2017 Annual Report

Page 1



Pastor John


Adult Christian Education


Budget & Finance


Bookkeeper & OďŹƒce Coordinator


Congregational Life










Student & Family Ministries


Sunday School Coordinator




Music Director




Nominating Committee


Session & Statistical Report



Just Getting Started JOHN CHASE, PASTOR My dear friends,

It was a wonderful year to be a part of First Presbyterian Church. What a joy it is to see how far God has brought us, and to dream about where God might be taking us!

Our hard-working Elders and Deacons did a phenomenal job this year, working alongside so many church and community volunteers. This excellent work is now recorded and celebrated in the pages of this Annual Report. I hope you will take the time to read through it and see the impact First Presbyterian Church is having on the community around us.

Our staff continues to provide incredible leadership and care for the congregation. This year, we were pleased to welcome Jane Shelly as our new Music Director, grateful for the many gifts Jane brings to our robust music ministry. Jane now supervises and directs all of the congregation’s musicians, choirs, ensembles and soloists.

In addition, I cannot say enough about the strength of the rest of our staff: Daniel Weidlich (Custodian), Roger Johnson (Bookkeeper & Office Coordinator), Jenny Smith (Accompanist) and Grete Hansen (Sunday School Coordinator). They give so much of themselves to the work they do here at First Presbyterian Church. They truly are amazing!

And so are you! In the ways you have cared for one another and for those around us, in the prayers you prayed, the meals you prepared, the cards and notes you wrote, the calls and visits you made, you have shared the care and 3

love of Christ Jesus with those who are sick, or tired, or lonely, or afraid. In the ways you welcomed new members, in the instruments you played, the bulletins you folded, the parking lot stripes you painted, the backpacks you filled, and the pillow cases you sewed.

In the volunteer work you do in the community to bring justice and peace and food and clothes and assistance to those in need, you are tireless. You have been bearers of God’s light, and have made a difference in the lives of others. I am humbled by the way you give so freely of yourselves and of the gifts you have been given.

This year our new Godly Play children’s ministry got off to a great start, supported by a strong team of enthusiastic leaders. We held our first annual Gaelic Heritage Sunday, and people from all over the area came to celebrate our Presbyterian and familial roots. We hosted our second annual Community Carol Sing at Walnut Park and doubled the size of last year’s crowd.

We responded to the housing crisis in our area by starting a partnership with Habitat for Humanity and a dialogue with the city of Petaluma about converting the upstairs of the Agape House into a livable space for a family affected by the Sonoma-Napa fires.

The week of the fires we opened up our campus to those in need, and hosted a community soup and bread fellowship night in the Sanctuary. It was there that we met some of our neighbors, a few of whom we now call friends. These are just a few examples of how God was at work in the life of First Presbyterian Church in 2017. It truly was a season of celebration.

But 2017 was also a season of grief, healing and rebuilding. Many of you faced ongoing physical, emotional and/or relational struggles. Our sorrow deepened 4

when we said goodbye to those who left our fellowship and to those who died over the past year. As a community, we bore that sorrow together, held one another up, and brought our hurt and our brokenness to God during a Service of Healing, Wholeness and Reconciliation. I am grateful for this congregation’s ability to celebrate together as well as walk through dark valleys together. This is what the church is all about.

On a more personal note, Tara and I are now in our fifth year with you in Petaluma. It’s the longest we’ve lived in any one place since we got married. We celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary on an “Amy Grant and Friends” Alaskan Cruise. A truly breathtaking, refreshing, and fun time together. I am so grateful to be married to such an amazing woman. I am a better person and a better pastor because of her. Our circle of local friends and family continues to grow – merchants, musicians, ministers, artists and neighbors – and we are grateful for their love, kindness, and generosity.

We’ve all been together going on five years now, but in some ways, it feels like we’re just setting out. May we continue to follow God in this new season of life and ministry, trusting that God will lead us to the places the world most needs us to go, trusting that God will be with us every step of the way.

“The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”

- Exodus 13:21-22

In darkness and in light, to God be the glory, now and always.

Your pastor, servant leader and friend,

John Chase 5

Adult Christian Education WAYNE ROBERTS, ELDER The 2017 Adult Christian Education (aka ACE) Commission consisted of David Behrs, Jim Donnelly, Loren Dooley, Linda Dragoo, Wayne Roberts and Pastor John Chase (ex-officio).

Results of our efforts this year included the Men’s Retreat at Zephyr Point (Lake Tahoe). This accomplishment was offset by our failure to create interest from our Congregation to schedule any additional retreats. We helped reduce the Church financial shortfall by not making a deposit to reserve a 2018 weekend at Zephyr Point Lake Tahoe.

All 4 of the Church Study Groups continued to provide opportunities for spiritual growth, remained active throughout the year, and plan to continue on in 2018. If you are looking for ways to connect with others while learning and growing in faith, please let me know!

