News & Events
Life at LCI – Summer 2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
It’s been a long, difficult 18 months: enduring multiple lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, worshiping from our homes; as well as having work, school and family life turned upside down. Things are finally looking up and we as your LCI leaders want to communicate about policies and plans for the coming months regarding the use of our facility and how we plan to shape our community life in terms of worship.
In general, the LCI facility is now open for use again; it is our expectation that if you are present on campus you are fully vaccinated. If you are partially vaccinated or are not vaccinated for whatever reason, we expect you to wear a mask over your mouth and nose.
If you are using or renting space, it is expected that you clean up after yourself.
If you are sick or have COVID symptoms, we ask that you stay away. We encourage you to get tested to be extra safe. Healthy Davis Together continues to offer testing at no cost. Residents of neighboring communities have also been able to test at the same Healthy Davis locations.
In terms of our worship life, we have progressed during the pandemic from worship at home, to drive-in worship (in the parking lot), to in person worship on the West Lawn, and several Sundays with worship in the Fellowship Hall due to adverse weather.
Since Yolo County and State restrictions have been lifted we feel it is now safe to begin worshiping indoors on a more permanent basis with certain restrictions. So, unless you hear otherwise, worship will be held in the Fellowship Hall at 9:30am on Sunday mornings. The same masking rules apply as described above, although if you are sitting inside for worship, we will ask you to wear a mask even if you are vaccinated. This is a courtesy to protect those who cannot yet be vaccinated, such as children. We also ask that you please maintain social distancing wherever possible. There will be seating available on the patio for those who would prefer to sit outside. We also continue to offer a livestream on our YouTube channel at 9:30am for those who cannot be with us in person.
In August, the Council will take up as a matter of policy some details related to facility use, including food service for receptions. We are also considering changes to our communion practices, to once again distribute communion. Until then, we will continue using the single-serve communion kits. Finally, we plan to provide coffee and tea fellowship after worship later this summer, although we will need additional volunteer support to accomplish this.
Thank you for your continuing support, understanding and prayers in this difficult season.
Pastor Dan Smith and the LCI Executive Committee
Sanctuary Renovation Update
April 24, 2021
Dear LCI Members and Friends,
Our Sanctuary Renovation has commenced! Bill Green, David Peart and Nadia Wade, along with a few volunteers, have begun on the demolition of certain elements in the sanctuary: the entry wall, the carpet and the platform at the front. It is exciting to see the project finally underway! Thank you all for your support and prayers. Special items in the space are being handled with care. The next step is to have the concrete flooring ground down to prepare for its final treatment by Mike Miller, a concrete artist we have engaged (aka “the Concretist”). Special thanks also to Ed Green, who has agreed to lead the Sanctuary Renovation Task Force at the request of the Council, and is doing an outstanding job in helping us complete this important project.
As a reminder, we are a little over halfway through the capital campaign season, which was conducted in fall of 2019 was designed to run through the calendar years 2020-21. That means we have about 8 months left, so don’t forget your pledges! If you are able to complete your pledges early that will better help us assess what we are able to complete. If your financial situation has changed, or you are unable to complete your pledge, please be in touch with Damian Genetos, Financial Secretary (email@example.com). If you were not here for the capital campaign, you are more than welcome to contribute; simply designate your gifts to “sanctuary renovation”. More information about the sanctuary renovation project will be presented at our Congregation Electing Meeting on Sunday, May 16. There will be an opportunity between now and then to tour the space and get a feel for what it looks like as we take our first steps on this renewal journey, so stay tuned for more information. As always, we invite your ongoing prayers for our congregation during this important time.
February 10, 2021
Lent begins next week with Ash Wednesday - the 40 day period of confession that precedes Easter. It’s a time of reflecting and remembering Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, and our own wilderness journey as redeemed sinners. Normally as Christians we gather to hear very somber words: “remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”, and we receive an ash cross on our foreheads to remind us of this. Ash Wednesday is the most sobering day of the church year, when we remind ourselves that we are made of the earth, and that one day our lives will end. However, the word “lent” comes from the old English word “lencte”, which is cognate with “lengthen” because it is during this season that the days grow longer. And while ashes are often associated with death, they have traditionally also been used in soap, so they can have a different meaning. So the season is not just about death and doom; it is also about renewal.
