Our Mission

Helping People Flourish in the good News about Jesus

In Jesus' inaugural address, he opened a scroll of the prophet Isaiah and said this about himself:


"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

   because the Lord has anointed me

   to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives

   and recovery of sight to the blind,

   to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."  (Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 61:1-2, 58:6).


Upon hearing Jesus go public with who he is and what he's about, Luke tells us the people were "amazed by the grace coming from his mouth." 


As a small part of God's big, eternal, and global family, we want to be about what Jesus is about. Jesus makes it clear that he's about liberating people most acutely aware of their need through the good news about himself. It just so happens the those most aware of their material and social needs are usually (though not always!) most aware of their need for God.  


Terms like "liberty" and "release" suggest a one-time finality of release from captivity whereas terms like "recovery" and "favor" suggest an ongoing liberation, even a state of being. When a person trusts that Jesus lived the perfect life of love we couldn't live, out of love died the death we deserve and made all the promises of love come true by rising from the dead (the good news!), they immediately enter into a forever relationship with God. Liberty! Release! And yet the same scandalous good news not only saves us but causes us to flourish - we return to the good news to help us turn back to God after messing up (Romans  2:4); the good news helps us forgive and reconcile with others (Col. 3:13); the good news fuels us with the necessary love to share that same good news with our neighbor (II Cor. 5:14). Recovery! Favor! 


In other words, as a church, we will insist on returning to the good news about Jesus in everything we do. We don't 'get' the good news and then go on to achieve higher and better things by our own strength, discipline or maturity. We keep coming back to the good news about Jesus, celebrating it, singing it, lifting it high. 


To hear more about our mission, watch our pastor preach about it here during this April 2022 message.

OUR CORE BELIEFS

We believe in one God, Creator of all things who has eternally existing in a loving and relational unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Possessing infinite knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for himself and to renew all of creation for His glory (Deut. 6:4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 1:3-11).

Our Leadership MODEL

Elders

We believe a church is to be led by an eldership team with an elder chosen (Pastor) to lead the elder team as first among equals (Acts 14:27; 20:17; 1 Tim. 3:1-3; Titus 1:5-11).  The elders, however, do not lead the church in isolation but are supported by appointed deacons and the members of the church. Deacons are specifically chosen to serve and help coordinate service in key areas of practical ministry. The members also fulfill an important function in the church by using their gifts to serve and edify the body and by providing timely input to our elders, who welcome it. Members at PCC also vote on major matters such as elder confirmation, annual budget, and changes to church by-laws. 


The counsel of Scripture indicates that the role of the elders is three-fold: Know - Lead - Feed. Elders know the people relationally through shepherding and prayer (Acts 20:36; 1 Peter 5:2; cf. Acts 6:4) Elders lead the church through their example of following Jesus (1 Peter 5:3), making decisions that benefit those under their oversight (1 Peter 5:2), and helping to ensure the church moves forward with one another in relational peace (1 Timothy 3:4-5).  Elders feed the church by teaching the Word of God (1 Timothy 4:2) not only corporately but in small groups and individually (Acts 20:20).

Our Elders

Erik Billing

Erik grew up in PCC where his grandfather helped build the current church facility. He trusted Christ at a young age and met his wife, Krista, when serving as co-leaders in the church youth group. He has been serving as an elder for over a decade and has one teenage son.  

Warren Ross

Warren and Faith moved to Petaluma in 1975. They joined PCC in the mid 70s. He retired from the City of Santa Rosa after 27 years. They have two sons and eight grandchildren. Warren trusted Christ at an early age and has endeavored to serve the church with passion into his 'senior' years. His passion is for the seniors, pastoral care, and the Stephen's Ministry program. He is active in the community as a Hospice Volunteer and a member of 100 Black Men of Sonoma County. He enjoys going to the ocean, whale watching, traveling, and bicycling. He is a Green Bay Packers fan, an Oakland A's fan, and a San Francisco Giants fan. His favorite scriptures are Romans 5:1-11 and Psalm 19:4.





Ryan Oelschlager

Ryan is - in order of importance - a husband, father, pastor, paddleboarder, basketballer, and golfer. He loves the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Chicago Bears. He and his wife of twenty years (Katie) care deeply about reaching the city of Petaluma for Jesus, with the good news about Jesus. He has two teenage sons who consider him still culturally relevant (barely) and who still do things with him in public. He received his masters in divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago and is currently working on a doctoral degree. He's served in pastoral ministry for nearly 20  years (most recently in the Cayman Islands for 9 years) and is delighted to be serving alongside the wonderful people of PCC as our lead pastor/elder.

