News & Events
From the pastor…
January 3, 2024
We have entered a new year, 2024, which promises to be … interesting. As a general election year, there are stressors that many of us can expect, especially in our extremely polarized political landscape, where many Americans feel like they cannot even talk to each other. Challenging times like these prompt us to remember what our faith is all about; as I heard someone say recently, Christians are “prisoners to hope”. We are rooted in the good news that God has revealed himself in the most unlikely of places: in the cross, which was an ancient torture device on which the Son of God was placed, in order to end his ministry and message about God’s reign. It didn’t work. Jesus’ followers carried on with his message, and his life, death and resurrection are a real promise to us of the hope that comes despite the presence of darkness, sin and evil in our world. And while those are real forces that we need to be honest about, there is nothing and nobody that can take away true hope from those of us who are baptized into Christ. At the same time, as we are committed to God’s grace and mercy, which bind us into one, we must be equally as committed to God’s justice as outlined repeatedly in Scripture; that includes caring for and advocating for the “least of these” – those who are poor, destitute and lost or hurting in mind, body or spirit. Let’s keep that in mind as we look ahead to what are likely to be tense conversations with friends and family and important discussions about our fundamental values as a country. We have the opportunity to share Christ’s light with all of God’s children, and to bear witness to God’s goodness in creation. In other words, our hope lies in God’s word, in the sacraments of Baptism and Communion, and in the fellowship of our faith, not in the outcome of any given election. That does not mean that all policies, positions or candidates are equal, but it does reframe what has become seemingly intractable divisions. At least a church, we are all one in Christ Jesus – that’s what truly matters. And we minister to a fallen world that is redeemed by God’s love.
See you in church!
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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.
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