We struggled unsuccessfully this year to identify interest in starting additional Study Groups, but continue to be open to new groups forming in 2018.

Discussions and discernment about where God might be leading us next concluded with the realization that our church family (and the community at large) needs a message of Love and Hope to offset feelings of doom and gloom about the many challenges facing the world today. We are currently planning an Interfaith Service of Healing and Hope scheduled for March 2018. 6

Budget & Finance SHAWN DOOLEY, ELDER Commission members Shawn Dooley, (Chair), Dan Ellecamp (Treasurer), Eric Goodrich, Dan Mulkey,

Sta: Roger Johnson (Bookkeeper), Pastor John Chase (ex-oďŹƒcio)

General fund: 2017 experience and 2018 budget The table below presents the line by line detail of the general fund budget and actual experience for 2017. The Budget and Finance Commission recommended a 2018 budget that was approved by Session. The budget will be presented to the congregation at the January 2018 Annual Meeting.

2017 continued a positive financial trend that began in 2013. Actual pledge giving came in at 103% of budget. On the expense side, BFC commends the commissions for managing expenditures.

We continued to pay down the mortgage principal associated with the reconstruction of the sanctuary in 2003 as part of the loan renewal with the Synod.

Ray Swain Building Fund (RSBF) Giving to the RSBF in 2017 totaled $32,600, which allowed for mortgage payments to be made and completion of special projects carried over from 2016, in addition to those projects planned and completed in 2017.


Accomplishments/actions during the year • Bookkeeper Roger Johnson continued to maintain high standards of accounting with the recommendations made by Shawn Dooley.

• Shawn Dooley completed the annual financial review.

• Dan Ellecamp presented another well-

received and effective skit this year during worship that raised the awareness of our per capita giving, resulting in 90% of our members, who actually participate in church activities, paying their per capita in 2017.

• Eric Goodrich continued to organize and

manage a dedicated and faithful counting team.

• Conducted a detailed analysis of pledge giving during the year.

• Reviewed and recommended additional funding for the Fireside Room reconstruction project.

• Completed and delivered employee performance review for Bookkeeper.

• Reviewed and updated the BFC Policy and Procedure manual, including a new policy and procedure for the Raney Memorial Fund.

BFC wishes to again acknowledge our wonderful Banking Team members who week in and week out enter the data and make the deposits at the bank: Dorothy Petersen, Mike Glose, Mark Hale, Lonna Mulkey, Karyl Crook, Michelle Carroll, Amy Dooley, Dan Mulkey, Shawn Dooley, Eric Goodrich, Earl Spurgeon, Donna Wall, Nelda Roberts, Dan Ellecamp, and Mark Sturges under Eric Goodrich’s leadership.

Respectfully prepared and submitted

Shawn Dooley, Chair I 2017 Budget & Finance Commission 8

First Presbyterian Church of Petaluma General Fund Income

2017 Budget

2018 Actual








Plate Offering




Other Offering





147, 846












Personnel (non ordained)












Per Capita (PCUSA)




Mission Pledge (PCUSA)

















Congregational Life




Student & Family Ministries










Adult Ministry








Total Ministries








Total Expense




Excess (Deficit)




Pledge Offering Non-pledge Offering

Total Offering Other Total Income

Expense Overhead

Budget & Finance Session Total Overhead Ministries

Outreach Missions Local


The Office ROGER JOHNSON, BOOKKEEPER & OFFICE COORDINATOR Each day as I drive to Petaluma I say a little prayer of thanks that I have this job - that I can be useful and be doing work that is fulfilling. I try to keep the right attitude that what I am doing is making a difference in our congregation and in my personal life. I have the pleasure of driving through Valley Ford each day and that is peaceful and refreshing time (especially after the ranches have ‘spread’ their byproducts.)

I wear two hats in my position and sometimes the tasks become blurred Bookkeeper is primarily paying bills and employees, recording offerings and donations, and reporting on them to Session and the Budget & Finance Commission. I am pleased that the congregation successfully “weathered a potential monetary storm” in 2017, as you will hear from the Budget & Finance Commission. The tasks are fairly routine and have some specific deadlines. We switched to a new payroll processor, and it’s had its challenges.

The other hat — Office Coordinator is less structured and can vary in terms of load and timing. Each week it is important to communicate with those participating in worship as lay reader, worship ensemble leaders, Discovery Time leader, audio and video, and ushers. In addition to producing the Sunday worship bulletin as well as the announcement bulletin insert each week, I also compile and edit the Exchange - our online eLetter for event announcements, birthday sharing, sermon recordings, and sharing of a message from the pastor. Often these are completed on Friday - hopefully they are timely enough for planning your Sundays and contain something that will tweak your interest. If you aren’t receiving it, you should! Let the office know and we will sign you up. We produced an updated directory in 2017 and will be issuing a new version 10 again in 2018.

