LAMPLIGHTER -  March 2017 
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Congregational Church of Soquel

March 2017

Dear Friends in faith,
The season of Lent, of which we are now a part, is often compared to a journey—more like an odyssey, really. We begin in a harsh and desolate place on Ash Wednesday, and yet arrive home on Easter Sunday to shouts of “Hallelujah” and, with it, the news that, “Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!”
From darkness to light, sorrow to celebration, ashes to easter lilies, death to life; Lent is a forty day itinerary that leaves no stone unturned, no emotion neglected and no reflection left to chance. What is more, if we remain on course—following spiritual coordinates that unite an evening of ashes to a sunrise of life—we discover within ourselves the promise of renewal that the season is meant to bring.
So, let me invite you on this extraordinary journey of the spirit. The activities and events described below are designed to help you navigate your way through the wondrous landscape of Lent. Everyone is invited to take part, and each part has something for everyone. Music, study, fellowship, food, worship, community service, symbols, silence and more; it’s all part of an odyssey that is the Lenten season.
Mark Fountain

Our Lenten Experience 2017

In Reflection
In Study and In Service

our Lenten journey begins . . .

March 6 7:000pm, Lenten Study on Mondays, with Rev. Patti Our Inward/Outward Journey of Faith
(March 6, 13, 20, 27 and April 3 in Parrish Hall)

March 11 Women’sRetreat:
The Many Colors of Love (9am-3pm)
An inspired time of sharing and reflecting on the greatest loves in our lives and the service that follows.

Hand to Hand Service Project/Our Faith In Action
March 25, 8am to 11:30pm

Palm Sunday Special
Intergenerational Program during Second Sunday Brunch

 Maundy Thursday Communion Service
April 13, 7:30 pm

Easter Sunday!

Easter Sunrise Celebration @Capitola Beach
9:30am Easter
Service with Special Music by the Chancel Choir

