I keep hearing stories of how you all are sending letters and postcards and text messages and making phone calls and dropping off meals and sending emails – checking-in on one another, giving encouragement, praying for each other, grieving and celebrating together. These stories bring me great joy. I see the delight in Ruby and Monrovia’s eyes when they receive mail and imagine others feeling the same way. Imagine that we have a ball of yarn. You call someone in the church community to check in on them, throwing the ball of yarn to them. That person then writes a card to another member wishing them a happy birthday, throwing the ball of yarn to them. The third person sends a text message of condolence to another member who is experiencing loss, throwing the ball of yarn to them. Imagine this ball of yarn being passed again and again around our church community over the past weeks, a web of connections and support being woven, becoming stronger and more complex each week. Paul’s words to the church in Galatia reminded me of this web of community that we are deepening through this pandemic season.
“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” (Galatians 6.9-10) (The Message)
Let us not grow weary of the support and encouragement we are showing to one another. Let us imagine new and creative ways to bridge across our difference. Let us pray without ceasing for one another, our neighbors, and our larger community. I am imagining us coming out of this season with a deeper understanding and appreciate for our church community, a sense of community that enables us to fearlessly worship God and serve others.
Check out our new website – yvpres.org. Great place to find these letters, request prayer, and donate online if you desire.
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. Take a risk and pray for each other over the phone.
If you have an urgent prayer request – please call Paula Ash (925) 435 – 2859 to start the prayer chain.
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. You can use your smartphone or computer to join. If you haven’t gotten an invitation, please call or email me. 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 Saliki to help (405) 714 – 3641.)
Even as we don’t see each other in person, our church will continue to have our ongoing expenses. If you are able, please mail in your offering to YVPC, 2140 Minert Rd., Concord, Ca, 94518. Thanks. (You can also give your offering through the website yvpres.org if that is easier for you.)
Connecting with God
Tom Prinz is writing a series of articles using his years of counseling wisdom to help us grow through the pandemic rather than just survive. If you would like to receive further installments of these articles – please contact Tom at (805) 807 – 3727 and he would be overjoyed to send them to you.
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.
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 commonprayer.net or call me and we will get one delivered to you.
Loving our neighbors
If you are sheltering in place, light a candle in your home. Each time you see the candle pray for essential workers at this time at hospitals, grocery stores, post office, gas stations etc.
Washing hands, practicing social distancing, and if able, only leaving our homes for essential needs to help protect the most vulnerable members of our community.
Pastor Enicia Montalvo shared during our Sunday service that many of the families in their church are out of work and need help. Could we adopt one of these families to help together beyond our food closet assistance?
Deacon’s Food Closet – We have an abundance of canned food at the church building. Please let me know if you or a neighbor needs food and we can drop it on their doorstep.
Grace and Peace,
(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)