Dear members and friends of Valley Park,
The last three months have been an experience unlike anything most of us have experienced in our lifetime. A virus gone global in weeks changes the way we understand US vulnerability. It is becoming more and more obvious that we are witnessing significant changes in the world as we have known it and our future will be impacted.
I am grateful that Valley Park has been able to resume worship services on Sundays. Valley Park, as a community, is where God intends us to find peace and security in a world that is not under the rule of Jesus Christ. Our first service last week was attended by close to 60 folks of our church family. Many came to church earlier just to enjoy friends and the courtyard. There was an obvious excitement to see one another and re-engage in Christian fellowship.
We were able to manage two services as we have done in the past and we were able to safely manage communion as a celebration of our unity in Christ. We enjoyed pre-packaged refreshments, good coffee and being served by others who wore masks and were attentive to sanitized hands and surfaces. This week we will add our breakfast bar to Sunday mornings before worship services for those who want to come early.
There was and will continue to be a sense of familiarity with the way we used to comfortably gather. But there are obvious alterations for everyone’s safety. We will prioritize diligence distancing and sanitizing into the future to guard ourselves from habits in which the virus is transmitted.
Many among our church family are not yet comfortable gathering at church because of the on-going threat of COVID-19. The fact is that we need to be prepared to be careful for many months to come. We need to pray that our members become comfortable re-engaging in Christian activities that promote Christian fellowship and spiritual growth. May God lead all of us.
The implications for Valley Park are many. Our children’s ministry is still in question while we wait for guidelines from the experts regarding the possible opening of LAUSD schools. Small group Bible studies continue to be a concern and we will likely discourage small group gatherings through the summer months. Zoom meetings will continue to be utilized for Bible studies and meetings. I would be very encouraged by any of you who choose to join us via Zoom on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
The youth group is meeting again on Wednesday evenings and practicing social distancing while wearing masks. I understand this Sunday, June 14, will be the first time in months the youth meet in the Ranch House during the Worship Service. Contact Joey Metcalf so that He can bring you up-to-date on his program and plans for the next few months.
It is very important to the management of Valley Park that we have leadership that is approved by the membership (typically in May) who prepares a budget to also be approved by the membership (typically in June) that supports our ministry priorities. This year we have adjusted our meeting schedules because of lack of freedom to pursue our typical course for addressing our church management responsibilities. We are asking our membership to consider the recommended leadership (Deacons and Vice Chairs) and recommended budget at one congregational meeting to be held at the end of June. We have scheduled this important congregational meeting to be held in the church sanctuary where we will be able to honor safe distancing.
Congregational Meeting: Sunday, June 28th, at 5 pm in the Sanctuary (where we can honor healthy distancing).
In preparation for this meeting, two documents will be sent out by email or available to pick up by Sunday, June 21. We are asking our members to review these documents before the meeting so that questions can be answered, and the recommendations can be discussed prior to approval. These documents include:
1. List of Deacons and Vice Chairs who will serve on the Board of Deacons during the next fiscal year (07/01/2020 to 06/30/2021).
2. The Proposed Budget for the next fiscal year (07/01/2020 to 06/30/2021).
With our “Safer at Home” encouragement from the governor there are many things we have not been able to do in 2020. During this time Valley Park’s spending has been reduced and we are fiscally strong. We are challenged to evaluate new ways to strengthen our ministries as the economy opens up. Our congregational meeting on June 28th will address necessary business of the church. The ministries of the church need our prayer, support and wisdom as we move forward in this time of change. May God give us wisdom and may our leaders know how best to lead us.
Let us pray that God will give us direction in the months to come and wisdom to serve Him and to protect us from contracting this virus.
Sincerely in Christ,