Thoughts from Your President ......
Carl Keene
May 2020

Message from Our President …


Dear Members and Friends of Redeemer:

        With a wonderful idea from Pastor Lisa Rotchford, Redeemer Lutheran’s Congregation (and many from other Leisure World Churches) celebrated Holy Communion on both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday by safely using bread and wine elements sealed together at the factory and distributed on those two day either in a drive-by fashion from vehicles in front of the Church or by walking to the table set up and taking the Communion package home (always maintaining the 6 foot distance.) The Pastor and Communion Assistant wore masks and gloves. On Palm Sunday and Easter both, approximately 100 communion packages were distributed each day (in addition, multiple packets were mailed as well.) This was a truly heartwarming and inspiring reaction by God’s people in this terribly disturbing period of time we are all going through. We are keeping the faith!

        We, of course, do not know when we will all be worshiping the Lord together as a group again. We pray that it will be soon.

        As you probably know, a “telephone tree” has been established. Our membership has been split up and assigned to the twelve members of our Church Council to keep in touch with you and assist in any way we can.

        The Executive committee (with Pastor Lisa and our Parish secretary, Margo) has been in constant touch with each other to assure that the business end of our Church keeps moving smoothly. We have weekly conference calls.

        Thus far our Congregation has responded splendidly in keeping up weekly offerings and tithes. Please continue to do so as Church expenses do not go away even in a crisis situation.

        We need prayer now more than ever! As Psalm 9:10 says, “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.”


In Christ’s Name,
Jerry Brady
Council President

June 2020

Message from Our President ...

Dear Members and Friends of Redeemer:

        A special thank you to Pastor Lisa and Kay Pushman for the tremendous job they have been doing to keep the congregation, finances, and construction moving forward. Many people have been going above and beyond their “normal” duties to keep Redeemer going: from a special member who has donated masks for those entering the building, to people calling just to “check in” with others, those who have donated to keep us from falling behind financially, others who deliver meals that are needed, those participating in our Communion outreach, to others cleaning in the church. The support of one another and the community at large shows that Christ is alive and well within Redeemer.

        We held a special Church Council meeting on May 3, outside the church to approve going ahead with reconstruction plans for our church building. Because we cannot meet as a whole Council at this time, the first order of business approved was an Addition to our By-laws as follows: “Abiding by state and local laws that prohibit meeting in person during a time of public crises and/or when it is physically impossible for members of the church council to meet together, a quorum of electronic / phone votes may be taken and will be equally legally binding.”

        Also approved by the Council was the dispersing of funds provided by insurance that covers the repairs necessary due to the rain damage to the building earlier this year. Contracts were awarded to McCormack Roofing for repair and a new slanted roof to prevent problems in the future and to 12:24 Construction for all of the interior work in both the Sanctuary and our Fellowship Hall downstairs. This included new carpeting and the Altar being reconstructed to meet the American Disability Act (ADA) standards. Our sound system has been inspected and improved! MORE good news – the organ has been checked out and is without electrical damage. The weeping walls downstairs and the water seals surrounding the building will be addressed at a later date as it was assessed as a separate insurance claim/problem.

        The gift of our new landscaping renovation by St. Theodore was presented by Anne Walshe of the Episcopal Congregation (article on this is on the This Months Events page).

        Our drive-up or walk-up Communion Sundays continue from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon. Even after we get back into our Sanctuary, present plans call for us to continue this Holy Communion practice for a while, where the elements would be blessed by our Pastor during the Worship Service and then be available in the sealed package to be available at the door as you are leaving for home.

        We hope to be back in our Sanctuary soon and we are discussing the various ways this could happen including possibly adding one or two Sunday morning services (which would feature all safety practices including facial mask, social distancing, hand sanitizers, etc.). Another idea is to host several outdoor services in the area by the office door (with the same safety practices being observed).

        Not everyone is going to feel comfortable attending Worship at the beginning of Redeemer opening its doors again (and that’s fine, too, if you prefer to stay home).
I know that I’m really anxious to attend services for my Lord and Savior again and to share our faith.

        Pray with me that it will be here before we know it! A task force is currently meeting to set up for and plan our Worship eventual reopening.

​Jerry Brady
Council President

July and August 2020

Message from Our President …


Dear Members and Friends of Redeemer:

Many thanks are due to the wonderful members of our Task Force who have devoted their time and talent to give a report and recommendations to Redeemer’s Church Council on when and how to re-open our Worship Service after the coronavirus shut-down. They gave an extremely detailed suggested program on how to proceed safely in worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ when we do re-open. We think we selected a find cross section of our Congregation including some of our regular members and some Council members. The Task Force includes Beverly Anderson, Margo Geesing, Carl Keene, Carmen Leslie, Sylvia Makus, Kay Pushman, Dee Sessa, Anne Walshe of St. Theodore’s, Pastor Lisa Rotchford and myself.