As I write this Lamplighter article, I am aware that right away, March 1st opens our season of Lent with the Ash Wednesday Soup Supper and Service. Each year as Lent begins I try to find ways to draw closer to God and deepen my faith so that I may serve the Lord with more commitment. It is sobering at times to realize how difficult it is to be disciplined in my actions, whether in study or prayer or service. My heart is always willing but somehow life keeps getting in the way – and then I remind myself as I remind you, that God doesn’t ask us to be totally successful, just faithful. So, in my efforts to spend more time with God, I will be leading our Monday Lenten Study once again, and I will be facilitating the women’s retreat and personally I will be journaling in daily prayers and I will be serving whenever I can to share God’s love and compassion this season. I hope you will join me along the way and we can discover the insights that God has for us together.  Lent is a journey, traveling the dusty roads with Jesus to the Cross of Calvary and on to the glorious Easter Resurrection. I look forward to your companionship here at Congregational Church of Soquel.  
I feel very honored to have been asked to be moderator.  I appreciate your confidence in me.  Please feel free to contact me if you have concerns or want to share something special about our church.
We had a wonderful council meeting today where individuals enthusiastically shared all that is going on at our church.  It is so apparent how much love each of them have for our church, our church family and our neighbors.
In January we had a great annual meeting where we learned all about our new Logo.  A special thank you to the Logo Committee for all of their hard work on this project.  Each time I look at it I see something different that represents our church.  We also had a special day where the congregation had the opportunity to check out books from our lovely library.  A big thank you to Library Committee.
I hope at this special time of Lent, you will be able to take part in the wonderful bible study, special activities and the beautiful church services that will help us to prepare our hearts for Easter.  We are so fortunate to have Reverend Mark and Reverend Patti to lead us in these activities.
It is hard to believe we are approaching our 150th birthday in May of 2018.  The committee is busy planning special ways to celebrate this special occasion.  If you are interested in helping, please let Dave Miller or myself know.  I want to thank Dave for his leadership of this committee.  He does an amazing job.
I consider our church a family.  A family who cares deeply about each other.  If you know of someone needing a little cheering or some assistance please let me, the Deacons or Reverend Mark know.  A little visit or a special card can brighten their day and let them know they are being thought of.  What a great way to share God’s love!
May God Bless Each of You!
Cindy Boram
We are so thankful to have two new families joining us in church school.  We continue to have lots of fun sharing about God’s love.
We made special Valentines for some of our church family that could use a little cheering up.  I received so many kind remarks about how people enjoyed getting cards from our younger members.  We also made cards for our wonderful church staff.  We are so thankful and appreciate each of them.
Singing in church is lots of fun.  We enjoy singing with the congregation.  I know the congregation enjoys having our young people in church.  I see lots of smiles when we enter the sanctuary.
We look forward to participating in the Palm Sunday and Easter activities.  The children enjoy waving the palms.
A special thank you to a wonderful church school team for their loving hearts and generosity.  They are truly devoted to sharing God’s love with our young people. 
Looking forward to this special time as we prepare for Easter.
With God’s Blessings,
Cindy Boram
A new year has begun, and we start off by reflecting on how well this past Christmas season went!  We thoroughly enjoyed the festivities, and hope you did too. There was something for everyone:  great music, our wonderful children’s play, uplifting messages, and the joy of giving to others.  The message that Jesus brought of love, caring and compassion filled our hearts. 
Looking forward, we have Lent and Easter ahead.  March 1st is the first day of Lent, and we celebrate with a simple meal of soup and bread followed by services, starting at 6:00 p.m. in Parrish Hall.   Rev. Patti Haaheim is leading our Lenten Adult Education on Mondays, filled with learning and experiences.  Then we move on to Palm Sunday and Sunrise services where our students play a prominent role.  If you haven’t yet made it to a Sunrise service, you are missing out – always a memorable event!
Our Youth Group is alive and well, and more activities are planned.  We hope to hear more from them soon, so get ready for Taco Sunday and our annual plant sale, just to name a few.
Our group continues to plan these wonderful events, which enrich our church experience.  Take part in them, and you too will feel God’s presence close to you! 
Gloria Wells
The Board of Trustees met after a two month rest, for our first meeting of the year on 2/21/17.
We had a lot of material to cover and I want to THANK all of our members for being so attentive
and thoughtful during our 3 hour meeting.
As some of you know, we had some repairs that needed to be made during January & early February.
The heater in Parrish Hall, the big room part, needed new parts and a new blower and we had to put
in a new sewer cleanout because we were having major backup problems in all of our toilets.  That being said, we have already spent 10,000  in repairs to our campus.  Here are some more repairs that we see coming up in the near future: 
1) termite/tenting the Sunday school building; 2) pressure washing all 4 of our buildings, including the sanctuary; 3) painting all 4 buildings and finally 4) landscaping, getting a better design with drought resistant plants and drip system all around our campus.
We also had a request from one of our parking lot user groups to see about more lighting on the Main Street end of our parking lot.  This does make sense, as we have no lighting down there.  After much deliberation, we are checking into puting up a pole with a solar panel on it. We are working with the Board of Fellowship about repairing vs replacing the dishwasher, working with the Music Committee
regarding repairing/replacing the organ chimes.  The Trustees are also working with the Human Resource Committee in making a "package" so we can hire a new Office Manager.
We have had some vandalism in Parrish Hall in the women's bathroom.  Someone, kicked in a
drawer in the vanity and then threw toilet seat covers all over the floor.  We don't think it was
a User group, but we do ask that everyone who closes up, double check the doors to make sure
they are locked.  Some of the doors are swollen from all the rain and need an extra shove.
There is also some concern about people coming onto other church campuses on Sunday mornings, almost demanding money, and then there has been vandalism to cars.  So we are asking everyone
to be "aware" of who is on our campus.
Finally, there is time for Thanks and blessings.  We are so blessed to have such a faithful
congregation, who goes above and beyond when we put the call out.  We could not manage
our facility without you, Thank You!  We are happy to report that we have received $1,868 in
interest from our investment with the Community Foundation.  We have put this money into
Capital Improvement account. Now for the extra thanks:  Cam Hanson who came and hand
washed the mold off of most of Parrish Hall, Steve Gullickson who has started the cleanup
on the old gardening shed, Chris Hanson who has installed new LED fixture up off of the
roof line over the Parrish Hall door into the parking lot, he replaced the light switch in the
men's bathroom in Parrish Hall and he repaired the sink in the High School Sunday School
room. I hope I have not left anyone out, the whole congregation deserves a huge Thanks.
Joyce Trybom
Chairperson, Trustees
I have always enjoyed the privilege of serving on our Missions board over the years.  It is gratifying to know that with gifts of time as well as resources our church is able to reach out to help our neighbors in need, both at home and abroad.
This winter we are focusing on efforts that benefit the needs of the homeless in our community who, quite literally, have come to our doorstep. CCS supported The Great Chili Cook-Off, a grand fundraising effort sponsored by the Mid County Homeless Coalition, with proceeds targeting the need for portable showers.  We will be helping staff the showers on occasional Saturday mornings.

