StoneBridge Members and Friends,
As this congregation transitions into an exciting time of new leadership, I want to celebrate and express gratitude for your remarkable dedication. I hope you recognize what a resilient community of faith you are, made up of ordinary people from all walks of life who are being transformed by your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. All of you consistently demonstrate that the good news of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world.
Over the past twenty-two months, you have sought God’s direction and prepared the church for a new season:
- Clarifying who StoneBridge is, more than half the congregation participated in the What’s Next? sessions of discovery which empowered the Pastor Nominating Committee to call Pastor Jon Saur.
- You successfully completed the REACH campaign and made wise decisions for the future.
- Healthy staff transitions include:
- Children and Families Director, Sherry Krogh shifted from full time employee to volunteer. And, Stephanie Leedy shifted from volunteer to full time director.
- Worship Arts Director, Dick Wells retired. And, Lee Krabbe now leads our services.
- Pastor Cynthia Purvis accepted an exciting call as a college chaplain. And, Olivia Moceri accepted our offer to become Student & Families Director.
- Elders called on the congregation to stabilize the operating budget by continuing to give faithfully and by committing to give an additional $10 per week for at least six months after the new senior pastor arrives. And you, the congregation rose to the challenge!
- In order to keep the church staff’s employment secure, the church successfully applied for and received a COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program relief loan. Now, this loan will soon be converted into a federal grant and forgiven.
- Exercising sound stewardship, the Elder Board raised the level of church financial reserves and kept building plans viable for future options.
- Due to the government mandated shutdown, staff and elders have overseen a smooth shift to online worship and are phasing in, outside worship as well as future, alternative worship options.
- Day in and day out, with grace and passion, church staff faithfully carried the weight of much of this transition.
God is not surprised by anything that has happened. God has a plan for Simi Valley and StoneBridge has an important part to play in it. As I prepare to depart, I urge you, brothers and sisters, to stay the course, remain flexible, and continue your faithfulness!
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. Deut. 7:9
With gratitude and appreciation,
Pastor Neal Nybo