We held a Council meeting at the end of June where the Task Force report was presented. It was noted that we had los our cherished Council member, Chris Moore. Pastor Lisa announced that Chris’s wish was to have a “Memorial Moment” once we start Worship Services again. The family will co-ordinate the date.

Sylvia Makus has been appointed Nominations Committee Chairperson for Council elections which happen in November.

Longtime member Carl Keene was appointed by the Council to fill the term of Chris Moore for the council vacancy.

Just as the Covid-19 virus has changed the way we all live, so it will change the way we Worship once we resume services. Deep cleaning of the entire Church will take place before we re-open and there will be new guidelines for everyone including masks, temperature checks, restrooms, seating arrangement and length of Service. There will be no choir and no Congregational singing. Prayerfully, these will be temporary changes only.


May God Bless You All,

Jerry Brady
Council President


September and October 2020

Message from Our President …

Dear Members and Friends of Redeemer:

Karen Merkel loved to preach!

        It was evident every time she occupied the pulpit at Redeemer Lutheran Church, the many times during the 16 years of Pastor Gil Moore and more recently Pastor Lisa Rotchford. Her energy and enthusiasm in bringing us God’s Word was stimulating. Our hearts are heavy with her loss. We are joyful she has joined our Lord, but she will be missed.

        As the corona virus has upended almost everything in our lives, so has it affected our upcoming Congregational Annual Meeting. Normally part one of our get-together is held in the early part of November at which time we elect four Church Council members and we approve a budget for the following year. In all probability we won’t be able to meet mainly because at the present time it’s too large of a gathering of people.  Tentatively we are planning to mail a ballot of four members selected by the Council as a slate to be elected with provisions for other candidates to be nominated by our Congregation. In the same mailing we would include a proposed budget for 2021. There would be a deadline to nominate other candidates and to approve/disapprove the budget. This is all subject to change, of course, as events seem to shift daily.

        To fill the vacancy on the Church Council, Anne Walshe of St. Theodore Episcopal Church was appointed to fill out the 3-year term. St. Theo’s has been a terrific partner in Christ for Redeemer Lutheran, both financially and spiritually and it’s only fitting that St. Theo’s would have a voice on our Council. Welcome Anne!

In the Name of our Lord,
Jerry Brady
Council President

November 2020
Message from Our President …

Dear Christian Friends:

    In our everchanging calendar during this corona virus event we are changing again … our Annual Congregational Meeting Part 1 will now be held immediately following our 10:30 a.m. Worship Service on Sunday, November 22 and it will be held in our Sanctuary. So, just remain in your seats following Worship for a very short meeting. Financial Chair Kay Pushman will present the proposed budget for 2021 for your approval.

    The other important item of business will be the election of four Church Council members. The Council will present a slate of four for your consideration. They are: Carmen Leslie and Phyllis Mackey running for re-election and newcomers to the Council: Betty Lucero and Leslie Parker. This is not set in concrete, however, as we most certainly welcome any other nominations from the floor.

    Thanks to Pastor Lisa’s tireless efforts, the re-opening of Worship in our Church is going quite well. We are running out of room for our outside service at 9:30 a.m. (a really nice problem to have) and our indoor service at 10:30 a.m. is growing in attendance each week.

    For safety reasons we are using a limited number of participants in the Altar area (Pastor, Worship Leader, Organist). There will be no new schedules for Acolytes, Communion Assistants, Prayer Leaders, and Scripture Readers until we return to regular Worship Services. When we do resume regular Worship, please let us know if you would volunteer to serve in one of these categories.

    Our thanks to all who have donated a huge amount of food to Lutheran Social Services and also to Carl Keene who makes the deliveries to them in Garden Grove.
We have been praised as a Congregation by ELCA Bishop Andy Taylor for shutting down an already scheduled re-opening Worship Service because of a corona virus scare and then successfully staging a Service the following Sunday.

Praise the Lord!
Jerry Brady
Council President

December 2020

Message from Our President …

Dear Christian Friends:

Is the glass half full or half empty?

        That’s an age-old question that everyone keeps asking themselves. We, as Christians, need to keep focusing ourselves on the many blessings our Lord gives us even as the current pandemic seems to be getting worse.

