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Annual Report 2023  

A Year to Remember

A Year to Remember

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

Jeremiah 6:16

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Pastor Garrett

We worshiped together. We prayed together. We learned, lived, and served together. 

And we grew. 

Below is my report for 2023. In it you will find a number of highlights to celebrate, a few lowlights to fix, and some of the plans we have for 2024. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Personal Note: Kristi and I welcomed our third child, Jack, in the summer of 2023. Three boys under four is a wild ride. We love it. On a difficult note for us, our second child, Levi, was recently diagnosed with a mild form of cerebral palsy. This has been hard news to hear. Please pray for us. We want to be the best parents possible to our boys as they learn to navigate an increasingly complicated world... Thank you for your graciousness and support. 

Pastor Matt

Reflections on this year

This year has at CLC has been a huge blessing for me and my family, but we have also been challenged this year. I’ve felt the limitations of my education. Seminary cannot prepare you for everything in ministry, so I have realized the need for support and continuing education. Our new NALC connection has been helpful for me. Numerous times this year I have reached out to our Mission District Dean and the area assistant to the bishop to ask their advice on ministry situations that have popped up where I did not know what to do. This is a blessed partnership we have! 

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Council President's Report

Hello CLC Congregation,

As I approach the end of my time on the Council, I am both grateful and hopeful. I’m grateful for everything the Lord has bestowed upon this congregation: for guiding Pastor Garrett and Pastor Matt, for strengthening the staff that work tirelessly for our ministries, and for blessing the congregation who give their time, their energy, and their resources to our mission. I’m hopeful for the future of CLC and our strong vision focused on Meaningful Worship, Genuine Community, Formative Prayer, and Generous Living. I’m also hopeful for our multi-generational community, from our small groups to our family ministries, including the flood of children that take over the front of the church every Sunday morning. 2023 had its challenges but it was a strong year for the church, as our attendance and new membership grew year-over-year. The congregation also stepped up, embracing Generous Living and helping CLC meet its financial obligations and benevolence commitments. This is all while facing economic headwinds and two major Hollywood strikes that impacted members of this community. We are so thankful for your generosity which allowed the church to conduct its ministry in 2023.2024 is a year of hope. We are well-positioned to make smart investments that will grow our congregation, expand our worship ministry, nurture our family, small group, and children ministries, support our benevolence/affiliate partners and others, and provide the necessary resources for our pastoral leaders and staff. In 2024 The Council is focused on providing more transparency and better communication while more actively working with members of CLC to solicit feedback. We also encourage the congregation to continue embracing their gifts for ministry and to find ways to help the church in our mission for Christ this year. I’m hopeful, and grateful, that God has a plan for this congregation: to help us grow, to build stronger bonds, to deepen our faith, and to be His disciples in the world. It's an exciting year ahead, and while I’ll no longer be on the Council (as well as Kurt!), I look forward to working with each of you in our mission.


In Christ’s love,

Craig Mitchell
Council President

Council Nominees

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Joel Nelson

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John Gehart

Joel and his wife, Karen, are life-long Lutherans and have been members of Christ Lutheran Church since moving to Santa Clarita in 1992. Joel regularly attends the early service and often helps with the Lead Usher duties. He has been involved at CLC through Bible studies, Financial Peace University classes, Preschool Board, blood donations, and mission trips. Joel looks forward to serving God through the CLC Council.

John and his wife, Ariana, have been attending Christ Lutheran Church since moving to Santa Clarita six years ago. John and Ariana have three children and were first attracted to the church through its vibrant children’s ministry and family programs. John is a lifelong Lutheran. He went to Lutheran schools in Michigan from 1st to 12th grade and attended the same high school as former CLC staff member (and now North American Lutheran Church Communications Specialist, Steven Neaton). He enjoys participating in the family and men’s ministries and loves hiking and camping. 

Congregational Snapshot

CLC Staff

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Teri Gaudioso Retired

After many years of service, Teri Gaudioso retired from her role as business administrator of CLC, leaving behind an incredible legacy of service, kindness, and faith.  

Marwan Farah 

Marwan Farah took over for Teri as the business administrator in August. He has a finance degree with extensive background and experience in business and fiscal management.  Marwan is a long time Santa Clarita resident, having moved to Los Angeles from Montreal, Canada, in 2013 with his wife, Vera, a California native. Together, they have two children, Lily and Charles.

Sarah Kolden

Sarah Kolden took on more responsibility in 2023 and became Family Ministry Director. She now oversees Children’s Ministry, Junior High Confirmation Ministry, High School Ministry, and Family Ministry. 

Meaningful Worship

Rooted in Tradition, Relevant to Today

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In September, our worship service times changed slightly (to 8 & 10:30 a.m.) to allow for the Sunday Catechism hour from 9:15 - 10:15 a.m. which offers classes for every age and stage of life.

In addition to our regular Sunday services we held special services throughout the year including:

  • Midweek Lenten services that included our traditional Faith Stories

  • Holy Week services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

  • Three Easter Sunday services

  • Thanksgiving Eve Service

  • Three Christmas Eve services

  • Two Women's Night of Worship services

  • Young Adult Worship Night

Children, Students, & Family Ministry 

Passing Down Our Faith,
Building Up Our Families

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CHILDREN, STUDENTS, AND FAMILY MINISTRY

  • Average attendance at Sunday School: 40 

  • Average attendance at High School Sunday Circle: 6

  • Young people confirmed: 11

  • Children receiving 1st Communion: 12

  • 4th-6th retreat: 14 kids, 9 adults

  • Hume: 13 kids, 4 adults

FAMILY EVENTS

  • Easter Egg Hunt: 128 in attendance

  • VBS: 254 kids, 118 adults

  • Trunk or Treat: 355 in attendance

  • Cards for Troops: 20

  • Advent Wreath Workshop: 121 in attendance

  • Fall Family Retreat in Ventura: 14 families

  • Fathers/Kids Outback Adventure to Death Valley: 5 kids, 2 Dads

RETREATS

  • Women's Spring Retreat at Serra Retreat Center: 25 attendees

  • Men's Retreat in Frazier Park: 14 attendees

  • Women's Fall Tea at CLC: 75 attendees

Generous Living

Supporting Our Mission, Loving Our Neighbor