Congregational Life JIM ROETERS, ELDER Congregational Life Commission Members Elder Jim Roeters, Carol Goodrich, Cretia Horn, Grete Hansen, Earl Spurgeon, Tara Chase, Pastor John Chase (ex-officio)

Young At Heart — Linda Fitzgerald, Carol Goodrich, Cretia Horn, Candy Donnelly

Role and Accomplishments of Congregational Life: Hosted all-Church Events — Gaelic Heritage Sunday, Kick-off Sunday BBQ-Mission Faire, Thanksgiving Luncheon, and discussed a future event entitled Festival of Gifts.

Young At Heart — Luncheons with Education Sessions, Guest Speakers, Topic Series, and 11

Entertainment. Specific events this year included a Scam and Fraud Presentation by the Petaluma Police Department and PPD Volunteers, Cretia Horn’s China Trip Presentation, and a December Christmas Carol Sing. Averaged 25 people at each event.

Internal Church Communications — The Exchange, the weekly eLetter distributed to members and friends of FPCP.

Farewells, Celebrations & Relocations, 50th Wedding Anniversaries, Graduations — Specific events celebrated this year: 50th Wedding Anniversaries for Karyl and Steve Crook, Nan and Bill Krelle, Doreen and Gil Dias. Relocation of Bonnie and Paul Donavan to Washington State, and Ledra Brady to Mendocino.

Community Resources — Community Agencies that offer opportunities and services for Congregational needs in Life. Agencies include but are not limited to: Petaluma People Services Center, Hope Counseling, COTS, Home Instead, Mentor Me Petaluma, Petaluma Village Network, Hospice, PEP Housing.

Membership Roles — Review who are members, transfers, departures, and deaths. Letters sent to inquire how the Church can be of service to its members.

Develop a Road Map — This is a proposed future project - Putting together Small Groups, Education, Workshops/Series, Bring in Guest Speakers, etc. to provide important informative information for the congregation. The idea of a Road Map was discussed to really address what do we (individually as well as a church) want. Some of these would/could be coordinated in conjunction with Adult Education, Outreach, and other Commissions. 12

Oh, how good it is when the family of God Dwells together in Spirit, in faith and unity.

Where the bonds of peace, of acceptance and love Are the fruit of His presence here among us.


Facilities JACK SCHIPPER, ELDER Mission Statement To create and manage an ongoing framework for maintaining and improving all church facilities for both the short term and the long term.

Facilities Commission Members Jack Schipper (Chair), Ted Arntz (At-Large), Wayne Roberts (At-Large), Dan Ellecamp (AtLarge) Chris Olson (At-Large), Mike Roberts (At-Large). Gil Diaz (At-Large).

Ministry Maintenance Team Members Mike Glose, Steve Crook, Wayne Roberts, Jack Schipper & Nan Krelle.

The Facilities Commission met 6 times throughout 2017 and as a result was able to accomplish the following with a very limited budget but an awesome group of church member volunteers.


2017 Project Achievements Continued the Fireside Room remodel by removing the trash, completed framing of structure, electrical wiring, windows, insulation, and sheetrock delivery.

Continued to replace several signs around the church campus to reflect the existing newer church sign colors on the front lawn.

Completed the process of replacing the main parking lot lights with LED fixtures.

Continued the ongoing rental use of the church campus with the Fijian Congregation, California Redwood Chorale and Pacific Empire Chorus for 2017 as well as renting the church campus to Ribs for Kids. These rentals along with Hope Counseling and a few other individual onetime uses generated rental income over $25,000 that went into the “General Fund” of the church.

Continued an agreement with the Boys & Girls Club of Marin & Petaluma to use the Sunday School Room on weekdays from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Approved several “Facility Use Requests” throughout the year to hold functions on the church grounds, most of which were church sponsored events.

Re-striped the main & upper parking lot spaces.

Held two all campus “Work Days” on April 8th and September 30th. Various projects around the campus were completed such as cleaning, weeding, painting, trimming, & hauling away debris. A total of 20 people volunteered their time & talents to maintain our beautiful campus during these events.

Repaired several front lawn sprinklers and created irrigation system for Redwood groves.


Completed Re-roof of the garage shed.

Completed major repairs to the Sanctuary front doors

The “lawn team” of Ted Arntz, Bill Krelle, Gil Diaz, Dan Mulkey, Mark Hale, Jack Schipper, Zack Olson, Wayne Roberts, Mark Sturges, Dan Ellecamp & Don White kept the lawns edged and mowed throughout the year.

Completed Kitchen cleanup and stove restoration.

Completed and installed new Holiday lighting in the Sanctuary.

