Tri-City Chinese Baptist Church

Ministry Updates

April 24, 2020 message from Pastor Job Lee

Dear TCCBC church family,

Greetings in the Lord to you and your family!  I came across two news reports on April 23, one from Taiwan and the other from the U.S.  It was discovered that a number of sailors from a battleship recently returning from overseas service were infected by the coronavirus.  The Health Department immediately implemented the epidemic prevention protocol.  The result of the investigation revealed that sailors from the battleship had visited almost all areas of Taiwan while they were on vacation a few days before their diagnosis.  This incident had drawn the attention from a number of local governments, with elevated concerns of a major outbreak in Taiwan.  To counter the possible spread of the coronavirus, certain county governments are considering closing the county to block military personnel as a proactive prevention measure.

I have also noticed that the epidemic in the U.S. is continuing.  Daily infections are over 25,000.  With concerns to save the depressed economy with escalating unemployment, some states are considering relaxing their shelter-in-place policy and reviving their market economy.  Some economy reopening supporters have started promoting their lockdown opposition, regarding imposed lockdown as invasion against their human right.  News are reporting that a number of states, including Michigan, have seen demonstrations demanding the government to protect people’s freedom given by the Constitution, and to remove the lockdown order against businesses and people’s mobility that are causing a deteriorating economy.  The demand has caused worries and anger from the medical professionals.  The picture of confrontation between demonstrators and medical professionals was on display in Colorado.

I have also read from the news about family members, as a result of staying at home, could be re-establishing relationships and making up on missed time when they were previously too occupied by work, and they are now drawing more closely together.  But from statistics, violent crimes at homes have gone up 25% in this past month.

I am sharing these news items with you to raise our awareness of the coronavirus lockdown impact being not just limited to our freedom to go out, or the lost of jobs, but psychologically, also on our emotions and our relationships with others.  Spiritually, we experience a real test of our relationships with God.  Without worshipping in an environment of a church sanctuary, is our worship still real?  Without brothers and sisters right by us, how has our relationships with each other evolved?

The condition we are in today led me to consider Job’s situation in the Bible.  Satan was accusing Job before God.  “Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? “Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” (Job 1:9-11)

We appear to be facing the same test in the church today.  We can look like faithful Christians when things are going well and we don’t lack anything.  But here we are, God has removed our safety net, those things that we had counted on for protection.  We are now temporarily removed from our dear friends and families, do we still fear God?  Do we praise God before Him, or do we complain before Him?  Let us come to ask God for His help, that through this epidemic and testing, we may experience a little bit of this well known proclamation by Job, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You;” (Job 42:5).  Perhaps we will see different directives from the state governments in the next few weeks, according to the different situations for individual states.  Government officials were elected by the people, and will make the best decisions for the wellbeing of their people.  The governor of California has indicated that he did not expect the lifting of epidemic measures any time soon.  I encourage all of us to wait quietly, and not be critical of the elected officials.  Let us learn “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me.” (Psalms 131:2)

Thank you for your prayer support for last Sunday’s Church Council meeting, with a number of important decisions made from the meeting, including extending Pastor Daryl Watts’ term through the end of November 2020 as the interim English Pastor, canceling Summer Camp for this year, and Counseling Body inviting current council members to extend their term for another year until the end of June 2021.  Please see our weekly news for these and other church announcements.

Again, if there is anything that we can assist you on, needs and sharing that we can pray for you, please do not hesitate to email me at jobklee@nullgmail.com, call me at (408) 832-5932, or contact one of the deacons.

I want to thank brothers and sisters who have started giving online through the church’s website.  If you have not visited the Giving page, or if you would like more information on giving online, please go to our church’s website (www.tccbc.org), and select Giving.

Let me close by encouraging you with this verse from Job 1:21.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” 

Praising with you during this difficult time,

Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor

With fellow church leadership team


April 17, 2020 message from Pastor Job Lee

Dear TCCBC church family,

Greetings in the Lord to you and your family!  Having been confined at home now for over a month, I trust that everyone is slowly getting used to this new normal.  Hopefully, this situation will soon pass and we can return to our normal life and practices.  The epidemic, is still ongoing at the moment, with over 2.2 million people having been infected, and approaching 150,000 deaths.  There are close to 700,000 infections in the U.S. and with over 34,000 deaths recorded.  These are scary and worrisome numbers.  The number of infections has gone up 50% since I wrote to you last week.  Infections are increasing at an alarming rate.  Beside brothers and sisters maintaining good hygiene for personal protection, my hope is we are also praying earnestly for the epidemic in the country.  May God help the frontline medical workers and researchers find the effective treatments to enable those infected to be cured.

