Dear members and friends of Valley Park,
It has been a long time since a majority of our members and friends have been back on the church property. It has been almost 14 months. I am daily considering the things we need to do to be re-connecting with each other and working together in the things Jesus has called us to do.
I am very grateful for Dilcia Junior who has been making lunch for after church fellowship for close to two months. She prepares all the food and ensures that everything that we use is sanitized. She serves and attends to everyone’s needs. People are lingering after church. They are getting reacquainted with each other and getting to know many who are new to Valley Park. This is a huge contribution to rebuilding our “in person” fellowship as a church.
I believe we have the strongest worship team I have witnessed in my 30-year tenure at Valley Park. This is the result of Nick Barbinis’ leadership, his love of Valley Park and empathetic concern for all who are on the worship team. The practices he holds every second Friday evening also contributes to the building of a strong fellowship among members of the worship team. I am grateful for all that Nick has done to build a stronger team during this time of social distancing and church closures.
Besides the regular contributions from the contemporary music team and the delicious food by Dilcia on Sunday mornings, we are happy to announce Vivian Rude is returning, effective May 2, to restart the Traditional Worship Service on Sundays at 10:30 A.M. I know there are some of our members who love the small group feel of the Traditional Worship where there is a time for sharing of personal needs, praises and prayer. This service is a strong fellowship because it’s size makes it easy to facilitate and comfortable for anyone who wants to share.
In addition, there is the return of our children’s ministry. This adds to our already growing youth group who have been meeting on Sundays. We are prepared for the return of all of our children.
There are more things to come. Our website is updated. We now have videos that can be viewed on Instagram that reflect what is happening at Valley Park. Check out “Valley Park Church, North Hills” on Instagram. The sound of our live-streaming service has been managed and greatly improved with help from Joe Tagnipes who is a part of our sound team. This has improved our on-line viewable presence. We also have plans to upgrade the lighting system in our sanctuary. In addition to the 70- 80 who have been attending in person on Sundays, Facebook records show that there are 120 – 130 views of our service. We are pleased that Valley Park has such a strong following on Sundays.
Our budget is strong even though there was a slight dip in giving. The huge bonus is that the School maintained their lease payments and our spending was much lower than it has been in past years. God has kept us financially strong and we need to be thankful that God has sustained us. The primary reason we are strong, I believe, is due to the strength, devotion, and commitment of our members and friends.
Our vision into the future needs to be “Who is the Church in the eyes of Jesus,” and how do we best serve it in our efforts to honor Jesus in our lives.
Two primary teachings of Jesus to guide us as we move forward are:
The New Commandment (John 13:34-35): “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
The Model of a Servant (John 13:12-15): “After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”
If Jesus, as our Teacher and Lord, was willing to humble Himself to do the work of a servant to His followers, it should be no problem in our lives to become a servant of those who follow Jesus. It is a display of true love. I believe that these two guidelines help us focus upon what we do when we gather. They also give us reason to gather. I like how the responsibility for each other is expressed in Hebrews 10:24-25:
”Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do,
but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”Hebrews 10:24-25
If our people come together with a commitment to love and serve, as they are already doing in many ways, I believe we are in a season where we will see Valley Park grow stronger. Thanks be to God and to God be the glory.
Be Aware of and Pray for the Following Ministries:
Connecting with Our Youth:
Youth Leader: Victor Paz
Group Monthly Agenda Learning Topics
Forgiveness, Trusting Jesus, Getting out of our comfort zone, and Serving the body of Christ.
Meeting Location – Ranch House
Wednesdays from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Sunday Service from 10:30 AM to 12 PM
Children’s Ministry: Diana Nason
The Children’s Ministry has resumed with nursery, preschool, and elementary age students. In order to ensure CDC guidelines, we are implementing the following safety protocol:
- All classrooms are sanitized prior to children entering the rooms.
- Classrooms are closed until the teacher is present to greet the children.
- All children must be escorted to their classrooms by an adult.
- Children must come to class with masks covering their nose and mouth. Elementary students need to keep masks on during class.
- Parent/adult must sign children in and out of class.
- During Sunday school time elementary students will remain seated at their desks and maintain the recommended 3 to 6 feet social distancing.
- Elementary students will be provided with crayons, pencils, and paper for personal use during class time. These materials will not be shared.
If you have a child in elementary school, we ask that you go over these guidelines with your child in order to have a smooth transition. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and look forward to seeing your child once again in Sunday School. If you have any questions regarding the reopening of children’s Sunday school, please feel free to contact Ann Jones at email@example.com.
To God be the glory!
What’s Happening at Valley Park?
Adult Bible Study: Attend a Wednesday Night Bible Study at 7 P.M. via ZOOM. You can download ZOOM at https://zoom.us/download. If you need help, call me at (818)521-0654.
Thursday Fellowship for Seniors: Join us at the church for our Senior Fellowship on Thursdays at 10 A.M. in the Church courtyard.
Men’s Fellowship and Bible Study: Come down to the church on Saturdays for our Men’s Group at 9 A.M. in the Church courtyard. We are studying the Book of Isaiah.
BE AWARE of Youth Scholarships for Graduating Seniors: Financial Scholarships for graduating seniors who are intent on going to college or university are awarded by Valley Park every June. Qualifications are good grades and display of commitment to loving and serving Jesus Christ in the ministries of Valley Park. Applications are due in May, 2021. See Victor Paz to obtain your application.
Valley Park May Birthdays
02 Julia Honles and Marcus Green
03 Meghan Robinson
04 Jehan Eugenio, Regobertp Govea
06 Jamie Navarro (female child)
08 Ann Jones
11 Kreshell Ramey
14 Dan Han
15 Camille Ramirez and Sebastion Paz (youth)
21 Jesse Hallak (male child)
23 Megan Lavachek (youth)
25 Dilcia Junior
27 Sylvia Junior
28 Landry Barb
Valley Park Financial Total through April 30, 2021
Weekly Budgeted Giving Estimated $2,692
April Weekly Giving:
April 11 $5,041
April 18 $1,827
April 25 $3,376
April Target (2,692 /week x 4) $10,768
April Actual $10,224
April Variance minus $524
Year to Date (July 1 through April 30)
YTD Target $115,756
YTD Actual $104,708
YTD Variance minus $11,048
Board of Deacons Report
The Board of Deacons completed a review of our budget through April 30 (3/4 year). It is extremely positive to report that although our budgeted giving is a little low, our spending is surprisingly lower, due to less property usage and expenses. Valley Park’s budget is strong.
The Deacons also decided we will not recommend or appoint new deacons to the board for the next fiscal year as we have not been active enough to make recommendations of new leaders. We will also carry last year’s budget forward to the next fiscal year (July 2021 – June 2022) due to the fact that spending was so different from previous years and there is no way to recommend reconsideration of most line items. There will be a few adjustments and the budget will still be distributed to the membership in early June for approval at our Annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, June 27, 2021.