By Dave Hendrickson, Lead Pastor
When raising children, you know around the age of two or three, there is one word in their vocabulary which they default to using no matter what the situation. You can be preparing dinner, folding clothes, watching your favorite program, taking out the garbage, and even trying to use the restroom when all of a sudden almost from no where you hear the inquisitive, curious, interested, and unashamed question, “WHY”? As a parent, hearing this little three letter word throughout your day can become draining and defeating. But for the child, it provokes curiosity, learning, and helps them begin to understand the purpose, vision, or reason behind the action.
Over the past few weeks, as we have “Re:Launched” weekly worship, people have noticed several changes. Therefore, many people have asked the question, “Why”? And after a meeting with our Greeter Team, where we discussed and I answered many of these “why” questions, someone made the suggestion that I share the purpose, reason, and vision behind the “whys”. So, let me try to briefly address some of them…
were the extensions added to the stage? Practically, because of the COVID social distancing guidelines we were asked to maintain.
was the communion table removed from the stage? This was another practical move to allow us to have social distancing on stage as well as more use of the stage.
is the cross on the stage? Since the cross on the back wall was not visible on the screen during our online worship, we believed it important to add the cross to the stage.
has the lobby been cleared out of a lot of the furniture? This allows us to have a more space for people to socially distance when entering church and it also “de-clutters” that area and is more welcoming.
did we get a new sound system? The new sound system allows us to move forward with our online presence. Without getting into all the details, it will also give us more control of the sound in the sanctuary.
is the sound board in the back of the sanctuary? Practically, this is the optimal place for the sound board according to the professional sound technician. It will allow our sound team to better control what is heard in the sanctuary.
is the sound board on folding tables? Because we are having a custom sound desk made which will match the rest of the décor of the sanctuary.
With each question, there typically is a practical reason on “why” the changes were imple-mented. But more importantly there is also an explanation regarding the vision at LvCC, “to be known as a welcoming family, being transformed by Christ, and expressing His unconditional love to our neighbors”. So before you assume you know why some of the changes have occurred at LvCC, I encourage you to ask with the inquisitive curiosity of a child, “Why”?
More often than not the answer is not what you think it might be!
I encourage you to join us on May 2nd at the Annual Congregational Meeting to hear more about the “Whys”.
Elder Meeting Highlights
At the April 6 Vision meeting, the Elders met with some of the Staff to continue the discussion they began at the Elder/Staff retreat.
During the business meeting on April 20 the Elders discussed some of the details for the upcoming Annual Business Meeting on May 2. Randy Sundberg gave an update on some potential properties projects including the necessary repair to the Chapel basement floor and walls to address drainage issues. The Elders approved the facility use by the SWWA Symphony for rehearsals and a Young Artists Concert on May 21. A letter was presented from the History Ministry Team regarding the congregation’s 100th Anniversary in 2023. They suggested a special team be formed to help plan and implement a celebration. There will be more information in the upcoming months for those interested in helping with this project. ~ph
Annual Congregational Meeting
The Annual Meeting will be held after church on Sunday, May 2 at approximately 10:45 a.m. We will be approving minutes from three meetings in 2019, voting on a new Nominating Committee and three Elders for the Class of 2024. All members who are comfortable doing so are encouraged to attend in person to help meet the quorum. For those members who prefer to “attend” from home, you may access the meeting via Zoom. All current members will be sent an email prior to the meeting with detailed instructions.
On Saturday, April 17, a team gathered to raise our new tent! The tent is 20’x40’ and provides a safe, covered outdoor area for fellowship after church. It has detachable solid and “window pane” panels that add a measure of weather and sound protection, as needed. This tool will allow us to expand our ministry and mission opportunities to our church and the community! We recently hosted the Kelso Longview Ministerial Association luncheon under the tent and are looking forward to being able to creatively utilize the tent for other meetings, classes and events in the future!
Youth: “Plugged In”
Youth Group LIVE—Sunday, 6:00pm-7:30pm
We’ll be starting a new series called Sincerely God where we will learn how to see and engage with the Bible in a new way. We often times don’t give the Bible the attention we know it deserves. This series will help us understand that the Bible is a guide to something that is meant to be lived and not just read. We hope to see you there! Invite your friends! We are meeting in person, but we still need to follow the COVID-19 guidelines.