We have experienced renewal by the Holy Spirit, through the efforts of incredible volunteers and dedicated church staff. Our Council retreated on January 31 (thanks for your prayers!), and members shared their faith stories with each other, which was pretty incredible. We grew closer to one another as a group as each member was able to open up and share more of their heart. As part of our effort to grow our congregation, we are putting special emphasis in the coming on sharing our faith stories - with each other and with those who are not here yet. (If you are willing to share a 2-3 minute faith story on video, let me know!) Our first ever drive-in worship service on February 7 was truly uplifting. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this effort, especially to Gretchen Peralta and Steve Slinkard for organizing the parking crew, to Tom Slabaugh for help with getting risers, and to Tim Thatcher for help with the FM transmitter, which worked very well! We plan to have drive-in worship again on Sunday, February 28 at 11:00am, so we hope to see you there - invite a friend! Our book study The Color of Law went very well - it was a challenging but important study of racism in housing policy in the U.S. Special thanks to our Social Justice committee co-chairs Karen Hamilton and Ellen Kolarik, and to the rest of the team for putting it together. And, as you will read below, our sanctuary renovation project is moving from being a dream to becoming a reality, as we renew our life of worship at LCI
As we seek God’s renewal, may this Lent be a time of coming clean with ourselves and with the world around us - about the ways in which we fall short of God’s glory, and the miracle that God loves us anyway. We have had to make a lot of adjustments during this time of pandemic, and I’m sure our patience is wearing thin, but there are also signs of hope, so let’s stay faithful to the Way of Jesus.
Pastor Dan Smith
Sanctuary Renovation Update
February 10, 2021
The Sanctuary Renovation Project at LCI continues to move forward. As a brief review: a Sanctuary Renovation Task Force was established by the Council in 2015 to consider sanctuary renovation needs and develop a conceptual design. A survey and forums with the congregation were conducted in 2016-17. An Every Member Visit capital campaign was conducted in September 2019, and the total amount pledged by members to support this project was approximately $360,000, and we have collected $125,349 so far – thanks for your generous gifts! Out of this process, the theme for the project emerged, and is taken from Revelation 22:2: “on either side of the river of life is the tree of life … and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
The Task Force has since engaged concrete artist Mike Miller of Berkeley, Davis builder Daniel Sedillo, as well as architect Bill McCandless of Woodland, who had helped with the conceptual design process. The next step is to develop construction documents to submit to the city and to assess the price of each element so that we can be sure to complete the project in a timely and cost-effective manner. So despite the COVID-19 shutdown, the process continues, and in fact there is a unique opportunity since the space is not currently being used for worship. The project prioritizes the improvement of lighting, sound and audio-visual capability in the worship space, based on the conceptual design from the 2019 campaign.
As we discern how God is calling us to share Christ’s light in our community, and the unique ways we will contribute toward the healing of the nations, the sanctuary renovation project is a critical piece in our effort to renew our core activity of worship and invite a new generation to discover God’s amazing grace with us. We are about halfway through the pledge period, which was designed for 2020-21, so don’t forget your commitments! If you haven’t had a chance to make a pledge toward this wonderful project, it’s not too late! Gifts of any amount - $10 to $10,000 - may be designated to “sanctuary renovation”, either through our online portal or by sending a check to LCI. Stay tuned for future updates and information from the Task Force and LCI Council. Special thanks to the Task Force members: Jenny Fortuna, Ed Green, Natalie Nelson and Karen Slabaugh. Please pray for God’s blessings upon this project and those who have been raised up to shepherd us through it.
Pastoral Letter: Events of January 6, 2021
Dear LCI Family,
We all watched in horror yesterday as the U.S. Capitol building was breached during the usual quadrennial ceremony of counting electoral votes for president. Four people have died after violence erupted. Senators and Congresspeople were evacuated, although gratefully they later convened to complete their task. Joe Biden will be inaugurated as our next President, and Kamala Harris as Vice President on January 20, 2021.
Sometimes it is difficult to believe our eyes. How could this be happening in our country, the United States of America, a beacon of liberty, democracy and the Rule of Law for the rest of the world, especially with such an apparent lack of security and preparedness for such an event?? We are no doubt filled with questions, some of which are easy to answer, others of which are more complicated. In any case, it is entirely appropriate that all who broke the law – whether by causing violence or by inciting it - be held accountable for their actions and for their words, which have real world consequences.
