2018 Annual Report

Page 1



Pastor John


Adult Christian Education


Budget & Finance


Bookkeeper & OďŹƒce Coordinator


Congregational Life




Agape House Progress Report








Student & Family Ministries


Sunday School Coordinator




Music Director




Nominating Committee


Session & Statistical Report



The Liturgy of Our Lives JOHN CHASE, PASTOR My dear friends,

We have a mulberry tree in our front yard that drops leaves every year, beginning in December. Every few days I pick them up, and in February, I’ll prune the branches. At times it feels like work. At times it feels like a gift. But mostly it feels like both. This is good work that God has given me, and it comes every year as regularly as Christmas and Easter. It has become part of the liturgy of my life.

Liturgy means “the work of the people.” So today I’m thinking back over 2018 and the liturgy of our life together as a congregation, the work we did, our worship of God.

Our hard-working Elders and Deacons did a tremendous job this year, alongside so many other church and community volunteers, and this excellent work (liturgy!) 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.

First off, I cannot say enough about the incredible work of our staff: Grete Hansen (Sunday School Coordinator), Roger Johnson (Bookkeeper / Office Coordinator), Jane Shelly (Music Director), Jenny Smith (Accompanist), and Daniel Weidlich (Custodian). They give so much of themselves to the work they do here at First Presbyterian Church. I am grateful to minster alongside each one of them, and alongside each one of you as well!


This year, I watched you care for one another and those in our local community. You prayed, brought meals, sent cards, and made calls. You sewed pillowcases, showed up in hospital rooms with flowers and a smile, played instruments, and raised your voices in song. You volunteered in the church garden, tended a colony of bees, mowed lawns, and planted and harvested vegetables. You shared your lives over bowls of hot soup, and broke bread with friends and strangers. In the stars you hung, the friendship pads you collected, the turkeys you carved, and the rides you gave, you are tireless. In all that you do, in the gifts you shared, you have brought light and life to those around you.

In 2018, we welcomed and embraced new friends, and deepened our relationships with those we’ve known for years. We fostered a warm and inviting environment in which to know and be known. We hosted another Gaelic Heritage celebration, and our children continued their Sunday morning work of Godly Play, encouraged and led by an enthusiastic team of leaders.

This year we (nearly) completed the Fireside Room remodel, and made great strides in our work to transform the upstairs of the Agape House into a rentable apartment. So many have volunteered their time sanding, painting, demolishing and installing in order to make this happen.

We also ventured into the community, worked with Habitat for Humanity, hosted our third annual Community Carol Sing, and participated in an Interfaith Thanksgiving service. Some of you gave of your time and resources to organizations like COTS, while others pedaled mile after mile for protein (and then decided to get married). We did all this and so much more.


In 2018, we celebrated with one another our successes, and supported one another in our griefs and losses. Many of you faced physical, emotional and/or relational struggles, and as a community we held one another up as we said goodbye to dear friends who died or moved away. Your perseverance in joy and in sorrow, and your commitment to one another, is truly inspiring.

You are a dedicated, hardworking congregation. You take your liturgy seriously. Which is one reason we spent so much time over the summer reflecting on God’s Sabbath command, to wonder how we can slow down when we’re running too fast, cut back when we’re over-committed, pay attention to what Jesus is doing all around us. Work and Sabbath. It’s simply the model that God laid out for us to be a healthier, happier people. That’s what I want for each of us, and for this congregation. That the liturgy of our lives would include both work and rest. That we would trust God to give us all the time we need to be God’s faithful people here and now. Amen!

On a more personal note, Tara and I are now in our sixth year with you in Petaluma. In 2018, we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. Tara is such an amazing woman, and I’m not sure I could do what I do without her support. I am a better person and pastor because of her. We make a great team! We continue to be grateful for our local friends and family—Jeffrey and Shelley, Molly and Omi and Na’ia, our neighbor Denise, Seth who works on my car, Rene at Cottage Gardens, all our friends at the Petaluma Coffee & Tea Company, the Wild Goat Bistro, Brian’s Comics, and…YOU!

What a blessing it is to be a part of this incredibly faithful, inclusive, and loving congregation. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside you, and am eager to see where Jesus leads us next. In all seasons of life, to God be the glory, now and always.