ZOOM Youth Group—Wednesday, 7:00pm We are continuing in our new series Canceled!
SUMMER CAMP @ THE DUNES
We are going to The Dunes in Long Beach, WA this summer for both our middle school and high school camps. The youth groups from Calvary, Father’s House, and Northlake will also be joining us. Here are the dates and costs:
Middle School Camp
Saturday, July 10-Tuesday, July 13
Cost – $170
Registration link: https://www.dunesbiblecamp.com/middle-school-camp-
High School Camp
Wednesday, July 14-Saturday, July 17
Cost – $175
Registration link: https://www.dunesbiblecamp.com/highschool-camp
CAMP ATTITUDE July 31-August 6
For our summer mission trip this year we are heading back to Camp Attitude! This is a place where children with disabilities and their families get to come and have a great week at camp that they might not normally get. As the serve team you get to help make this week one of the best weeks of their summer! This is a great service opportunity, and we hope you will consider joining us! Registration link:
https://form.jotform.com/211045303535140 Here is the code to wave the fee when you sign up: LVCC2021 For more information contact Matt Avalon at (360)957-7666 or email him at email@example.com.
By Mary Gronseth, Interim Children’s Ministry Director
WOW! Spring is finally here. I have loved working in my yard and having the sunshine in my windows.
As we have transitioned to being in-person every Sunday now, I have been thinking how we can best help our Elementary children participate in Worship and have implemented some new ideas. In addition to the Worship Bag, both children and youth will now play Sermon Bingo during Worship. They will receive a Bingo Board when they come to church and will listen for the words listed on the Bingo Board. If they hear all the words listed on the Board they can show me their board for a treat. Watch for some exciting things we might add to Sermon Bingo and for other ways kids will be participating in Worship.
On Sunday mornings, we are now having classes for nursery through kindergarten children during the Worship hour. It has been so good to have kids back in our rooms. I love the joy and enthusiasm they bring! I am looking for more adults (all ages) to help out on a rotating schedule in the 3,4 and 5 yr olds room. If you love kids this is the spot for you. You would have a small group. One of the adults in the room reads a story and you will help the kids with a simple craft. Everything is set out and ready to go for you. The rest of the time we let them have play time. This is a time when you can interact with the kids and get to know them. They are the best kids and so much fun to be with! If you are interested in talking more about this, please let me know.
VBS: We have VBS on the calendar for June 28-July 1. This is such a fun and exciting week for both kids and adults. I am looking for people that are willing to help. If you plan to be here and want to help please let me know by May 7. This will give us enough time to figure out how we can best do VBS with the help we have. We have lots to do between now and then so look for those opportunities. If you have a favorite area to help let me know right away so I can assign you to that area. There will be a meeting on May 11 at 9:30 a.m. for everyone interested in helping with VBS. Childcare will be provided if requested by May 7.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and our kids and families of LvCC. You are all such a blessing!
“Thomas A. Catt meets Ruth Gebert”
By Sandy Rountree
Thomas A. Catt wandered around the empty church. He was so sad that the people couldn’t do all the activities they were used to doing throughout the week and was lonely without them. He could only look to the future when things would be more normal.
Since he had time on his paws, he looked for something to read while he sunned himself in the Sanctuary. In the church museum he found some notebooks, and also information from newspaper articles, remembrances and pictures of Ruth Gebert, the wife of the first minister, Dr. Ed Gebert. He knew a lot about Dr. Ed but not much about Ruth. He found out she was instrumental in helping Dr. Ed establish the Community Church. But that was not all she did. She organized and led Junior Church that was held in the lower auditorium (basement). At one time there were 200 kids there. Thom would have liked to have been there to be able to walk among the kids and have them say how handsome he was. In the evenings she led Christian Endeavor, the young people’s group. He was very interested in reading some of her messages, thoughts and clippings that she wrote out in two little notebooks that her grandson, Ned Piper, donated to the museum.
