ChristmasLake Invite with Pastor Mathew and Joanne

It is quite appropriate that the six-month marker of my tenure as your Senior Pastor falls in the Thanksgiving season. The word “gratitude” best encapsulates my feeling toward all of you who consider LAC home, including our staff, leaders, and ministry partners.

The most challenging task in the last six months was undoubtedly the budget reduction and the staff transition that followed suit. However, I am amazed to see a new genus of bi-vocational ministers emerging in this process and reinforcing our staff. We call them “honorary staff” – those who are inducted onto the team through an official vetting process - but donate their time as a gift to our community. We are grateful for them and for the existing staff who work diligently each week to serve the LAC Family and community.

This marker also represents a new chapter and opportunity for me to begin sharing my thoughts, vision, ministry updates, and practical information about our staff and operational life on a more regular basis. As such, we are titling my e-mail newsletter simply "Life at Lake." We hope that you will find it insightful and useful as we embark on this journey together.

I want to take this time to share some important updates on our staff restructuring:

  • Pastor Bill Mead will be our Associate Pastor of Congregational Life (Interim) until we identify the right candidate for this position. A selection committee has been officially installed to begin the search process.
  • Amy Cruse has been appointed as our new Children’s Ministry Director. Amy has been a veteran in our family ministry team, working with our children and parents for the last eight years. She will bring much-needed stability to our children's programs (birth to grade 5) in this new season.
  • We are nearing the end of the search process for the Director/Pastor of Next Gen. (Middle School/High School) and a candidate will be announced shortly.
  • Matthew Sanders (Small Groups), Jeff Rose (Family Ministries), and Theresa Jolly (Outreach) have joined our team as honorary staff.
  • As mentioned in my previous e-mail, we are deeply saddened by the departure of Perry Hawkins and Annie Neufeld who have been faithfully serving our community for over 14 years. We will celebrate their ministries on December 11 and 18 respectively.

On the operational side, Tiffany Reynoso, our new Executive Director of Operations, also wants to share how your faithful giving has allowed us to be wise stewards of the church property. Separate from our operating budget, we have a capital reserve dedicated to deferred maintenance and capital improvement. This reserve allows us to care for our church property in preparing to safely welcome family and guests during the advent season.

  • West Parking lot cracks were identified and will be resealed. Prioritizing these cracks early on will ensure our parking lot lasts for many years to come.
  • Plaza trip hazards by the Plaza Information Center will be repaired. The tree roots have raised the concrete slabs to cause an uneven walking path on the way to the east side of the campus. We want our plaza to continue being a safe place for you and guests as they walk on our campus.
  • The Worship Center Lobby is getting a refresh. The 30-year-old carpet is going to be replaced and more seating arrangements will be set up. We hope to turn the lobby into an inviting space where you can sit down, talk and pray with someone, as we work towards integrating a culture of fellowship and prayer into our church life.

This past Sunday we concluded our Following the Cloud  journey as we pivot to our Advent series, Before the Beginning.” In addition to hearing from me, we are also blessed to have some familiar voices including Dr. Amos Yong from Fuller Seminary, Dr. Jorge Sanchez from Comunidad de las Américas, and our previous senior pastor, Dr. Greg Waybright. Together, we will explore the story of “Christ before Christmas” through this new series. We hope you will join us and invite your friends and family to hear the Good News of Christ’s coming.

We have also finalized our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day service times in addition to other ministry opportunities this Christmas season. For all those details, please visit and enjoy the special Advent Video above from Joanne and me.

I join my family and our staff in wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving and Advent season. Let our hearts be “overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:7) for what the Lord is doing in our community.

With much gratitude,

Mathew P. John
Senior Pastor