Dear First Pres,

On Sunday we had Amelia, Stephen, Emma, David, Sheimeka, Hector, and Annie stand up in front of the congregation to be recognized. They served as our 2018 Summer Staffers. This week they concluded their service. It's always a bit sad for us to see them go as the summer ends. They always bring fresh energy and excitement to our congregation. They help our staff grow in leadership as we walk with them in ministry and life. And they add to the community of folks who are investing in our kids.
  One of our core values as a congregation is "transformational leadership." Our Summer Staff program is a hallmark of that value, as it has been for many years in its various forms. So, I praise God for another successful summer of ministry and growth!
  There are many differences between our current Summer Staff program and the various iterations of the past (Trainees, Networkers, etc.). In particular, our hand has been forced a bit by California employment law. This is one of the reasons why the program is now only a part-time employment opportunity. The summer staffers averaged about 25 hours per week this summer, and we paid them an entry level wage.
  One of the biggest impacts of a Summer Staff program that stays within the boundaries of employment law is that we no longer are sending our Summer Staff to serve as camp counselors. This has been true since we launched the current version of summer staff in 2014, and it still seems to be a surprise to folks in the congregation.  Hence the reason for highlighting it here. If we send our Summer Staffers to camp we'd have to pay them for their work time. With all the overtime implications it would cost us about $1800 per Summer Staffer per camp week. That's why we've chosen not to send them.
  This change means that we need folks in the congregation to volunteer their time to spend a life-changing week at camp with our students. It's a big deal. So I just want to highlight and give a huge thanks to those who volunteered this summer: Lori Meadors, Julia Crantz, and Jamey Tacchino.(Special thanks to Jamey who volunteered for two weeks in a row!!) I am so grateful for these volunteers as a parent and as a pastor. They made a huge impact this summer. If you see them, please say thanks. They did exactly what we need about six folks to do every summer: take a week of their own vacation to spend as a camp counselor with our kids. This year Camp Sugar Pine covered the gap for us with some of their summer staff folks (and by God's grace one of our own, Sophia Steele, was placed with our Junior High and Elementary girls). But I hope next year we won't need to rely on Sugar Pine to cover the needs.
  This is such a great opportunity to pour into the lives of our young people in lasting ways. Is this form of discipleship something the Lord might be calling you to do? Turns out, you have some time to seek Him in this. May the Lord provide for His children in the coming months.


P.S. As summer ends and school begins, I invite everyone to join in our Love Our Schools event this Sunday. Join your church in praying for our schools. We'll be on campus in the (cool) Fellowship Hall after each service (8:30 & 10:15, more details below). Please plan to stay for this special and important time. Plus, show your support by wearing some school colors.