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Congregational Letter - May 2018

By Dan Baumgartner on
Dan Baumgartner
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May 10 in Uncategorized
To: The Hollywood Presbyterian Family                                           May 2, 2018
Re: Updates
 
Hi friends- It’s past time for an update letter from your Senior Pastor.  Here are a few brief things to know, be reminded of, celebrate or pray over.
           
I.      Worship- Yes! We have madeit through 8 months of the new worship schedule, with the early service at 830am in Wylie Chapel and the combined sanctuary service at 11am.  How is it working?  We still have work to do and adjustments to make. But a friend from a different city asked me about worship at Hollywood Presbyterian a few weeks ago, and here’s part of what I said about the 11am service:

Can you imagine worshipping in a vibrant community of 500-700 people...in a very diverse and urban setting, in a downtown location, surrounded by hipster young churches, declining mainline ones, homeless friends and freeways...which:
 
-utilizes a traditional choir and organ, a band, children’s groups, teen groups and bell     choirs.
-uses a mix of lay leaders, staff members and interns, men, women, and varied ethnicities    to lead worship.
-is diverse in every way: racially, economically, geographically and age.
-has a loose liturgy which varies from week to week.
-draws more and more from neighborhoods closer to the church.
-consistently preaches from the scripture.
-has an evangelically conservative view of scripture, alongside a desire to invest heavily     in the issues of a major city.
-makes room for kids in the service.
-welcomes people who are homeless and less stable in some ways.
-demonstrates connections to both global and urban mission partners.
-is as generationally mixed as you can get- a potpourri of young families with kids,   families with teens, singles of all ages, a strong young adult group, a growing group of   30-s and 40-s, a healthy contingent of folks with adult kids, and a strong seniors group-   who all mix together for a time of worship...
           
When I was done describing that, my friend exclaimed- “I can’t imagine that is happening anywhere else in Los Angeles!”  I don’t know about that. What I do know is that we aren’t trying to be unique- just living into who we are.  It is truly a beautiful thing God is bringing together at Hollywood Presbyterian.

This was especially evident during the Lenten season, including the Good Friday service with Reality LA Church and two wonderful worship times on Easter morning.
 
II.       Kids, kids, kids! -  We recently had a ton of kids and families on campus for the world-renowned Spring Wing Ding- people bringing neighbors and friends for a carnival-like atmosphere. The accompanying auction raised money for our thriving Pre-School. A great Vacation Bible School is just around the corner, followed by dozens of youth and children heading to Forest Home for summer camp. There are three infant baptisms this month, and more babies on the way.
                                              

                                              
III.      Mission Partners - On April 15, a number of local mission partners participated in two very vibrant times of worship, with great stories of the love of Jesus being lived out in our neighborhood and city. “If you want to go fast, go alone,” the African proverb says, “but if you want to go far, go together.”  We are so thankful for strong urban partners like Youth First, Young Life, Oasis, Avenues, Jews for Jesus, Broken Hearts, DOOR and many others, along with our own Lord’s Lighthouse and winter refuge work.
  
IV.     Mission Trips - Two trips are currentlyon the calendar:
-Our young adults will journey to Dallas, TX to participate in the International Justice
Mission Prayer Conference September 27-30.  We partner with IJM to fight human trafficking.
-Elder Jack Hardgrave will journey to Malawi June 21 to July 9, working with others to host two camps for pastors and spouses. 
 
V.      Finances - At of the end of March 2018, church finances were reasonable. Summaries are provided monthly in worship bulletins. For the year, expenses are below budget and outside income is growing. We are a bit behind in expected giving, and that is important to catch up on. Your faithful giving is what allows our church to make a difference in the city for Christ.
 
VI.     Summer Schedule-  As in past years, we will change our schedule slightly for the
summertime:
     - June 10th is Celebration Sunday, with all of our music groups leading us in one               worship time in the sanctuary at 10am.
     - June 17th begins the summer schedule, with worship at 8:30am (Wylie) and 10am         (sanctuary).
-          Adult Classes - will choose their own meeting schedules. Michael Bruner’s Breaking News class will take a break. And the summer-only Art, Theology and Culture class at 9am will feature some fascinating leaders bringing fresh insight to living out our faith.

VII.    What’s with the dirt pile?! Our apologies. The seemingly simple project to pave the dirt next to the staff parking lot and stripe it for parking has run into City of LA delays on permits, design and fees. It WILL happen. It’s just going to take more time. Thanks for your patience.
 
VIII.    Other - Space does not permit: Our Elders will have a summer leadership retreat, as will the Deacons...the Actors Co-op has a summer camp for young people...May 30th is a Women’s Night of Worship event, we’ve started a sermon series on King David...whew.
 
Thank you for your investment in our community...this is way more than a place to go to church... We ARE the church!
 
Many blessings,
 
        Pastor Dan Baumgartner

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