Your pastor, servant leader and friend,

John Chase


Adult Christian Education WAYNE ROBERTS, ELDER 2018 Commission Members: Jim Donnelly, Loren Dooley, Linda Dragoo, Wayne Roberts and Pastor John Chase (ex-oďŹƒcio)

The mission of the Adult Christian Education Commission (ACE) is to provide opportunities for members to develop and deepen their relationship with, and become followers of Jesus Christ. We facilitate, encourage and oversee small groups and retreats, and maintain the Church library of resource material for individual and group study.

Four small groups have all been active for a number of years. Their studies include the Bible, Christianity, Judaism, world religions, religious history, and Christian living. The camaraderie, companionship, and confidentiality that exists in our small groups is an incredibly meaningful part of our time together. All groups welcome more participants, and ACE is ready and willing to help start new groups.

The Adult Bible Class meets on Sundays after Church in the Fireside Room. Larry Hebert leads this small study group consisting of Colleen and Larry Hebert, Joanne Lubbers, Nelda and Wayne Roberts, and all others who would like to join. The class usually starts with past week experiences and things of congregational interest. They completed studies of the Acts of the Apostles and Hard Sayings of Paul during 2018. A study of the Gospel of John will be next.


The Women with Spirit, led by Cretia Horn, meets in a home on Tuesday evenings. Other participants included Linda Dragoo, Paige Juneau, Nelda Roberts, Joyce Schipper, and Sharon Spaulding. These ladies recently finished studying Let There be Light. They’re now comparing different Bible translations in their study of Isaiah. Group activities include occasional movie nights and shared meals. They attended a Christmas concert in December and donated items for Christmas Cheer Stockings. The year’s end saddened with Cretia’s and Joyce’s mothers passing away.

The Ladies’ Bible Study meets on Wednesday mornings in the Valley Orchards Library Room. Linda Dragoo currently leads the group. The year’s participants included Virginia Anderson, Elizabeth Arntz, Doreen Coe, Sally Davis, Linda Dragoo, Carol Goodrich, Pat Huber, and Barbara Russell-Cambra. They are missing Vivian Swain who is now with the Lord, and Nan Krelle who moved to Chico. They just completed a study of biblical history and plan to start a study of the Book of Psalms. They stuffed Christmas Cheer stockings for about 60 lonely and needy seniors. This was almost an insurmountable task this year with two less people in the group.

The Men’s Bible Study led by Jim Donnelly meets on Thursday afternoons in the Fireside Room. Participants included Larry Hebert, Jack Schipper, Steve Crook, Pastor John Chase, Wayne Roberts, Eric Goodrich, Earl Spurgeon, and Dan Ellecamp. In 2018, the group enjoyed reading and discussing books from various religious viewpoints. N. T. Wright had fresh insights in Paul and


“The primary task of being educated religiously—or better, Christianly—is not the achievement of better understanding but of faithfulness… We become faithful just to the extent that we learn to participate in the activities of the people of God we call the church.”

—Stanley Hauerwas

Surprised by Hope. Robert Alter gave a Jewish viewpoint in The David Story. The Legacy of Luther and Paul’s Letter to the Romans energized the group historians. Henri Nouwen’s ideas in Discernment finished the year. Next up: How to Read the Bible to look at the Old Testament. Their prayers were answered with Jim Donnelly’s rapid healing after his hip fracture in November.

Pastor John led a Wednesday night dinner and discussion series of Walter Brueggemann’s book, Interrupting Silence: God’s Command to Speak Out. Stay tuned for another soup + bread + book series later this year.

We didn’t coordinate any retreats in 2018, but seven women participated in the January 2019 Westminster Woods Women’s Retreat. We’re currently checking for interest in the February 12-17, 2019 Westminster Woods Men’s Retreat.

The Church library is now back in the Fireplace Room, with the books on new shelves. Six boxes of surplus Bibles and other religious books were donated to Uganda Missions and Schools through Hessel Church. A dozen surplus NIV Bibles were donated to the Rio Vista Assembly of God Church.

If you’re looking to grow deeper in faith and community, check out the library or come and join one or more of our small groups. We look forward to seeing you!


