Session Update

Congregation Bulletin: August 2020

Summary Report Prepared by Rev. Andrew Cornell, Sylvia Verhulst, Connie Farrer,
and Ben Kuo

This congregation bulletin is intended to be part of an ongoing effort of Session to communicate and engage our LSA family with the church leadership. We believe, as Session members, that communication with our LSA family is even more important than ever with our current social distancing measures during this pandemic! Session’s hope is that this report will provide LSA with some key updates about the church. We encourage you to pray over the items noted in the report. If you have questions or would like to discuss any of the items noted herein, we welcome you to connect with a Session member with the e-mail contacts listed below: Sylvia Verhulst (Clerk of Session), Wendy Berdan, John Dixon, Connie Farrer, Connie Hale-Duncan, Amy- Lynn Hart, Ben Kuo, Wendy Skreptak, Rev. Andy Cornell (Interim Moderator).

Sylvia Verhulst
Wendy Berdan
John Dixon
Connie Farrer
Connie Hale-Duncan
Amy-Lynn Hart
Ben Kuo
Wendy Skreptak
Andrew Cornell

Key Updates:
1. Service Planning Committee: A Return to In Person Services (by Connie Farrer)

Important note: New services times are 9 am and 11 am. (This is a change for our first service attendees.)

We are excited to let you know that starting on Sunday, September 13th we will be returning to in person services at LSA. Chuck Congram will be speaking about Great Expectations. We will welcome Brian McGuffin, our new Lead Pastor, on Sunday September 20th. He will be starting a series entitled “Shaken, but Sure”.

Your safety is our primary concern. If you plan to attend, you will need to register online or call the church office to reserve your seat. Be sure to stay tuned to our Sunday morning announcements and check out our website ( for more information.
Not ready to join us yet? No worries, services will remain available online for those who chose to continue watching from home. Just remember that the first service will air at 9 am instead of 9:30 am.

2. Kids’ Cove (by Susan Smith)
Kids’ Cove continues to work on strategies and ways to stay connected with families during this time. Susan and Megan have provided an online Sunday morning experience through video lessons, with the appearance of some key Kids’ Cove leaders. They will be continuing this into the Fall, with the addition of a large group/small group weekly Zoom chat for the kids in grades 1-4. Susan and Megan want to stay connected and have the kids in our church feel like they are still part of a community where they feel cared for, listened to, and where they can continue to be encouraged to be whole-hearted Christ followers – even when we cannot gather in person. A number of the Kids’ Cove volunteers have stayed connected, in order to help with the weekly material that has been, and continues to be, put online. Megan will also be continuing with the Worship Wednesday segments, and will be adding in a once a month Live Zoom Worship Wednesday, for the kids to join in and sing praises to Jesus, communally! Susan also continues to encourage our kids and families to be a light in their families and communities with Kindness Friday Challenges, which will continue into the Fall. The current plan is to continue to provide the best online experience possible for the Fall. The Kids’ Cove team is working hard to come up with a modified plan that will ensure safety amidst the return of the kids to in-person Kids’ Cove. Susan and Megan appreciate your patience and ask that you continue to pray for them as they work on coming up with the safest and smartest plan for the kids to return to Kids’ Cove, in-person.

3. Youth Ministry (by Shane Davis)
September is fast approaching. This is an update on what the current plan is for Strive and Chaos. Strive (Grades 8-12) will be starting up on September 22nd at the church from 7-9 pm. Everyone is asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Chaos (Grades 5-8) will be switching to Wednesday, and it will start on September 23rd via zoom from 7-8:30 pm. The link will be shared on our Chaos social media pages. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me at

4. Interim Moderator: A Word from Rev. Andy Cornell

Pastor Brian McGuffin and His Family

Happy New Year! Never mind that there’s still four months remaining in 2020. And forget the fact that the official church year begins with Advent. This is the real New Year. In the same way we welcome Jan. 1 with great anticipation, I’m going to invite the LSA community to throw a virtual party and pop the figurative champagne and put the last six months of pandemic upheaval behind you.

You have every right to be pumped.

What great timing that your new lead pastor, Brian McGuffin, enters the corner office one day after you re-enter the building to worship for the first time in six months! As we emerge from the strangest period on modern history – filled with great upheaval and uncertainty – we enter a period of new hope.

In Brian, you have a man of substantial wisdom, which will only grow deeper. You have a pastor with great faith. A leader with bold vision and boundless energy. And he’s a devoted husband and loving parent. He’s the one God has tapped to lead you into a new era.
I’ve said it before, and it’s worth repeating: LSA is in the midst of nothing less than a replanting of itself. Something tried and true, but a healthy dose of something new. Your faithful elders and dedicated staff welcome Brian to the table as we discern where God is leading.

What great encouragement that the Presbytery of Essex-Kent joyfully approved his hiring at a special meeting on Aug. 11. Although Brian immediately becomes your lead pastor, there are still hoops to jump through. I will walk with him and provide full support as he goes through the process of education and reception into The Presbyterian Church in Canada.

We are all a bit wiser than we were two years ago. Certainly tougher. God’s hands have protected LSA and they continue to work. And the best is yet to come.

LSA Session