 We will also be supporting the Winter Shelter program, helping to prepare and serve meals in Santa Cruz for 4 nights in April. Any volunteers??
Monetary donations disbursed so far include Community Bridges, Manna Ministries and Stop Hunger Now, which is supported by the NACCC.  The Human Race was our February Mission of the Month.  Donations will provide seed money for A Taste of Soquel, benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank. 
With gratitude for your generosity and support –
Dorothy Nicholson and Laurel Jarnagan, Co-Chairs
The Board of Deacons had its first meeting of 2017 on February 15th.  We would like to welcome new members Doug Burklo, Cindy Ruhsam and Patti Waldron.  Doug informed us that he will be moving to Bend, Oregon and will need to be replaced.  We are currently looking for another Deacon.  (Doug, wishing you all the best and you will be missed!)
Old business included: Communications with Members and Friends, Membership Roll Updates and 150th Celebration.
New Business included: Our New Communion and Reader / Announcer Schedules.  (The Board voted in December to have our ushers assume greeting duties, as well as their usual Sunday responsibilities.)
We look forward to working with and for your this year!  Please let us know when and where we can help.
Bill Abraham
The Library Committee met in the fall to discuss methods to bring attention to the library's collection. There were several suggestions and among them was having a Library Day in Parish Hall.  We thought that would be a good starter for the year.   We also settled on several other fetes that can be held throughout the year to promote the collection. The Library Day was a real success and we had great participation from the congregation  I hope that you had the opportunity to check out the items, and find out how easy it is to borrow items.   So, stay tuned for the next event.
 Susan Cellarius
Stress-proof your life with 5 Minute Retreats for Women by Sue Augustine.  This is a book with 100 two page inspirational sections.  You could read one in the morning, one mid-day and one in the evening to complete the book in a typical book check-out time.  Or renew the book a couple of times to finish at a more leisurely pace.
You might want to read some with a friend or family member, (including men.)  As a quote by Mark Twain says, “Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy, you must have somebody to divide it with.
Check for this book in the church library.  There are also many other great books members can check out and enjoy.
Christian Preschool Classes ~ Best Friends 
Learning Ways had a very busy end to 2016 and beginning of 2017! We had a fantastic Christmas party! Our Best Friends were sincere and wonderful in their song presentations and delighted in welcoming families and volunteers to our classroom!

The three babies we have been waiting for are here! 2 little girls (7.8 oz and 6.9 oz) and a not-so-little boy (9 lbs 12 oz) were born between Dec. 31 and February 14. They are such dear little sweeties. Our Best Friends are feeling very grown up at this point! 