“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.� Matthew 18:20


Budget & Finance SHAWN DOOLEY, ELDER Commission members: Shawn Dooley, (Chair), Dan Ellecamp (Treasurer), Eric Goodrich, Dan Mulkey, Pastor John Chase (ex-oďŹƒcio) Sta: Roger Johnson (Bookkeeper).

General fund 2018 experience and 2019 budget: The table below presents the line by line detail of the general fund budget and actual experience for 2018. The Budget and Finance Commission recommended a 2019 budget to Session. The budget (if approved) will be presented to the congregation at the January 2019 Annual Meeting.

Actual pledge giving came in below 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 Synod. The principle balance is now below $100,000!

Ray Swain Building Fund (RSBF): Giving to the RSBF in 2018 totaled $23,360, which helped fund mortgage payments.


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.

Over the last few years we have had great participation in per capita giving, This year was no exception in that 100% of our members, who actually participate in church activities, paid their per capita in 2018.

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. The finishing touches are being done and this wonderfully rebuilt room is already functional!

Completed and delivered employee performance review for Bookkeeper.

Reviewed and updated the BFC Policy and Procedure manual, including a revision of the Endowment Fund policy and procedure.

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: Dianne Trumpy, 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

2018 Budget and Finance Commission


First Presbyterian Church of Petaluma General Fund Income

2018 Budget

2019 Actual




115, 315


21, 870


Plate Offering




Other Offering

















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


Outreach Missions Local


The Office ROGER JOHNSON, BOOKKEEPER & OFFICE COORDINATOR 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. There were no major surprises in the bookkeeping function this year.

We had a few groups that contacted us about renting our facilities and we are pleased that the Petaluma Chorale will be rehearsing in our Sanctuary beginning this month.

Throughout 2018, there has been activity to upgrade the housing space in the Agape House to create a rentable space. Thanks to all who have provided time, talent and treasure to make this a reality.

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 who will be participating in worship as lay reader, Discovery Time leader, audio and video, and ushers. In addition to producing the Sunday Worship bulletin and announcements each week, I also 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 pique your interest. If you aren’t receiving The Exchange…you should! Let the office know and we’ll sign you up right away.


A special shout-out to Steve Crook, who each week comes into the office to fold bulletins, distribute materials for worship and works to make the office run smoothly. Thanks, Steve, for your hard work and the apple fritters!

I reported in last year’s annual report that we would be issuing a new directory in 2018; that didn’t happen but we are actively working to get an updated directory distributed in the 1st Quarter of 2019.

I also record attendance data into our Church Windows system. Those sign-ins that you fill out each week, are entered and reports are provided to the Congregational Life Commission on the attendance so that we can reach out to people who may need contact or support.

I look forward to continuing to support Pastor John and Congregation in the day-to-day functions of the church.


Congregational Life ELIZABETH HALE, ELDER Commission Members: Elizabeth Hale (chair), Carol Goodrich, Cretia Horn, Earl Spurgeon, Pastor John Chase (ex-officio) Role and Accomplishments of the Congregational Life Commission included:

Hosting All-Church Events — Gaelic Heritage Sunday, Kick-off Sunday BBQMission Faire, and Thanksgiving Luncheon.

Young At Heart — Luncheons with Education Sessions, Guest Speakers, Topic Series, and Entertainment. Specific events included Fun with Bingo, a Trek to India with Homer Johnstone and Pam Sommer, a Tai Chi workout with Patrick Johnson, rolling wildflower seed balls for “Wildfires to Wildflowers” with Mary Beth Hull, and a December Christmas Carol Sing.


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

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, Habitat for Humanity, and PEP Housing.

Membership Roles — Review who are members, transfers, departures, and deaths.

“And I hope you discover that nothing is more precious in the world than the gift of a friend. Friendship takes time, because we don’t easily come to know one another. But in a world that believes time is in short supply, God has given us all the time we need to become friends with one another. And in becoming friends with each other, we learn to become friends with God.” —Stanley Hauerwas


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), Karyl Crook (At-Large), Dan Ellecamp (At-Large), Chris Olson (AtLarge), Mike Roberts (At-Large), Wayne Roberts (At-Large), and Mark Sturges (AtLarge), Pastor John Chase (ex- Officio)

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

The Facilities Commission met 6 times throughout 2018 and as a result was able to accomplish the following with a very limited budget but an awesome group of church member volunteers.