What is the church’s role in all this? We are witnesses to God’s justice and mercy for the world in Jesus Christ. Both matter. It is essential that we both speak – and accept – the truth; that we learn to listen to one another and accept difficult truths; and most of all that we have compassion on our fellow Christians and on our fellow citizens. Jesus said his followers were to be “salt, light and leaven”, to bring about God’s reign in the world. The violence we saw yesterday was not God’s reign – clearly, although the resolve of our civil servants of both parties – to continue late into the night was laudable, and a sign of government, duly ordained by God to protect and serve human communities so they can worship, work and play freely.
As Christians, we are called to speak a word of hope in the midst of despair; light in darkness, and to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do as God’s people, but I invite you to pray for our nation, which is deeply divided and wounded, and for the incoming Biden administration. I also encourage you to reach out to those you care for, to let them know you love them; and find a way to be caring to your neighbors, to share Christ’s light. I don’t know what the future holds, but I believe God’s people are always called to love their neighbor as God has first loved us in Christ Jesus. That is what it means to share Christ’s light in the midst of a dark and fallen world.
As you do this, know that I am thinking of you and praying for each of you, even as I pray for this nation, the state of California, our wider region, the Sacramento area, the City of Davis and the neighborhood where God has planted us. May we find a way to be the Body of Christ at 1701 Russell Blvd, and may each of find a way to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ as we seek also to be faithful citizens of this one nation, under God.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Dan Smith
LCI Annual Congregation Meeting
Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 - 10:15 am, Zoom Call
Please join us on Zoom for the Annual Meeting when we will vote to adopt the 2021 Budget. In addition, you will hear reports from Pastor Dan, Carol Huegli (President), Jeff de Ropp (Vice President), Karl Larson (Treasurer) and several of our members.
As required by the LCI Constitution, we must have a quorum of at least 20 members to adopt the budget. Voting by proxy is not permitted. Please plan to attend. The Annual Meeting will take place at the usual Sunday "Coffee Chat" time.
LCI in-person worship services cancelled until 2021
November 16, 2020
With the movement of Yolo County into the Purple Tier, we have made the difficult decision to defer in-person worship until 2021. Your health is of utmost importance. We will continue to work on the plans to begin in-person worship when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, Pastor Dan and the Worship Team will continue to record Sunday worship and post it to the LCI YouTube Channel.
LCI Council Update
August 13, 2020
LCI Treasurer Change: Please express your thanks to Dave Kukis for his dedicated service as Treasurer for LCI. Dave brought clarity to the meaning of the budgetary ebbs and flows for the Congregation, and his gentle spirit and clear communications were a blessing to all of us. Thank you Dave!
Welcome and thanks to Karl Larson for being our incoming Treasurer. Karl was elected to the LCI Council in May 2019, and has worked with us for over a year. He has served on several financial working groups, and has the full support of the Council. He is very conscientious and committed to the LCI Congregation. He will be working with Dave over the next several weeks to transition the Treasurer duties; Dave will continue to be paying the bills and writing checks as needed through August.
Applegate Nursery School plans to reopen their morning program only on August 27, pending State Child Care Licensing approval of their reopening plan. They will have an outdoor program and continue to use their leased space of the LCI building. Please be assured that we are closely reviewing our lease agreement to ensure that it contains all necessary language.
Council reviewed the plan to reopen the Memorial Garden for private prayer with the objective to ensure a safe environment. You will hear more when we formally reopen this area. It is a small step, but an important step as we move forward to meet the current county and state requirements for LCI.
Coverage during Pastor Dan’s medical leave (August 14 – September 11):
o Pastoral Care:
Reverend Kirsten Moore: 916-214-2859
Reverend Chris Neufeld-Erdman: 559-430-4764
o Pulpit Supply:
Casey Dunsworth: August 16 & 23
Vern Holmes: August 30 & September 6
John Valentine: September 13
LCI Council Update
August 6, 2020
Thank you for your continued faithful giving to LCI and its ministries. Your generosity during a time of great economic uncertainty has been inspiring. Let’s keep it up!
