For those who’ve been wondering what will happen next for our beloved faith community…
Letter to the Sunnyslope congregation and friends:
It is with a profound sadness that I must report Pastor Michael Titus’ death from what appears to have been a sudden and massive heart attack Monday morning. Please keep his wife Merry and his family in your prayers as we all come to terms with the shock of this loss. Many people have already rallied to give support in a number of ways.
I want you to know that the Leadership Team met Tuesday evening to take stock of our situation and make some of the decisions required when we have a sudden leadership change. The team plans to meet weekly if needed to keep our church family informed and comforted as we move into a now somewhat uncertain future.
These are a few of things that you should be aware of right now: Ben Green and the Worship team is coordinating pulpit supply for the coming weeks. If you are moved to share a sermon or can help as liturgist, please contact Ben.
The Deacons through Bob Jackson’s leadership are increasing their visitation schedule. If you know someone in the congregation that needs care in this way, or feel you would benefit at this time, please let Bob know.
We are contacting both the UCC and COB offices and fully expect that both executives, Mike Denton and Colleen Michael, will be here soon to provide support and talk to us about some next steps.
Our administrative assistant, Linda, will need a contact person as we move forward so Cheryl Hall, Ken Neher, and David Brown will be her contacts for questions that fall outside of her routine church office functions. The church office will remain open on its usual schedule.
The Leadership team has agreed to support Merry by gifting her with financial support through the end of this year. This will give her time to grieve, take stock and plan in the months ahead without the worry of immediate financial needs.
I will do my best to keep you apprised of our progress toward recovery and healing in the weeks and months ahead. As many of you know, Mike was providing a strong spiritual base to our Envisioning process. We will want to keep moving ahead with that since this tragic event now has added new questions about an Interim pastor possibility, long term pastoral leadership options, timelines, and immediate vs. long-term needs for the Sunnyslope family.
There will be unforeseen financial needs as we make transitions, so please continue to keep up with your pledges and if possible toss in some extra to help keep as many options open ahead as possible.
And lastly, keep us all safely wrapped in prayer in the days and weeks to come, and remember that this is a moment in the life of the church when extra grace may be required, and I know we have plenty of that at Sunnyslope to share.
Ken Neher, Moderator, for the Sunnyslope Church Leadership Team
Update: September 9, 2015: Memorial Service for Pastor Michael Titus was held Saturday, September 19 at 10:00am at the Brethren Baptist Church of Wenatchee.
September 7, 2015:
It is with profound sadness that we announce Pastor Michael Titus’ death from a sudden and massive heart attack this morning. Please keep his wife Merry, his entire family, and the Sunnyslope Church congregation in your prayers. We will post more information here and on our Facebook page as it becomes available.
To be Inclusive.
The Sunnyslope Church continues the work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together. We are a Christian community, called by Jesus to be inclusive, caring, and peace-minded. We affirm that people of any race, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, diverse abilities, age, economic status, faith tradition, or life situation are welcome in our congregation. The official announcement from the Open and Affirming Coalition UCC has been released and notes Sunnyslope as church #1264 to have committed to loving our neighbors … ALL our neighbors!
We believe in compassionate service, stewardship of creation, respect for diversity, and nonviolent reconciliation of differences among all people, nations, and faith traditions. We claim no creed but the New Testament, as exemplified by the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, we strive to follow the way of Jesus. Through these efforts we seek to grow ever closer to the mind and heart of God.
Come as you are.
No dress code.
So bring your doubts, questions, and busy kids. God does not reject people. Neither do we. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome to full participation in all areas of our congregational life and ministry. At The Sunnyslope Church we do not put a period where God has placed a comma, because we believe God is still speaking and we are still learning what it means to live in Jesus’ realm of love, compassion, and justice.
Seeking Spiritual Truth:
In 2013 we are a growing congregation of Progressive Christians who take the Bible very seriously, but not literally. We believe that spiritual truth is so far beyond our human ability to comprehend that we require symbol and metaphor to even come close to understanding. Therefore, in relationship to the Bible, we look for more than literal meanings to help us find God’s truth for the world and God’s direction for our lives. We try to understand what any particular biblical text meant to those who originally heard it, and then, given the differences in time and culture, what it means for us today. We take God’s grace seriously as well.
Rooted in Justice:
Our congregation includes folks from all over the political spectrum. We, on occasion, have some lively debates. What holds us together is the sense that God calls us to follow the Way of Jesus. That is the way of promoting justice in our world. So we reach out. Each month we take special offerings for programs that fight hunger, that serve the needs of the poor, and that promote fairness in our society and in our world. We give to local groups like The Mustard Seed, and Hospitality House. We donate to national programs like Church World Service. We contribute to the Foods Resource Bank and through them support a project in Guatemala that empowers women and encourages diversity in the local food supply. We participate in the special outreach emphases of both the United Church of Christ and the Church of the Brethren.
No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome to full participation in all areas of our congregational life and ministry!
This website is always under construction, so come back often.
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