2018 Project Achievements Completed the Fireside Room remodel.

Completed the removal of all old paint and reorganization of the garage.

Completed the Facilities Commission Elder Manual.

Continued the ongoing rental use of the church campus with the Fijian Congregation, California Redwood Chorale and Pacific Empire Chorus for 2018, as well as adding the Petaluma Chorus as a new tenant for 2019. Negotiated restructuring of rental agreements and use fees for tenants and outside use. These rentals along with Hope Counseling and a few other individual one-time uses generated rental income over $25,000 that went into the “General Fund” of the church budget.

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

Re-striped the upper parking lot spaces.

Held two all campus “Work Days” on March 24th and September 29th. Various projects around the campus were completed such as cleaning, weeding, painting, trimming, and hauling away debris. A total of 25 people volunteered their time & talents to maintain our beautiful campus during these events.

Launched the Garden Project; building vegetables boxes, bee hive and involving twenty volunteers including a local Girl Scout group. Providing vegetables to the congregation and community groups.

Repaired equipment, several front lawn sprinklers, and created irrigation system for Garden Project.


The “Mow Team” of David Behrs, Dan Ellecamp, Gil Dias, Dan Mulkey, Mark Hale, Keith Lew, Wayne Roberts, Jack Schipper, Mark Sturges and Troy West, kept the lawns edged and mowed throughout the year.

Created the Agape Exploration Committee and completed cleanup of Agape House upstairs. Installed plumbing, cabinets, and finished painting. Generated $2,200 for this project with a church wide Rummage Sale. Met with local nonprofits to explore rental use.

2019 Goals Purchase and install window covers and furniture for the Fireside Room.

Replace the broken window in Roger’s office. Power wash the exterior of the Sanctuary & painting of Sanctuary where needed.

Develop Community Garden Project on campus. Build more garden boxes and increase community participation. Develop and install water system that uses cheaper water for garden.

Complete and rent Agape House.

Continue to replace sections of fence around the campus before they fall down. Perform maintenance on many of the benches around the church campus.

Power wash the exterior of the Sanctuary and do some painting where needed. Continue to develop a strong volunteer team to help maintain our wonderful, yet aging, facility with limited funds and manpower.

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


Jack Schipper I Facilities Commission Elder


The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it‌ - Psalm 24:1


Agape House Progress Report MARK & DEBORAH STURGES, PROJECT LEADERS The Purpose: Session approved this project to improve the upstairs apartment area to make it habitable to rent to some of the underserved population in need of housing in Petaluma.

Expected Occupancy Date: Spring 2019. Expected monthly rental income: $1300-$1600/ month.

We are pleased to report the following accomplishments:

• Clarified with the City of Petaluma that the Church may rent this space to individual(s) who have groundskeeper or other staff duties assigned. This is stated in the property deed. Details about how this rental will be managed are not specified in the deed and are therefore left up to the discretion of the church.

• Removed old kitchen cabinets, plumbing, sink, counters and wall materials to make way for new materials. Removed much debris in and around the Hope Counseling building upstairs, basement and yard area.

• Lee Oleata, a former member of the church was hired to repair or replace plumbing in the kitchen and bathroom areas. He installed new pipes and drains in the kitchen and bathroom and replaced the entire broken/leaking sewer line in the basement area.


• Chris Olson purchased and installed a new gas wall heater unit and vented this to existing chimney. We are ready to contact PG&E to set up the meter and test this unit, but may delay this until we are within 30 days of occupancy as monthly fees will be due from date of inspection.

• Chris Olson and Mark Sturges installed new wallboard and insulation in the Kitchen area.

• Debby Sturges commenced the painting in the bathroom area and is organizing paint crews to clean and paint the interior as needed.

• New Cabinets for the bathroom and kitchen have been ordered and will be ready for pickup mid-December. Debby will organize the staining and finishing of the new cabinets prior to their installation.

• Adam Hoagland, nephew of Wayne and Nelda Roberts, very kindly offered to rewire the electric outlets for the new kitchen. Final hook up and testing after we install all the cabinets. Adam has donated many hours and thousands of dollars of his highly skilled time to help us move this project forward. His contribution to his effort has been huge!

• A Special Rummage Sale, Organized by Deb Sturges and Diane Olson was held in November, resulting in $2525 to help pay for upcoming expenses related to cabinets, and new appliances. Many volunteers and contributors made this a big success.