Completed Cleanup of Agape House upstairs and continued communication with City of Petaluma on Residential use.

Continued to develop strategies to maintain the church campus through volunteers without a paid Facility Coordinator position.

2018 Goals Complete the remodel of the Fireside Room, with flooring, walls, & the installation of a gas fireplace insert.

The creation of a complete Facilities Commission manual.

Continue to replace sections of fence around the campus before they fall down.

Paint the kitchen to give it a more modern look.

Perform maintenance on many of the benches around the church campus.

Replace the broken window in Roger’s office.

Power wash the exterior of the Sanctuary & do some painting where needed.

Continue to develop a strong volunteer team to help maintain our wonderful, yet aging facility with limited funds & manpower.

The Facilities Commission welcomes suggestions to these issues as well as volunteers. Please feel free to contact any member of the Facilities Commission.


Jack Schipper

Chair of the Facilities Commission


Mission Commission JASON DOOLEY, ELDER Jesus challenged his disciples to feed five thousand men and countless women and children with just five loaves of bread and two fish. This year, God challenged the Mission Commission to do the same and just like the disciples, we were astounded by the bounty that we found. Somehow God multiplied the gifts of this church to be a blessing to our community and we will continue to work until all have eaten and are satisfied. (Luke 9:17)

The 2017 Mission Commission membership saw some changes as Ledra Brady moved to Mendocino. Her work was missed, but we added the insight of Michelle Carroll to the steadfast work of Roger Johnson, and Carol Goodrich. We also had help from Wayne Roberts and Lara Dooley on some special ministries. We were challenged this year with a reduced budget, but found the challenge to be an opportunity to explore ways to help the congregation engage with the community without requiring financial resources.

We continued to support many of our regular programs, such as the Two Cents a Meal program, the One Great Hour of Sharing and Christmas Joy oerings, and Pedal 4 Protein. We also revived the church garden and produce table, thanks to Wayne Roberts’ hard work. This program provided direct funds to COTS. We also funded the third annual matching gifts program, resulting in over $2,400 in gifts from the congregation to Hope Counseling, COTS, Christmas Cheer, Petaluma People Services, Mentor Me, Community Matters, Giant Steps, and North Bay Fire Relief. The Mission Commission matched these gifts to add another $2,000 in giving!


In addition to the continuing programs, Mission was excited to find new ministries to support. We donated money to support Rebecca Ellecamp in her effort to become a staff member of Campus Ambassadors at Willamette University. We also began the process to partner with Habitat for Humanity to build houses around Sonoma County. Lara Dooley has worked with the Faith Liaison in Habitat for Humanity to gather a group of people who are standing by to help build a home for a deserving family. We look to partner with other churches in Petaluma to participate in a weekend building project; a kind of mission trip here at home!

The 2018 budget for the Mission Commission did not change. On the one hand, this means we have limited funds again and will have to work hard to be effective and efficient with our funds. However, this can also be viewed as God providing new loaves and fishes for us to use to feed the hungry. Considering the blessings we received from five loaves and two fishes in 2017, I’m excited to see what God does with our gifts in 2018!


Outreach JANE SHELLY, ELDER 2017 was a very busy, productive year for the Outreach Commission! Social Media — Facebook, website improved. Under the watchful eye of Phoebe Antonio, the website has been refurbished and kept current. The Facebook page has been used to promote our events. A concerted effort is being made to take and post lots of pictures of our events.

Table Talk Dinners — While this has proved to be more difficult to organize than one would think, plans have been put in place to make these dinners more effective and available to the congregation.

Commission Faire — Again, all the commissions worked together to make sure the members of the congregation and community know what our commissions do, but also who some of our community partners are.


Gaelic Heritage Sunday was a huge success and a wonderful collaboration between several different commissions. Worship, Outreach, Congregational Life and Mission all worked together to make this a wonderful celebration.

New Members — Under the tutelage of the Outreach Commission, we accepted two New Members Classes into the congregation, several of whom have already stepped up to serve on Session or Deacons. Susan Lehman, Dave and Maureen Behrs, Amy Dooley, Michele Carroll, Tara Chase, Paige Juneau and Josephine Kimani were all welcomed in as our newest FPCP members.



Join us inside tonight for an informal gathering to “be” together as community during a difficult time: to share a simple meal, to offer one another support and encouragement, to enter a moment of rest. This gathering is open to all. Drop in for as long or as little as you’d like.


Our brochure saw some good work for improvement. We explored the possibility of a new logo but the decision was made to wait until we have a statement of mission and vision from which we will then investigate a new logo.

In the aftermath of the fires, the church opened its doors for people needing a place to stay, and hosted a Friday night soup and bread open house in the sanctuary.

Our Second Annual Community Christmas Carol Sing was a wonderful success. We added cocoa and cookies to the festivities. In 2016, we had about 75 people come. This year, we had closer to 150. Many people asked to keep the song book to remind them of the event next year.