Our Key Leaders

Brian Weston

Worship Leader. Brian grew up in Santa Rosa, CA and most recently lived in Reno, NV for 11 years where he met his amazingly smart and beautiful wife, Anna. They have two awesome sons, Jackson and Samuel, and a soon to be adopted foster daughter.  Trusting Jesus as a teenager, Brian has been involved in worship ministry as a volunteer and leader for more than 20 years. 

He is passionate about Jesus, the local church, creativity, and how they intersect to reach the world in a real and practical way. His hope is to inspire people to move closer to Jesus in all that he does. 

Brian is excited to join Petaluma Christian Church and be a part of what God is doing in the community through the church and His people.


Faith ROss

Women's Ministry & Stewardship. Faith and her husband Warren have been members of PCC since the mid 70’s. They have two sons and eight grandchildren. Faith is a very active member of the church heading us the Stewardship Team, teaching Sunday School, working in the women’s ministry, and working in the Agape Women’s Ministry. She is also active in the community, she is president of the Petaluma Blacks for Community Development, and  serves on the Petaluma Community Relations Council (PCRC) and Sonoma County Human Rights Commission. She knows that is it not by works that she is saved, but by her faith in the love of God who sent his Son to die on the Cross for us. Her outreach is what she does in response to his love. Her favorite scripture in the Bible is Psalm 139:14-16.


GLORIA SUSTAITA

Women's Ministry, Missions Team, & Deacon Coordinator. Gloria & her husband, Phil, have been members of PCC since 2008. While she was born & raised in SoCal, Northern California has been her home since 1982. She is a retired Research Administrator from UCSF, has three married sons, two granddaughters, four grandsons, & another one on the way. After joining PCC, she began serving in the Women’s Ministry. During that time she also served on the Deacon’s Ministry & has been the Chairperson since 2011. While continuing to serve in Women’s Ministry Leadership & the Deacon’s Ministry, she felt led to serve in the Missions Team Ministry in 2017 . She has been on missions trips to India & Belize. She also serves on the Audio/Visual Team for Sunday services & continues to be involved in other activities at PCC, where needed. She is grateful for every opportunity to serve. From the time she became a believer in 1987, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares to the Lord….” has always spoken to her heart.

KEITH HEiDEN, JR.

Men's Group. Keith was raised in Novato and has lived in Petaluma since 2003.  He is retired after working for over 30 years in Public Safety.  He is a proud father of an adult daughter and an adult son. He has also been blessed with two grandchildren. Keith has been a believer since he was a child. He previously attended Calvary Chapel Petaluma and 360 Church of Petaluma, where he served as a Deacon, prior to coming to Petaluma Christian Church in 2017.  At PCC, Keith serves as an usher and greeter.  He also facilitates the Men’s Small Group.  Keith is thankful for the opportunity to serve our church.

Kathy Pearson

Prayer Ministry. Kathy was born in San Francisco, California. Her husband Brian and their family moved to Petaluma in 1976. They were blessed to find a Bible based church, Petaluma Christian Church. Kathy loves studying God’s word and is dedicated to our Prayer Ministry based on 1 Timothy 2:1 ‘I urge you, first of all to pray for all people,. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them and give thanks”. Please contact Kathy with a prayer request by clicking on her adjacent photo.

jean hicks

Missions Team Lead. Jean moved to California from Michigan over a decade ago and has called PCC her church home since then. She has a heart for missions and considers it a privilege to serve as Missions Team Lead at PCC. Jean has spent extended periods of time in both India and Nepal and currently has joined with other church members in founding Grace School, a Christian preschool in the slums of Bhubaneswar, India. One of her favorite scripture verses is Matthew 25:35,36 ‘For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

Billy Welch

Adventurous Seniors. Join with other seniors for monthly excursions highlighted by adventure and fellowship. For more information, contact Billy by clicking on the adjacent picture.

Linda Dunlap

Children's Church Lead. Linda has over 40 years of teaching experience. She loves the Lord Jesus and is honored to serve him. Each Sunday morning our children get to see how all of the Bible points to the good news about Jesus - all while seeing how their story fits into God's story. For more information on Children's church, please contact Linda by clicking the adjacent photo. 

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