October 26, 2023
Dear Church Family,
I wanted to update everyone on where we are with all of the many shifts and changes that have been happening over the past month.
Renovations are well underway at the former Connection campus, now Joe’s Kids, with the hopes of completion up to the gymnasium before the end of the year. Part of that renovation process will include updating the current restrooms more than likely sometime the end of November/beginning of December. The 11:00am worship service continues to meet in the gym and agreed that during the weeks that the restroom renovations are being done that they will meet at Celebration UMC. The Celebration family and Pastor Stacy have graciously offered to shift their morning service to accommodate our 11:00am service and welcome us into their space while the restroom renovation is happening.
The visioning team has begun work exploring the ways we might come together as one Church for the future should the space at Joe’s Kids no longer work for us. The visioning team is discussing with Servant Council the possibility of working with a strategic planning consultant to help us in this work with support through a grant from the Centers for Congregational Excellence. At the center of this work will be the mission of our church – and giving better shape and substance to what we are called by God to be and do.
The merge of Walnut Creek into First has happened relatively smoothly thanks to our transition team, lots of prayer, and all of our great church family that has offered to help through this process. Pastor Stacy has made the move over to First and is settling into her new office space and roles. Our SPRC will be working to put together the specifics of Pastor Stacy’s job description as Associate Pastor for her time with us. In addition to worship support, Stacy will be helping with discipleship, care ministry, mission, and community engagement through outreach and collaboration with the other UMC’s in the community.
Regarding Walnut Creek assets, our finance team and Ann Baker have been working hard with the former finance chair from Walnut Creek to move accounts over. Most of the moveable items in the church have been moved out and are being repurposed. The Walnut Creek Church property has been listed with Peterson Realty and there has already been interest. The organ at Walnut Creek has been sold to Church of the Good Shepherd (the other church where Terry White plays on Sunday mornings). The transition team and Servant Council have been in conversation about the ways we can continue the legacy of Walnut Creek through our historian Janet Kirkpatrick and the resources that are generated and will keep us informed.
Please continue to be in prayer for our church as we navigate through these shifts and challenges.
Excited to see where God leads,