Connections is a weekly publication connecting the people of Central United Methodist Church with programs, updates and informative articles.
Sunday, June 14, three of our high school graduates spoke about what Central means to them. Here are two of the speeches:
Hello, my name is Kaitlyn Moccia and I’m a high school graduate from Lincoln High School. In August I will be starting my first semester at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas and majoring in Theatre Performance and Production. Thinking about my most immediate future, I’m most excited to be performing at a higher level. There’s only so much funding high school drama gets, only so many participants who take it seriously, and only so much of campus who notices the theatre exists.
So, it’ll be nice to be working in a more professional environment with masterful professors. However, as excited as I am to go, I’m also a bit sad, to leave the only city I’ve ever lived in and the only church I’ve ever been a member of. My parents were attendees at Central a year before I was born. I was the last baby Pastor Gary Putnam baptized before he retired in 2003. I was a student in Godly Play throughout my childhood and into my preteens. Then I was promoted to Door Person, which is really just a fancy way of saying assistant to the Storyteller. When I was about 15, I became a Storyteller myself, ran my own classroom, and began retelling the same stories I was told when I was their age. It was a bit like coming full circle for me.
There were some lines of the stories that I had been told so many times that saying them to the students came so naturally. One such line states, “And then he came so close to God and God came so close to him, he knew what God wanted him to do.” I love that line. I think it really conveys the close, loving relationship one can achieve with the Lord.
And while when I go to Texas, I will never find a church quite like the one I’ve grown up in, I will make sure to carry with me the things I’ve been taught and the things I have taught close at heart. I will make sure to carry God so close to me that I know what He wants me to do, guiding me on this great new adventure. Thank you.
Good morning everyone, as you may know I have recently graduated from Edison High School and will be going to UC Davis in the fall as a political science and communications major. Some things I am looking forward to in the future are meeting new people, working for different non- profits such as Global Mission, internships at the state capital, and lastly having the opportunity to widen my lens on the world.
In the last four years Central United Methodist Church has been a vital component to my high school experience. I certainly will miss our Youth Group gatherings: the pizza, the many games, and most certainly the fellowship. Not only do I have memories of pure joy at Central United Methodist Church, but I also have memories of struggle and growth. A memory I want to recall is my confirmation and I want to thank my mentor Alan England for helping me claim my faith as my own. Another memory I would like to recall are all my summer trips which been something I have always looked forward to each year. Summer trips gave me new experiences, insights, and wonder about the world and our creator. I would like to thank Alan Cook for always having goodie bags prepared for us on every trip and his love and support for our youth group.
Lastly, I would like to thank Robbie for answering my endless array of questions, helping me through tough times, and most importantly teaching me how to paint and fix tables. All the experiences and life lessons I have learned at Central has prepared me for the life beyond this Church. I would like to give thanks one more time but to everyone in this congregation for your support towards the youth here. I will certainly come visit but until then, I would like to end this speech with a common Methodist saying “Shalom to you my friend.”
HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
Plaza Robles High School
Parents: Arnie and Yvette Aguda
San Joaquin Delta College
Logan High School, Logan, Utah
Great Grandparents; JD and Nancy McCain
Edison High School
Parents: Noel and Pilar Japzon
Grandmother: Ceniza Japzon
Lincoln High School
Parents: Tom and Andrea Moccia
Texas State University
Edison High School
Parents: Natelly Leam and Siv Hak, Davin Peou
University of California, Davis
Edison High School
Oregon State University
Parent: Aubrey Smith
Tony Stevens, Jr.
Lodi High School
Grandparents: Dianne Venzon and Terry Larsen
University of California, Irvine
BA Film and Media Arts
Parents: Adonis and Wenny Deocampo
University of the Pacific
Emma Catherine Garcia
Sarah Lawrence College
BA Liberal Studies
Emphasis in Film Writing
Parents: Michael Garcia and Anne Swehla Garcia
University of Montana, Missoula Campus
Grandparents: JD and Nancy McCain
Chabot Jr. College
Grandparents: JD and Nancy McCain
University of the Pacific
BEHIND THE CAMERA
For the last several months the team at Central has been hard at work recording, editing and publishing everything, from worship services to Godly Play, to be viewed on line during the “shelter in place”. As Central did not have online services going before the pandemic, our church has had to purchase equipment, learn how to use the equipment, recruit a team to produce the service, develop a weekly routine, and be willing to try new things. Here’s a bit of how that process works:
Early in the week Pastor Jan sends Ric Campero (music director) and Robbie Frederiksen (current ‘tech guy’) an outline for the service filled with music and lyrics, written out prayers, placement of special announcements, etc. The team spends Monday and Tuesday lining up the key players and scheduling the recording times for Wednesday, and prepping to make sure everything is in place. Early Wednesday morning someone (usually Martha or Jan will decorate the altar to reflect the theme of the service. Soon after the recording team (a combination of Robbie Frederiksen, Michael Garcia and/or Jarod Vargas) arrives to check batteries, set lighting, set up the camera, and make sure the space is ready.
