Dear Church Family,

It was with much trepidation and reluctance that I approached the sermon series One Blood on racial reconciliation and One Flesh on human sexuality. I have been observing numerous preachers struggling to strike the right balance between emotional sensitivity and intellectual rigor when addressing these topics. I am thrilled to read the many notes I receive at my desk, even from people outside Lake, about the much-needed clarity these two series brought to our stance on issues. I look forward to the next Fireside Chat next Thursday, September 7, at 7 pm (in the Worship Center), where I will specifically address your questions on human sexuality and gender identity from a Biblical perspective.

At our Summer Church Meeting last Sunday, we affirmed a new slate of Elders who have deep-rooted connections and unwavering commitment to our community. Out of the 252 votes counted, 215 affirmed the entire slate. The Elders will subsequently work with our Leadership Development Team to appoint Deacons to spearhead all our ministry divisions. Please follow this link to view information on our newly elected leaders.

The Associate Pastor of Congregational Life Selection Committee is in the process of finalizing their work and has confirmed a candidate. Upon recommendation of the Senior Pastor and approval of the Elder Council, a Special Church meeting will be called for church members to extend a pastoral call to the candidate. Mark your calendars for an Open House with the candidate on September 21 at 7 pm and a Special Church Meeting on September 24 at 11:30 am, where members will vote on the candidate. More information will be coming from the selection committee.

On the other staff front, Beth Paz will assume leadership of our Missional Outreach Division as the Associate Pastor beginning September 1, 2023. Meanwhile, John Roferos will remain the leader of our College and Young Adult ministry, working alongside a team of experienced community leaders. A recent addition to our team is Jeff Rose, who now serves as the Director of Community Formation. Jeff has been entrusted with the task of revitalizing our Small Groups ministry, reimagining it as a dynamic movement we are calling “Missional Communities.” Brace yourselves for an exciting introduction to this movement, set to take place during our kick-off event on Sunday, September 10!

Another important event this Fall is the relaunch of our Alpha program. Alpha is an introductory course to the foundations of the Christian faith, thoughtfully designed for newcomers. For more information and to register please visit our webpage - here. It's important to note that priority enrollment will be given to individuals who are either new to their faith journey or who are eager to introduce their unchurched friends and family to Christ.

Looking ahead, I propose a transformation of our Fireside Chats into a more inclusive Family Chats.” This evolution will grant us additional time for mingling and meaningful dialogues, focusing less on a question-and-answer format. It's important to note that we will not be recording these sessions, implying that your physical presence will be necessary to seek answers to your inquiries.

Last but not least, I'm thrilled to announce our upcoming sermon series, “Return and Rebuild,” beginning on Sunday, September 10. This series takes inspiration from the accounts of Ezra and Nehemiah, who played pivotal roles in leading the post-exilic Israelites back to their homeland and orchestrating the restoration of both the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. You will find remarkable parallels between their journey and ours as we emerge from the global pandemic, driven to invigorate our community in innovative and revitalizing ways.

Let us return and rebuild together!

With affection and prayers,

MathewJohn 250x250 PMJ_sign  
Mathew P. John
Senior Pastor