We also learned from news reports that the U.S. government has begun exploring resolutions to reopen the U.S. economy, including restarting certain lower risk business operations.  We do not yet know what the state government will be announcing for California.  But I wonder when businesses in California can restart, the order against gathering in the church can potentially be conditionally relaxed, for example, with social distancing, body temperature checks, cleaning and sanitizing regulations, etc.  Please be assured that the church leadership will follow the government officials’ directives, and will prepare ahead of time a safe environment for brothers and sisters to worship in the church without encumbrance.

During this time of the epidemic, I trust that you have attained good spiritual insights and reflection.  I encourage you to write them down.  As a new pastor in this church, I understand that we have a periodical, the “Heavenly Dew”, that is due to be published in June.  If our Lord wills, we can put all our sharing together under the theme of “Reflections on the Epidemic”.  I believe we will see the many wonderful ways God works among us during this period.  Please submit your sharing before the end of May to our Sister Sara Wei (ws30687@nullyahoo.com).

In your prayers, please also remember our church council meeting this Sunday afternoon (4/19) over a video conference to discuss a number of new fiscal year related topics.

Again, if there is anything that we can assist you on, needs and sharing that we can pray for you, please do not hesitate to email me at jobklee@nullgmail.com, call me at (408) 832-5932, or contact one of the deacons.

I want to thank those brothers and sisters who have started giving online through the church’s website.  If you have not visited the Giving page, or if you would like more information on giving online, please go to our church’s website (www.tccbc.org), and select Giving.

Let us encourage each other using this passage from James 1:2-4.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 

With the hope of resurrection with you,

Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor

With fellow church leadership team


April 10, 2020 message from Pastor Job Lee

Dear TCCBC church family,

Greetings in the Lord to you and your family!  It has been almost a month for us to have been confined at home under the shelter-in-place order.  How are you and your family doing?  We have not received many response emails, and not many answered phone calls perhaps from concerns of telemarketing solicitations.  Yet I still regularly have your wellbeing on my mind and in my heart.  May the presence of our Lord watch over you and protect you!  If there is anything you need help on, or sharing on your mind, or prayer requests, please email me at jobklee@nullgmail.com, or call me at (408) 832-5932, or contact one of the deacons.

There are now over 400,000 Americans who have been infected by the coronavirus, with over 10,000 deaths.  I saw a news report on Tuesday about the U.S. military creating mass graves to bury those who die from the coronavirus.  I was disheartened by the news.  And I felt bad for the families.  The pandemic has been so serious that even a solemn funeral to honor the dead cannot be carried out.  Thinking through this, I could only cry out to God, “O Lord, may You have mercy on us, and have pity on us, sinners, by Your grace.  May You retract Your judgment hand, and leave this pandemic far from us.  This coming weekend marks the Easter Sunday when we remember the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May our Lord fill us with sufficient faith, trusting You who will grant us peace that surpasses all comprehension (Phil 4:7)!  And “now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” (Eph 3:20).

We have been worshipping online for almost a month now.  We want to hear your good suggestions to continue to improve as much as possible while working through our limited resources.  Please understand and forgive us in the love of our Lord on the many ways we have not sufficiently cared for you during this time.  Besides encouraging our brothers and sisters to continue worshiping with us online on Sundays, I would also ask that you strive earnestly in caring for each other in the Lord.  Make phone calls and stay in touch with each other, pray with each other, and have spiritual sharing with each other in the body of Christ.

Beyond online worship across Cantonese, Mandarin and English congregations, we also have online Sunday School classes.  Online class times are the same as usual when we were in the church.

While most people are home these days, use the opportunity to call your friends and relatives and share the gospel with them.  During this time of anxiety in many people’s hearts, we can give them peace from God to fill their spiritual void.  I shared with the Mandarin and Cantonese congregations last Sunday afternoon about free Bibles offered by the Tien Dao Christian Media Association to your friends and families.  All you need to do is to provide them their names and address, and they will mail the Bible to their home.  Let me know if you have not received this information.

When you receive this communication letter from me today, it should be Good Friday when we remember the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Even though we are unable to meet in the church for the Good Friday service, I encourage you to read through John 17 to 19.  Please share your insights from the Scripture reading through email to me (Pastor Lee).  I will compile the sharing, and share with others later, probably through the Heavenly Dew publication.

