Updates from Rev. Gareth Icenogle
|March 20, 2020|
Dear LPC Friends and Members,
What a wild time we are living right now!! It has been noted recently most Americans (and people around the world) have three predominant fears: fear for our family and friends, fear for our financial well-being and fear for our personal health.
I know this is a tempting time to allow fear to drive our values and decisions. But as followers of Jesus Christ, we appeal to one another with his words, “Don’t be afraid (don’t allow fear to control your life).” Jesus also encourages us to ask for what we need – in prayer and in community.
As the servant leaders of our church community we are asking you to remember the church ministry budget during this difficult period. As I write this we are about 40% underfunded ($130,000 in the red). I realize many of us are living on our weakened investments or shrinking incomes or struggling businesses. The stock market is down and our economy is volatile.
Yet, in the face of this monetary wilderness, one of our courageous members has volunteered $15,000 in matching funds to help us make up the gap through online giving.
To take advantage of this opportunity, you can give three ways:
|2) by Check, through regular mail. |
Text the word “GIVE” to 949-577-7567.
(First-time users will be asked to create an account.)
|We hope that this special $15,000 will encourage more of us to give by web connection.|
LPC needs your help. Give what you can.
The elders are carefully considering what we should do about our ministry budget expenses, trimming as needed. We will do what we need to do to have a balanced income/expenses ratio after we see what giving we can attain together.
Your pastors and staff are doing everything we can to help you stay connected and be of service to one another and to our community. The staff is at work full-time with personal communications by phone and online, writing Bible studies and devotions for adults and children, preparing worship, checking in with the congregation’s needs, and making plans to make sure we stay connected to one another.
As you have experienced during these new stressful times, it takes even more time to do the work we need to do.
Thanks for your amazing faithfulness to Laguna Presbyterian Church.
Be careful and responsible, be gracious and purposeful, but don’t be afraid. God will lead us through this wilderness and Jesus will shine bright ahead of us and in our midst.
Most kind and gracious God, bring us close to you as we seek to be together across these electronic highways which weave us into a partnership web. Help us to bear one another’s burdens, encourage each other, and spur one another on to love and good deeds. Give us a spirit of generosity. Lead us out of the temptation to be afraid and deliver us from the evil of this terrible pandemic, through our Great Physician, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Grace and Peace to You our Beloved Friends,
Gareth Icenogle, Interim Pastor
Steve Sweet, Sr. Associate Pastor
Kathy Sizer, Associate Pastor
March 16, 2020, 5:30pm
Dear Friends and Members of Laguna Presbyterian Church,
Here is an update of Bible Study and preaching plans for the next 6 weeks:
Weekly Pastor-led Bible Studies
Tuesday and Wednesday live Pastor’s Bible Studies are cancelled until further notice. Instead, Tuesday and Wednesday morning Bible Studies will be available online beginning this Wednesday morning, March 18, at 7:00 AM.
Sermon Texts and Daily Reflections
We are leaving Exodus behind and focusing on daily reflections in Philippians from March 18 to April 4 and April 13 to 26. The weekly Bible Studies will also be in Philippians, along with Sunday Sermons, except during Holy Week.
We are looking at Paul’s Letter to the Philippian Church because he wrote it from a Roman prison. He was in a confined space experiencing personal limitations when he wrote it to people feeling harassed by ongoing and troubling challenges. We think it has a lot to say to us in these crisis times.
During Holy Week, from April 5, Palm Sunday, to April 12, Easter Sunday, we will be reflecting and preaching from the Gospels.
Whether we are able to meet in person during any of this time we will see how God leads. We will follow the guidance of a myriad of voices through whom we believe God is speaking.
Your pastors and various staff and elders are meeting each day by phone to stay in touch and make good decisions for the healthy life of our congregation. Your deacons are checking in with each member of their parishes. If you are isolated at home, we have a team who will run errands, such as bringing in groceries and prescriptions.
Thank you for all the good feedback you are giving to us by email and texts regarding the audio worship event online from last Sunday. We read and welcome all your feedback and make adjustments accordingly.
Watch for the updates by email and on the church website regarding these important Bible texts, daily devotionals, Bible Studies, and Sunday sermon themes.
Finally, please remember our church’s financial expenses during these chaotic days (Click here / call Caroline at 949-494-7555 / or text “TO GIVE” to 949-577-7567). Your consistent and generous giving will keep us moving ahead even when we cannot meet face-to-face.
Let us keep in touch with one another and look for ways to serve our church friends and community neighbors.
Grace and Peace to you and through you to others.
Gareth Icenogle, Interim Pastor
Here are the email addresses of key staff members:
- Rev. Gareth Icenogle, Interim Pastor – email@example.com
- Rev. Steve Sweet, Associate Pastor – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rev. Kathy Sizer, Associate Pastor – email@example.com
- Kathleen Fay, Office Admin – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Caroline Millson, Finance – email@example.com
- Anne Herzog, Preschool Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Beth Pinney, Worship Director – email@example.com
- Gail Onodera, Children’s Ministry – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Linda White, Dir. of Choirs – email@example.com
March 13, 2020, 3:45pm
A message from Rev. Dr. Gareth Icenogle
Dear Friends and Members of Laguna Presbyterian Church,
These are volatile days. Our world and nation are in crisis mode while we work together to slow and shrink the spread of COVID-19.
Your 3 pastors (me, Steve and Kathy) are acting as an executive team during this emergency to facilitate speed of action and decision-making.
We are cancelling public worship for this coming Sunday, March 15, and for the rest of March. A team of pastors and musicians will gather to produce a worship service to be accessed and heard via the church website (Click here) on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM, starting this Sunday, March 15. It will be a 30-minute service with a 10-minute sermon. Please go online and listen in.
All public meetings and smaller group meetings will be cancelled after Monday evening. Session will not meet face-to-face in March. Only small groups of staff will meet as needed. Our office will remain open with a small staff presence.
We encourage you to stay in close touch with each other as friends and members of LPC. Get together in small groups of trusted friends. Call each other and keep the text and email pathways warm. It is not good to be alone. Let the pastors know if you need to talk or you know someone who needs a call.
We know this crisis is challenging our emotional well-being as well as our health. Our balance and stability are thrown off. We know this emergency is challenging our time and sense of security. There is a temptation to give in to fear and panic. By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, let’s pray for one another and refuse to allow anxiety to take over.
We recognize our economic well-being is threatened, including that of our businesses and family livelihoods. Church giving may be down for a while. For those of us who have the will and ability, I hope we can give more during this time when others may not be able to give at all (Click here / call Caroline at 949-494-7555 / or text “TO GIVE” to 949-577-7567). We will work hard to keep budget spending to a minimum.
Let us not get worn out with prayer or doing good. Let us find that special rest (shalom) that energizes us when many are feeling beaten down or beaten up. Let us pray for one another, the good of our nation, and the good of our world.
Thank you for your patience and support during these “wilderness” days (how appropriate we are in Exodus and Lent – those 40 days and years of daily surprise and uncharted journey).
Let us lean into the goodness and mercy of God and the grace and truth of Jesus. Let us be present for each other and our faith community. Let us watch out for our neighbors near and far.
Let love be our reputation and presence be our practice.
Blessings to you and Prayers for you all.
Gareth Icenogle, Interim Pastor, Laguna Presbyterian Church