• Additional Budget of $3000-$5000 may be necessary to complete this project depending on our ability to source affordable, good condition appliances, and make necessary repairs to rugs, windows and doors for warmth and security.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mark and Deborah Sturges


Mission Commission ROGER JOHNSON, COMMISSION MEMBER There were several church activities that were supported by the Mission Commission in 2018.

Veggie Table Sales – Thanks to the hard work of members, especially Jack Schipper, the Community Garden produced leafy greens, squash, tomatoes, and other organic vegetables, which were available for distribution after worship each Sunday in the summer and fall. Total proceeds in 2018 were $488.00, which will be distributed to help feed people in our community and Presbytery.

Matching Gifts Program – In its fourth year, this Advent program matches donations members make to local agencies (and this year, to Camp Fire Relief). Session allocated $1,450 for matching gifts for 2018. Because contributions were less than $1,450 by members we were able to overmatch their donations as follows (match amounts was a percentage of the total giving):

Agency Member Gifts Matching Gift Hope Counseling

Christmas Cheer Petaluma People Services Butte Fire Relief Mentor Me Community Matters Totals

775.00 50.00 50.00 150.00 100.00 50.00 1,175.00









Cents-ability Donations – Session has authorized that plate donations received on the third Sunday of each month be designated for Cents-Ability, the Redwood Presbytery’s Hunger Task Force Food Program. In 2018, we received $350 through plate donations and an additional $129 through direct contributions via the Jar in the Narthex – a total of $479 for Food for people in our Presbytery.

We participated in fund raising for Pedal 4 Protein and the Alzheimer’s Association Walk this past year. Members of our congregation (Troy West, Christie West, and Pam Sommer) participated in the actual ride activities and we supported them financially through member contributions.

We sponsored a special concert in our Sanctuary of the Klezmer Jubilee Ensemble to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders. The afternoon included music, food, dancing instructions, a raffle and information on how DWB goes into war-torn areas to help the vulnerable and injured. Over $2,500 was raised. Plans are currently in the works to host another concert in 2019 to provide DWB funds for their work in war-torn Yemen.

Habitat for Humanity – We partnered with other churches in Petaluma to participate in a weekend building project; a kind of mission trip here at home! Together we worked on a house that was being rebuilt following the devastating fires in Santa Rosa. What a great way to support others in our local Sonoma County community.


Outreach JANE SHELLY, ELDER 2018 was a very busy, productive year for the Outreach Commission.

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 – Paige Juneau organized our Table Talk Dinners to much success. The big change is that we have opened up the invitation process to signups on Sundays.

In the spring, we hosted the Russian Men’s Ensemble in a concert that brought some new faces to our church.

Our second 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 25

celebration. In 2019 the date will be a little earlier (May 19) and the Morris Dancers will teach our congregation how to do some of their dances!

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. We had great signups for Habitat for Humanity and Table Talk Dinners. Many thanks to Congregational Life for organizing the food!

In the fall, the Outreach Commission sponsored a fundraising event for Doctors Without Borders in support of the wonderful work this organization does.

Our Third Annual Community Christmas Carol Sing was a wonderful success. We added hot cocoa, coffee donated by the Petaluma Coffee & Tea Company, mulled cider, and cookies to the festivities. In 2016, we had about 75 people come, last year it was closer to 150. This year, we had about 200. People were calling ahead to see if the event was happening again. Plans for 2019 will include a sign in Walnut Park ahead of the event, and making the pathways more festive looking by creating luminaries. Many thanks to Mark Hale for preparing beverages, and members of the congregation who supplied cookies. Many people expressed astonishment that the event was free and several offered donations.

The brochure was completed and approved by Session. We'll amend it once we have a Mission Statement with congregational input and session approval.

The Commission’s plans for 2019 will be to continue the major projects we are already doing. We want to drill down and do them better rather than adding new events to our agenda.

Submitted by: Jane Shelly, Bob Heyman, Phoebe Antonio, Mark Hale, Paige Juneau, Pastor John Chase (ex-officio)


Personnel Commission MARK STURGES, ELDER The Purpose of the Personnel Commission is to provide an orderly and considerate means for the Session to build and maintain a productive and healthy work environment.

