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.
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
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
East Shore COVID protocols are currently being updated to better reflect the latest CDC recommendations and guidelines. We will continue to wear masks (2yo+), require vaccinations (5yo+), ask you to stay home if you’re sick or in contact with COVID, and ventilate indoor spaces to help limit any exposure as best possible, but other restrictions (limiting attendance numbers) are being lifted, so stay tuned and plan to participate online or in person – wherever YOU feel best! Please see our latest Covid Chart
Dear East Shore Members & Friends,
We are excited to announce we will be reopening this Sunday, March 6! Here is what you need to know:
We are using a chart which uses the data from CovidActNow.org for King County. Using this chart, each week we will announce if we are going to be open and with what restrictions. The details will be posted in the weekly eblast (sign up here) and on Facebook. Please note, as mask mandates and vaccine requirements in the public loosen, we may have to shift our plans.
We are trying to be safe and make sure we keep a sense of welcoming. On Sundays, the buildings will be for vaccinated verified people only.
Volunteers, fully organized by the Board, will be at a table in the courtyard area. Members/Visitors will show their vaccine cards as a real card, a photo on their phone, or a QR code from their myhealthchart, clear, or the WA DOH website. We encourage the paper cards as that will be fastest. Those individuals who are cleared will get a neon green sticker that says “Vaccinated.” This will go on your badge (so if you took that home, time to find it!). In following weeks, those who have a sticker can just show the sticker and continue in the sanctuary.
What Should We Be Paying Attention To?
Let’s focus on these new “Key Principles for Reducing Potential Exposures” in our church home:
Stay home if you’re sick! (keep visiting us online and call us for help!)
Get Vaccinated! (and boosted!)
Wear Masks! (all the time!)
Dance, don’t sing! (get that body moving!)
Virtual Worship: What Will Change
For the most part, those joining by Zoom won’t notice much of a difference. We will still put words in chat, have virtual coffee hour with breakout rooms and stream from the Sanctuary. What will be different? Joys and Sorrows. Due to the complicated nature of multi-platform sharing, we will ask that joys and sorrow only be put in the chat, so they can still be shared. The staff is also working on contingency plans. In October we got a taste of what could happen if we lose power or internet in the Sanctuary. We were able to jump back on, and Steve and Eric did a great job of jumping back in… however when we are doing multi-platform we need to ensure both in-person and virtual congregants have a good experience. Please bear with us if this happens, we are hoping having a contingency plan means we will never have to use it.
In Person: What to expect
Those coming to campus to worship will have a whole new experience… that will change over time as more and more people get vaccinated and we SLOWLY return to larger gatherings.
After being checked for your vaccine status, you will be welcomed into the Sanctuary (want to volunteer to be an usher or greeter? Talk to Nicole!) All congregants MUST wear a mask any time they are in a building on campus. The ONLY exception are individuals speaking from the podium, and only while they are speaking (Rev. Furrer, Eric Lane Barnes, amanda, Worship Associate, etc.).
On Sunday, the back doors will be open, this is to help for airflow. We remind you that Pacific Northwesterners know how to dress for the weather, so we are confident you will dress warmly. You are also welcome to bring a blanket.
We will have some paper copies of the bulletin, we will also have a QR code (like what you see at restaurants to get the menu) where you will be able to pull up the bulletin on a phone or tablet. We will also have children’s activity bags.
We have set the chairs up to be socially distanced. For the time being the balcony will be closed. This is so the ACE team, who has been working so hard to set up the cameras and sound, can work in that space. We hope, as restrictions lessen, we can reopen that part of the Sanctuary for our members and friends.
One thing you may notice right away is a change in how we use the screen. We will be projecting Zoom on the screen during the service. This allows us to turn on closed captioning (making the service accessible to even more people), share videos, and still have some participation by those zooming in. This does mean words to hymns and responses will not be on the screen so you will want to grab a hymnal (including large print and braille) are available as well. We have also been informed by medical professionals that, unfortunately, singing – even while masked – is VERY high risk. Because of that, we are going to ask the congregation to not sing along to the hymns. We are looking at ways where you can still interact with the hymns (clapping, arm movements, etc.).
For joys and sorrows for those in person, we will bring back the cards in the southwest corner. Please take time to write out your joy or sorrow which will be collected and read from the pulpit.
For the offering, there will be a number of choices. You can still give online, text, or you can donate cash or check. Because the chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart (except for same households), we will have boxes in the back of the sanctuary for people to place gifts in as they exit.
In Person Coffee Hour
For those wanting to stay for coffee hour, we will have it! Because of masking, all food and beverages must be consumed outside. The North Room will be closed, so you will exit out the main doors into the courtyard. If you would like to help set up coffee hour or organize, contact Nicole.
In Person Religious Education for Children & Youth
All of these plans are relevant to RE as well, and children and families will be going through all of these processes along with adult members of the congregations. Children will be getting name badges for their vaccine stickers too (and so you can get to know them!).
