TUESDAY, MAY 16, 2023

Annual Meeting Notice

The annual meeting of Piedmont Community Church will be held Sunday, June 11 in the Sanctuary immediately following worship.

Choir Sunday Is June 4

Choir Sunday will mark the premiere of The Image, a newly-commissioned piece by Stephen Main. Scored for choir, soloists and chamber orchestra - and with texts written by Stephen - this full-length cantata explores the theological concept of the Imago Dei, (the “Image of God”) in which humankind is made and the role it plays in Western history. 

With contrasting sections of dark imagery and shimmering ecstasy, this piece is meant to be thought-provoking as well as deeply inspiring. This one-time performance will be offered in the context of our 10am worship service.

Chamber Music Recital

You are invited to hear Stephen Main (continuo), Christa Pfeiffer (soprano), Becca Burrington (soprano and trombone) and other friends for an hour of baroque chamber music on Sunday, May 21 at 1pm. The performance will be held in the Sanctuary. Admission is free to all.

May 14 Worship Media

Don Ashburn preaches and church member Marilyn Siden leads us in worship. Scott Kail delivers our pastoral prayer, and Stephen Main, Christa Pfeiffer, Becca Burrington and our Piedmont Church Baroque Players provide music.


Help Feed The Hungry

Join your friends on Friday, May 19, at 8:30am to work a 3-hour shift at the Alameda County Food Bank. The Food Bank is located in Oakland at 7900 Edgewater Drive. We will be sorting and packing food. Contact Jeff McClain at jeff.mcclain@mac.com to volunteer. There will also be sign ups after worship service.

Your email may require you to CLICK MORE at the bottom of this page to continue reading. We could write less, but there's no fun in that!

Life Groups

Life Groups meet weekly from 7-8:15pm Thursdays through May 25 in various rooms at the church. If you have been participating in a Life Group, you’ll be in the same one you were in before. If you’re rejoining, or joining for the first time, welcome! 

Life Groups consist of 6-8 people who gather to support and pray for one another, to study scripture, and to share their own experience in light of topics brought up in the previous week’s sermon. In addition, you can come for a potluck dinner held from 6:15 to 7pm at the church before Life Groups start. Each week, an RSVP link will be sent regarding dinner. 

Contact Don Ashburn at Don@PiedmontChurch.org

Theater Group Stages A Comeback

The theater group has re-activated and would like to invite more to attend various shows, ballets and musicals.  We’re a casual group. Someone announces they’re going to an event and others are welcome to join. Dinner out often happens beforehand.

Upcoming Events:

  • Plays at Altarena Playhouse, Alameda, 6/2 and 8/18

  • Musicals at Woodminster Amphitheater, 6/15, 7/13 & 8/10 (picnics beforehand)

  • Plays at Berkeley Rep, Berkeley, 6/14 & 7/19

Contact Judy Wright at rbwright1@me.com to join.


Pledge Payment Update

While our pledge year is based on a calendar year, our fiscal year ends June 30. If you are current on the first 6 months of your 2023 pledge, thank you. If you are not current, please take a moment to pay your pledge through June 30. 

Board Of Trustees Report

By Pat Leicher, Church President

The Board of Trustees held its May meeting the evening of May 8 in the Chapel.

Senior Pastor Steve Schibsted opened the meeting by telling the group that over the last year, more than 70 new people (including children) have been attending church regularly, participating in various activities and, in some cases, joining the church. He also shared some numbers. Michael Barber has collected data that demonstrates the number of people participating in Sunday services in person and online shows marked growth over the two in-person services pre pandemic. Christmas Eve attendance was 873 and Easter attendance was 565. Regular Sunday attendance shows consistent increases of 20-35% since summer 2021. When most churches are reporting decreases of 30-40%, our church’s growth is all the more remarkable.

Dani Montague, Stewardship Chair, reported that after a successful campaign in 2023, the committee is already brainstorming a theme for next year’s campaign. Although the church is definitely still in transition, the committee wants to find a new way to characterize special gifts above and beyond 'regular' commitments next year. We do want to communicate to the congregation that while endowment gifts are always gratefully received, the endowment is severely restricted.  Gifts to our Special Projects Fund, which is not used for general operating expenses but other one-time expenses, are more valuable to the church. This year, we tapped the Special Projects Fund to do an assessment of our entire plant and what maintenance and upgrades are going to be needed over the next few years. In the next fiscal year, we will use Special Project Funds to do an entire revamp of our website.  

James Haverkamp presented the Buildings & Grounds report. The repairs to Don’s office at the manse, needed as a result of flooding, are beginning. Power washing of church walkways will happen in the next few weeks. We are getting bids to repair the leak in the Narthex entry near the lectern and leaks in the irrigation system. The committee is working with the facility assessment to determine a timetable for needed repairs. It is very likely we will need a capital campaign in the next three to five years to complete all the needed work.

Personnel Chair, Kara Basinger, confirmed that Kerry Persichitte is on board and integrating into the staff. She will be working from the NextGen hub in the CE building but will also be moving all around campus. The operations sub-committee is finalizing its recommendations about what other positions will be needed to support the entire organization. The new medical and dental plans are being introduced to staff by our broker and under the lead of Christy Guidici. The new plans save approximately $25,000 per year.

