May 8, 2020
Dear TCCBC church family,
Greetings in the Lord to you and your family! We are approaching the familiar Mother’s Day on this coming Sunday. However, this will be a very unfamiliar Mother’s Day. Because of the coronavirus epidemic, there is no celebration in the church, and no special song presentation this time. Families will not be meeting for meals with moms in restaurants. It is good to know that each mother will understand these limitations, as what their giving expects no repaying. Thank you to all the mothers and wives, their strength and unceasing prayers, have enabled us to be filled by God with His warm lovingkindness. May God be with you and bestow His blessings on you!
I had mentioned several weeks ago that the church was considering tangible ways that we could assist brothers and sisters during the coronavirus epidemic. Some had helped deliver essential goods to the elderlies, some had provided comfort and support through phone or video calls. From a recent news report, over thirty million people in the U.S. had lost their jobs as of last week. The report caused us to consider those who are under financial hardship. To help us participate in expressing our love and support to them, the deacons have decided on a purely voluntary love offering collection for their daily needs. The love offering collection will go into the church’s Caring Fund to support the needs from our church family as the priority. Please let one of our pastors or deacons know if you, or someone you know, has a need. We will proceed to provide the assistance as soon as possible. The deacon body will determine afterwards to either have the unused amount be added to the Caring Fund, or be applied to other ministries. If the collection is insufficient for the financial needs of the church family, we will fund the needs from the existing Caring Fund. If you have a burden to give toward this special need, you can go to online giving on our church’s website using bank transfer or your credit/debit card, or mail your check to the church. Please select “Caring Fund – COVID-19” when you give online, or indicate it on your offering check. This special love offering collection will conclude on May 31.
We have been worshiping online for almost eight weeks. Through the scrambling initially to the relatively stable operation today, we have made a number of improvement adjustments to content production and process. But we know that there are still shortcomings that we have not been able to overcome. From your feedback, there are benefits using livestream for the English worship services. But there have also been unstable glitches. I have been recording the Mandarin worship videos with my smartphone, but with occasional lighting effect going in and out. (I have limited knowledge and understanding on high-tech products like the smartphone that I used, where the automatic lighting adjustments to my shadow caused the unintended effect.) I have also considered whether to purchase brighter lighting equipment to compensate for the lighting instability. When I think about the arrangement being temporary, should I put more considerations into making improvements? From the recent California state government announcement, the shelter-in-place order is effective until the end of May. I hope we are able to return to meet in the church by the first part of June. Then these issues will not be with us anymore. I hope our brothers and sisters will understand and accept these limitations.
Steven Curtis Chapman is an American contemporary Christian music singer, songwriter, record producer, actor and author. He has sold over ten million albums, and has received ten gold or platinum album awards. He wrote a well-known song seven years ago titled “Together”. The words are quite good and the music is nice too. The song was cast in the backdrop of wounds, storms and wars, and walking on an unfamiliar winding road. We do not know the path ahead either. But we know that we are together. We would not be here if it were not for God’s mercy and grace. We are together because of His faithfulness, and to walk this path ahead, one step at a time…
Here is the link to the webpage that you can enjoy the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0nk3SaSsxQ
According to the announcement by the California governor, Stage 2 of the reopening plan starts this Friday (May 8). It means those lower risk businesses, including bookstores, florists, furniture stores, clothing stores…are permitted to open. But they are limited to only curbside pickups. Toy stores and childcare facilities are also permitted to open. But the easing of business openings does not mean the epidemic is over. The fact is the number of infections in the recent couple of days has been going up. According to the officials, the corresponding confirmed infection cases have gone up because more people are being tested. Nonetheless, if you need to go out, remember to observe social distancing, wear your mask, and wash your hands regularly.
As to the timing of the reopening of our church facility, we have to wait for Stage 3 of the reopening plan to go into effect. We cannot predict what time that will be. Let us remain in ceaseless prayers and ask God to lead us through this difficult time of the epidemic, and bring us back to our church to worship Him with our brothers and sisters again!
Blessings to every mother and wife on the eve of Mother’s Day – good health, fervent in spirit, proclaiming God’s love, and be filled by God’s grace.
Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor
With fellow church leadership team