Dear Members, Friends, and Supporters,
We enter into this Advent season with the expectation of rebirth. Jesus arrives in a most unconventional manner: Mary bearing down in the hay of a stable, with Joseph acting as a midwife. Jesus arrives and they all survive. And, then the celebration begins with the shepherds announcing the birth of God’s son.
This has been a year of unconventional worship. We invested in our online presence with new computers, microphones, images, and Jeannie who puts it all together in a weekly offering. We have kept our young musicians busy accompanying our seasoned singers to present songs you can sing along with at home. And we added a web manager who created a re-imagined website that presents all things NLBCC well. We worshipped outside for many months paying, for the first time in my history at a church, a sound engineer. What a difference it made inside as well! Musicians can focus on their songs; I can focus on pastoring the people. Since Karla has been with us, I have not had to stop worship to tend to sound nor put my misbehaving microphone down and shout the sermon.
In our sanctuary, we learned we can worship with our masks on and have included rhythm instruments in our praise. We have been able to bring some of NLBCC to the world, filming our song before prayer, and the pastor’s prayer for our weekly online worship.
Monday mornings I film Bob and me leading a Bible Study on Facebook live. It has morphed into a Zoom experience which I then share on Facebook.
We continue to be a source of assistance to many through contributions to the food pantry, the Strengthening Family Network, Corona del Mar, and Lori who supports our church and local mission. By the end of this year, we will have given out food, clothes, toasty toes bags (socks, hygiene supplies, and gift cards), and baskets full of cleaning supplies. We also added an Independent Living Specialist to our 2022 budget to match a grant given to us. By caring for those with one time or short time needs to enable them to live independently, we hope our church can reach those we do not yet know.
Our new budget includes a “growth” line that requires new giving to support the new positions of outreach (web manager, Independent Living Specialist, and Sound Engineer). If Spirit moves you to do so, you can set up a monthly offering or give a one-time gift through PayPal. You can also send a check to NLBCC, 1115 East Market St, Long Beach, CA 90805.
Thank you for your time in reading this celebration of what God has made possible, your prayers, and your responses.
Love, Pastor Heather