It has been more than 4 months since LCI moved to online worship and we all are still suffering from the loss of how things were, including our Sunday worship. This includes adapting to the new look and feel of worship. As Pastor Dan and the worship team move to meet California and Yolo County public health requirements, it can be confusing to us as viewers. They know this and have adapted quickly, but please accept our apologies for not communicating the “why” behind such changes.
In the upcoming month, you will continue to see changes in the format as the team develops the best format for worship, the pastoral message, and our participation. Moving outside onto the west facing patio is the most recent change. While Pastor Dan is absent, the sermon format will reflect what is best for our guest pastor. There will be a routine to the service in the future, but it will not be occurring until after Pastor Dan’s return.
Supporting Each Other:
In the absence of Sunday worship, we are also missing the time we spend together, and the conversations we hold. In the absence of Sunday in person gatherings we must be more deliberate about how we reach out to one another.
Thus, we are restarting our phone communication and are asking each person in the congregation to commit to call at least 5 names from the LCI directory every 1-2 weeks. We won’t ask that you document your contacts, but please make the calls! Pick both regular contacts and a couple new names. Pat and Richard Wheeler suggested we get this going again and have already picked 13 individuals between the 2 of them!
Please follow their lead and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with who will be on your list. It is ok to call some of the same people. We will not be assigning who you can call unless you request for that help.
The Daily Devotion has become an important part of LCI’s online presence, and we want it continued while Pastor Dan heals. You can help by volunteering to cover one or more of the devotions. What’s involved? View one of the current Daily Devotions by either Lindsey Burns or Pastor Dan. The daily reading comes from Bread for the Day, Daily Bible Readings and Prayers, 2020.
Alternatively, you can choose how you are most comfortable in leading. If you choose from Bread of the Day, we will send you the daily verse. We encourage you to personalize by sharing how the daily verse meets you in your life.
To reserve a date for your Daily Devotion, please contact Jeff de Ropp at email@example.com . If you have questions about how to video or uploading the file, Jeff can help. Available Dates: Wednesdays, August 12 – September 30, 2020. You can record your video ahead of the day it is broadcast; in fact that would be encouraged.
Leena Ou’s Departure: We have heard from many of you about the thoughtful communication sent by Leena on July 31, as she departs the Davis area and starts the next chapter in her life. If you would like to reach out to her, she asked that you use her current mailing address where she will be for the next 3 weeks: 517 Oxford Circle #210 Davis, CA 95616
LCI Campus Closure
July 23, 2020
Dear LCI Family,
At present all houses of worship in the County Monitoring list area are closed per the July 13 directives from the state of California:
That means at this time:
1) The LCI facility and grounds are closed. Yolo County is on the County Monitoring List and until such time you are notified by the LCI Pastor, or Congregation President or Vice President, the facility is closed.
2) The LCI campus is not open for memorials, weddings or other services until further notice.
3) Essential duties will occur remotely using traditional phone calls or electronic platforms (e.g. Zoom, YouTube, e-mail, LCI Webpage, LCI FB page).
4) Until the state and county orders are lifted LCI will not be renting out space.
5) Applegate Nursery School is closed for the summer and plans to reopen if possible in late August following updated State of California requirements for licensed preschools and any additional requirements outlined by LCI.
The LCI Reopening Task Force and Council will continue to work on a reopening plan to be put into effect when the state/county restrictions are lifted.
Please be mindful that this is a challenging time for all of us and the Worship Team is doing the best they can with a difficult situation.
Pastor Dan, Carol Huegli, Jeff de Ropp, Kevin Grayson
Message from Pastor Dan on Reopening LCI
June 26, 2020
Dear LCI family,
As we get into the summer months, many of you are no doubt wondering when we will “reopen” the church and “get back to normal”, as shelter in place is lifted, and businesses are starting to do. There are two answers to that question: one is the formal answer – i.e. what processes are in place to make sure we can open safely, which I will describe. The other is a much more disappointing, but honest answer, which I will start with.
The truth is, we will gather in person for worship at some point, but we will not be “going back to normal” anytime soon. Worship as we know it has been dramatically changed by the novel coronavirus, and we have made it a priority to keep our community safe by not gathering people in large numbers, which could spread the virus. I have talked to many of you, and you are aware of this and supportive of it in principle, which the Council and I very much appreciate. We are fully aware how disappointing this is. We long so much to see one another, to hug or shake hands, to talk again in person over a cup of coffee (the “third sacrament”!!) and so on. We miss each other. It hurts to be separated. It is an unusual and disorienting time. We get it. Nobody wants this, but it’s what health and safety requires of us for the moment.
