August 14, 2020
Dear TCCBC church family,
For a while there has been no mention of the pandemic in my communication letters but this week the number of infected people worldwide has officially reached more than 20 million! In the United States alone, the number of Americans infected has exceeded 5.3 million and the global death toll is close to 750 thousand, a number more like war casualties. Due to the severity of the pandemic, vaccine development has not yet reached fruition. The introduction of new medicines has affected all aspects of our lives so in view of this, the church council met last Sunday and discussed church pandemic response measures. The following two paragraphs are from Deacon Roddy Kwan, Chairman of the Church Council, to communicate with you on behalf of the church. Please read carefully.
Greetings in the Lord to you and your family! I miss being with you in church regularly and share our faith journeys. While we have been unable to hold regular church programs onsite for the last 5 months, our church leaders have not stopped looking for new ways to connect for ministry online or onsite while observing official safety guidelines. In our Church Council meeting this past Sunday, council members continued to look for creative ways for us to stay connected in this body of Christ. Ideas about staggered time for church picnic, improving online worship engagement, commitment to be the Operation Christmas Child collection center in November, just to name a few. This is also the time proactive training and equipping of our members, all for preparing the church’s return to onsite ministry. Pastor Daryl described it the best: we see opportunities, we seize opportunities. Our church can become more fruitful for God’s kingdom over this restrictive pandemic than when we first began.
This is time for building a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. This is time for sharing Christ with others. This is time for discipleship. This is a time for spiritual growth. This is time for building a tighter bond of love with each other in Christ. How many of these are you doing? If you are not doing any of the above, consider doing this – pray. Pastor Port Wilburn from our East Bay Baptist Association talked about “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” in the Lord’s Prayer. Prayer is what connects God’s sovereign will with our faith. When we pray about God’s will be done in the Lord’s Prayer, think about all the prayers that went before that, and all the prayers that come after. Through prayer and faith, we are in God’s plan. Through prayer and faith, we are God’s servants. Through prayer and faith, we can each experience the wonders of God’s power working through us. It can be an extraordinarily rewarding experience. The day when you meet our Lord Jesus in heaven, and He puts His hand on your shoulder and commend you with these words, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21,23)
Thank you, Deacon Kwan, for his concern for the church brothers and sisters. Pray that the Lord will give each of us an even more trusting faith in Him and for more creative, feasible, closer ways of communication within our church. Like in Sunday’s Mandarin worship, we are reminded of Paul’s words to the Philippian church that we should not only “think” about true and good things revealed by God (Philippians 4:8) but we must also “do” what we learned and received (Philippians 4:9). Without definite practice we are left with only empty words just like Paul’s description of the Athenians, who “would only talk about something new” (Acts 17:21).
Last week, we learned that 94-year-old Sister Shu Zhen Wei went to heaven on August 4. On August 12 the church assisted family members in conducting a memorial service at Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary in El Cerrito. There was an attendance limit because of the pandemic, but we thank the Lord for giving us a warm and glorious service. Thank each of you for your prayers. I also ask the Lord to help the Wei descendants to follow Sister Wei’s faith and her deep love of the Lord and to continue to run the race the Lord has set before us.
By God’s grace the Mandarin worship sermon series “Philippians” will be completed next Sunday (8/23). There are 18 sermons in total. If you missed any or want to hear it again, you are very welcome to watch it on the church’s website. Thank God for using this book to teach us how to stand firm in the Lord in difficult situations, how to rely on the Lord and always be happy. We also learn not to only care about our own affairs but also to care about others and to always consider others to be better than ourselves. If you have any response to this sermon series that you would like to share, I welcome your feedback. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever (Philippians 4:20).
Supporting each other in our Lord,
Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor
With fellow church leadership team