Online giving will be available on our church website this weekend.  Giving options include: credit/debit card, bank transfer, Text-To-Give, and postal mail of offering check.  More information on these giving options are available on the Giving and the FAQ page on our church’s website (www.tccbc.org).

I would encourage all of you to not go out during this time of sheltering in place.  Spend more time reading the Bible, more time in prayer.  Calmly wait for the passing of this coronavirus pandemic.  Just as the prophet Habakkuk declared:

I heard and my inward parts trembled, at the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, and in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, For the people to arise who will invade us. Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments. (Habakkuk 3:16-19)

With the hope of resurrection with you,

Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor,

With fellow church leadership team


April 3, 2020 message from Pastor Job Lee

Dear TCCBC church family,

Greetings in the Lord to you and your family!  The coronavirus pandemic in Asia appears to have a gradual slowing, while the spread of the virus continues to be in the stage of spreading in both America and Europe.  Here in the United States, over ten thousand people are infected each day.  At this writing, confirmed cases of infection have grown beyond two hundred thousand, with the death rate now over four thousand.  Because there has not been an effective control over the spread of the virus, President Trump has extended the shelter-in-place order from April 7 to April 30.  The governor of California has also extended the effect of the order to May 3.  It looks like we are a long way from the end of the shelter-in-place practice.  But our hope will not diminish.  We will wait upon our Lord and trust in Him through it all.

Join us again this Sunday to worship God online together.  We give thanks to the collaboration from our brothers and sisters that we are able to worship God online each Sunday on our church’s website or YouTube.  May the grace of God be with brothers and sisters who worship Him from their hearts.  You might have seen last week’s page views from the weekly announcements and feel that they were higher than the numbers when we worshiped in the church.  This is expected.  The primary reason is page views do not represent the number of people, but only the number of views to the web page.  The reported page views are metrics that can be used to establish our worship online trending, and for our future improvement considerations.

While we are in this coronavirus pandemic, brothers and sisters must also be concerned about church ministry expenses and to make their regular offering.  You can continue to make offering by mailing your offering checks to the church’s address using post office mail.  The mailbox at the church is locked and is secure to receive offering mail.  Our budget committee will make pickups of church mail and offering each week.  In parallel, the budget committee is currently implementing and validating a secure online giving setup that has been approved by our church council.  They are currently in testing phase.  More information on how you can make offering online will be announced within the following week as we make progress on the arrangement.  We believe God will honor your offering to Him regardless of mailing it in or doing it online.  You can contact Annie Hsu if you have questions on online giving.

From this week on, we encourage you to go to our church’s website (www.tccbc.org) directly to join the worship services online and hear the sermon messages.  Links to the online worship services and other resources are available on the home page.

The weekly bulletins will continue to provide you church news and ministry arrangement announcements.

Don’t hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can assist you on.  May the peace and comfort from our Lord be with you all!

Waiting upon our Lord with you,

Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor,

With fellow church leadership team


March 27, 2020 message from Pastor Job Lee

Dear TCCBC church family,

It has been almost two weeks since the shelter-in-place order went into effect.  We thank God for His continuous watch over brothers and sisters in our church, with no one having been infected by the coronavirus.

We began our online worship services last Sunday (March 22) to praise and worship God.  Praise God for the good responses we have received.  The following sharing from a few brothers and sisters came to us through Sister Lucille following last Sunday’s online worship.

  • Bill Liu: I can see it, I can feel it.
  • Judy Ho: I just finished attending the worship service. Thank you, Pastor Lee, for bringing God’s message to us.  Thanks be to God!
  • Gwat Kwik: I have watched the entire service, and have passed the link to Jenny Cheung, who have also watched the complete worship.
  • Sister Zhu: Grateful, and praise God for His love, and to have Pastor Lee deliver his message to enable us to know God more, to understand Him more deeply. God is love.  During this time of the coronavirus spreading, we come before God, praying in faith and in Spirit, seeking His face, confessing and repenting from our sins, and having God’s hand touch us and heal our sickness and be restored.  What is not possible with man, there is nothing not possible with God.  For our God is the living Triune God.  He is almighty.  Hallelujah!
  • Sister Li: Praise God. Glad to hear the online worship just like worshiping in the church.  I took notes, and had properly prepared for the 11 am start of worship.  My son helped set it up without having to do anything myself.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find the worship recording for the 15th.
  • Martin Lien: How are you? Thank you for your caring and help.  I received yours and Pastor Lee’s emails.  I was able to attend and hear Pastor Lee’s sermon message and beautiful singing.  I benefited a lot from Pastor Lee’s well delivered sermon on “Touched by Illness”.  I believe we are able to overcome this coronavirus pandemic under God’s protection, and return to normal living soon.  Praise and thanks to God!  Thank you for your contributions!

