A message from Pastor Kevin
The Afterglow of the World Series      

As I write this, I am still living on the adrenaline and the excitement of my beloved Los Angeles Dodgers winning their first World Series title in 32 years. I know that as I write this there will be groans as this is read. I get it. I wish your teams the best in the coming year. I write this though as I reflect upon what it takes and looks like for a team to get there and win a championship. 

The reality is that it took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get these players, this team to this moment. Before they were ever in the major leagues there were years and years of hard work, learning their craft, experiencing success, but also experiencing failure. They had to learn new skills. Learn about the game. They even had to learn about themselves. Someone doesn’t get to the point of winning a world series by giving up, but it takes hard work, dedication, and a never give up approach to life. 

A Vision
Each of the players on the Dodgers entered Spring Training with one goal: to win the World Series. They weren’t there just to win their 8th consecutive National League West Division Championship. They had been there and done that and it was getting old. They knew where they wanted to be. They wanted to be up on a platform on an October evening holding the coveted World Series Champion trophy.  So how did they get there? They made it their goal to win every series they played. They didn’t forget the regular season, but they went about trying to win every series. Their rationale was if we win every series, we will get to that ultimate goal of winning the World Series.

Each member of the Dodgers was someone who had great talent. There is no doubt about that. Some of the players could have been the ace or a starter on a different team, but since they were on the Dodgers they were more a role player. What every player had to do was set aside their ego, set aside their own agendas, set aside themselves for the sake of the team. That meant a player being willing to play a different position or pitch in a different spot than they might like to. This meant willing to stand back and let someone else take the spotlight. What was really cool to hear at the end of the World Series was every player pointing the spotlight on someone else and celebrating the fact that it took every single person to get them to that moment. The goal was more important that the individual. 

Overcome Adversity
The truly challenging thing about winning a championship is that to do so you have to overcome adversity. This season was a picture of that for the Dodgers. Like every team, the Dodgers went to Spring Training ready for a 162 game season when all of a sudden everything was shut down. There was a time when there was doubt as to whether there would be a season at all.  They saw teammates choose to sit out the season for the health and safety of their family. They saw times when players got hurt, and they themselves dealt with injuries. They had stretches when they played well and stretches when they didn’t play well. They had times when they were tired. There were even times in the playoffs when it looked like they were done. They went down 3-1 to the Braves in the NLCS. In game 4 of the World Series they snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory looking more like the bad news bears than a MLB team on the final play. Adversity abounded. What separates a champion from everyone else isn’t the presence of adversity but how they respond to it. The Dodgers never gave up hope, but overcame every obstacle that stood in their way. 

What About The Church?
I write this not to bore you with talk about a team that you don’t care about or hate. I write this because I think there is a lot in this for us as a church. Being a part of a church that is trying to move the Gospel of Jesus Christ forward takes dedication. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work. It takes learning. It takes trial and error. It takes growing individually and collectively as a group. It takes people embracing a shared vision that is worth sacrificing for. It is coming to the point that the shared goal is all that matters. It takes selflessness being willing to lay aside personal agendas for the sake of the greater mission, in our case the Great Commission. It takes overcoming adversity. The mission entrusted to us is so important that we can’t give up because we hit roadblocks along the way or when we are thrown a curve ball. But it is believing the best in one another, trusting God, and uniting together under God’s care to follow Jesus where He is calling us to go. 

As a congregation, we have been talking a lot about vision and direction and this idea of being a 21st Century Missional Outpost that engages, encourages, equips, and launches. There is a lot more to this conversation than just 4 simple words. If you haven’t done so already, I’d urge you to join one of our What’s Next meetings so that you can join the conversation on where God is calling us to go.  
Lutheran Women's Missionary League Updates

Mission Grants November 2020

Nationally LWML has set a goal of $2,100,000 to fund a variety of projects from 2019 to 2021. Grants #12 and #13 are in need of donations at this time.
Grant #12 is for “Women’s Witness and Mercy Asia Mission Central” to support the work of 10 Women Missionaries who are bringing God’s word to the largely secular populations in Asia. Grant #13 will support “Digital Media Development for Lutheran’s For Life”, which provides digital formats that focuses on life issues like abortion, embryo experimentation, and assisted suicide. These topics are discussed with those who need to hear the message of the value of life and God’s love and grace for each one of us.

California-Nevada-Hawaii LWML has set a goal of $248,000 to fund grants from 2020-2022. At this time Grant #3 is in need of donations. The focus is “Bringing Children to Jesus Christ with Noah’s Ark” at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Kahului, Maui, Hawaii, in cooperation with Trinity, Manila, Philippines. These bring the Gospel to children through overseas electronic classes.
Please consider supporting the mission projects of LWML with a donation when you have a special celebration, like a birthday, anniversary, an answered prayer, or to honor a loved one . Small donations add up quickly.

Make your check to: Zone 7 LWML, (the LWML Zone 7 Treasurer will process and a percentage will go to LWMLCNH as well as the national LWML. The address is:
LWML Zone 7 Treasurer, Diana Cuva, 2108 Dena Drive, Concord, CA 94519.

The Steinbeck Memorial Scholarship

The Steinbeck Memorial Scholarship through LWML CNH recently awarded a generous scholarship to John Trinklein. His parents are missionaries in South Korea. John is studying at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. He is working towards a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, with a goal to become a forensic accountant. Please keep John and his family in your prayers.

Visit the LWML website at https://www.lwml.org/home. There is a special downloadable page of prayer called the November Eucharisteo Project. This projects focuses on reading scripture related to “Giving thanks to God”. You are encouraged to read each daily scripture, then to write the scripture out in a journal or on index cards and you can read these on Thanksgiving Day. When we give thanks to God, we reaffirm his providence in our lives.

The LWML website also has a number of online video Bible Studies. Donna Pyle’s study in Ephesians is currently featured. 

A BIG Thank You for supporting mission projects!

Do you remember back when we were collecting items for hygiene kits to be distributed by Lutheran World Relief before the Covid-19 epidemic hit?
This project was carried out by Laura and Ken Gong. They took the 150 kits to the LWR ingathering in Cupertino this October. A BIG “Thank you” to all who donated towels, soap, combs, nail clippers, toothbrushes and funds to this project.

Our church members have supported the Quilters with space to quilt, fabric for tops and backings, and encouragement. The 100 quilts made this year started their journey this October to reach people who hunger for warmth, comfort, and God’s love. Thank you for all of your support. Please continue to ask friends and neighbors for fabric so the Quilters can continue this mission of love.

Gratitude to those that donated books to help timed-out Foster Youth through the “Youth simply giving back” project. Twenty-eight boxes of books were taken to the youth project in Sacramento this October. When you buy books online, look for books sold by them.

Thank you all for your generosity. 
Board of Directors News

With the results of the recent election, the Board of Directors is a carryover from the previous year; in addition, the board has elected to have the current officers, remain in their existing roles.

Your Board of Directors consists of Angela Westphal (Chair), Chris Korsak (Vice Chair), Kim Brandt (Secretary), Mark Klins, (Treasurer), Linda Futral, John Honig, and Katrina Owens.  This continuity on the board allows us to build on our momentum, working in tandem with the Board of Elders, Pastor Kevin, and the Senior Staff. It’s truly an awesome time to be about His business as we move forward, sharing the vision for OSLM and mobilizing the Ministry Action Teams

The Lord has exciting plans for us, and we can’t wait to unpack them with you, so be sure to join us at one of our upcoming cottage meetings as we continue to discuss “what’s next?” As always, your questions, comments, and suggestions are welcomed and encouraged.

In His service and yours,
Angela Westphal