Submitted by the Outreach Commission: Jane Shelly, Tara Chase, Phoebe Antonio, Mark Hale, Paige Juneau, Pastor John Chase (ex officio) 20

Personnel Commission HOMER JOHNSTONE, ELDER The purpose of the Personnel Standing Commission is to provide an orderly, focused, and considerate means for the Session to build a productive and healthy work environment.

Personnel Commission members in 2017 were: Lonna Mulkey, Mike Glose, Larry Hebert,

Homer Johnstone (Chair), and Pastor John Chase (ex-officio)

Significant activities in 2017 included: • Completed the Annual Personnel Evaluations for the Pastor and all Staff.

• Posted Evaluations in the Individual File

Folders, and filed them in electronic format with the Clerk of Session.

• Assisted in resolving conflicts

• Reviewed staff hours and salaries

• Worked extensively with the Budget & Finance Commission to develop budgets in consonance with significant funding shortfalls.

• Orchestrated the hiring of a new Music Director.

The Goal of completing all Personnel Evaluations within three months (vs. nine months in 2015 and six months in 2016) was not met. It actually took, again, six months in 2017.

Goals for 2018 include: • Completing all Personnel Evaluations within three months

• Successfully managing the transition to a new Chair.

Respectfully submitted,

Homer Johnstone, Chair I 2017 Personnel Commission


Student & Family Ministries DIANE OLSON, ELDER Commission members Diane Olson (chair), Grete Hansen (Sunday School Coordinator), Mike Roberts, Maureen Behrs, Susan Lehman, Pastor John Chase (ex-oďŹƒcio)

We continue to be blessed with the outstanding work of Grete Hansen as she provides wonderful opportunities for our children to grow closer to God. Attendance on Sunday mornings has remained very stable, with numerous guests swelling the class throughout the year.

Godly Play Our most significant accomplishment this year was the December rollout of the Godly Play curriculum. The concept was introduced during Children in Worship Sunday services early this year, and then launched during the four Sundays of Advent in 22

the Children’s Worship Center. More than a dozen volunteers were trained by Dianne Ross, from Bethany Presbyterian Church in Seattle, curriculum materials were purchased or created and storytellers and doorkeepers took part in this hands-on and interactive curriculum. We are looking forward to providing six more Godly Play Sundays during Lent and continuing to expand the program in the coming year.

Operation Back to School Our children and congregation again participated in this program to provide school-ready backpacks for children housed at COTS. Because of the generous donations of our congregation, we were able to provide 10 fully stocked backpacks this year and donate some left-over materials to Mentor Me for their students.

Other Successes In April, we also had a very well-attended Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday and for the Earth Day blessing of the Children’s Garden.

Commissioners also supported Grete and Eddy Hansen and their family’s “Hansen Gingerbread House” in December. Families displaced or affected by the October wildfires were invited to visit the Hansen home on December 10th to receive free gifts, books, cookies, a visit with Santa and face painting. Members of the congregation were very generous in providing cookies and gifts for this project.


Sunday School Coordinator GRETE HANSEN, SUNDAY SCHOOL COORDINATOR 2017 was quite a year for Student Ministries at First Presbyterian. After a year and a half of planning, coordinating, learning and LOTS of praying, Godly Play is here! We were blessed to be able to travel to Seattle to see Godly Play in action in 2016 and then doubly blessed to have Dianne Ross come to us in October to help us prepare for this momentous undertaking.

I am truly humbled by how many members answered the call when we asked for volunteers. Our diverse team of wonderful and loving individuals are working together to help our children encounter God. Each volunteer plays such an important role, whether it be as the Storyteller or Doorkeeper on Sunday, as a woodworker carving each beautiful piece for a story, or as our go-to person venturing out to fetch supplies needed to get started.

This has been a learning process for us all. At times, it has been difficult to let go of our traditional notions of “Sunday School” and how to engage with our children. Some of it felt a bit strange at first; spending most of the time sitting or kneeling on the floor, leading the children in singing and sign language! But when you have the opportunity to watch the process unfold, it is almost magical. When the children lean in to the story, their eyes fixed on each piece and their ears perked up to hear each word, it is obvious that all the hard work is worth it.

We are continuing to help out in our local community through Operation Back to School. Being able to provide backpacks and school supplies for students in Petaluma is a great way for our children to learn the importance of showing God’s love through giving back. I am so excited to see all of the great things that 2018 is sure to bring! 24

Worship DEBI RICHARDSON, ELDER 2017 has been a time of challenge and a time of growth for the worship commission.

Thank you to the faithful Worship Commission members for 2017: Carol Goodrich, Jim Roeters, Pam Sommer, Elizabeth Hale. Tara Chase and staff members – Jane Shelly, Jenny Smith, and Pastor John Chase (ex-officio).

