Greetings from Interim Pastor Jay

Today is only my third day on the job, but I am already so impressed by what I have witnessed at ECLC. From the welcome I received, the meals together, the events on the calendar, and the conversations I’ve had around the office, I can tell that you are a loving community of people who care for one another and the world. You are led by gifted individuals—both lay and staff—who are thoughtfully and faithfully helping the congregation through a very difficult time. I feel honored to work with Pastor Jeff, Deacon Lauren, Pastor Susan, Kelly, Paul, Melissa, Kristian, Lisa, Isaac, Jessica, Nina, and all of the ECLC members I have met so far. This is a remarkable place, and I trust the Holy Spirit is present.

I also appreciate the openness and honesty I have heard in conversation about Pastor Stephanie’s death. This congregation is a safe place for being vulnerable in sharing emotions, questions, doubts, and faith. One of my hopes during my time here is that I can be another safe person to talk with about your experience of grief or any other challenges you may be facing. If you would like to sit down together, don’t hesitate to call the church office or email me at jcarlson@eclc.org.

I’m looking forward to worshipping with you for the first time this Sunday. I expect the Spirit will be present as we gather in authentic, beloved community around Christ’s gifts of Word and Sacrament.

Special Guest Wanda Battle

On Sunday, October 14th our special musician will be Wanda Battle. Wanda is a wonderful, joyful, and powerful gospel singer and is also the tour guide at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. She brings a sparkling spirit and big, beautiful voice to those with whom she sings. She will lead us in freedom songs from the civil rights era as well as joining the band for our Blues/Gospel liturgy at both worship services. Wanda will join Mark Swiggum to lead the Sunday Forum in the Sanctuary at 9:45 am. On Saturday, October 13th all are invited to church at 7:00 p.m. for a rehearsal with Wanda to learn the songs that we’ll sing on Sunday. We will have sheet music written in four parts so we can learn the parts before singing them in worship.

Please join us for an uplifting Sunday!

Wednesday Night Live! Confirmation

This year we are exploring a new format for Confirmation and Middle School at ECLC — with worship & instruction on Sunday mornings, and experiential & relational ministry on Wednesday evenings. Both are important aspects of growing in faith, and becoming beloved community.

Here is what the Fall Pilot will look like, September until December:

• Sundays: Worship together as a family at 8:30 or 11 a.m. Confirmation Instruction for grades 6-8 from 9:45-10:45 a.m. in the Creekside Room.

• Wednesdays: Wednesday Night Live from 6-8 p.m. with dinner in the Fellowship Hall, Music & Mindfulness in the sanctuary, and onsite & offsite experiences, including Bible Deep Dive (BDD), Makers/Gamers, and Movers, to engage the whole person (body, mind, and spirit).

We have a fantastic team working behind the scenes and walking alongside ECLC middle school youth & families; a team inspired by Pastor Stephanie, beginning last spring. We give thanks to Dawn & Jonathan R. for their leadership on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings; for additional members of the planning team: Anne & Joe L., Michele V. & Dan M., and Chris O.; for small group leaders and hospitality: Anne H and Steph R Y, Joe & Anne L and Nancy O-P, Darren L, Tom R, Jeanie T, Becky S-B, Julie & Tony S. Of course, we also give thanks for our confirmands and their families!

At the end of this four-month pilot, we will evaluate whether this format is working and resonating with the 20 families including 29+ ECLC youth participating in Confirmation and Middle School Ministry this year!

If you have questions about Middle School and Confirmation Ministries, the four-month pilot, or ways that you can serve in this ministry, please contact Kelly.