All of that being said, it is not true that nothing is happening – quite the contrary. Like pretty much every other institution of modern life, over the past three months we have had to reinvent ourselves as a community and how we do what we do. The facility is shut down, but “the church” is not closed – the church is never closed because it is the community of the baptized. YOU are the church. True, being the church is significantly more challenging than it was in early March, when we gathered for worship at 8:30 and 10:30 am on Sunday mornings; had coffee hour and Sunday School for all at 9:30 (doesn’t that sound nice?), but that doesn’t change who we are in any way.
How we have changed: we prepare worship services that are recorded and put up on our YouTube channel. They are posted to our Facebook page and e-mailed out to the whole congregation Sunday mornings. We have daily devotional videos (most days) from the pastor and other staff and lay volunteers (thank you for your help with this!). We have coffee chats on Sunday mornings at 10:15am over Zoom, along with other meetings and gatherings on the Zoom platform. I know that some of you meet for social distance one-on-one meetings to offer encouragement and support, which is great as long as you keep a safe social distance!! We are a church family and we have to take care of one another, and as annoying and frustrating as it is, we have to take these precautions seriously. Wear your mask or face covering! Keep a safe distance! The virus does not care if you aren’t feeling up to it or are sick and tired of staying away!!
I just really want to thank all of you for the patience and the grace you’ve shown through this difficult time, both to me as your pastor and to our dedicated Council members, who probably feel like full-time employees lately. It’s really a testimony to who we are as a community gathered around Christ’s light; rooted in God’s grace and love.
Going forward, we have a Reopening Task Force that has brought a proposal to the Council about reopening safely. The Council did not vote on the proposal at its June meeting, but will take another look in July. It includes a detailed written plan of the objectives and values of the church in taking on this work, and exactly what precautions will be taken to keep people safe when we do finally reopen (which we will). Those will include things like keeping a safe social distance, face coverings, emphasizing hand sanitizing and washing, cleaning hard surfaces and not sharing food. Worship will also not include corporate singing, passing of the peace by hand shaking or hugging or anything that involves physical touch. Communion will have to be handled with extreme care. Of course those who are sick, elderly and/or have underlying health issues need to stay at home.
When we do “reopen”, the first services are likely to be open-air, on the back lawn, but we have not set a date yet. There will also be information for renters and outside groups about conditions for facility use. Please stay tuned for more information after the Council meeting on July 14. And we may open the sanctuary for a set number of people, at set times for private prayer and reflection, according to the above guidelines.
In general, be prepared for this to take longer than you think it will. But know that no matter what, God is in charge, and we are doing our best to be faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is in his name that we gather – in whatever form we can.
Peace and Blessings,
Message from Pastor Dan
May 22, 2020
The White House has announced that churches are "essential services" and must reopen immediately - as in, this weekend. I agree that worship is essential to being the church, but to be clear, we are not opening the LCI facilities for public worship this weekend. We are in Phase 2 of the State of California's Roadmap to Recovery, which does not include in-person worship just yet.
LCI has a Reopening Task Force working on how to gather safely, which includes Kevin Grayson, epidemiologist; Mike Evans, biologist and lung researcher, Gretchen Peralta, nurse, Craig Lundgren, lawyer; Becky Linvill, an administrator at U.C. Davis; and me. That group, in consultation with our Congregation Council, will determine when and under what conditions it is safe to open our facility. We simply are not going to put people in harm's way.
Remember too: the church is not closed, the facilities are closed. The church is the community of the baptized. We will continue to offer online worship services and daily devotions, Zoom gatherings on Sunday mornings, including Sunday School, coffee hour and Bible study; in addition to many other connections you all are still making with one another to show each other you care for one another as one Body in Christ. Rest assured, when it is reasonably safe, we will gather again.
As a reminder: we have our Congregation Electing Meeting this Sunday at 10:15am by Zoom. Look for a link by email or log on to the link you received by regular mail.