The Worship Commission has been tasked to plan for and oversee the worship of the congregation. We therefore have an interest in all elements of the worship service with particular attention to providing a welcoming atmosphere for visitors and serving the spiritual needs of our congregation.

This year began with the unexpected departure of the music director and some subsequent unrest in the congregation. The Worship Commission had already begun to take a larger role in week to week planning for worship, and continued to do so after the departure of the music director.


Planning for Worship Services has greatly expanded in Worship Commission meetings. At the beginning of the year, the commission was still deeply involved in the weekly planning of the worship services, striving for consistency in the message, delivering music the congregation can learn and enjoy while also including music that has familiarity and deep meaning. When Jane Shelly took the position as music director, much of the planning moved back to the Pastor and the music director. While this has relieved the commission of some demanding obligations, it is important to remember the benefits of collaboration as they occurred. Currently, the Worship Commission has taken responsibility for scheduling Worship Leaders, Ushers, Greeters (Carol Goodrich), and Discovery Time Leaders.

At the height of our collaboration, the Worship Commission began to invite other leaders of the church as worship consultants to the meetings. We were especially interested in bringing Worship Ensemble leaders to the table to involve them more deeply in planning and thinking about our worship services. We also worked with members of the children’s ministry to discuss how worship impacts young children and their families. From this collaboration came many interesting ideas and discussions, as well as a focus on more advance planning and a questioning of traditions, innovations, and habits. Additionally, there was an avenue for multiple voices to be heard.

In the early part of the year, Jane Shelly volunteered her services as Choir Director and Joyce Shipper took the role as Bell 26

Choir Director. We are so grateful for this generous donation of time, energy, and talent.

In April, the Worship Commission was pleased to initiate and manage a search for a replacement Music Director with the Personnel Commission. We developed a new draft job description for the Music Director and worked with the Personnel Commission on the interview process. We happily welcomed Jane Shelly to our staff in the spring.

In the fall, we surveyed the members of the church to gather their feedback about worship. The Worship Commission used the results of this report to guide decisions throughout the year. If you’d like to read the report, please contact the Worship Elder who will be happy to get you a copy.

Sunday Worship • We have continued to provide blended services

throughout 2017 for its universal appeal. It is great to have the choir and Worship Ensemble together and also to have the bell choir, choir and organ performing together. The choir was off through the summer so the worship ensemble led much of the music, with Jenny Smith continuing with piano and organ and other special music and Candy Donnelly also on the organ.

• We have kept the worship time at 9:45. During the summer and the fall, coffee hour was held outside and many people came early to share in the fellowship time, and also enjoy the fresh produce available. The fellowship time outside has been a great time of sharing, is an outward sign of the fellowship of our congregation and has attracted several new attendees and new members. Coffee is moved to the narthex during colder months.

Our worship leadership teams • The AVL team continues to provide both sound

and video (coordinated by Roger Johnson) during our Sunday morning worship services. We have several openings on the team due to some long time volunteers stepping down. We have an opportunity for additional training so we are searching for members who might be interested in helping out in this vital ministry. Please contact Jane Shelly if you are interested in participating.


• Our Choir continues under the talented leadership of Jane Shelly, Music

Director. Our choir currently has 25 singers with Jenny Smith continuing as our fine accompanist. The choir conducted both a spring concert in April and a Music Ministry Concert in December. The choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings. The choir prays each time they are together and their singing continues their prayer. They have fun and work hard. If you have an interest in singing with the choir, please let Jane know. She and the choir are always happy to welcome new members.

• In addition to our vocal choir, our Bell Choir has been faithful in 2017, under

the leadership of Joyce Shipper and Jane Shelly. There are currently 10 ringers. We have top of the line bells that have undergone major maintenance and tuning and are now being safely stored in appropriate storage cases.


• The Worship Ensemble continues to lead us in worship, providing an

opportunity for the congregation to hear and learn contemporary worship music. Now under the leadership of Jane Shelly, our Music Director, there are two Worship Ensemble volunteer leaders - Tara Chase and Todd Haile. Each month, there is a “creative Sunday” where the music is directly coordinated by Jane.

• Our pianist/organist Jenny

Smith continues to support our choir and our congregation each week. Not only does Jenny play the prelude and postlude, but she plays the hymns, accompanies the choir, and plays the organ. Jenny also accompanies many of those singing/playing special music, as well as the worship ensemble on occasion. On some very special Sundays, she also provides Special Music. We are also blessed to have Candy Donnelly play the organ often.


• Our ushers do a wonderful job each week passing out bulletins, helping

people find seats, and taking the offering. The usher group for 2017 was comprised of 8 teams who served on a rotating basis. Currently, we have 13 teams, including several new members.

