“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” –Eph 6:10
Dear Valley Church Family,
As you know, the coronavirus is a serious concern for our church family and community. By now you’ve probably seen the news and heard the various reports. Just this morning County officials announced a new ban on gatherings of 100 or more persons and all public schools in Santa Clara County will be closing for three weeks beginning Monday. None of us could have imagined this happening in 2020 and we’re not sure where it’s going to end. These are historic times!
After prayer and discussion, the Valley Church leaders have decided to move our weekend worship services online for the next two weeks and to postpone any on-campus ministry until March 29th. This was a difficult decision, but we feel led by the Holy Spirit to make this choice. We did not make this decision out of fear or panic. Rather, we made it out of love for people – especially our elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. And not just for people close by, but far away, too. We are monitoring information coming in and will continue to prayerfully seek the Lord’s guidance on a daily basis.
By not gathering on Sunday morning, we are playing a role in reducing the number of people who contract COVID-19 by promoting social distancing, protecting those most likely to experience severe symptoms, and preserving the health care system’s best chance to serve the infected.
Though our campus will be closed on Sunday morning, this does not mean we are not meeting. As you might expect from a church in the heart of Silicon Valley, we will be using some of the technology that many of you work so hard developing. We will still be gathering together virtually:
- Worship through our Live stream service at 9:00 and 10:45. Click on the “Sunday Worship services” in the upper right hand corner on the Valley Church home
- Worship together as a family in your own home. Youtube has great traditional and contemporary worship content.
- Worship through giving to Valley Church here.
- Study through our Valley Church CHASER devotional guide here and through the Discussion questions on the sermon outline here.
- Fellowship with your small group through Facetime or Zoom.
- If you’d like to have a pastor call (or visit, if appropriate) for prayer, communion, or any other reason, our offices will still be open. Call 408 739-4642.
In these alarming times, we need to be built up by hearing the Scriptures and by sharing with our spiritual brothers and sisters. This global health risk hasn’t taken God by surprise, and he has action for his people to take as we model faith and confidence and Build Bridges to our neighbors. Ephesians 6:18 says, “… praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…”
Dear friends, there is so much anxiety and panic in the air right now, made worse by the drama of politics that permeates everything these days. By the power of the Holy Spirit and in the love of Jesus, let’s transform that energy to love and service to others. Our text this Sunday in Matthew chapter 5:38 to 48 is about giving up our “rights” in order to glorify Christ. What if we modeled deep trust, increasing faith, and love for others instead of fear, anxiety, and self-protection?
I’m confident that Jesus is with us and is guiding us. As I communicated with our pastors and elders yesterday, the Lord was confirming to me that despite the challenges, ministry will continue to go forward during this time. We’re not sure how that’s going to look in this season, but I love the creativity among our church body. People are talking about how we can minister to our community in these uncertain times. What specific actions can people in our church body take during this time to show love toward their frightened or isolated neighbors in the name of Jesus? God is using this time for his purposes! I was reading in Psalm 46 this morning and was so encouraged by the idea that we shall not fear because He is God – and that He will be exalted among the nations. This is such a good opportunity for us to build the kingdom.
Finally, receive this blessing from the book of Romans, chapter 15, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
In Christ alone,
Lead Pastor, Valley Church of Cupertino