Reopening Task Force Update
May 13, 2020
The LCI Council convened a Reopening Task Force at its April regular meeting, which reported back on May 12. No Council action was taken. The task force consisted of Mike Evans, Kevin Grayson, Becky Linvill, Craig Lundgren, Gretchen Peralta and Pastor Dan. The next stages may include opening the sanctuary for private prayer at set times and/or open air services on the back lawn, once the stay at home order is lifted and only when the County health officer gives the okay. In all gatherings in our facility, safety precautions will be taken (e.g. face coverings) and proper social distance will have to be maintained, which means many of our practices will have to be adjusted accordingly. In other words, we will gather again, but things will look different for a while.
The services would still be recorded and posted to YouTube for those who cannot or who choose not to gather with us. We are still working on a live-streaming option. We are committed to the health and safety of our members, following the guidance of county and state health officials and the latest science about COVID-19, and thus we are not in a rush to set a date for reopening the facilities. Thanks for your patience in this difficult time.
LCI COUNCIL UPDATE
April 30, 2020
Thank you so much for your overwhelming response and generosity to our call for increased giving during this difficult time. In addition, we have received a Payment Protection Program forgivable loan to cover some of our LCI personnel costs for 8 weeks. This forgivable loan is part of the CARES Act; learn more here:
Lastly, Thrivent has offered to defer our mortgage for 3 months; Council will consider how to proceed at our May meeting focusing on the option of “interest only”. Specifics on the giving response & status of the LCI deficit will come in May from our wonderful treasurer Dave Kukis.
Now let’s provide a shoutout to the resounding activity that is occurring in regards to taking care of each other, including phone calls & hosting/attending group gatherings through Zoom calls. The need continues as we do not know when we will start gathering again, and reaching out to others helps everyone.
Want to help out in making phone calls? Reach out to Jeff de Ropp (firstname.lastname@example.org) who is making sure all of our LCI members and friends receive a contact.
Wondering what is a Zoom call? Joining can be as simple as dialing in on a phone to as sophisticated as using your computer or smart phone to join electronically with live video. You can find simple directions for getting started with Zoom by clicking here, and Jeff de Ropp can provide help too.
Zoom meetings have been a wonderful way for gathering to see and hear each other. I know of several examples where Zoom is being used within LCI in this way, but please share upcoming opportunities to connect for others in the Wednesday LCI email Update aka Wednesday Three Things by emailing email@example.com.
Peace be with you,
The LCI Council
Important message regarding LCI finances & operations
April 15, 2020
Dear LCI members and friends,
We hope you were blessed by our services for Holy Week and the Daily Devotionals done by Pastor Dan. We thank you for your generous giving, even in this time of financial and emotional stress, which supports our on-going ministry efforts. We are grateful for the work of Pastor Dan, Jeff Schulz, and Lindsey Burns in preparing and recording four wonderful Holy Week services.
As described in our email to the congregation on March 25 (see below), LCI ended 2019 with a deficit of over $40,000; that is, we borrowed from our reserves (but not Sanctuary Renovation, Columbarium, or Endowment) to pay on-going expenses. Council has taken a number of steps to reduce spending, some of which flow from not meeting in person:
1) Suspended janitorial service
2) No nursery operations
3) Reduced office staff hours by 50%
4) Michelle Doolittle has graciously gone voluntarily on unpaid maternity leave.
5) Pastor Dan has generously requested the suspension of reimbursement for 2020 professional expenses and cell phone fees.
6) Building heating/AC turned off.
7) All expenses whether budgeted or from reserves require Council approval.
8) Most office expenses (printing bulletins, mailings, other consumables, etc) have been reduced to zero. Many expenses related to the facility (janitorial and other miscellaneous supplies) have been reduced.
In addition to cutting expenses, we have:
A) Applied to Thrivent for three months of mortgage relief.
B) Submitted a Paycheck Protection Program proposal, a Small Business Administration COVID emergency program that churches are eligible for.
(Please note that, as an expression of faith and hope, the congregation of LCI budgeted 5.5% Synod Mission Support in 2020. To honor this decision and reaffirm our faith and hope, this commitment remains fully in effect).
With these steps, and thanks to generous giving by the congregation, there has been no growth in the deficit in 2020. But, to reverse the deficit, the Council believed stronger measures were necessary, and voted that effective April 15:
9) Office staff hours will be reduced from about 25 hrs/week before COVID down to a maximum of 5 hrs/week, all allocated to Leena, with Julia placed on unpaid leave.
