CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
UPDATED: May 23, 2020
Grace and peace to you,
Over the past two months the members of Almond Valley have been anxiously awaiting the “go ahead” to meet together in person for worship on Sunday. President Trump’s announcement yesterday (May 22) that houses of worship should be considered essential businesses is a great step in that direction. This is a development that we thank the Lord for producing.
At this time our state, county, and city authorities maintain that large gatherings are not permitted. For example, the elders checked with Ripon city police after the President’s announcement yesterday and learned that they would still cite a church for holding a worship service due to the risk that it causes to public safety.
The next step for Almond Valley is to listen to Governor Newsom’s scheduled announcement on this matter on Monday. After this, our “Re-Gathering Committee” will meet and create procedures and plans for how we should meet. The elders anticipate that this plan will be approved and distributed to the church this coming week, with a possibility that our members can attend worship in person on Sunday, May 31.
It truly has been a long and difficult two months. We desire to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, such as our high school graduates, and we want to weep with those who weep, including those who are sick and in need of prayer. Hopefully our time of separation is coming to an end soon, but until then the Lord calls us to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Eph. 4:2-3)”
The Elders of AVCRC
UPDATED: March 17, 2020
Dear members and friends of Almond Valley,
Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ.
While reading through Paul’s letters, he often writes that he would prefer to minister to his friends in person but there is some hindrance that prevents him from seeing them. His desire was to see his brothers and sisters in Christ, to preach directly to them, to enjoy fellowship with them, and to celebrate Communion with them.
Sadly, Paul’s experiences are going to become more relatable to us at Almond Valley in the coming weeks because the elders have decided, in response to the directives of state and national health officials and to show love to our neighbors who are susceptible to being severely impacted by the coronavirus, to invite all our members to worship via live stream on Sunday mornings. We will still worship together, but the only people physically present in our sanctuary will be Pastor Mark, a small praise team, and the necessary volunteers for running sound and the live stream.
The elders will keep a close eye on updates from state and national authorities to determine when we can gather again on Sundays. At this time we anticipate at least a 4 week hiatus, but we will be reevaluating the situation each week in the hopes that we can resume regular ministry activity as soon as possible.
During this hiatus, the council encourages financial giving to continue. Here are some options for giving in order of preference
- Give online at https://www.almondvalley.org/give.html
- Mail a check to the church at PO Box 395, Ripon CA 95366
- If necessary, a deacon can come to your house to pick up a check.
Our scheduled offerings for the coming weeks are:
- Cadets (3/22)
- Resonate Global Mission: the Kornelis Family in Egypt (3/29)
- Ripon Christian Tuition Relief (4/5)
- The General Fund (4/12)
Keep in mind that you can always designate what you would like your offering to be put towards, whether online or in the memo line of your check.
The council, staff, and pastors of Almond Valley will continue serving the congregation in the weeks ahead. If anyone has a spiritual need (a need for prayer, spiritual direction, or a visit) please call Almond Valley at (209) 599-4331. We will try our best to care for you over the phone or in person in case of an emergency. If you have a physical need (food, daily necessities, help getting prescription medications) the deacons are ready to assist you.
Finally, Pastor Mark and Pastor Zac will be working this week to produce content that will provide spiritual nourishment for our congregation via social media. Look for updates on the church’s Facebook page and the Youth Group’s Instagram account. While this will be a challenge, it’s also an opportunity to get creative in how spiritual care and teaching will be delivered to the members of Almond Valley.
Please join us in praying that this lockdown will be lifted soon, so that we might once again enjoy the blessing of worshiping together in person and so that there might be peace in our nation and world.
Romans 16:25-27, “Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him—to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”
The Elders of Almond Valley CRC