Dear FPCSA Family & Friends,
The vision of our church family is to see people connect with Jesus Christ and with one another. That vision is being put to the test in our current situation. Suddenly connecting with each other is much different. It’s not necessarily harder or easier. It’s just different. Please, if you are feeling disconnected at all, please contact me by replying to this email or texting me: 714) 788-1920.
Your church staff is doing the best they can adjusting to the current changes due to the stay-at-home orders. If you are getting this email, then you are a little tech-savvy. We encourage you to follow FPCSantaAna on facebook. You’ll find a lot of activities there, from Sunday messages to scripture readings. Our youth are connected there and so are our children.
We have a new FPC Children’s Ministry group on facebook. This is a private group that only members can join. Even in this context, we want to protect our children. Miss Sandra is doing a great job providing Biblically based, fun activities for our families with children. They might even be fun for some of our older “children” too!
Similarly, Xander and his team of youth leaders is providing interactive activities nearly every day for our families with youth. Check out our facebook page or the Underground facebook page or Instagram.
We had our first Zoom Bible Study yesterday (4/1). And guess who joined us… John & Marcia Griffin! All the way from Colorado. So, although the stay-at-home culture makes some things more difficult, it opens the door for some new possibilities. I’m thinking of making the Wednesday afternoon meeting a little less studious and a little more family-friendly, interactive, community-building. And then we might re-start the Pastor’s Bible Study on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. to return to what we were doing before the outbreak.If you haven’t done Zoom yet, this is what you have to look forward to…
You’ll feel like you’re in the opening credits of the Brady Bunch! Ha ha hah! This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday.
It’s Family First Sunday and that means birthdays and anniversaries; it also means the sacrament of The Lord’s Supper. It’s also the Sunday I was planning to be in Moloka’i, Hawai’i. Sadly, I am not. But we’ve stuck to our plan to have Xander give the message that morning.
Everything we are doing on Sundays is done on our FPCSantaAna facebook page. I will be uploading a communion service segment (with instructions). Plan to have bread (preferably unsliced) and grape (or dark) juice or wine; the juice or wine should be in a pitcher from which it can be poured into a cup (my video will explain why that is important).
Xander will be giving the message on “Peter’s Denial.” And Miss Sandra will be doing a short video for our children.
How can you prepare for worship? Get out of your bed and get dressed; that will put you in the right mindset. Go through your normal Sunday routine, minus the “hurry up or we’ll be late” part. Gather together as a family; no multi-tasking, worship is a family activity. Stream to your largest screen if possible; it will feel more like you’re there. When we have music, we’ll post the hymn or songsheet on the facebook page ahead of time so you can print it or read it off another device. When we worship, sing loud and proud. It might feel weird, but it feels weird to those who are leading to an empty room, too. Engage with the message. Say, “Amen.” Take notes. Send comments in the comment section of facebook. Join in prayer at the end. Feel blessed by God. For whenever 2 or more are gathered in Jesus’ name, He is there. Another way you might be able to reach out is to see if some of our tech challenged people who do not have the ability to stream might be willing to listen. Before the service starts, you can call them; they can put their phone on speaker; you can set your phone near the sound; and they can listen to the service as it goes.This might come as a surprise to you, but some of our Sunday morning online services have reached over 500 people. We give thanks and glory to God!
I’ve received a few questions about giving to the church. Yes, it is an incredibly difficult time for individuals and for churches across the globe. We rest in God’s faithfulness and we thank God for the faithfulness of His people. Every bit counts! You may send your tithes and offerings to the church through the US postal service: 600 N. Main St. Santa Ana, CA 92701; or you can donate online at our website: www.fpcsa.org. It will take a minute to sign-up the first time, but after you’ve done so, it will be easy in the future. And thank you for continuing to support your church family!
Another idea… I’m looking for short video-selfies of you and/or your family responding to the phrase: “The best thing we’ve done during the quarantine is____________.” And you fill in the blank. Send that to me via email or text and I’ll do my best to put them together and post on our facebook page. It might give us ideas on how we can manage our time better.
A final note, I mentioned last week that our former associate pastor, the Rev. Leanne Strommen, tested positive for COVID-19. The doctors say they see signs of improvement, but have not yet taken her off the ventilator. Please continue to pray for her recovery and for Kevin and Noah.
I love you all! Hang in there.Stay safe. Be still and know that God is God. And be at peace…