My Valley Christian Family,

I have waited to the last possible moment to write this. The message from our government leaders and health care experts is clear: stay home and don’t gather in large numbers. Each day, we have monitored the situation looking for a way for us to meet this Sunday. But when our governor laid down his edict on Thursday afternoon, it was clear that moving forward, life for us is going to look much different. Please know that your church takes these recommendations seriously. While we love worshiping together, we care more about doing our part to stop the spread of this virus. Our concern is particularly focused on our at-risk population (adults over 60 with underlying health challenges). The situation is fluid so I ask for patience as we figure out this new chapter together. We apologize that this is long, but ask you to take a few minutes are read each part.

Sunday Services:

Starting this weekend, Sunday Services will be broadcasting online only (see instructions below or click this link). Our service format will be the same for now with 9am Worship and Prayer and 10am Service. As we transition to an online audience, we will tweak which elements of our service work and which elements will not. At Valley Christian, we long to become the kind of worshipers the Father seeks, so our primary audience for any of these settings is always God. We will continue to give the Father what he deserves and longs for from his people, worship. We ask you to join us from your home as we celebrate our God and seek His protection in these trying hours.

For those who are new to connecting with us online, we have provided a simple step by step process to join us. If you have any problems connecting, please contact the Director of Communications, Danielle Lane: 925.487.3342 or [email protected] We don’t want anyone to miss out because of technical difficulties so please reach out if you have trouble connecting. We suggest you practice before Sunday so there will be no technical glitches.

Sunday is the Lord’s Day. For centuries, the people of God have dedicated the first hours of the week to the sacred task of worshiping God. While our format is changed for this season, the call to worship remains. With all of these changes, we risk losing our practice of time on Sunday to engage with God. Let’s not see that happen. Keep Sunday as a day set-apart for God.

Children and Youth:

Parents, your role is critical during this season. While your pastors are here to guide and support you, I sense the key for our young children and teens to interpret, fight off fear, and walk-in faith will come through the guidance and support of their parents. We will provide weekly materials and crafts for you to teach. If you have any questions regarding Valley Kids, contact Pastor Tara or follow our Valley Kids Facebook Group (link here). Further details about Valley Youth and their programs will be coming from Pastors Dave and Danielle; you can also follow our Valley Youth Facebook Group (link here).

Parents, I suggest you gather with your families and pray Psalm 91 over them and your home each day. God’s word provides for protection during such trials and our children need to hear us invoke the promises of God over them and our homes.

Small Groups are now more important than ever:

Tiny gatherings will become the primary means for us to remain connected. We are currently looking into ways to spin-up small groups, online prayer times and personal connections. We ask you to find a small group and walk beside someone. No one should be alone. Our Community Life Pastor, Cassie Arnold, will be reaching out to provide a resource guide on how you can stay in a community throughout this pandemic.

Help us care for our Seniors:

The most vulnerable to the coronavirus are our seniors. The pastoral staff is personally reaching out to all those who are in the later stages of life to {offer comfort, prayer, and reassurance during this season. We ask you to help us care for and support those individuals who have a harder time fighting the harmful effects of this virus. Our elderly need extra care and support and let’s make sure we are there to provide it.

The Church Offices are closed:

The Church Office is closed during this season, however, your pastors are still working remotely. If you need access to any of your pastors, we will be here for you.

Giving Financially

The harsh reality is that something like this could really be a financial hit to our church. We know many of you give online, via mail or other electronic means, but there are many who are in the habit of giving when we pass the offering plates on Sundays. Our church relies on that weekly, consistent giving to fund every aspect of ministry.

As we go through this season, would you remain faithful in your giving by signing up to give online? Our hope is that we will be able to maintain our current level of giving, but I’ll be honest, a change like this can easily impact our resources. If that happens, we’ll be facing some even tougher decisions in the near future.

We’ve made it easy to remain consistent in your giving by providing a way to give online. Please sign up here (link here) to give your offering that way. You can also continue to give by mailing your offering or dropping it off during normal business hours.

A call to pray:

King Solomon foresaw a time when pestilence would challenge the people of God. At the dedication of the Temple, he prayed these words.

“When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, and when a prayer or plea is made by any of your people Israel — each one aware of the afflictions of his own heart, and spreading out his hands toward this temple — then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of all men), so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our fathers.” – 1 Kings 8:37-40

Ezekiel 22:30 tells us that God is looking for people to stand in the gap. The gap between what our government and health services can do and what is needed by those who are sick and suffering is immense and we need to fill it. I ask you to do your part in this challenge by joining the pastors as we petition Heaven together for mercy and grace.

We’re still the church…

We all know that church is not just a Sunday service. As important as that gathering is, it does not define us. Church is worship. Church is community. Church is service. Church is teaching. The modes of delivery are shifting for this season, but the essence of who we are remain the same. To honor government and health services warnings, to take this pandemic seriously, to do our part to not spread this virus, to care for those who are currently sick, and to preserve the health of our seniors, we are are not convening large group gatherings on Sunday. We can’t say when we will gather again for our regular services. Prayerfully, we hope this crisis will lift quickly and we will reconvene our regularly scheduled services.

Church, we have a role to play in this pandemic. It is time for us to care for the elderly, cure those infirmed, intercede for Heaven’s mercy, encourage each other, and financially support our local church. There will be many more communications coming your way. The story will take turns and with it we will make necessary adjustments. Let’s rise up through this pandemic stronger, not weaker and may the world see how we love and care for another through it, and be amazed.