Scott Kail announced that Mexico ’23 was a huge success as was the new approach of gathering the participants and their families on Friday night. Over 300 people attended. The Sunday service still included reports from two students but was less Mexico-focused than previously. The future of the Treasure Sale is being evaluated. The group of people who have made the sale happen for decades are ready to step aside, and it is not clear that we have new volunteers to step in.  Middle and high school parents potluck dinners and discussions are proving very popular. Scott will be taking study leave July 25-30 at the Holy Cross Monastery in New York.

The Finance Committee, working with the staff and other church boards and committees, has developed a proposed budget for the upcoming 23/24 fiscal year. The budget is approximately 20% higher than the 22/23 budget for two reasons. First, the Board has approved investing for growth most importantly in the area of NextGen ministries. Second, we are trying to do a much better job of anticipating expenses and including them in the budget. As a result, there have been lots of unbudgeted expenses that have had to be funded by transfers from reserve funds  For the upcoming year, we are budgeting a substantial increase in non-pledged contributions, 7% distributions from restricted funds rather than the 5% we have taken historically (note: this has been approved  by legal counsel) and $200,000 in additional fundraising. The Board approved having a special campaign in the fall to raise this money for NextGen expenses (staff, curriculum, events, CE building upgrades and safety procedures, etc.) This concept will be presented to the congregation in more detail at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 11 at 11am. If this special, short-term campaign falls short, we will draw on unrestricted reserves. The Board also approved obtaining a $250,000  home equity line of credit (HELOC) on the manse to cover necessary repairs and maintenance on the manse. Over the last few years, there have been substantial unanticipated costs associated with the manse. This has caused serious budget problems. A limited HELOC, which will only be used as needed, seems like a good approach to cover these expenses.  The interest-only cost to the church should be minimal. The congregation will be asked to vote on this at the Annual Meeting.

We revisited the report submitted last month by the Mission Task Force. There are three recommendations in the report that the Board would like to see modified. These concern participation of members of the various boards and committees participating in community service projects, representation of the Mission Committee on the BOT and designation of funds for mission giving. A change in the church by-laws will be presented at the Annual Meeting to increase the size of the Board to include an ex-officio representative of the Mission Committee, which will no longer be under the auspices of the Deacons. 

The Nominating Committee is hard at work identifying new members for the Trustees, Deacons, Altar Guild and Nominating Committee.  The CE Board is going to be re-envisioned to incorporate the ideas and new thinking of Kerry, Steve, Scott and Leslie. So, nominees for the CE Board will probably not be presented to the congregation at the Annual Meeting, but later in the year.


Online Bible Study

Whether or not you’ve ever studied the Bible before, you’re invited to a weekly online study led by Don Ashburn. Each Monday from 10 - 11am, a group of 8-12 people get together to study scripture in light of their own lives.

The focus is on the Gospel of John. Contact Don at Don@PiedmontChurch.org

Here is the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83296269401

Time To Take a Breath

The pauses between the words gives us all a chance to find our breath and focus on quieting our minds.

Come and be encouraged by each other to find a way inside through meditation. We will stretch a bit to prepare and then sit in silence. In gratitude for taking time for ourselves, we are better at caring for others.

Join Stephen Main and Sara Hirsch on Tuesdays at 5:30pm in the Sanctuary for Just Breathe; no RSVP required.

Contact Sara Hirsch at sara1.hirsch1@gmail.com


Sunday School

This year, we are Digging Into the Bible in One Year. Lessons can be found on our website.

Contact Leslie Quantz at Leslie@PiedmontChurch.org


Ukrainian Family Seeks Apartment

Our Ukrainian family is looking for a new apartment in the Piedmont/Oakland area and is financially ready for (near) market rent. 

If you have a property (ADU, apartment, home) that is available, would you consider renting it to a fantastic tenant? We are working towards a July 1 move, but we have flexibility. If you would like to discuss further, please reach out to Scott Willis at (510) 409-2832

Seniors Gathering Opportunity

Seniors Seeking Conversation and Coffee meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month in Guild Parlor, 9:30-11am. Contact Ann Chandler at (510) 444-0280

Pickleball Sundays 1-3pm

If you've ever wondered who plays pickleball each Sunday or why they play the game, this short film by Michael Barber sheds light on a sport that brings people together in a whole new way.



The Messenger

Piedmont Church’s online newsletter, The Messenger, is the primary source of communication. The Messenger is published digitally and distributed via email weekly.

Deadline for articles to appear in The Messenger is 12 noon each Tuesday. Articles submitted after deadline will be considered for the following week.

Michael Barber edits copy and designs the layout of each Messenger with careful consideration of article placement. Placement is determined based on relevance to the congregation and the wider community. 


Sunday Messenger

Sunday bulletin and worship announcements are decided by Michael based on Tuesday discussions with Staff and lay leadership.

Print deadline for Sunday Messenger is Wednesday, 5pm.


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