Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
This Saturday, we are trying to move into post-pandemic life as a presbytery. We will hold our first meeting that is designed to be in-person, this time at the West Covina Ministry Center. If needed, people can meet by Zoom, but we are hoping to have nearly everyone join us at 9 am in person. If you must meet by Zoom or have questions, please contact Ally Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org. And however you join us, we are asking that you pre-register for the meeting by clicking HERE.
We expect the meeting to end by 11:30, so if you are going to the memorial service for Doug Edwards (at 1:30 pm at Pasadena Presbyterian Church), you would have time to grab a quick lunch and get to Pasadena—it takes at least 30 minutes to drive there from West Covina.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of preaching at our Occidental and Eagle Rock churches, and mentioned Doug Edwards. At Occidental, the clerk of session shared how Doug became their moderator of session 30 years ago after a crisis in the church. Not only did Doug stabilize them and gave them hope for the future, he also instituted systems for keeping records and managing finances that the church follows to this day. The clerk shared that the church would not have survived if not for Doug. At Eagle Rock, Doug was remembered as a former Associate Pastor, which I had never heard before—but I’m learning that many respected pastors began their ministries at Eagle Rock. I continue to be grateful for the many ways Presbytery members serve over the years. For example, without doing thorough research, I know that Doug served in multiple churches, with the Synod and at Westminster Gardens, and he helped to develop New Theological Seminary’s Certificate for Spirituality and Aging and our Presbytery’s Chaplaincy for Retired Presbyterian Church Workers.
Even though we mourn the loss of long-time friends and colleagues, we are also blessed to be able to welcome new friends coming into our presbytery. This Saturday, we will receive Rev. Dr. Kate Wiebe, a psychologist who has done outstanding work with churches and other organizations that have experienced trauma. She shared with COM how she was PDA’s lead responder to the horrible mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School at Newtown, Connecticut, and she helped to hold her presbytery accountable in their financial management. We will also examine Harlan Redmond for ordination. Harlan has already made a significant impact on the Presbytery in his ministry of reconciliation as he leads Interwoven New Worshiping Community, participates in our working group on reparations, and was recently called to be Outreach Chaplain for Retired Presbyterian Church Workers.
We also anticipate new ministries to come. We are grateful that PDA has approved a new grant for our Immigrant Accompaniment Organizer. We hope to receive applications this month, in anticipation of filling the position in early 2023. In the meantime, the ministry has not stopped; we hope everyone brings to Presbytery gift cards for the Shpak family, who recently fled the war in Ukraine and are being surrounded with love and support from Knox Presbyterian Church and Monte Vista Grove Homes.
Truly, God blesses us by sending us angels in colleagues and neighbors. This Saturday we will remember those who have gone home to God this past year, and we will consider new leaders in our midst, new friends from other countries, and we will elect new leaders for the Presbytery in 2023.
Thank God for sending us angels for the journey, every stage along the way.
See you Saturday,