Personnel Commission members in 2018 included Mark Sturges (chair), Lonna Mulkey, Mike Glose and Larry Hebert, who resigned early in the year, after many distinguished years of service. Pastor John Chase is a member of this and all commissions and attended meetings when his schedule allowed.

Significant Activities in 2018 included completing the annual personnel evaluation for the Pastor and all Staff and distributing the signed evaluations as required. Official copies were then filed in the church office. All Evaluations were completed and filed by early summer.

Special thanks are extended to Homer Johnstone, the outgoing Chair of this commission, for his help in transitioning the documents, process and procedures to the new Chair.

Goals for 2019 include completing all personal evaluations by early June, seeking a new member of the commission, and conducting a review of employee salaries and staff hours.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mark R. Sturges, Chair, Personnel Commission


Student & Family Ministries DIANE OLSON, ELDER Commission members: Diane Olson (chair), Grete Hansen (Children’s Worship Center Coordinator), Mike Roberts, Maureen Behrs, Susan Lehman, 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 continued to increase throughout the year, with the addition of several infants and toddlers. As a result, we created a six-member team of nursery volunteers who rotate to provide loving care for our youngest visitors in our clean and cheerful nursery.


Godly Play We were blessed with an outstanding team of dedicated volunteers who helped us continue our second year of offering the Godly Play curriculum. The lessons took place during both the Lent and Advent seasons, bringing hands-on learning of the Bible stories that allowed our children to truly experience God’s love. We look forward to continuing to expand this curriculum in the coming year.

COTS T&T Drive This year instead of backpacks, COTS requested we provide personal bath items for their clients. Because of the generous donations of our congregation and two local dentists, we collected more than 40 sets of bath and hand towels and washcloths, as well as 85 toothbrushes and more than 100 tubes of toothpaste. We also collected a box full of soaps, shampoos and other toiletry items. Everyone at COTS was very grateful for this wonderful community outpouring of support for their clients.

Other Successes Our children continued to learn about gardening and harvesting in our wonderful church garden throughout the year. The children planted, watered and then harvested the bounty of their efforts, sharing the vegetables on the community garden table to raise funds for local charities. This continues to be a favorite part of the children’s worship experience.


Godly Play GRETE HANSEN, SUNDAY SCHOOL COORDINATOR 2018 was another wonderful year for the children of First Presbyterian. Godly Play has been such a blessing and is the perfect fit for our Worship Center. We were able to let the children encounter God through quite a number of Godly Play lessons this year; during Lent, Advent and several stories during the months of October and November. Our Storytellers and Doorkeepers are so dedicated and they are an integral part of helping each child on their spiritual journey.

During the summer months we took some time to help out in the community garden. We planted, watered, harvested and even assisted at the Garden Table after church on Sunday mornings. The kids take a great deal of pride in the garden and they take their jobs very seriously. We were all amazed at the size of some of the radishes and beets we grew!

This year, our community outreach looked a little dierent. While Operation Back to School has been very successful the past several years, we chose a new way to give back to the community for 2018. We reached out to COTS to find out what they were lacking and sought to fill those needs. Thanks to our generous congregation, we were able to collect towels, washcloths and toiletries to provide to those who might otherwise go without.

Our nursery is growing! We have several little ones playing and learning each Sunday morning and with the help of Diane Olson, we also have a fantastic rotation of volunteers playing right along with them.

I am certain that 2019 will be another wonderful year for Family & Student Ministries!


We are all members one of another, and one of us is Jesus Christ, God and man.� - Austin Farrer


Worship What a wonderful group of Worship Commission members we had for 2018: Dave Behrs (Elder), Carol Goodrich, Jim Roeters, Tara Chase, Jenny Smith, Jane Shelly, Pastor John (ex-oďŹƒcio), and the Holy Spirit who supplied a great deal of inspiration and direction.

Together we collaborated, pooling our collective wisdom and creativity to design welcoming spaces of worship where people could encounter Jesus. That included special services like Ash Wednesday, a service of Healing and Wholeness, Maundy Thursday, Easter, Pentecost, Gaelic Heritage, World Communion, All Saints and Christmas Eve.

