Bible studies are “meeting” through Zoom and in person. The Prayer Chain is still functioning, as is our monthly newsletter, though now it can be accessed online as well as in hard copy. Mary Gronseth and Kyle Beasley have been finding new ways to communicate with our children and youth, i.e., drive-by activities in the church parking lot, porch drops at children’s homes, and Zoom meetings.
So, we still are communicating—not in our usual ways—but still trying to show our love and concern for each other during a very different “season” of our years.
THIS AND THAT
We are collecting NEW blankets for CHESS (Core Health Extended Support Services). This facility houses the more medically vulnerable of the homeless population who are transitioning to housing. If you would like to help, please purchase a new blanket(s) and either drop it off at the facility at 748 14th Avenue, Longview, or at the church. Paul will be sure they get to CHESS.
New After-Hours Mail Drop! We have installed a mail slot with an interior basket in the Chapel door to accommodate a changing USPS delivery schedule, and also to provide a secure place for those who prefer to deliver their contributions in person.
The Women’s Fellowship Circles have usually hosted a luncheon for veterans around Veterans Day but, because of coronavirus restrictions, they are unable to host it this year. However, we do want to acknowledge and thank all of you veterans! We are grateful for your service to our country! The Church Office will be closed on Nov. 11 in observance of Veterans’ Day.
Service Form If you haven’t yet taken the opportunity to complete the online Service Form to indicate either how we may help you, or how you are willing to help others, please do so. Your information will be forwarded to the appropriate person and they will contact you with more details. You may access the form from the church website or here:
I want to thank everyone for your kind words and cards that I received on the passing of my sister Norma. I know she is in a better place. God bless you, my “adopted” church family. Jackie Erickson, Bookkeeper
All-Church Thanksgiving Drive-thru Dinner
Instead of the traditional dinner the week before Thanksgiving, Rick Little and crew will be serving up meals for takeout, similar to M25:35. Meals will be available for drive-thru pickup on Wed. Nov. 18 between 5:30-6:30 p.m., followed by an online gathering at 7:00 p.m. This will be for our church family and those we want to deliver meals to. In order to help with planning, there will be an online form to sign up in advance here: https://longviewcommunitychurch.breezechms.com/form/Dinner or you may call the Church Office.
New Sign-In Procedure
We are asking that anyone who visits the church wear a mask and sign in at the main entrance. This is so we know what areas need to be sanitized and also to help with contact tracing, should it be necessary. Groups who meet regularly will be given a separate form to complete each time they meet. Thank you for your cooperation as we work towards reopening in a safe manner!
NOVEMBER MISSIONS FOCUS:
Providing care for first responders and victims of trauma situations
YTD INCOME: $420,064
YTD EXPENSE: $482,074