        As of this writing (and I emphasize “as of this writing” because it seems to change every other day), we are once again changing the way in which we Worship and the Worship times. Our Task Force met and came up with recommendations to our Church Council which they then approved.

(“As of this writing” has now become “between writing and printing”)


        We will hold four services with a maximum of 15 people each on Christmas morning in front of our Church at 9:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and 10:30 a.m. if we are not allowed back inside by then. If we are allowed back inside, we will have our side Chapel Christmas Services at 8:45 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and our usual 10:30 a.m. Service inside. We will also reintroduce pick-up Communion from your car if you choose not to attend any of our in-person celebrations.


        Obviously, our Annual Congregational Meeting Part One was not held. Instead we are mailing all members a proposed 2021 budget as prepared by our Financial Chair, Kay Pushman, which was approved by the Council. Also included are the four candidates recommended for election to the Church Council by our Nominating Committee and approved by the Council. There is room for other candidates if you choose to write in a name. This must all be returned to the Church office on or before December 15, 2020.


        Traditionally the Church Council does not meet in the month of December during the Holiday Season. We next meet January 22, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. when the Council will elect new officers for the year.

Praise the Lord!
Jerry Brady
Council President

January 2021

Message from Our President …



Dear Members and Friends:

With gratitude and many thanks, I commend the members of Redeemer’s Church Council who have served this Congregation extremely well during a most difficult year. They include Vice-President Karen Ford, Secretary Nancy Anderson, Treasurer Phyllis Mackey, Financial Chair Kay Pushman, and members Carol Costello, Cedric Elmer, Carl Keene, Carmen Leslie, Maria Swift, Juanita Townsend, and Anne Walshe. Our cherished member Chris Moore joined her Lord this year. We also thank Terry Durham for his many contributions. A hearty welcome is extended to Betty Lucero and Leslie Parker who have been elected by the Congregation as new Council Members for 2021.
The covid-19 virus kept us opening and closing our Worship Services this year, but our wonderful Pastor Lisa Rotchford kept us informed and engaged in our Parish life together. A spirit filled installation for Pastor Lisa was held on Sunday, February 16 with many visiting Clergy in attendance and ELCA Bishop Andy Taylor and Episcopal Bishop John Taylor sharing the pulpit with really terrific messages.
Water damage from last year’s rains were all completely covered by our insurance (praise the Lord!) and we have a new altar area and new carpeting throughout the Sanctuary. New landscaping in front of the Church is courtesy of St. Theodore’s Episcopal Church.
Words are also inadequate for the members of our task force who guided us through this pandemic crisis and kept us all safe. They are: Beverly Anderson, Margo Geesing, Carl Keene, Carmen Leslie, Sylvia Makus, Kay Pushman, Dee Sessa, and Anne Walshe.
Pray with me unceasingly that this pandemic will be over soon and we can worship together as a family in our Sanctuary praising our Lord and our God.
Jerry Brady
Outgoing Council President

April 2021

Message from Our President …


Dear Members and Friends:
The Redeemer Council met on April 11, 2021 to plan our Holy Week/Easter opening for Services. The Task Force met earlier that morning and presented their recommendations. There was much discussion during the Task Force meeting on how to do this safely and with concern for the limitations of space. There is also concern that, although many of our congregation have received at least their first shot of vaccine and some are fully vaccinated, not everyone has or can. Our Pastor and our secretary have not been vaccinated, both of whom have compromising health issues.
With all this in mind and the desire NOT to become a super-spreader of this virus, we are re-instituting the same procedures that were in effect when we were open before. This means that everyone, even if you have been fully vaccinated, must: wear a mask; social distancing from those not in your family group; hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance of the Church; Offering plates will be at the door of the Sanctuary; no singing; no congregational responses; no passing of the peace; temperatures will be taken before entering the building; a shorter Service; and Communion will be available to take home to consume. We will just have two Services on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday: 9:30 a.m. for 15 people in the outside chapel area by the office door and a second one at our usual 10:30 a.m. Service for 45 people. We will not have a Maundy Thursday Service. We will not have our usual Good Friday Service because it would be impossible to do it in our Church and keep our safety measures in place. As noted earlier in the newsletter (after the end of Pastor Lisa’s message) there is a current plan for Good Friday in the Amphitheater.
As with everything during this last year, everything is subject to change at a moment’s notice if factors change. We are planning to continue with the two Services as we move forward with the possibility of adding additional Services or increasing the number of people in the Sanctuary as we are allowed.
Blessings,
Carl Keene
Council President