East Shore Calls  Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa  as our next Settled Minister

East Shore Calls Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa as our next Settled Minister

Let the celebration begin! East Shore has voted to call Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa and she has accepted! Let us all take time to sing, laugh, cry, dance, breathe, meditate, pray and whatever else our spirits move us to do as we live through this moment.

After accepting our call, Reverend María Cristina had this to say at our congregational celebration, “This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I know that we’ve only just begun, but I have a deep abiding love that will continue to grow for this beautiful community.”

How did the vote turn out? During the week of April 24 through May 1, 2022, 222 East Shore members voted 100% unanimously in favor of calling Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa. This was well above the minimum votes needed for a quorum and of course bypassed the 90% approval required by our bylaws.

We hoped and believed we were ready for a new called minister and put our faith into action. Collectively we shared our whole selves throughout the entire process. We formed a Search Committee and generously provided input through surveys, cottage meetings, focus groups, and attendance of Beyond Categorical Thinking. We waited patiently and through the first three months of 2022 as the Search Committee did their very best to discern among the many candidates who would be the best match for East Shore. Only with the love, trust, encouragement and faith that the East Shore community continually showed, could the Search Committee have been able to execute their duties so well.

And finally, during the Candidating Week so many of you participated in worship, discussion forums and social events. During that time, we got to know and love Rev. María Cristina and Mama Lily, and just as importantly, they got to know and love us. We showed up with curiosity, practiced loving hospitality, and shared our deep commitment to our mission. In return, they engaged deeply with us and brought their wonderful passion and spirit into our presence. And now we have welcomed Rev. María Cristina and Mama Lily into our East Shore family.

Rev. María Cristina and her mother will now head back to their home in Hayward, California to tend to her duties as the minister of her current congregation. They will be back in Late Summer 2022 to begin her tenure. Until that time, the Search Committee will act as the communications channel between the congregation and Rev. María Cristina.

Getting To Know Us

While we await her arrival let’s welcome Rev. María Cristina by introducing ourselves. Women’s Perspective Team is creating a binder filled with individual profiles written by each of East Shore’s members and friends– in our own words! Your contributions will be a huge help as Rev. María Cristina gets to know her new flock. To assist you we have a form with a few questions and where you may include your personal narrative and photos as well. Copies of the form are available in the office.

Please complete and return it by June 15 by:

  • Dropping it off in the office – there will be a locked box to put it in.
  • Mailing it to Women’s Perspective at the church office.
  • Scanning and email it to [email protected]

Please remember to add a recent photo or two – they will be especially helpful to Reverend María Cristina!

Ultimately the binder, both in physical and electronic forms, will be presented to María Cristina for her use in getting to know us. Completing this small project is, of course, entirely optional but as a gift of sharing ourselves, the Women’s Perspective Steering Team hopes you will participate.

Thank you to all in the East Shore community who participated in Candidating Week and the Congregational Vote as we begin this new era in our journey.

In faith, David Baumgart, Martin Cox, Ann Fletcher, Leta Hamilton, Julie Heise, Connie Hirnle, David Langrock, the Ministerial Search Committee

Annual Congregational Meeting: June 12, 11:30 am

Annual Congregational Meeting: June 12, 11:30 am

Voting members will elect a new Board and adopt a budget for 2022-23. More information will be available in the coming weeks, but please mark your calendars. The meeting will be on Zoom in the same room as worship and in the Sanctuary. Please keep an eye out for details about voting which will be sent in mid-May.

2022-23 Slate of Candidates

The East Shore Nominating Committee has completed the slate of candidates for next year’s Board of Trustees and Nominating Committee positions. This slate will be voted on at the June 12 Congregational Meeting.

The positions in bold print are up for election. The others are informational, to provide a complete list of members who will serve during the next church year.

In addition to the slate of candidates from the Nominating Committee, our church bylaws allow Nominations by Petition. Members in good standing may nominate themselves or others for any position up for election. To do so, signatures of at least fifteen members of the congregation must be presented to the church office at least 21 days in advance of the Annual Congregational Business Meeting along with a signed statement from each prospective nominee of willingness to serve if elected. The deadline this year is May 22, 2022. No additional nominations will be received after the stated period.

Questions about the election process may be directed to the current members of the 2021-2022 Nominating Committee: Leta Hamilton, Sheridan Botts, Marcy Langrock, Ann Carlstrom, Ryam Hill.

Please join us in thanking all our candidates and current Board and Committee members for their dedication to our church!

by Ryam Hill, Nominating Committee Chair

Board Buzz: The Votes Ahead

Board Buzz: The Votes Ahead

Changing Our Voting Procedure

Golly, just when we thought we were out of the woods with voting, we find ourselves back in the fire. We cannot have online voting at our June 12 Annual Meeting unless we change our bylaws before the meeting. But we want to allow healthy debate, both from those in the Sanctuary and those Zooming in. Fortunately, there’s a solution. We can vote to change the bylaws, to allow Zoom votes, with an email or in-person ballot just as we did in the vote to call Rev. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa.

So that is the plan–we will be having a vote to change our bylaws before June 12. The details will be worked out by the ever competent and essential Policy and Governance Committee. You’ll get language of bylaws change to allow Zoom votes, and any background information by email or snail mail, as usual. There will be an absentee option for this vote as well. If the bylaw change passes, we can hold our Annual Meeting in a multi-platform setting, and count people’s votes submitted electronically on Zoom as well as on paper for those in the Sanctuary. We’re happy to be in a congregation that gives voice to the membership. Thus, I’m officially kicking off the Get Out the Vote campaign. Please vote on the proposed bylaws change, and for Board and Nominating Committee, budget, and any additional bylaws changes on June 12.