Then begins a process of staggered recording times that will include music pieces performed by Rebecca Nelson and Mary Monroe, choral pieces offered by several members of the Chancel Choir, a children’s message offered by Alan Cook, and finally ten-thirteen different recordings of Pastor Jan (or guest preacher) running different parts of the service. Each worship service typically has anywhere from 15-25 different recorded pieces that need to be edited together to make the 30-35 minute digital service.
Once the service is recorded, a Godly Play Storyteller arrives at the Knoles Building to meet with a member of our recording team. The Storyteller spends a few minutes going over the story and walking through the different aspects of what needs to be recorded. A story is then filmed in two-three segments.
After all of the worship components and Godly Play components have been recorded, the digital files are moved from the camera memory card to an external drive and the process of editing the files begins. The process of editing a worship service using computer software can take anywhere from six-fifteen hours over the course of several days. Godly Play stories, being much shorter and much less complicated, typically only take about an hour to complete. The process is typically finished late Friday night /Saturday morning and is then uploaded to Facebook and YouTube with a “scheduled release” at 8.00am on Sunday morning.
Sometimes the process is complicated with technical issues, vacations, family emergencies, social unrest, and more. A perfect example of a service recording going off the rails happened three weeks ago as the team prepared the worship service for Pentecost. Several members of the team were on vacation although a process was in place to manage this, mistakes still happened, a personal emergency of the video editor to not be able to edit the video until late Saturday evening. When the videos of the service recordings were opened, it became clear that none of the audio from the videos had been recorded. This was likely due to a loose connection between the microphone and the camera, an easy mistake to miss. The unfortunate result however was that on Saturday night, we had no worship service for the next morning. As a result, a large portion of the Pentecost worship service was recorded at 10.30pm, over Zoom (internet), from Pastor Jan’s car, while she was vacationing in the mountains. Around 4.00am the worship service was finished being editing and uploaded to the internet to be viewed by members of Central a few hours later.
A HUGE thank you to Michael Garcia, Emma Garcia and Jarod Vargas who have all volunteered at different times to help with the recording of our services. All in all the worship team at Central is grateful for the opportunity to continue to provide meaningful worship service experiences to our many online worshippers. We hope that you will join us for worship and Godly Play through Facebook (@centralumcstockton) or on You Tube (@cumcstockton) on Sundays or during the week.
A REMINDER AS WE MOVE TOWARD A GRADUAL RE-OPEN OF OUR BUILDINGS:
Friends, our church buildings are still closed per instructions from our Bishop and common sense for everyone’s safety. Your team is still working from home, with the exception of the times we record worship in the sanctuary. We cannot have non-staff members in the building except for the very limited time to record worship; we cannot allow people to use our restrooms because we don’t yet have the required sanitizing dispensers and other equipment. A team of Central members, coordinated by Alan, will develop the required written, detailed protocols that our District Superintendent must approve before we hold any inside in-person services. Once we get the okay to partially reopen the buildings, all persons entering the building will be required to mask and to observe the physical distancing in our newly structured spaces. Anyone who is sick or coughing will be asked to stay at home for everyone’s safety. These “rules” are meant to sustain and support life, not restrict worship! Since the CDC still classifies many people in high risk groups: 65 or over in age, underlying health conditions, weakened immune systems, we recommend that for maximum safety anyone in this group continue to worship from home with our on-line services until we can be protected by a vaccine. All meetings and study groups will continue to meet via ZOOM, and your staff will continue to work from home until we get a “green light” to gradually return to the office.
As we continue the preparations for a slow return to buildings, we will experiment with some outside options. Right now, church members are welcome to be on our campus outside – volunteering, supervising children in our open Central garden, and enjoying our spacious grounds. Please wear a mask and observe physical distancing even when you are outside. Please know that your team is available to you via phone and e-mail, but for our protection and yours, we assume that we can transmit or catch the virus and thus must maintain our distance.
During these challenging times, we give thanks to God for each other and for the many ways we express our caring while keeping our community safe.
For Linda Wingett, who is recovering from a fall and temporarily out of her apartment at O’Connor Woods; for Anne Larrouy, who is scheduled for knee replacement surgery on June 25th; for Melody Yang as she continues a long recovery from December’s surgery.
Church Council meets tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 6.00pm; if you’d like to join the ZOOM meeting, e-mail Jan for the invitation. Everyone is welcome.
UPPER ROOM for July/August
If you would like an Upper Room mailed or delivered to you, please let Susie know by Friday, June 19. If you need Large Print, please specify.