My dear sisters and brothers in Christ; grace, mercy, and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen
Since September I have been using the Pastoral update as an opportunity to keep you informed about our sermon series in the Gospel of Mark. Periodically, I have provide additional information regarding the Transition process of FPCH.
As a community of faith we have been living in a season of perpetual transition whether it is adapting to online worship or virtual Sunday school or small beginnings of in-person prayer walks and Sunday morning worship. Session and its committees/teams have had to make several difficult decisions this year ranging from ceasing operations with the Pre-school (they discuss quarterly the way forward with the Pre-school), furloughing employees, recommending the sale of the Gregory Ave property, and gradually bringing employees back as we strive to find a new rhythm in the transition process.
Session is also working closely with the Presbytery on the formation of a Pastoral Nominating Committee. In the November meeting of the Committee on Ministry at the Presbytery, Hollywood Pres received approval to move forward with the formation of a Pastoral Nominating Committee. Session met on Tuesday with Pastor Tim Beal who is the liaison to begin that process.
With all of the transition taking place in our personal lives as well as a community of faith I want to remind you that we are grateful for your commitment to Hollywood Pres. Your gifts of time and possessions have kept crucial elements of our life together as the body of Christ at the corner of Gower and Carlos fully functional. Though we may not be fully on campus and in-person, we are together online in worship, Sunday school, Youth Group, GriefShare, Adult Bible Study, to name a few of our ongoing programs.
Because we are online does not mean our expenses have disappeared. Our expenses have been significantly reduced and streamlined by the Finance Team. We are more efficient than at the beginning the pandemic and the Pastoral transition process. This is good news. The difficult news is that we still have expenses to meet: paying staff, maintenance of facilities, and previous obligations for pensions of employees recently retried.
I encourage you to keep your gifts of tithes and offerings current. Your contributions are having a direct impact upon the lives of people not only locally but, around the country. We have received numerous stories of former members gathering for our online worship in other parts of the United States and the world. Some have joined our Bible Studies on Zoom as well. The picture of activity is growing on a weekly basis and you are reaching people never imagined before the pandemic. Thank you!
Thank you for your gifts of time, prayer, and possessions. You are reflecting God’s gracious love throughout the world.
Yours in Christ,