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A Note From Pastor Luke Ham Regarding Weekly Communion

Dear friends,

For those of you who were not able to be present in worship with us last Sunday, I want to let you know about a bold change that we have committed ourselves to for the next 51 weeks. After much prayer and discernment, we will spend the next year celebrating the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper together every single week. You may we wondering why we are doing this, so I thought I would offer 3 quick reasons for this experiment:

1) I believe God has something great in store for Church of the Wayfarer in the near future. We already have so many wonderful things happening in the life of our congregation but I feel that God has even greater opportunities for our community of faith to grow and serve others in the next couple of years. Therefore, in order to embark on this journey of growth together we need to be well nourished, not just physically but spiritually as well. Communion is one of the “means of Grace” that helps provide us with this spiritual nourishment.

2) In order to provide the Sacrament for travelers, visitors and friends regardless of what week they grace us with their presence. Our tradition at Church of the Wayfarer has been to have communion on the first Sunday of each month. One of the issues with this is that we have visitors who come to our church every single week throughout the year. Many of these visitors only attend worship a few times each year and choose to be with us because Church of the Wayfarer has a special place in their heart. By providing communion every week, we ensure that even the most infrequent of church-goer can be exposed to this spiritually nourishing and life-transforming meal. It might even help them connect with God in a whole new way which leads to expanded church participation.

3) It is what our denominational founder would want us to do. John Wesley who began the movement that would lead to the Methodist Church instructed believers to practice the Sacrament of communion as frequently as possible. In fact, in his personal life, Wesley committed to having the sacrament at least twice a week. The reason that many congregations went to the once-a-month model was because they did not have full-time ordained clergy to preside over the table every Sunday. Here at Church of the Wayfarer, we have a presiding Elder (me) every week, therefore this is not an issue for us.

Now that I have given you some reasons for this change, let me provide you with a couple of commitments on my part as your pastor. First, I promise that we will not experience a significant change in the amount of time it takes for us to have our weekly worship service. I am making changes to my sermon length, scripture selections and music selections in order to keep worship to an appropriate length. Second, if after our year of doing this together we decide that the “once-a-month” model of communion fits our context better than the “every-week” model, I will support us returning to our long-held tradition.

If you have any questions about this change, please feel free to contact me. It is my continued hope that this year-long commitment will transform each one of us for the better!

Blessings,

Pastor Luke

New Area Dedicated to Wedding Bricks

 


On Sunday, July 1, 2018, Reverend Dr. Mark Bollwinkel dedicated our new special area for Wedding Bricks at the Lincoln Avenue entrance to our garden area.  Using his extensive pottery making skills, Pastor Potter Mark created a ceramic heart headstone for our new Wedding Brick area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now couples who get married at the Church of the Wayfarer (and other married couples) have the option of ordering a Wedding Brick in celebration of their special day. Wedding Bricks may be purchased for $500 for non-Members and $250 for Members.

Welcome to our new Pastor, Reverend Luke Ham

Dear Church of The Wayfarer Family,
First off, I want to let you know how very excited and honored I am to be your new Pastor. Through meetings with your SPRC and Pastor Mark, I am learning about all of the wonderful ministry being done through this congregation. It is with great joy that my family and I accept the opportunity to join you in this important work. As way of introduction, I thought it might be helpful to share a little bit about my background with you.
Like many Californians, I am a transplant. I was born in Akron, Ohio but moved to California with my mother in 1991. I had the privilege of being raised in the beautiful Napa Valley but also was able to spend my summers and holidays back in Ohio with family. I believe that being raised with both west coast and mid-western values has helped me to better understand people from various walks of life.
After graduating from high school in Napa, I went on to attend California State University, Chico. It was there during the 2nd week of my Freshman year that I met Stephanie, the beautiful woman who would become my wife. Stephanie is a wonderful partner in life and ministry, and has a passion for working with children. In fact, not only is she a California Credentialed Teacher, but she has also served for the past 3 years as the Children and Family Minister at San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church.
After college, I answered God’s call to pursue ordained ministry and enrolled at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. In addition to my coursework at PSR, I was also able to take a wide variety of courses at the Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Catholic Seminaries which helped provide me with a broad understanding of the Christian Tradition. I graduated with my Master of Divinity Degree with an emphasis on Church Leadership in 2012.
My former Ministry settings include Wayside United Methodist Church in Vallejo, CA, and San Francisco General Hospital. Since 2011, I have been serving at San Ramon Valley UMC in Alamo, CA. SRVUMC is a congregation with roughly 1150 members and serves families located throughout the East Bay Area. My time at SRVUMC has provided me with many rich experiences to work with people of all ages in both large and small group settings. In addition to my work at SRVUMC, I also serve as a Chaplain with the San Ramon Valley Fire District and the San Ramon Police Department.
In April of 2015, Stephanie and I were blessed with our first child, Caleb. As a boy fully embracing his “terrific twos,” Caleb keeps us on our toes at all times and adds a lot of excitement to our family. Being raised as a PK (Pastor’s Kid) in the church, Caleb is not shy and loves to meet new people. You will definitely see him mingling each Sunday during the fellowship hour after worship. Our family also includes a 5 year old Chocolate Labradoodle, named Chico.
Our family enjoys outdoor activities, meeting new people, and exploring new places. We are very excited to be regulars at Carmel’s world famous beach as well as many of the local coffee shops, bakeries, and restaurants in town. We whole-heartedly believe the best way to get to know someone is over a meal and hope to share our dinner table with each and every one of you. My favorite thing about ministry is getting to hear people’s stories and I look forward to hearing yours.
It is my hope that you are as excited as I am to begin this new chapter of ministry together. My family and I are counting down the days until we get to make Carmel our new home. We are praying for Church of the Wayfarer every single day and can’t wait to see how God will continue to use this congregation to make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I look forward to seeing you very soon.

 Peace and Blessings,

Welcome Ham Family!

Food Drive

In cooperation with the All Saints Food Pantry, we will continue to collect and deliver donations of non-perishable food to All Saints on a weekly basis.

Did you know that 50% of the people served by the All Saints Food Pantry are Carmel residents?  This is a wonderful opportunity for us to serve our neighbors!

The Food Pantry is most in need of:

  • canned meats
  • tuna
  • peanut butter 
  • canned fruit
  • canned vegetables
  • toiletries

Please bring your food donations to Church of the Wayfarer on Sundays or drop them off at the office during the week and we will deliver them.  All Saints will accept donations from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. weekdays, if you prefer to take your donations to them directly.

Thanks for your help!