Thom discovered that many weddings were held at the Gebert home. Their children and neighborhood children would sit on the stairs to watch but were banished if they made noise. He would have liked to have watched those happy times and also because there might have been food afterwards. Daughter Jane Piper recalled, “In the early days so many weddings were held at our house that mother just kept the mantle decorated with flowers and candelabra.”
During WWII many church members or their families were in the service. Thom couldn’t believe that Mrs. Gebert spent hours writing to them all.
Ruth Gebert was a woman of deep faith, a wife, a helpmate, a leader and a mother. In recognition of this, she was chosen as Cowlitz County Mother of the Year in 1954. She was presented with the award during a church service.
Thom was glad he spent the time to get to know more about Ruth, but realized there was so much more to be learned from the past. However, he is looking also to the future and a nice nap.
Some of Ruth’s thoughts and clippings from her notebooks:
The guide at Thomas Jefferson’s Home always shows you 3 things:
The weathervane (changes as wind blows)
Old clock (always changing)
Compass (never changes)
So with God our ideas of Him may change but He never changes.
Some folks in looks take so much pride
They don’t think much on what’s inside.
Now as for me, I know my face
Can ne’er be made a thing of grace.
So I rather think I’ll see
How I can fix the inside of me.
So folks will say, “He looks like sin
But ain’t he beautiful within.”
From her notebook – not original.
This and That
is now offering in-person support and counseling to all who need extra support and a listening ear as we begin coming out of this depressing pandemic. The counseling is done by trained lay-counselors who are willing to support adult life experiences, marriage counseling and individuals. Confidentiality is our highest code of ethics. If you know of someone that expresses a need for counseling, please have them call Elizabeth Jacobsen, Lay Counseling Center Administrator at 360-577-1059.
The Trustees Scholarship
is available for undergraduates and graduates who want to educate themselves for Christian work. Applications are available online or in the Church Office and are due June 30, 2021.
There will be an important meeting in the Chapel on May 11 at 9:30 a.m. for anyone interested in helping with VBS (June 28-July 1). If you are unable to attend but want to help, please contact Mary Gronseth (360) 747-2558 prior to the meeting. Childcare provided, if requested by May 7.
Hiring for Two Positions!
The Personnel Committee is excited to announce that they are in the process of hiring for two new staff positions: Worship and Discipleship Pastor and Youth and Young Adult Pastor. Job descriptions and application instructions are available on the church website https://www.longviewcommunitychurch.org/job-opportunities/or in the Church Office. If you know anyone who might be interested in either of these positions, encourage them to apply.
Paul could use bottled water (16.9 oz size) and cookies to take to the homeless camp this summer. Please bring donations to the Church Office or kitchen.
Our Daily Bread
The regular-print edition for June/July/August is available. Please stop by or call the Church Office to get a copy.
Medical Equipment Available
If you or someone you knows needs medical equipment, i.e. walker, wheelchair, commode, etc, please contact Roberta Baird at 360-636-3848.
FISH Report for March
The month of March was a very light one. We only served 83 orders-171 adults and 136 children; there were 2 homeless. A big thank you to Peggy Reibe for a generous donation! Next FISH week is May 24-28. We should be back to normal by then. Thank you to all the wonderful workers who helped with this strange week!
I would like to express my appreciation to our church family for the cards, messages, calls, and most of all prayers for me and my family as we experienced the death of my Sister, Marlene Bennett. She had been be in a care facility for several years in Astoria, and because of this, during the pandemic we had not been able to visit her. Two weeks before she died I was able to visit her in the hospital in Astoria. God is faithful and Marlene was a strong Christian and is now enjoying being in the actual presence of the God she loved and served. Again, Thank you for your prayer support. ~Elizabeth Meharg Jacobsen
A special thank you to Dick Hagwell for constructing this beautiful donations box! It will be used when we resume serving meals to the congregation. ~Paul Googins
MAY MISSIONS FOCUS:
Indonesia for Christ
Indonesia for Christ
YTD INCOME: $133,309
TRUSTEES VISION: $8,000
YTD EXPENSE: $148,987