July 3, 2020
Dear TCCBC church family,
Greetings in the Lord to you and your family! This weekend is the anniversary of the founding of the United States of America and Independence Day of the USA. Let us once again give thanks to God for the freedom of worship in this democratic and free country.
On June 19th, we heard that Northern California might take the next step to opening up. We had originally planned to return to church for worship on July 12. But now this situation has changed somewhat. In the past week, the number of coronavirus infections worldwide has exceeded 10,800,000, and the number is increasing by almost 100,000 every day and the number of deaths has reached 520,000. The number of infected people in the United States exceeds 2.8 million and the number of deaths exceeds 130,000. In addition to the increasing numbers, what is more worrying is that the average age of infection is now gradually declining. Originally it was thought that only elderly people were more susceptible to infection. Now the number of people under the age of 45 is increasing rapidly. While writing this communication letter, I received a letter from a church sister, informing her that a friend’s son had just graduated from college but was also infected and undergoing treatment. Therefore, TCCBC families should tell their young children to pay attention to hygiene, maintain social distance, and wear masks when going out to avoid infection.
On Wednesday, the Governor of California announced that 19 counties in California that had been permitted to open were to cancel all indoor businesses operation and activities. Although the Alameda County is not currently among these counties, the governor said that something might be announced in the next two days. In view of the sad fact that the epidemic has not slowed down but worsened, the deacons of our church met on Wednesday and decided to postpone the reopening of the church. This means that we have cancelled the original planned July 12th return to church worship. We feel that this is not the best time to open back up in account of the health and safety of our brothers and sisters. At this moment we have not decided when the church will be reopened. Either after the epidemic has subsided or a vaccine has been successfully developed, we will announce another time.
Therefore, on the Sunday after next week, we will continue the current same process: English worship will be broadcast on Livestream; Cantonese and Chinese worship will be broadcast on YouTube. The times are the same as the usual meeting times.
Similarly, we had planned to begin the series of “Church Leadership” seminars to start in August and have decided it best to postpone them for the same reason. Originally, I wanted to conduct this over Zoom livestream, but now I can see that this method is not conducive for good group discussion and that it would be difficult to achieve the course design’s desired effect, so we have decided to postpone the training to early 2021. Registration for now is temporarily suspended.
We want to tell all TCCBC families again, if you have the slightest need of church assistance, whether it is financial help or the need to purchase some life necessities, please feel free to contact the church deacons, we will try do our very best to help everyone. The church has also prepared some care items, including hand sanitizers, hand towels, masks, toilet paper, etc. If you have need of any of these, please contact pastors or deacons.
In addition, we also want to remind everyone that because of long-term home confinement, our mood may be more irritable. We must always approach God and look to God and ask God to protect our hearts and minds. No matter how disappointing our situation may be, God is always our help and our refuge. As the psalmist said: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:11)
Finally, a reminder to everybody that there will be Communion this Sunday, so please prepare a small piece of bread and a small glass of grape juice, and let us together remember the salvation that the Lord has done for us and wait for the coming of the Lord!
Awaiting God’s help with you,
Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor With fellow church leadership team