• Our worship leaders assist with leading worship each week, leading the

opening Prayer, Silent Listening to God, Call to Worship, Prayer of Confession and Scripture reading. We currently have 15 people on the worship leader team. Praise God for the wonderful volunteers we have in this church!

• Discovery Time for the children is led by a rotating team of volunteers,

including Pastor John. This continues to be a wonderful lesson time in the service on the steps of the chancel specifically for our children before they head off for Children's Worship, now using the Godly Play Curriculum.

• Our greeters each week do a wonderful job of welcoming everyone to the

service. This is a great way to get to know people. Contact Carol Goodrich if you would like to be part of this team.

• Thank you to Carol Goodrich for faithfully taking care of our sanctuary

décor, including regular provision of flowers and care of paraments. Carol is ably assisted by the Deacons. Thanks also to all volunteers who have helped Carol and assist with making paraments, decorations, etc.


• We are blessed to have a team of volunteers

who quietly take the lead in decorating our sanctuary for major celebrations of the church. Special thanks to Steve and Karyl Crook, Gil and Doreen Dias, Mike Roberts and Marcille Roth, Paige Juneau and Daniel Weidlich and the host of others who graciously gave their time to transform our sanctuary.

Other opportunities for worship • We held Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday services, led by Pastor John and Tara Chase. These services are in a tranquil environment that is highly contemplative and focused. This service is proving to be valued by more and more members and guests each year.

• A Longest Night service was held again this

year. This service provides an opportunity for prayer and comfort for those grieving a recent or past loss, as well as those seeking a quiet and peaceful space for reflection in the midst of a busy season. Thank you to Phoebe Antonio for taking the lead on this worship service.

• For the first time, the church observed a Gaelic Heritage event in which the worship service honored the roots of the Presbyterian Church. Additional activities and refreshments were planned and executed by the Outreach Commission and Congregational Life.

• During our Sonoma Fires, we offered an

opportunity for neighbors to gather in a safe and welcoming place. We had about 30 people, mostly church members who shared a meal and offered hospitality to the families who came.

Thank you to all who continually and faithfully serve our church. I will finish my term as Worship Elder, and Dave Behrs will take the reins in January 2018. We couldn’t name everyone who is involved in our service planning, preparation, participation, etc. However, we do want you to know how appreciated you are. There are many “silent servants” in our congregation and we want to take this opportunity to thank you.


Make a Joyful Noise JANE SHELLY, MUSIC DIRECTOR At the beginning of 2017, the music ministry had just suffered a major trauma so it was with some trepidation that I approached the choir as director for the first time. It was very apparent, very quickly, that the love and dedication this fine group of musicians feels for this congregation would pull us all through together as we embarked on a new era at the First Presbyterian Ministry of Music.

Joyce Shipper stepped in to lead the Bell Choir for the first several months and the Worship Ensemble pulled together to continue our fine tradition of presenting a blend of traditional and contemporary music in our services.

A new spirit of collaboration became apparent as the groups worked together to learn new types of music. Easter Sunday was a memorable example of this with the bell choir and choir collaborating in the opening of the service. Another collaboration came at the Music Ministry Spring Concert. The title alone showed that there was a new collaborative spirit to be found in the Music Ministry. No longer the Choir Concert, the title itself signaled the difference. Collaborations between the Worship Ensemble, the Bell Choir and the traditional Choir were performed in this concert.

Over the summer, Pastor John and I worked together to begin crafting our fall worship service around the primary themes of the day or season of the church year. A concerted effort was made to have the anthems reflect the themes of the individual Sundays. Hence, the Sunday Pastor John preached on Psalm 122, the 32

choir sang a setting of the Psalm called “I Was Glad.” Siyahamba, a folk song from Africa, was sung on World Communion Sunday, and a new setting of “A Mighty Fortress” was sung on Reformation Sunday.

At the beginning of the fall, Pastor John and I sat down to start working on a paradigm for leadership in the Music Ministry. We also started talking about how to improve the AV protocols and what should be expected of outside groups using our facilities – especially our sound equipment. Matt Payne was hired to troubleshoot our current system and to make suggestions for improvements.

The Music Ministry’s Christmas concert was a great success. Drawing on repertoire ranging from 5th century chant to Baroque music, traditional, contemporary , gospel and rock, our Ministry of Music again demonstrated their ability to accommodate many traditions. The bell choir participated in the chant as well as the contemporary “Charlie Brown Christmas.” The Worship Ensemble collaborated in “Prepare Ye” from the rock opera Godspell, and also in the contemporary Celtic tune “Canticle of the Turning.”

In 2018, we will be continuing our discussions to encourage more collaborations, and be more inclusive, while still striving to reach the highest possible level of musical skill in order to enhance the worship experience for our congregation!

Thank you for the opportunity to do this important work!

