Date:               March 28, 2012

Event:              3rd Lunch Gathering of Granada Hills Congregational Leaders

Place:               Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council Headquarters


  • Kalesita Tu’ifua, Knollwood United Methodist Church
  • Desmond Hoffmeister, Granada Hills Baptist Church
  • Bill Downs, Valley Interfaith Council
  • Pastor Craig Boehike, Our Savior’s First Lutheran Church and School
  • Bob Kemmerer, Our Savior’s First Lutheran Church and School
  • Michael McMorrow, Center for Spiritual Living, Granada Hills
  • Dave Beauvais,  GHSNC President
  • Ralph Kroy, GHNNC Faith Based Representative
  • Alexia Cirino, GHSNC Faith Based Representative

There are 27 congregations between both the Granada Hills North and South Neighborhood Councils, 9 in the North and 18 in the South and we invited at least one Pastor from each congregation.

We opened our gathering with blessings given by each of the Leaders in attendance.

It was a pleasure to see everyone again and it was nice to take up some of the conversation where we had left off in September.  Three topics were the focus of attention at this gathering.  Ralph Kroy brought up our first topic of discussion which was safety and disaster preparedness.

Pastor Boehlke updated us on his Congregation’s continued interest in purchasing a storage unit for housing disaster-preparedness supplies for our Neighborhood.  He has had some interactions with Semi Park of Mitchell Englander’s office regarding the City permit fees on this concept and he was hoping that the Neighborhood Councils could help somehow.

In his March 16th Weekly Bulletin, Councilman Englander writes about 2012 being the “Year of Emergency Preparedness in Los Angeles.”  We discussed that a potentially good way for the Councilman to seriously support the Year of Emergency Preparedness would be to find a way to waive or reduce the fees involved in installing storage units at our local Congregations for this specific purpose.

Each of the Leaders at the meeting expressed a desire to be a source of disaster preparedness for our Neighborhoods.  The discussion came around to potentially having both Neighborhood Councils draft a motion that would be presented to Councilman Englander regarding this concept.  Pastor Boehlke offered to provide details of his interactions with the Councilman’s office thus far as a guide for drafting this motion.

Dave Beauvais then shared with everyone information regarding Citrus Sunday, which will be in September this year.  We had a lengthy discussion about the origins of Citrus Sunday and how it has evolved, including the newest development of Food Forward helping with the event.

The Leaders all showed an interest in supporting the event and having their Congregations announce for the event, as well as potentially be drop off points on the day.  The Congregations with food pantries mentioned they are also interested in receiving some of the fruit as they give food to the hungry every week.  More discussion will take place about that as the date arrives.

Bill Downs from the Valley Interfaith Council (“VIC”) gave us an interesting overview of what VIC does and who is on the board.  He spoke of the programs they support, which include, among other things, Meals on Wheels and several Senior Centers here in the Valley.  We discussed ways the other Congregations could assist in that effort as well.

We plan on meeting again in September and hope for an even larger turnout.  Thank you to everyone who attended.