10) Hours and pay for both Jeff Schulz and Lindsey Burns will be reduced to half of their current levels.
As a Council, we are carefully monitoring cash flow. If our expenses outpace giving, we may need to make further interim staffing reductions.
We cannot overstate how much the Council values the work provided by Pastor Dan, Jeff, Lindsey, and Leena. As seen in the successful Holy Week services available online, all of them were highly engaged in the work necessary leading up to and within the worship services themselves.
In closing, we are grateful to all of you who make up LCI’s church body and the support you provide to each other and LCI ministries, especially during this difficult time. If you have questions or would like to know more about what is within this e-mail, please feel free to reach out to Carol Huegli, 530-304-5942 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jeff de Ropp, 530-761-3284 or email@example.com.
Peace be with You.
URGENT MESSAGE ABOUT LCI’S FINANCES
March 25, 2020
Friends in Christ,
The LCI Council hopes this letter finds you and your loved ones in good spirits as we navigate this challenging moment together. Although we are currently unable to meet in person, we remain connected through our support of one another and in our mission to Share Christ’s Light Daily. You can view Sunday worship and Pastor Dan’s daily devotion on LCI’s YouTube page by following the link on the LCI homepage https://www.lcidavis.org/.
We are writing to provide an update on the financial challenges LCI currently faces, which were mentioned in the Stewardship Follow-up Letter you recently received. The Council held an emergency session on March 17th and determined that it is imperative we share these important financial details now and begin working together on a solution immediately to ensure both the short and long-term health of our congregation.
LCI’s 2019 budget was $375,888 and its 2020 budget is $361,358, for an average of ~$30,000/month. Congregational giving typically peaks during the Easter and Christmas holidays and is lower during the rest of the year, especially summer. In 2019, LCI received $325,972 in monetary support—beginning 2020 at a deficit.
Additionally, even before the full impact of the Covid-19 virus was felt, annual pledges for 2020 dropped to $177,192 (37 commitments to date) versus $257,052 (61 commitments) for 2019. This is reflected in a 32% decrease in January/February giving compared to the same period in 2019. Unfortunately, the current giving projection based on January-March is insufficient to maintain LCI’s daily operations, even in the coming months; requiring significant budgetary cuts, including staff (who have been apprised of the situation). We are trying to limit further impact on our general reserves as we consider expense reductions, and want to affirm that we will only use the Columbarium, Endowment and Sanctuary Renovation funds as designated. In addition, we are applying to Thrivent for short-term mortgage payment relief which can help relieve some stress, but it alone will be insufficient.
This is where ALL OF US, the congregation, can be part of the solution. The foundation of this church, and what truly makes it a living embodiment of God’s Word, is the people. Through generous giving, we all make it possible to maintain our facility (mortgage, insurance, and utilities), employ dedicated staff, and provide music, youth and adult ministries, plus much more. To continue to Share Christ’s Light daily, LCI needs our help. Simple ways to help:
· Use online giving with Credit or Debit Card or PayPal at https://www.lcidavis.org/give.
· Mail checks directly to LCI, 1701 Russell Blvd, Davis CA 95616
· Set up recurring payments between LCI and your bank
· Need help setting up your online giving: Jeff de Ropp, Congregation Vice President at firstname.lastname@example.org
· Increase monthly giving: Damian Genetos at email@example.com, please include the dollar amount.
The Council is scheduled to meet again on March 31st. At that time, we will continue discussions and take necessary action to remedy LCI’s current gap between income and expenses to ensure the health of the church. We hope to hear from you before then.
Thank you for your continued support.
Peace be with you,
LCI Congregation Council
For additional questions, feel free to contact Carol Huegli at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-304-5942 or Jeff de Ropp at email@example.com or 530-761-3284. We are also exploring how we can use Zoom to hold a Congregation forum.
A Word from Pastor Dan
God’s people have always faced challenges. The New Testament documents all kinds of persecutions and difficulties that those in the early church had to endure. However, for the church in every age, they knew that their prize lay elsewhere than in the suffering of the present moment. Whether it was persecution or imprisonment or even death, their security always lay in the promise of God to them in baptism. Because Christ has died and rose again, there was nothing to fear.
