COVID-19 UPDATES FROM THE ELDERS
Join us for a special Good Friday service, which will be available on the SVC Website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel on Friday afternoon, April 10 by 5:00!
EASTER: CORPORATE WORSHIP
An Easter worship service will be available on the church Website Sunday, April 12, as well as on the SVC YouTube channel and Facebook page. Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!
EASTER: SUNDAY SEMINAR
Please join elder David Pommer at 10:30 am on Sunday, April 12, at the SVC Facebook page for the seventh installment of the Worldviews seminar, on Buddhism and Baha'i. Those who join the broadcast will be able to ask questions in real-time, and the video will be available on the page after the session has ended. Previous sessions are available on the church Facebook page.
April 3, 2020
REACHING OUT FROM HOME
These are crazy and unparalleled times! For that reason, we must be the church to our valley and to each other more than ever! We have created a post card for all of SVC to use with their neighbors, friends, and co-workers. These cards have a few Bible verses of encouragement and hope, as well as an invitation to SVC when this crisis passes.
Pastors John and Rick have supplies of them at their homes, as does Jeremy. If you’d like 5-10 of them to mail to those in your life who you know could use some encouragement from the Bible, contact one of us and we will run them out to your home and leave them on your front porch (using rubber gloves of course!). Or, we will leave a stack of them on the back porch at the church office. Be the church!
CHURCH OFFICE AND GATHERINGS
Due to the current shelter-in-place order that Governor Inslee has put in place until at least May 4, all small groups are suspended for the time being, and the church office is closed. Please stay connected with one another by phone, video chat, or other means: We are still the Church, called to love one another! You may still reach the pastors and elders by phone and email, and you can reach the church office by email:
Sadly, Holy Week activities—including Easter Sunday—will not be taking place at the church. Thanks be to God, Jesus is risen, His Gospel is going forward, and our hope is in the living Lord! We look forward to gathering again in worship face-to-face when it is safe to do so.
People of God, please pray that our sovereign Lord would show mercy and grace to our valley and world in this pandemic, and that this would be a pointed time of spiritual openness for the lost to see their need of Christ in the Gospel.
COVID-19 Update from the Elders
March 13, 2020
Dear Sun Valley Church Family:
As you know, this week the World Health Organization declared that the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has become a pandemic. On Thursday, March 12, the Yakima City Council declared a state of emergency due to two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Yakima County. This pandemic is the center of international attention, and within the United States, Washington State has been on the frontlines of fighting the virus from the beginning, and organizations and churches are taking active measures to prevent the spread of the illness, especially among those with underlying health conditions and those over age 60.
We have not faced a pandemic like COVID-19 in recent memory, and global prevention steps are temporarily changing the way that people live their lives, including how the Church gathers. Thanks be to God, our sovereign God does not change, His Gospel will not be hindered, and the Church stands in a long line of godly men, women, and families who have faced historic pandemics with hope, peace, and joy in their sovereign Lord and Redeemer.
After careful deliberation and prayer for wisdom, and in an effort to love our neighbors and church family well, the elders have decided to move forward in the following way over the upcoming weeks:
SUNDAY CORPORATE WORSHIP AND SEMINARS
Beginning this Sunday (March 15), we will not be meeting for corporate worship at the church. Instead, services will be recorded and placed Online by Sunday morning, so that we as a church can gather together in our own homes. Some might consider gathering with another family or perhaps in their small groups to participate in the recorded service together and share a meal. You can find this service on Sunday mornings at our website: www.sunvalleychurch.net. Also, we will be recording our weekly Worldviews seminar and posting those sessions on the Sunday Seminars resource page. This is a temporary step that the elders have taken in love for the most vulnerable members of our fellowship. Sacrificing something that is so central and important for a short time will, we believe, allow us to gather together once again sooner than we otherwise could.
Small group gatherings may continue at the discretion of each small group. As groups are considering whether to meet, please consider with whom you come in contact that may be vulnerable. Groups with members who are in the high risk category might consider staying connected in other ways. Also, this is a unique opportunity that small groups have to serve one another. While the world is panicking, we have the ability to bring groceries or other needed items to those who should not be in public. We can pray for and encourage one another. Whatever the next few weeks look like, we would encourage you to lean into the fellowship of the saints.
PAPALOTE MISSIONS AUCTION AND TEM
The auction fundraiser for SVC’s Papalote Team has been rescheduled for Friday, April 24, 6:00-8:00 pm. Please mark your calendars for the new auction date and stay tuned for updates. If you signed up to donate a dessert, we will still plan on your participating in that way, but now you have an extra month to bake! At this point, we still intend for our Papalote team to head south June 20-27, and we would ask you to please pray with us to that end.
STUDENT MINISTRIES AND TIMOTHY GROUP
Crossed Out Student Ministries will not be meeting for its Wednesday Gatherings or events during the time that the church is not gathering corporately, and neither will Timothy Group on Thursdays. Jeremy Pynch and his staff will continue to serve and support the families and students of SVC, so please stay in touch! Men, please begin reading one chapter of Spurgeon on the Christian Life per week, and consider meeting with one or two other men to discuss it. Again, this is a temporary step for the sake of love.
Having addressed the above details, we would ask you to consider these things…
1. The Church of Jesus Christ should not panic, for we worship and serve the sovereign Lord! We do not believe that panic is either necessary, helpful, or warranted. We believe in the triune God Who is sovereign over every virus, and we confess along with Job that God can do all things, and that no purpose of His can be thwarted (Job 42:2). We encourage all who are unsettled about COVID-19 to take to heart what David wrote in Psalm 56:3: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” Our decision to change the way we worship as a church for the moment is not a fear decision, but a decision of deference, prudence, and—above all—love.
2. The Church is still the Church. We are still the people of God, and we want to encourage each of you to participate in the life of the Church as fully as possible. The Church office is still open, we will continue to meet with people and prepare sermons, teachings, and worship services, and we would ask you to remain faithful in giving, which you can do Online, bank bill pay, or by mail. Family worship guides will still be available each week Online, so keep worshiping as families; parents, use this opportunity to disciple your children through the trial as Christians. We would also ask you to think of creative ways to serve one another, stay connected with one another, and take the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. We represent Jesus to a watching world.
3. Pray for God’s wisdom and look to His Word. Each person and family must seek to walk in wisdom according to God’s Word and according to their consciences in submission to the Word. Stay updated on the counsel of medical authorities, as well as local, state, and federal government (Romans 13:1-7). Determine how to best show neighbor love as you do so. We would ask that you refrain from judgment on a brother or sister who responds to this unprecedented moment differently than you would, exercising a spirit of love.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the elders, deacons, or the church office. May the Lord bless you and keep you through this time, and we look forward to seeing what God will do in our church as He sustains and guides us through this hour of trial.
For His Glory,
The Elders of Sun Valley Church