Those under five will either be accompanied by a vaccinated caregiver or in the care of vaccinated volunteers or RE staff. All of our rooms are being marked by Dianne Upton at 50% room capacity.
More to know:
5yo+ must show proof
There is no childcare at this time
There is a rug in the back of the Sanctuary with book and toys for babies and kids
Families are encouraged to attend worship together
Children and youth classes will continue with our regular schedule.
Please make sure your children are registered. For RE Outdoors (1st & 3rd Sundays) and/or RE Online (2nd & 4th Sundays)
Mourning the Loss
As churches across the country have begun to reopen, a recurring theme is heard: “It’s not the same.” We know, no matter how excited we are to see one another and return to “normal,” we need to change our view of “normal!” What are you most excited about? Being in the Sanctuary? Coffee? Seeing people? Hugs? Singing? Some of those things will return now, others will come later… and some aspects of Sunday mornings will never be the same again. They are new and improved! We will continue to offer multiple ways for people to participate, both in person and over Zoom (Thanks to ACE, Joseph Newman and Jenny Newell for spending hours figuring this out!). This is a great way to continue to be more welcoming and inclusive. Change is hard, and sometimes, the transformation is even better.
Practicing Consent and Compassion
Part of being a beloved community is respecting others and showing compassion. During this transition we as asking for an increase in both of these.
We need to acknowledge everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to risk. Some are so excited to get back in person they will do all they can to stay safe AND in person. Others are not ready and may not be ready for a while. Please remember, these are your fellow East Shorians and we want to respect people’s decisions on how they participate in worship.
We also want to talk about hugging, handshakes, high fives, etc. As we teach our youngest children in Our Whole Lives (OWL), consent is very important. Even those friends who you may have always shared a hug with before may not feel up to it yet. Let’s show our children and each other we understand consent. Before hugging, please ask… AND be prepared to hear “no.” This includes members of the staff. We all love you… and we want to stay safe too.
Are you inspired to help marginalized communities register to vote?
In 2020, many of us were very motivated to ensure that people in marginalized communities in states such as Georgia and Alabama, were encouraged to register to vote. Working with an organization called Reclaim Our Vote, we mobilized more than 150 East Shore members and friends to write many thousands of postcards to these communities. The result was that many more people registered to vote, and in some states that made a difference to the election results.
I’m sure you all know what has happened since then, and how many states have restricted voting rights further. As a church, we do not advocate for any specific party or candidate, but we are very passionate about ensuring that every citizen who wants to vote is able to do so. Since 2022 is another election year, we are gearing up to write postcards again. Are you ready to help?
There will be several different campaigns throughout this year, targeting the primaries of 9 different states:
Texas primary March 1
North Carolina primary May 17
Alabama and Georgia, primaries May 24
South Carolina primary June 14
Virginia primary June 21
Arizona primary August 2
Florida primary August 23
Louisiana primary November 8 (tentative)
David Edfeldt is coordinating this project in the role of a wholesaler by purchasing large quantities of postcards up front, and coordinating address label distribution. Lynn Roesch and Marilyn Mayers are collecting postcards from David, printing labels and distributing packets to those who are willing to write. We encourage you to purchase your own stamps if possible, but please let us know if that’s a hardship for you.
We are looking for one or two additional coordinators to help with distributing the cards and labels (from East Shore or your own home). This gives you an opportunity to meet lots of members and work to facilitate writing a lot of postcards. If this project inspires you and you really want to get involved, please contact David, Lynn or Marilyn to offer your support.
If you’d like to write postcards, Lynn or Marilyn will include you in their email lists, and let you know which projects are coming up. Since this is going to be almost a year-long project, there is no need to participate in every campaign. We encourage you to pace yourselves and only take on what you can handle, but of course, we’d love for you to write as many postcards as possible!
The deadline for writing cards for the first campaign, the Texas primary, is February 14. If you’d like to participate, please let Marilyn or Lynn know as soon as possible.
Amanda Strombom, Publicity coordinator, Get Out the Vote campaign
Is East Shore important in your life? Can you give some of your time and energy in service to this community? Are you interested in learning more about leadership positions that might match your skills? If so, we invite you to have an exploratory, no-pressure conversation with one of us on the Nominating Committee. Even if you just know someone else whom you think should be in leadership — the Nominating Committee wants to hear from you with your suggestions.
We invite all members who are willing and able to give a part of themselves to serve in leadership roles at this church. You don’t have to be a long-time member and you don’t have to have special experience. You do need to have a genuine interest in the well-being and future of this church, and a willingness to listen deeply, and with respect, to people who may not share your opinion. The Nominating Committee wants to learn more about you, to discover what skills and life experiences you have, then match you up with potential opportunities to serve on the Board or in one of our many terrific teams and committees.
Last year, we hoped to be open in 2021, and while that hope didn’t come true, we did still accomplish so much in 2021 we wanted to take time to celebrate the past year. Take a look at just some of the things we did: