March 16, 2020 Update
Hello Monte Vista Family!
As you are probably aware, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has asked that for the next eight weeks all in-person gatherings over fifty people be postponed and that older adults and those with underlying medical conditions should avoid crowds all together. This means weekend services will be in an online format and most weekly gatherings will be suspended. The staff is working hard to develop ways for us as a body to stay connected and serve our community while complying with these guidelines. We promise to keep you informed through email, social media and our website as details unfold!
While we are unable to ‘go to church’ in this season, I do believe we have incredible opportunities to ‘be the church’. In fact, history shows us that the church has always been more impactful when it has been scattered rather than gathered! So, I want to challenge you to ‘be the church’ by doing exactly what Jesus calls us to do in John 13:35 (“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”). Love one another. Especially those who are most vulnerable. Here are just a few suggestions to spur you on.
- The COVID-19 virus puts older adults and those with compromised health at greater risk. Reach out to those you know who fall into this category. Give them a phone call. Ask how they are doing. Run errands or go grocery shopping for them. Also, if you are elderly, have compromised health or need anything, please reach out to the church office at 209-634-4935. Many people have already let us know that they are more than willing to help!
- Certain people will be experiencing a financial crunch as paychecks shrink due to reduced hours. While the church has a benevolence fund, and the state has updated its guidelines for assistance (click here), we as the body of Christ can keep our eyes open for opportunities to share with those who find themselves in this situation. Drop some groceries off at their home, make a meal, or simply give them a call to see how they are doing.
- With schools closing, childcare will be an issue for some. Consider ways you may be able to help. While we as staff are brainstorming ways to connect people who find themselves in this situation, keeping your eyes and ears open to where you can step in is one of the best solutions!
- Finally, be kind and compassionate towards one another. Extend peace to one another through a simple smile! Nerves can easily get on edge in times like this so stay anchored in the love, grace, and strength of God. This is the only way you will be able to give it away to others. In fact, my prayer is that God’s love and compassion would be so overflowing in your life that others are drawn to Him through you.
Know we are praying for you during this time and we would appreciate your prayers as well. If you have needs, thoughts, ideas, or concerns you would like to share with us, please don’t hesitate to contact the office or one of the staff. Finally, as I said before, we will send out regular communication through email, social media, and our website as details unfold.