We’re so grateful for the many, many members of the congregation who serve alongside us to make it all happen: the AVL team, the Worship Ensemble, Choir, Bell Choir, soloists, quartets, trios, ushers, greeters, Worship and Discovery Time leaders.


Thanks to those who hang stars and banners and construct art installations to enhance our worship space. Thanks to those who prepare Communion bread and juice, put out friendship pads, straighten chairs, and provide rose buds to celebrate the birth of a child.

How wonderful that we had the privilege of participating in three infant baptisms this year: Georgiana Hemphill (Gigi), Ella Goodrich, and Adeline Nash!

We’d like to especially thank Carol Goodrich for her many year of service making sure that the sanctuary is adorned with paraments of the season, flowers, banners, candles, wreathes and garlands. Thank you, Carol!

We say thank you to our incredible Music Director, Jane Shelly, who shepherds our many musicians, and whose creativity often takes us to places we never imagined we’d go. Thank you, Jane!

Also a huge thanks goes out to our talented pianist/organist Jenny Smith. We’re so grateful for the ways she shares her gift of music, week after week, to support our many voices in song. Thank you Jenny. You're a superstar!

What we do as a Commission would mean nothing if it weren’t for all of you, those named and those unnamed, who serve with us, and worship beside us. What a joy it is to gather around Jesus together 33

and worship him, giving thanks for his faithfulness, and for the many gifts he has given us‌including the gift that is each and every one of you! Thank you for joining us in making our worship here at FPC a part of the liturgy of your lives!


Make a Joyful Noise JANE SHELLY, MUSIC DIRECTOR 2018 was a very exciting, productive year for the Music Ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Petaluma.

If there was an overarching theme to the entire year, it was to establish more points of collaboration between and among the various ensembles. As an example, the Worship Ensemble joined the choir in several anthems. Another underlying theme is to recognize that our members have obligations to family and others and that they should not feel badly if they are called away and cannot be at a rehearsal.

The bell choir performed in the church services every other month and were featured in the spring and Christmas concerts. We developed a group of substitute players who could be called upon to help if a regular member was unable to get to a rehearsal. This is very important because each member is responsible for several notes in a piece and, if those notes are not represented, it makes it diďŹƒcult to rehearse.

The Worship Ensemble performed every Sunday during the school year. During the summer, Pastor John gave a sermon series on keeping the Sabbath and making sure we all have enough respite to recharge. Following that teaching, the Worship Ensemble (WE) had a much lighter schedule for the summer. The WE was featured in the spring concert, performing “Come on Up to the House,� which was then taught to the congregation as a song to be sung during the service. Tara Chase made hard copies of all the WE songs and we put them into binders so the members now have all the songs. The rehearsals are more streamlined as we prepare to help lead the congregation in singing.


This year, the Choir prepared some very difficult anthems for Easter and the spring concert. Most notably was “The Heavens are Telling,” from Haydn’s large oratorio “The Creation.” We made sure that we sang a variety of music, drawing from classical, traditional anthems and gospel music. Our spring concert, “The Heavens are Telling,” raised funds for both the Mission Commission and the Music Reserve Fund.

In the fall, the choir again tackled some difficult anthems reflecting the themes Pastor John designated for each Sunday. As an example, his overarching theme for advent was the names by which Jesus is called in Isaiah 9, notably, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” What better anthem could there be than the chorus from Handel’s Messiah which quotes that exact passage from Isaiah? It was a stretch for our choristers but they rose to the occasion and sang it beautifully.

No report of our Music Ministry can be complete without a major note of appreciation to our wonderful talented accompanist, Jenny Smith. She enthusiastically takes on every project we ask of her. She rehearses with the men’s quartet in the early mornings, plays with the WE whenever asked, tackles difficult accompaniments for the choir and anyone who needs her for special music. She is a blessing to our Music Ministry. Without Jenny, I could not possibly fulfill my role as Director of Music.

Another person I must recognize is our church office manager, Roger Johnson. He produces the fliers and concert programs for us and keeps me on my toes when it comes to deadlines I need to meet! Many thanks, Roger!

We have raised funds for the Music Reserve Fund which will be used to buy Jenny a concert piano bench and supplement the financial needs to upgrade the sound system. Because of the Music Reserve Fund, I have been able to give small honoraria to the members of the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra who have come to play with the choir and the soloists we have brought in.

