Raising the next generation

to become fully devoted followers

of Jesus Christ







An Update From Pastor Larry

Regarding COVID-19

HOW THINGS ARE CHANGED AT ARCADIA CHURCH (for now):


The following measures are being followed at the church, on Sundays and throughout the week, in response to the worldwide health crisis.   Your elders and staff have taken the following steps:

  1. Worship will not be held in the sanctuary in person, but online until at least April 19.  (See article below).  Watch for announcements regarding Holy Week observances (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter)
  2. The church office will not be open.  Staff will be working remotely on their computers.  All calls to the church office will be forwarded to Erin Cruz.  You may also reach her during office hours at (626) 367-2091. (From time to time there may be people in the office, but we ask that you contact us by calling the office or our cell phones.)
  3. The pastoral/program team are on call and available according to the following schedule:

Pastor Larry Ballenger      626-807-0286              Tues, Weds, Thurs, Sat, Sun

Pastor Sam Knottnerus     626-869-7335               Monday, Sunday

Pastor Andrew Ritiau       562-569-0386               Friday, Sunday

  1. All on-campus social and spiritual events are postponed and cancelled until mid-April.  Contact your leadership.
  2. Committees and boards, including Session, will meet online unless they are cancelled.
  3. All of our rental groups have been cancelled for the present.  (Language classes, ACM, Armenian church, etc.)
  4. Our three “nesting” congregations, Armenian, Taiwanese, and Indonesian, have been directed to follow current CDC and governmental guidelines including not gathering in groups greater than 10, and always maintaining the mandated 6 feet of social distancing between persons. 




A Letter From Pastor Larry 3/26/2020



Dear Arcadia Community Church family,


As we approach the last Sunday of March, I find myself almost breathless at the pace of change and adjustment we have had to absorb during these last few weeks. 


When we gathered around the communion table on March 1, surely none of us would have believed it if we had been told that before the  month was ended we would be sheltering in our homes, standing in carefully monitored lines at the supermarket, eating take-out only meals at restaurants, and organizing learning activities for our school children at home because all schools, restaurants, business establishments, and even our doctors and dentists offices were basically cancelling all appointments or closing temporarily.  And that does not even mention the thousands of workers---our friends, family and neighbors--- who have been furloughed from their jobs and their income.


It is easy to feel sorry for ourselves.  And then we encounter, or experience firsthand, a serious catastrophe that has befallen someone we know as a direct result or as collateral effect of this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.  Many of us are inconvenienced, it is true.  But across the world, hundreds have died and our health experts are telling us that it could get much, much worse worldwide and right here in our part of California.  It is a time to pray, to trust God, and to cry out for His mercy and intervention.


In the Christian community everywhere, along with our friends and neighbors in all faith traditions, we have been scrambling for the past two weeks to discover how we can be safe and loving to others by staying in our homes, maintaining 6 foot social distancing and cleanliness, while at the same time centering ourselves on the central proclamations of our faith: Jesus has died for us, Jesus has forgiven us, Jesus has risen from the dead, and in so doing defeated the very death which so many in the world are presently terrified of.


You already know that the Elders and staff of Arcadia Community Church have taken many drastic measures to keep us all safe while we try creatively to be connected as Jesus called his body on earth to be:

  • Worship services are being conducted only online, on Facebook or YouTube.  Each Sunday for the next several weeks, there will be music, Scripture readings, testimony, and Biblical preaching.  You need to go to our website, www.arcadia.church and click on the links on the home page.
  • The church offices are closed, and all of the church staff are working remotely from home on their computers.  Erin is answering the church phone remotely during business hours.
  • Our Deacons and Pastoral team (Larry, Sam, Andrew) are on call everyday through the church office or our cell phones.
  • All committees, boards, classes, nesting churches, and the Arcadia Community Preschool are closed until at least April 19th, or until further notice.
  • Special services of Holy Week will be conducted online through the links on our website home page as mentioned above.  There will be worship on Palm Sunday (April 5), Maundy Thursday communion (April 9), a Good Friday video/media experience (April 10).  On Easter Sunday, April 12, we will welcome Resurrection Day with joyous singing, the amazing story of Easter from the Scripture, and my message entitled, “What Happened at the Tomb”.

 

Your Session, Deacons, and several vital committees have already met online using the virtual conference room, Zoom.  It actually works amazingly well!  We have been able to make some important decisions.  We are proceeding to pray about those who might serve on the Pastor Nominating Committee.  The Deacons are aware of those of you who are confined to your homes or have special needs.  We want to hear from you, and we will be contacting you!  Please call the church office for special requests.

 

ONE VERY IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION IS OUR CHURCH FINANCES!  We need everyone in the Arcadia Community Church family to be especially faithful in your giving during this time.  Salaries and expenses go on, though some costs are reducing but not many.  Because we are not able to pass the offering plate every Sunday, we need you to be especially diligent to send in your tithes and offerings by mail (121 Alice St. Arcadia, CA 91006), or electronically at http://arcadia.church/give.  We are also able to utilize PayPal and direct payments through your online banking.  There will be further information about ways to give in the upcoming Newsletter.


Above all, beloved, pray!  These are truly unprecedented times.  There is a lot of fear out there, and a lot of it is justified.  But we serve the God who set this miraculous world into motion, who knows all about viruses, and contagion, and fear, and healing.  He is our faithful God, and this is not catching Him by surprise. 


Walking together with you, 

                          

Larry Ballenger

Transitional/Interim Pastor

(Oh, by the way, the Session and the Presbytery just authorized another year for my contract.  We’re stuck together for awhile more!)



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