There were also responses I received from other brothers and sisters.

  • Jack Wong: Thank you to our Pastors and ministry co-workers for your diligent service, enabling us to worship together online. During this extraordinary time, we are able to consider God’s Word together, and receive comfort and hope from it.  Adding one or two hymns is a good suggestion.
  • From the bottom of my heart, I thank our Pastors and co-workers for your contributions and hard work, so that we can still worship together. Thank you for the uplifting and comforting messages.  Yes, adding one to two hymns is a good suggestion.

These are just some of the heartfelt sharing from a few brothers and sisters.  There are others who have expressed their views on the online worship and provided suggestions.  I am sure there are many others who have written to Pastor Mak and Pastor Watts also.  Even though I don’t yet have all the information from them, I believe brothers and sisters have felt that they have received care from our Pastors, deacons and ministry co-workers during this extraordinary time.  We hope you have received spiritual feeding and have continued to grow.  May we be united as one in Spirit.

Many elderlies from our Mandarin and Cantonese congregations may be unfamiliar with technologies.  It has been more challenging for them to follow on the small screens of smart devices or computers because of physical limitations.  I’d like to suggest that as long as it is permitted under the law, the younger generation or family members can go to their homes to help them worship online.  I don’t know much technology either, but brothers and sisters can consider using HDMI or other methods to project the online media onto large screen TV displays so that the elderlies are able to watch the worship services more clearly and receive spiritual feeding.

We want to thank Brother Liu Shou-I and his willingness to conduct Mandarin Sunday School online, starting this week until the shelter-in-place order ends.  Brother Liu will conduct the lesson online on the Lord’s Day, following the curriculum on Deuteronomy.  We welcome brothers and sisters to join online using this link: https://youtu.be/qijvnkiGQAM.  Details will be announced to those joining the Sunday School class, which starts at 9:30 am.

Below are the links to the three worship services this Sunday on YouTube and church website.  You can copy the links and place it on your browser to join the online worship services.

English Worship: https://youtu.be/JT9Y5ESTOmA

Church website:  https://www.tccbc.org/2020/03/19/english-worship-online/

Start time: March 29, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

Cantonese Worship: https://youtu.be/3OUshHK_W44

Church:  https://www.tccbc.org/zh/2020/03/17/%e7%b2%b5%e8%aa%9e%e5%b4%87%e6%8b%9c/

Start time: March 29, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

Mandarin Worship: https://youtu.be/yJi1v9ixpIo

Church: https://www.tccbc.org/zh/2020/03/19/%e5%9c%8b%e8%aa%9e%e5%b4%87%e6%8b%9c/

Start time: March 29, 2020, 11:00 a.m.

Based on the most recent news, I am afraid that the coronavirus pandemic is not ending any time soon.  Therefore, we need to be prepared spiritually and in our hearts to face a challenge that we have not encountered in our lifetime.  But we can be certain that our almighty God who sits on His throne, is in control of all things, and He has power over all.  Therefore, our church will need to make timely changes and adapt to the evolving situations and needs from our brothers and sisters accordingly.  Please remember our church leaders and ministry co-workers in your prayers.

Don’t hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can assist you on.  May the peace and comfort from our Lord be with you all!

Praying earnestly with you,

Pastor Job Lee

Senior Pastor,

With fellow church leadership team


3/20/2020 message from Pastor Job Lee (continued from home page)

Dear Church Family:

Less than a day following sharing the coronavirus related changes with you, a shelter-in-place order to six Bay Area counties was announced by the county officials, including Alameda county that our church is located in. The shelter-in-place directive is effective until April 7 where residents are restricted from going out for three weeks.

Under this order, our church has suspended regular gathering and events, including our original plan to livestream on-site worship services, intended to provide a more engaging and personal worship setting. Officials expressed that gathering for onsite livestreaming is not considered “essential”, and therefore not permitted. We can anticipate the coronavirus impact becoming much larger than we have ever imagined.

In spite of the imposed restrictions, our pastors and deacons are determined to make alternative arrangements for church ministries. Even without onsite livestreaming of services, we will be broadcasting our worship services on YouTube, livestreaming from home our English worship at 9:30 am, broadcasting Cantonese worship at 9:30 am and Mandarin worship at 11:00 am, enabling our three congregations to worship God online together. Even when we are not physically together, our spirits are joined as one, because most important is God being with us. We have this promise from our Lord, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 18:19) Brothers and sisters, please join us online at our church website (www.tccbc.org) at regular worship time to praise and worship God together! If you are unable to join us at this regular time, the worship services are also available on demand afterwards.