As always, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to do this work with this wonderful Music Ministry and this wonderful congregation.

In gratitude, Jane Shelly


Deacons JOYCE SHIPPER AND MARCILLE ROTH, DEACON MODERATORS 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. During 2018 we coordinated four memorial services for families. In addition, we purchased 10 arm chairs for the sanctuary and the Fireside Room. The Deacons are responsible for the following:

Communion: Susan Lehman, 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: Phoebe Antonio led this ministry during 2018. There were 80 prayer requests and 42 ebirthday cards sent as well as 30 other emails to provide members with prayer opportunities, check on address changes and follow up with requests.


Transportation: Pam Sommer and Joyce Schipper coordinated 51 rides in 2018. There is more information under visitation for rides. Rides were coordinated for church as well as other activities and appointments.

Kitchen: Amy Dooley and Troy West worked to keep the kitchen clean and tidy, often cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer, cleaned the coffee pots and kept our supplies well stocked.

Visitation: Pam Sommer and her team accomplished the following during 2018:

Calls – 117 Visits – 46 Conversations – 47

Rides – 40 Lunches – 3 Moves – 1

Cards – 84 Emails – 3 Christmas cards – 25

$50 gift cards – 2 Lilies delivered – 4 Meals coordinated – 19

Christmas cards delivered with Poinsettias – 18

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

Support Services: Pam Sommer took charge of this position which includes the medical supply lending closet, meals to families and helping provide for other needs as they arise.

Treasurer: Michelle Carroll kept our finances up to date.

Co-Moderators/Secretary: Joyce Schipper and Marcille Roth shared these positions during 2018. They planned and facilitated Deacons’ meetings, served as Deacon representatives on Session, distributed the minutes, coordinated the memorial services with the deacons’ team and families and offered support as needs arose for our congregation.


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 at-large members on this committee. FPCP members then vote on the candidates in the fall.

The 2018

Nominating Committee consisted of:

Elder representatives:

Diane Olson and Wayne Roberts (chair) Deacon representative: Marcille Roth Members at Large: Steve Crook Victoria Ellecamp 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.

Our major effort this year was to identify candidates to serve as Session Elders, Deacons and Nominating Committee members in 2019.

In November we presented a list of officer candidates to the congregation, including Steve Crook and Lonna Mulkey (Elders), and Sara Dooley, Andrew Schipper and Nelda Roberts (Deacons).

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



Class of 2019

Shawn Dooley (Budget & Finance) Elizabeth Hale (Congregational Life)

Class of 2020

Steve Crook (Facilities)

Lonna Mulkey (Adult Christian Ed.)

Diane Olson (Student & Family Ministries)

Jack Schipper (Mission)

Jane Shelly (Outreach)

Mark Sturges (Personnel)


Class of 2019

Class of 2020

Phoebe Antonio Michelle Carroll

Sara Dooley

Nelda Roberts

Amy Dooley Susan Lehman

Andrew Schipper

Joyce Schipper (chair)

Pam Sommers


2019 Members at Large

Mark Hale (at large)

Paige Juneau

Wayne Roberts


Session & Statistical Report JASON DOOLEY, CLERK OF SESSION

Session Meetings

Statistical Information

January 18 February 15 March 16 April 19 May 17 June 21

Membership — 12/31/17

July (no meeting)

August 16

September 20

October 23

November 15

December 13

Congregational Meetings

January 28

November 18

Those preaching the Word of God during worship in 2017

Rev. John Chase: January 7, 14, 21, 28; February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 11, 18, 25, 29; April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; May 6, 20, 27; June 3, 10, 24; July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; August 5, 12, 19, 26; September 2, 9, , 16, 23, 30; October 7, 14, 28; November 4, 11, 18, 25; December 2, 9, 16, 24

Rev. Judy Slater: March 4



Confirmation of Faith

Reaffirmation of Faith

Certificate of Transfer








Certificate of Transfer

Removal of Membership






Membership — 12/31/18


Infant/Child Baptisms

Teen/Adult Baptisms



Holy Communion was served times:




Rev. Linda Powers: May 13, October 21


Go now in peace, Never be afraid. God will go with you Each hour of every day. Go now in faith, Steadfast, strong and true, Know he will guide you In all you do.


Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Isaiah 60:1-2