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Thunder + Lightning//August 18

3 AM – Woken up by strange flashes of light, look out my bathroom window but can’t figure out where it is coming from, probably just a broken streetlight

3:15 AM – Woken up again by flashing light, still can’t figure out what is happening, maybe the building lights on the apartments behind our house?

3:30 AM – Hear intense rumbling sounds like a garbage truck but can’t figure it out because of the noise from the three fans cooling down our hot house.

3:45 AM – Woken up again by flashes of light, rumbling sounds, and the smells of rain.

4 AM – Jump out of bed and race to the backyard remembering that Ruby’s gymnastics mat was left outside and I don’t want it to be ruined by rain.

4:15 AM – Realize the flashes of light, rumblings, and rain = thunderstorm! I sat in our backyard for the next hour enjoying the glorious beauty of lightening and changing clouds, intense thunder and an emerging sunrise.

As you know thunderstorms are rare in the Bay Area. When woken up by flashes of light and deep rumbling I could not even imagine what was happening right outside my bedroom window. As I enjoyed the grandeur of a thunderstorm from our backyard I reflected on times God reaches out to us, speaks to us, and tries to get our attention. Sometimes God’s Spirit speaks to us in scripture or through the wisdom of a friend or an experience in our lives but we miss the guidance because we were not expecting it. We follow a creative God who has and will continue to guide us as individuals and as a church community. My prayer for us this week is that we would not miss out on the beauty and hope of God because we didn’t expect God to speak or act in certain ways.

God, open our hearts and minds to your guidance and truth – even when you speak and act in unexpected ways. Amen


  1. Check out our new website – Great place to find these letters, request prayer, and donate online if you desire. If you have suggestions for additional resources you’d like on the website, please let me know.

  2. Don’t grow weary of creating community - Please continue to call/text/send cards to three different members of our community to check in on each other and ask to pray with each other.

  3. If you have an urgent prayer request – please call Paula Ash (925) 435 – 2859 to start the prayer chain.

  4. Join the Zoom call this Sunday for our worship gathering.  Zoom is a digital platform that facilitates online group meetings. You will find an invitation to the Zoom call in your email. A reminder that every Sunday morning the Zoom link/meeting number is the same. You can always log in from a previous email. You can use your smartphone or computer to join. Please bring juice and bread to the call so that we can all share Communion together. (If you are having trouble with Zoom – please reach out to Singeh to help (405) 714 – 3641.)

  5. Even as we don’t see each other in person, our church continues to have our ongoing expenses. If you are able, please mail in your offering to YVPC, 2140 Minert Rd., Concord, CA, 94518. You can also give your offering through the website if that is easier for you.

Connecting with God

  1. Art/Faith conversation – Going to continue our discussion of the intersection of art and faith by reading Mary Oliver’s collection of poems ‘Devotion.’ Let Pastor Matt know if you are interested in joining.

  2. Lament – As the number of covid-19 cases spike and we wrestle with racial justice in our society, remember the importance of lament – Use a bowl salt and a bowl of water, share with God what breaks your heart/makes you angry, sprinkling salt, like tears, into the water.

  3. Gratitude journal – During a season of uncertainty and hardship, giving thanks is a powerful spiritual practice. Consider writing down ten things each day you thankful to God for.

  4. Use the ‘Common Prayer – A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals’ by Shane Claiborne for daily prayer and to guide our weekly worship times. You can find it online at or call me and we will get one delivered to you.

Loving our neighbors

  1. We are gathering food to partner with Mision Hispana de Concord. We need dried beans, white rice, cereal, spaghetti, cooking oil, and tuna. Schedule the drop off with Pastor Matt.

  2. Our mico-loans through KIVA continue to bless women around the world, to develop businesses to sustain their families. If you would like to add to this work, send resources to the church building earmarked for KIVA work.

Grace and Peace, Pastor Matt 

(Please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions, concerns, or ideas of ways we can stay connected and support each other (510) 856 – 7434)

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