Our congregation is facing a serious challenge, along with the wider church. Our financial picture is less than ideal. No one knows what the future will hold, but God is always full of surprises. Finances in the life of the church ultimately are about our faith – our capacity to trust in God for our wellbeing, and to let go of the small stuff. We must be honest and responsible in our stewardship, and at the same time trust in God’s providence – that no matter what, the Lord will provide. We are entrusted with a mission and we will weather this storm, as God’s people always have, even if there is short-term pain that we have to bear together.
A wise teacher once told me that congregational conflict can be the “chaos of the Spirit doing something new”. Let us hope and pray the Spirit is at work in our midst, bringing about something new. I pledge to walk with you through this as your pastor, as best I can. Let’s keep each other in prayer.
Yours in Christ,
Davis Lutheran Church of the Incarnation
March 19, 2020 Update
Sunday Services: Sunday services are available online. Pastor Dan, Jeff Schultz, and Lindsey Burns will be recording services with video help from Abajh Singh. They will have it available for you to view by 8:30 am each Sunday on the LCI Web Page.
Daily Devotions: Pastor Dan is recording a daily devotion. You may view this also on the LCI Web Page.
Pastoral Care: Pastor Dan is available. Please call him at 530-219-3735 (cell).
Office: The LCI Office is closed until further notice. Please use the office e-mail for communication at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pastor Dan email@example.com, Lindsey Burns firstname.lastname@example.org, and Jeff Schultz email@example.com are also checking their e-mails.
Please note that phone messages to the LCI office are not being reviewed. The safety of our staff and congregation is our primary concern as we take appropriate precautions as recommended by Yolo County Health & Human Services and the California Department of Public Health. LCI staff is reviewing their e-mail regularly while working limited hours off-site.
Activities: all LCI on-site activities cancelled until further notice
Giving: Please keep giving. Our church is your church and sustained through our giving. You may mail checks to LCI (1701 Russell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616) or give electronically through a PayPal account or using a Debit or Credit Card at Give to LCI
LCI WORSHIP AND ACTIVITIES CANCELLED
March 14, 2020 Update
Dear LCI Members & Friends,
Due to the coronavirus pandemic worship and church activities are cancelled through March. As shared in the Wednesday Update, we are taking steps to ensure safe church services in light of the coronavirus outbreak. We plan to provide an email solely for this purpose on a weekly basis until we feel it’s appropriate to incorporate into the Wednesday Updates.
Thank you for those who met with us between services on Sunday, March 8, 2020. Our original plan was to summarize that discussion, but given the more urgent directives from public health experts, we are now focusing on how worship will continue.
Keeping that in mind, we all are responsible to keep our church healthy and disciplined during this time. You have provided immense support to Pastor Dan, Jeff de Ropp and me to provide leadership for LCI. Given this responsibility and following the decisions of other Davis community churches, we are canceling the Sunday 8:30 and 10:30 services through March.
We understand that this is a larger step than discussed on March 8, but it is one based upon prayer and current information; specifically, that in the past week cases of infection continue to rise rapidly, WHO has declared a pandemic, the Governor has declared a state of emergency, and locally all schools were closed as of Friday afternoon. In addition, the California Department of Public Health issued guidance that included the following: "Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines."
Other Davis churches closing tomorrow include Davis Lutheran Church, University Covenant, First Baptist, Discovery Church, Bayside Davis, Davis Chinese Christian Church, Davis United Methodist, St. Martin’s, Davis Community, and Christ Church.
What will be available?
Recorded Worship Services: A recorded service will be available after noon Sunday on the LCI YouTube Channel found here.
Pastoral Care: Yes, Pastor Dan is available by phone, Face Time, e-mail, or in person by appointment.
In closing, canceling an “open” service was a very difficult decision. It is complicated by the critical need for weekly offerings to ensure bills are paid. Even though we will not see each other, this is your church. Please continue your offering in some way:
LCI online giving: Click here
Giving by Mail: LCI, 1701 Russell Blvd. Davis, CA 95616
(We do not currently have a way to drop envelopes when church is closed).
As a reminder, check regularly for up-to-date information at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov, stay home if you have a virus or the flu; and lastly, pray for those responsible for leading our country and the world, those responding to the needy, and those suffering from anxiety and loneliness during this time.
Pastor Dan, Carol Huegli & Jeff de Ropp