March 18, 2020 Update

Dear Church Family,

What a great time to be secure in the good care of our sovereign Savior! While none of us could have anticipated this challenging COVID-19 time, we now have the opportunity to live out these days with a peace from God and a confidence in His leading “that transcends all (worldly) understanding.” He has a good plan for our growth others’ blessing!

As you are well aware, our governing authorities have mandated a “Shelter In Place” policy, limiting our ability to physically come together for worship. Not out of fear, but out of a deep concern for protecting the most vulnerable among us, we are following this governmental directive. We are not gathering for ministry activities at the corner of Schulte and Carmel Valley Road until further notice (hopefully resuming the week before Easter).

But our church is much more than the location where we typically gather. The Sanctuary body is people…people who are following Jesus. So, we are now looking at creative ways that we can stay in touch and continue to encourage each other in our growth and witness for Christ.

Already many in our body have taken the initiative to personally reach out to others in our fellowship, expressing concern by phone and email, and looking for practical ways to be an encouragement. The examples are too many to list here, but “Thank You!” to all of you who are extending your care to others in our church family, and beyond. Please keep it up! All that I am aware of in our church body are currently doing well, but I’m sure needs will surface as this current mandate continues.

For all of you who are involved in a midweek ministry connection (H2H, men’s studies, small group gatherings, etc), I would encourage you to take the initiative to find ways to stay in touch and continue your studies if possible. I know that our Youth Pastor Tyler, Children’s Director Carmel, and AWANA Commander Brad will be sending you encouragement to stay the course in learning opportunities.

Our staff has just started using the virtual meeting tool, ZOOM, as a way to keep meeting remotely. If you’re not familiar with this tool, you can download the app and use it for group communication (with audio and visual capability) with any digital device. It’s very user friendly for any group where each member has access to a digital phone, pad, or laptop with camera.)

Over the next couple of days we will also be exploring ways to create a link from our website to content that we will post on Facebook, Youtube, etc. We do not currently have the capability to produce livestreamed worship services, but we will be using the tools we have to find the best ways we can to continue to encourage as many of you as we can to be strengthened in God’s Word and in your times of worship.

That being said, I also want to challenge you to take the initiative to stretch in new ways in your family and personal times of getting into God’s Word, lifting up your voices in worship, and prayer. This can be a rich time of learning and growing together as a family. (My message to you this weekend will grow out of Romans 12, the passage I’ve encouraged you to memorize and meditate on this year.)

Hopefully, this gives you some idea of our current direction. I’ll be the first to admit that our staff and leadership are taking this a day at a time, recognizing that we are vitally dependent on God’s leading and grace. Let’s keep praying for eyes to see, and a heart to pursue, redemptive opportunities created by these unusual circumstances. How good to know that we are following the One who sees and governs this situation with absolute clarity!

Blessed to be walking with you in step with our Savior,
Pastor Dave

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