“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil: 4: 6-7)
As we look into the future of our communities of CTK and St. Stephen, I am very thankful for the many blessings God has bestowed on us.
Some churches have essentially been forced into being online-only. We have opted for a combined alternative of online and in-person services (outdoors). I have come to the conclusion that we are transitioning through a time of uncertainty for the long term, and so we must prepare to face challenges ahead. Our staff and our parish leadership team have been creative and open, resourceful and diligent.
Online services seem to have actually increased attendance. We’re actually getting people from throughout the world. We find that we’re getting higher views than we’ve had at worship. Many of you have told me that it’s a lot less intimidating to watch from home, from the comfort of your couch. Right now, we have an opportunity to increase
Making sure our church looks good online is a challenging task. “So many churches are using Facebook Live, so the joke is that Jesus broke the Internet on Sunday,” someone said. At this juncture, in order to minister effectively, we need to invest into better technology. We are looking at incorporating more technology into our regular routine, creating a “new normal.” So far we had iPhones operated mostly by your pastor, but now with enhanced technology, we need cameramen who will need to be adequately trained.
Many parishioners as well as visitors from nearby cities have attended our outdoor services and have been very positive about them. Right now, we offer 5 outdoor services at CTK and one Sunday morning service at St. Stephen on the weekend. In addition to these, multiple outdoor baptisms and funerals are also offered. As we move into summer and fall, we are working on having more shaded areas close to the improved outdoor sanctuary.
At this time, we need to make an investment into technology and enhanced outdoor space. I am asking those of you who are blessed by God to make a gift to this fundraising. We’d like to raise $25,000 for this intention.
You have been very generous and I am so grateful. Let us get ready for summer and the fall, with enhanced online presence as well as comfortable and convenient outdoor space, where we can attend church in a safe and reverent way. This will benefit our outdoor masses, baptisms, funerals, bible study and faith formation of children and adults.
There is also an effort underway right now by our staff to update our parish records.
There are so many of our parishioners who are missing out on our weekly updates. Please help us keep our records current. Let us know if you
, get a
new phone number
, change your
or have a different way you wish to be contacted. We would also like to keep our records up-to-date concerning the members of your household. Any significant changes to your household or status (single, married, widowed, divorced etc.) let us know. We do try to keep up, but sometimes the only person to tell us about these changes is you. So I kindly ask you to complete the form included in this newsletter. You will likely also receive a phone call from our staff in the coming weeks. We don’t share your information with anyone including the Diocese of Oakland. Thank you.