Mayor Joe Gunter

This week I am thinking a lot about my friend Joe Gunter. As you know, Mayor Gunter died Monday night after entering the hospital last Thursday. Evidently cancer had come back along with a serious infection. Most everyone was shocked because almost no one knew that Joe had not been well. 
One of the pictures posted by the Salinas Californian was Mayor Joe walking with us in our Martin Luther King “I have a dream” walk back in January. I also remember back in January when Mayor Joe supported us during the difficult time when the neighborhood wanted to shut us down. Actually, Joe took his share of political bruises in the last five years standing up for us and defending what we do. He was always quick to say, “If people don’t like what I do, they can vote me out of office.” I appreciated his political courage and his concern for the people we serve. He had a big heart and he loved his community. He liked to greet me at community events with, “Here comes the pastor of that church.”
One of the first times I ever talked with Mayor Joe was when he showed up at my office one Wednesday morning. I had not even been to a City Council meeting yet. But it seems that one of our core volunteers had gone to the council meeting the night before, stood up during public comment, identified himself as a part of the Methodist Church, and told the Mayor that he should step down from office because he wasn’t doing enough for the homeless. 
I think Joe wanted to get to know me and make sure that I had not put our volunteer up to this public comment. I think he wanted me to know that he supported our ministry, and wanted to work with us. This began a friendship. My door was open to him and his door was open to me. We had many good conversations. He and wife Lisa came to our Luau’s and sometimes helped serve at our big Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. 
I will miss Joe Gunter. He was a good mayor, a good man, and a good friend. May he rest in the eternal peace of God.
Pastor Steve

Do No Harm …

Hi Friends — We, Christians are asked to follow Jesus as our model to care for the people around us. We also follow the principles established by John Wesley for Methodists: Do no harm. Do good. Stay in connection with God. 
We now have a Team working on the task of relaunching in-person worship and ministry activities during and following the COVID-19 Pandemic. Wesley’s three principles are guiding us in this process. We are being careful in our planning because first of all we do not want to cause harm. 
For this reason we will not be opening before Labor Day. Numbers are going up again in California, and Monterey County is no exception. We want to be careful and see what happens in July and August. We also need to be careful to follow county and state guidelines. We need to submit a written plan for reopening and it needs to be approved by our District Superintendent. 
We continue to “do good” by carefully serving those in need who are living on the streets. We are also trying to assist you in “staying connected to God,” by our weekly online services, Faith Matters small group, pastoral contacts, and the Upper Room Daily Devotional.   
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to discuss them with me. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings to you,
Pastor Steve

Pastor Steve Lundin