Budget Town Hall

Your Board has had the pleasure to meet with our ministerial candidate twice, in addition to her two services, and any other open sessions we attended. As of this writing, we have not yet voted to call her as our settled minister. Also of note, we have arrived at a budget to present for your approval. You can hear all about it at the Town Hall on Monday, May 9 at 7:00 pm. That session will be recorded and available on the website.

Minister Transition

While we may still be aglow and full of hope and relief at finally having a candidate to select, I heard of another church that did not get any of their top choices and is left hoping their interim will extend their ministry. So, I feel doubly blessed and lucky that we were matched (it’s often talked about like a marriage!) with Rev. María Cristina.

In closing, let’s remember that part of a transition to a new minister is the warm send-off for the departing Minister. We haven’t had a chance to have a proper farewell with our last several ministers, and it is an important ritual for any church. Rev. Steve Furrer will deliver his last sermon for us on Sunday, June 5. Immediately following the service, the Board will host a short ceremony from the pulpit, and after that, a reception in the courtyard. Details about ways to contribute to a virtual and/or a material gift for Rev. Steve will appear in eblasts later in the month.

As ever, we hold you in our thoughts and prayers as we move forward on behalf of East Shore.

by Mike Radow, Board President

Facilities Updates

Facilities Updates

We have been fortunate to have two full-time caretakers for many years. With the departure of Joseph Newman and the Board’s goal of sustainability, we will not be hiring a new caretaker at this time. That means we have less capacity for specialized, on-the-spot campus services previously provided by staff. Furthermore, as of July 1, Dianne Upton will be going to half-time. With these significant reductions to our facilities staff, we will be implementing some changes that may affect members. Those changes include:

  • Members and renters will be responsible for setting up and tearing down any set-ups. This includes cleaning off tables and sweeping the floors if needed. Instructions and supplies will be placed in multiple locations.
  • The building hours may be limited. With reduced staffing hours, there may be times no one is scheduled to be on site. We are working on a plan to bring responsible members in to help alleviate this issue, but until we are able to train members, we may have to keep the building closed at times.
  • Sundays and special events take priority for staffing.

We thank you for your understanding!

by Dianne Upton, Facilities Manager

Membership & Welcoming

Membership & Welcoming

With COVID, I have had a lot of time to think about the teams I work with, one of them in particular… membership. As we have started getting back together I have realized this team needs reimagined.

The idea is to make a team and a group of volunteers.

Welcoming Volunteers

This is open to all! Volunteers who make up our welcoming group on Sunday morning. There will be a training, and I will offer a few over the summer. There’s no meetings and few emails. Your job would be to show up on Sunday morning and be your amazing self! This would include: Greeters, Ushers, Coffee Hosts and Visitor Desk People. This would be set up with a volunteer calendar in Realm (see the next article for how to do that). You can do just one of those areas, or multiple and move around. I also welcome greeters of ALL ages! The only qualification… a willingness to say WELCOME!

Membership Team

This core ministry team would focus on strategy. Looking at the Pathway to Membership to see what needs updated and what should we try to offer, what needs to be included in the training for the Welcoming team, if policies need to be updated, etc. This would have likely monthly meetings, possibly over Zoom so it can happen after work hours and be open to anyone interested in this.

I hope there will be some people on both teams, but this will allow more people to get involved in the importance of being WELCOMING! And then another group can focus on growth and integration.

Let me know if you would like to be on one or both of these groups! For Welcoming, you can just sign up in Realm or reach out to me. For Membership, send me an email and we will hopefully get started mid-summer. I look forward to the year ahead with so many possibilities!

by Nicole Duff, Director of Membership Development

Volunteering at East Shore

Volunteering at East Shore

With East Shore’s tech support staff person and sexton, Joseph Newman, having left for a job at Microsoft, and Dianne Upton reducing her hours from July, staff are needing more volunteers to step up and help out in various ways. There are many ways to help depending on your skills and time availability. Maybe you can help on Sunday mornings with greeting, ushering or making coffee, maybe you can help with childcare, room set-up or flower arrangements, or help in the office or with the grounds.

One way to let the staff know your availability and skills is to log onto the church’s Realm system. You can do this either from the Member Portal on the church’s website, or by downloading the free Realm Connect app to your tablet or phone. You will need to log in using the email address and password you usually use to register for events etc.

Once you’re into Realm, you can look at the “Serving” option. There you can update your “Serving Profile” to show your regular availability, skills, and preferences. You can also look through the “Opportunities” to learn more about the different roles available. Clicking on a specific role will enable you to express interest to the appropriate leader, who will no doubt get in touch with you.

We would love for more members to get comfortable with using Realm. It is a system with a lot of capability, and it is already an invaluable database of members’ contact information. By keeping your profile up to date, (including adding a photo, if there isn’t already one there for you), sharing your skills and availability, and proactively offering to help with roles that interest you, it will help take pressure off the staff, and enable them to put their skills and talents to best possible use.

Let me know if you have any technical difficulties with getting into Realm and using it. I’m happy to provide support. You can call 425-351-6171 or email me at [email protected].

by Amanda Strombom, Volunteer Coordination Assistant