All three online worship services are accessible from our church’s website (www.tccbc.org). Below are the direct links to the respective worship pages, also on other online streaming services.

English worship

Church: https://www.tccbc.org/2020/03/19/english-worship-online/

YouTube Live and Facebook Live: to be announced on the church web page above.

Mandarin worship

Church: https://www.tccbc.org/zh/2020/03/19/國語崇拜/

YouTube: https://youtu.be/It5voTVAOe8

Cantonese worship

Church: https://www.tccbc.org/zh/2020/03/19/粵語崇拜/

YouTube: https://youtu.be/NMZadijbXkI

I also have a suggestion for you. Even when we worship God online, it is important to have our reverence before our Lord. Let us worship Him in spirit and truth. Refrain from being too casual on how you dress, eating or drinking, or talking to your family during the worship time. Simply put, we hope you will join the worship and meet God just the way you would if you were worshiping in the church. Please also wait until the worship service is over If you would like to comment or share your thoughts online with us. This will help us not get distracted and affect those following the worship service together with you.

We praise God for His continuous watch over our brothers and sisters this past week. They are all safe, and we have not received news on any serious situations. For this, we lift up our thanksgiving to God! If you ever need anything that we can help on, please let us know. May the peace and comfort from our Lord be with you all!

Praying earnestly with you,

Pastor Job Lee
Senior Pastor,
With fellow church leadership team


3/15/2020 message from Pastor Job lee

Dear Church Family:

We know God is with us, His people. He is our help, He watches over us, and He protects us (Psalm 121). In the midst of the evolving spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), many of us will experience fear and anxiety to a certain degree. How should we deal with the threats of the virus, and what is the church doing about it?

People are the priority of our ministries. We know that the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation has caused much confusion and anxiety, even some fear. Our pastors and deacons have been monitoring the developments and have come up with a plan to protect and care for our congregations and allow us to still worship, serve, and grow together. The church is taking prudent steps to safeguard our people, including alternatives to avoid face to face contact and suspending high risk meetings.

Before we get into the details of the plans, let us address how we should react as followers of Jesus Christ. First, do not let worry or fear take control. The Bible is full of verses of comfort and assurance that God is still in control. We have listed some of those verses at the end of this message. While we should all be smart and maintain good hygiene practices, we also need to keep our trust and faith in God’s direction and protection.

Second, look for where God is working in the midst of these troubling times. We have a hope through Christ that most of the world does not have. This can be our opportunity to speak faith, hope, and love into lives of people who are scared and hopeless. Find ways to comfort those around you and to minister to them.

After much deliberation and prayer, we have decided to temporarily suspend the AWANA program, fellowship meetings and choir practice, effective immediately. We will also suspend worship and Sunday School physically in the church after March 15 until it is safe for us to resume regular meetings. We believe that these are the programs that present the greatest risk for the possible spread of COVID-19. We will let you know through the church website and through emails or phone calls when we can resume these programs. Prayer meetings will continue on Saturday mornings in the church. We believe prayer ministry must continue, and there is no more critical time to go to the Lord in prayer than now. We will continue to monitor government directives and adjust church programs accordingly. We are working toward providing alternative ways for us to be together for worship and regular ministries. We will announce the specifics as they are set up. We value the physical health of all people but equally, we care for the spiritual needs of our community as well.

We will make some changes to help maintain healthy “social spacing” whenever we have church events and keep the facility sanitized. Limiting church facility use beyond prayer meetings means that the pastoral staff will work from home as often as practical. The staff will still be available by phone, text, and email and will respond in person whenever necessary.

Even with these steps, people who are ill or have compromised health should still self-quarantine. We respect, accept, and support each other, and especially during this trying time. We will provide live streaming or recording of the worship services. In addition, we are investigating options for video meetings for the fellowship groups. We take seriously our responsibility to provide both spiritual care and maintain spiritual growth for our congregation.

Finally, to the best of our knowledge, there have been no reports of COVID-19 in any of our regular attendees or guests. We have no reason to believe that our church is unsafe. We are simply being prudent and proactive.

If you need any help, physically or spiritually, your pastors, deacons, and church family will still respond to your needs.

Sincerely,

Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor, with the Counseling Body

Philippians 4:6-8; 2 Timothy 1:7; Deuteronomy 31:8

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