A 2016 Christmas Message from your President

December 23rd, 2016

Dear beloved members of American Lutheran Church.  As we approach the end of another year, I’m well overdue for a note to all of you.

The season is hectic.  The responsibilities mount as we careen toward the birth of our Lord.  When I give myself a moment to pause from my activities and offer a prayer of thanksgiving at this time of year, it always seems to me to be particularly meaningful. There is a leap in my heart, similar to the leap of the unborn John the Baptist within his mother, Elizabeth.  This is truly restorative, strengthens me, and sets me free to continue on my journey of faith.

With the beginning of the New Year, American Lutheran is facing changes and challenges; those things that build our characters and mold our souls.  I will be saying goodbye to some of my most cherished colleagues on the council, Susan Anderson, Jason Shih and Mark Baker.  These people have been my councilors and inspirers.  Our proximity’s will change, but our friendships and collaborations will stay in place.  It is difficult to separate oneself from such talents as these.

We have much work to do in the year ahead.  We have yet to begin our long awaited renovations, and I won’t bore you with the reasons for these delays. We will start the New Year with renewed energy and a better-defined plan to make these critically needed and generational improvements to our beloved Church facilities.  There will be more specific details on this to follow at our next congregational chat.

We are working to thaw the relations with Brighton Hall and iron out the kinks that go along with sharing our space.  We are moving to increase the safety and security of the premises and re-establish a working friendship with our tenants.

We are embarking on the call process as we start 2017 and are looking forward to the appointment of a permanent Pastor in due time.  I am beyond grateful for the shepherding of Pastor Reggie and his faithful revealing of God’s word by grace each week.  He and Cheryl have made our sanctuary truly that: a place of worship and praise.

We have much to be excited about.  We have the likes of Eric to guide and inspire our young folks.  We have Vsev and Lynn and their remarkable work as leaders and founders of the Burbank Children’s Theatre Company.  We have our glorious music program, the unbelievably tireless efforts of Sarah in the office and Erica and Angie managing our projection. Did I mention my partner in crime, Lisa?  She is simply one of the most dedicated and caring people I’ve ever met. I could not do this job without her.  How about Bob Norgauer and Auggie Garcia -people you don’t see at their jobs but who are also responsible for so much of the church’s functioning, and the many more of you that make the church live?

We have the newly baptized and their families  in our pews and a future filled with hope and devotion.

There is so much more on my heart, and this is turning into a summary of the year. It’s not truly a Christmas message to all of you, but heartfelt thanks for your support, patience and devotion to our Church and our community.

Jesus is coming!! Hallelujah!  Hallelujah indeed! Everything he did, stood for, and died for stand out in mammoth relief at Christmas, as we revere and seek only to be his more genuine disciples in thought, word and deed.

God’s Unfathomable Grace and Blessing to you all.

Deyo