Learning Ways is delighted to welcome the Kotila family to our program. We are so happy to have 4 year old Creedance with all his enthusiasm and creativity!

Our volunteers have been fantastic!!! The children are so blessed to have Story-Teller Dan Reed, Nana Lorraine Abraham, Grandma Patti Haaheim, Grandma Kitchy Burdette, Grandma Robin Gordon, Mommy Malaka and Mommy Amy sharing their love and talents!

The children have been continuing to learn and thrive! Best Friends have been working on numbers, letters, shapes, and colors. Best Friends enjoyed stories, crafts and a Valentine's Day party. The children made special Valentine Bags for all our Volunteers.

We have been talking about all the ways our Lord shows His love for us. Jesus is our Best Valentine! 
The children have been planting new seeds and finding amazement in all the ways God insures new life for plants! 

These 3 and 4 year olds are mastering the books of the Old Testament and learning about Moses. Best Friends are also getting very good at singing "Tear the Roof Off", a song about Jesus healing the paralyzed man. These children amaze us!

Best Friends are learning about important character traits... "Be Dependable"... "Tell the Truth"... "Help Others"... "Follow the Rules".  We discussed some of the rules children have in their homes: "Stay off the table." ~ "Don't put on lipstick until Mommy says it's ok." ~ "Stay out of Mommy's jewelry." ~ "Don't let the dogs out." ~ "Play in the backyard where there aren't any cars." ~ "DON'T WEAR MUDDY SHOES IN THE HOUSE!" (Yell that one extra loud!)  

Teacher Bethany has found many ways for the children to use their bodies and get rid of extra energy during these rain storms! 

We are learning about Presidents Lincoln and Washington for the last part of February. All of the children are enjoying saying "Emancipation Proclamation"! 

Learning Ways children are very busy!
"For God so loved the world....."
Aren't we blessed?
Teacher Marji and Teacher Beth

2 Thursday

10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

5 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship
11:00 am 150th Committee Meeting

6 Monday
12:00 pm Alice Circle Lunch @ Severinos
7:00 pm  Lenten Study in Parrish Hall

9 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

11 Saturday
9:00 am - 3:00pm Women's Retreat

12 Sunday 
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Second Sunday Brunch
11:00 am Learning & Worship meeting in Community Room
4:30 - 6:30 pm SYF Game Night

13 Monday
7:00 pm  Lenten Study in Parrish Hall

15 Wednesday
6:15 pm  Board of Deacons in Church Office

16 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

19 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship

20 Monday
12:30 pm Lydia Circle in Parrish Hall
7:00 pm  Lenten Study in Parrish Hall

21 Tuesday
7:00 Board of Trustees Meets in Church Office

23 Thursday
10]5:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

25  Saturday
8:00 -11:30 pm  Hand to Hand

26 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship & Taco Sunday!
11:00 am Church Council Mtg

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm SYF Roller Skating
Lamplighter Reports Due

27 Monday
7:00 pm  Lenten Study in Parrish Hall

30 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

2 Sunday

8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship
11:00 am 150th Committee Meeting

3 Monday
8:30 am Alice Circle at IHOP
7:00 pm  Lenten Study in Parrish Hall

6 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

9 PALM Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship & Second Sunday Brunch
Intergenerational Program

11:00 am Learning & Worship Meeting
Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri

13 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall
7:30 pm Maundy Thursday Service

16 EASTER Sunday
Easter Sunrise Celebration @Capitola Beach
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am
Easter Worship Service with special music by the Chancel Choir

9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship
12:30 pm Lydia Circle in Parrish Hall

17 Monday
12:30 pm Lydia Circle in Parrish Hall

18 Tuesday
7:00 Trustees Meeting

19 Wednesday
6:15 pm Deacons Meeting

20 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

23 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship

22 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

23 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship
11:00 am Church Council Mtg
4:30-6:30 pm SYF Fellowship & Dinner

Lamplighter Reports Due

27 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

30 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship

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