February 11, 2015
Re: Rev. Al Soto
Dear Selection Team,
Not too long ago I was “attending” the live video webcast of a Sunday Service from the Church I attended before moving to Lincoln, California. We moved a little over a year ago for a job opportunity, a decision made all the more difficult because my husband and I were very connected and attached to our Church there. The particular morning I was watching the service happened also to be a Communion Sunday there. I had been a regular part of our Communion service and realized, as I continued to watch the webcast, how much I missed it. I might have even whispered to God that precise sentiment.
Not more than an hour later, during a production meeting before Service at Bayside Lincoln, Pastor Al Soto turned to me, the Lead Producer, and said that we would be having communion the following Sunday and he would like me to help with it. I about fell off my chair, recognizing instantly that this was no coincidence; I also nearly cried.
I’m sharing this story because it epitomizes to me the essence of Al Soto. First and foremost he is a follower of Jesus Christ. He is attuned to the Holy Spirit and willingly follows His promptings. Al and I had never had a conversation about whether I had ever any experiences with any Sacraments, yet at the exact same time I was wistful about helping with Communion, he invited me to be a part of it.
Second, Al Soto is passionate about leadership. The kind of leadership that allows people to grow, to make mistakes, and to rely on each other in recognition that God brought us all together for a reason. And working together, as a team, is paramount for achieving the Kingdom tasks in front of us. Al invited to me to be Lead Producer for Sunday Services after knowing me for only a short time. I believe he understood at the time that I had some history of leading within Churches and a passion for Jesus, but I was new to Bayside Lincoln and had never even gone to a Church that had “producers” as a role, much less any experience in producing. To me, this demonstrates Al’s adeptness as a leader – his ability to quickly assess a situation, make a decision consistent with the needs and vision of the organization that also has the potential to result in the development and growth of an individual.
And third, Al is a friend. He is personable and warm and truly wants every person to come to know and love Jesus Christ more and more. He has a quick laugh and a quick wit and it is just plain fun to be around him and a member of his team. It has truly been a privilege and blessing to serve with Pastor Al at Bayside Lincoln. And I know without a doubt that anyone who has the opportunity to work with him in the future will be similarly blessed.
If I can be of any further help, please feel free to reach out to me. I have many other stories that demonstrate the faith, character and leadership talent of Pastor Al and I would be happy to share them.
Monica S. Arrowsmith firstname.lastname@example.org