Respectfully Submitted,

Jane Shelly


Deacons TROY WEST, DEACONS MODERATOR The Deacons are active in so many areas of the church and are so eective that you may not realize how much they do. We work to improve communication with the church oďŹƒce and with other commissions such as Congregational Care and Facilities.

We continue to update the deacon manual as procedures are refined and improved, especially with memorial services.

The Deacons are responsible for the following areas:

Communion: Victoria Ellecamp, at all designated services, recruited and instructed servers and saw that it all took place smoothly in coordination with Pastor John. Communion is generally served on the first Sunday of every month, in addition to Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Sunday, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.


Prayer Chain: Mark Hale led this ministry which requires daily attention as the requests are usually time sensitive.

Transportation: Mark Hale coordinated rides to church and to church functions. He provided many of those rides himself, and helped people by taking them to where they need to be.

Social Secretary: Marcille Roth took care in sending out cards and notes of sympathy and congratulations, care and concern, thank you and get well cards.

Kitchen: Dianne Trumpy and Troy West worked to keep the kitchen clean and tidy, often cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer, cleaned the coffee pots and inventoried coffee supplies.

Visitation: Nan Krelle led our Visitation Committee, which involved contacting people in need, visiting people in their homes and in hospitals, and recruiting others in the congregation to also participate in visiting people.

Benevolence: Nan Krelle and Marcille Roth oversaw our benevolence ministry, helping provide basic areas of service and financial assistance for those in need.

Support Services: This ministry, led by Pam Sommer and Mark Hale includes large areas of services, such as the medical supply lending closet, meals to families, and helping provide for other needs as they arise.

Treasurer: Pam Sommer kept the finances up to date.

Moderator and Vice Moderator: Troy West and Mark Hale planned and facilitated monthly Deacon meetings, collaborated with other commissions in the church, provided support for a variety of events and needs as they arose.
 Troy West
 Deacons Moderator


Nominating Committee DIANE OLSON AND WAYNE ROBERTS, ELDERS The Nominating Committee represents the congregation in selecting candidates for the offices of elder and deacon, as well as the four at-large members on this committee. FPCP members then vote on the candidates in the fall.

The 2017

Nominating Committee consisted of:

Elder representatives:

Diane Olson and Wayne Roberts (chair) Deacon representative: Marcille Roth Members at Large: Steve Crook Victoria Ellecamp Pam Sommers Earl Spurgeon Pastor John Chase (ex-officio)

Or goal as a committee revolves around prayerfully considering open positions on Session and Deacons to nominate a diverse, capable and energetic cross-section of the congregation. We do this through being ever more purposeful in consulting with a wide variety of members, seeking input, and taking time to listen.

In March we recommended Shawn Dooley to fill an Elder vacancy on the Budget & Finance Commission, and Jim Roeters to step into the role of Congregational Care Elder (now Congregational Life). Both were unanimously elected by the congregation at a Congregational Meeting held on March 26, 2017.

Our major eort this year was to identify candidates to serve as Session Elders, Deacons and Nominating Committee members in 2018.

These excellent candidates were recommended by the committee and elected by the members of the congregation to serve in the following positions:



Class of 2018 (extending 1 year)

Class of 2019

Debi Richardson (Mission) Wayne Roberts (Adult Christian Ed.)

Shawn Dooley (Budget & Finance)

Mark Sturges (Personnel)

Dave Behrs (Worship)

Elizabeth Hale (Congregational Life)


Class of 2018 (extending 1 year)

Class of 2019

Troy West Marcille Roth

Michelle Carroll

Amy Dooley

Pam Sommers

Susan Lehman

Phoebe Antonio


2018 Members at Large

Steve Crook

Victoria Ellecamp

Earl Spurgeon


Session & Statistical Report JASON DOOLEY, CLERK OF SESSION

Session Meetings

Statistical Information

January 24 February 5,16 March 16 April 20 May 18 June 20

Membership — 12/31/16

July (no meeting)

August 17

September 21

October 19

November 16

December 14

Congregational Meetings

January 22

February 19

March 26

November 19

Those preaching the Word of God during worship in 2017

Rev. John Chase: January 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26; March 12, 19, 26; April 2, 9, 13, 16, 30; May 14, 21, 28; June 4, 11, 18, 25; July 2, 23, 30; August 6, 13, 20, 27; September 3, 10, 24; October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; November 5, 19, 29; December 3, 10, 17, 24



Confirmation of Faith

Reaffirmation of Faith

Certificate of Transfer








Certificate of Transfer

Removal of Membership






Membership — 12/31/17


Infant/Child Baptisms

Teen/Adult Baptisms



Holy Communion was served times:




Dave Behrs: May 7; November 12

Tara Chase: October 1

Jason Dooley: March 5; December 31

Rev. Linda Powers: April 23, July 2, September 17


From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. Psalm 113:3