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Aug 27, 2020

Occidental Community Church Family,

JOB 23:10 - But he knows the way I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold."

It is Thursday morning, August 27, as I send this out, and the northbay wildfires continue to burn.  But it appears that the worst is now behind us.  We are so very grateful for the courageous, relentless around-the-clock effort of thousands of firefighters to keep our homes, property, and lives safe in this perilous time.  There is still much work to be done to put out the last of the flames, but most, if not all of our church families who were forced to evacuate have returned home safely.  We will continue to pray and remain vigilant until the fires are completely out.

And as we battle wildfires here in California, along the Gulf Coast of our country Hurricane Laura is battering the Texas/Louisiana border with winds in excess of 130-140 mph, one of the most severe hurricanes ever to hit these states.  Hundreds of thousands of residents are evacuating their homes and communities in order to save their lives, not knowing if they will have homes to return to when the storm has passed. 

Our prayers to God in times of such catastrophes sometimes often seem to accomplish little, but we need to have faith that God is watching over us even when we don't see immediate relief.

Job was a man in the Bible who had suddenly lost everything.  He lost his family, his possessions, his wealth, and his health all within a span of a few days.  In the 23rd chapter of his book he cries out to God, "Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.  If only I knew where to find him.  But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him.  When he is at work in the north, I do not see him.  When he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him."  (Job 23:1-2, 8-9).  Out of his despair, however, Job is able to find hope.  "But he knows the way I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold."  (Job 23:10)

What a dramatic proclamation of hope - "I will come forth as gold!"  This is my prayer for our church, our community, and our nation . . .that we might look to God in faith, believing that when these difficult times of testing are behind us we will have been purified through the testing and come forth as precious gold!

We plan to continue our Sunday morning services at Pleasant Hill Christian School as long as the weather permits.  Of course, we are hoping and praying that our church building will be open for indoor services when winter weather comes.  And let us not forget to pray for our school.  Classes begin on September 8, the day after Labor Day.  Our teachers and staff are busy making preparations for the first day of school.  The modular unit that we have been anticipating is now in place, adding much needed space for our school.  You will see it on Sunday.

Trusting in Him,
Pastor Rick

OUTDOOR CHURCH AT PHCS ALL SUMMER!

10 am, Sunday, at Pleasant Hill Christian School, 1782 Pleasant Hill Road, Sebastopol.  (Click here for a map) All Summer we will be gathering outdoors in the back of the school.
We understand that there may be some in our church family who are not ready for this, but for those who are, we welcome you!  Here are the recommendations and guidelines (click here or read below) we have adopted in order to make this as safe as possible for all who attend.  Please read them over carefully.
Website Audio/Video Sermons

Recommendations and Guidelines 
for Resuming Worship Services

The OCC guidelines are based on these official regulations:
California Department of Public Health publication, and Joint Sonoma County and Faith-based publication, May 2020.
Biblical guidelines: 1 Corinthians 12:25 - “There should be no division in the body, but members should have equal concern for one another.”

 

KEY COVID-19 PREVENTION PRACTICES

1. Physical Distancing: 6ft. distancing rule applies.

  • Family members may sit together, others 6 ft. apart.
  • Avoid physical contact when greeting one another at worship service.

2. Face Coverings

  • Face masks are to be worn as you arrive, and when appropriate during worship service.
  • Children under 2 years of age and infants are not to wear face masks.
  • Church will have face masks available for those who need them.

3. Handwashing

  • Indoor restrooms are supplied with soap and sanitizer.
  • Sanitizer is available at outdoor worship area.

FACILITIES

Pleasant Hill Christian School
   
1782 Pleasant Hill Rd., Sebastopol.

  • Blacktop area in rear of school for worship service.
  • Bathrooms open, cleaned and disinfected before services.
  • Seating is provided, or you may bring a chair with you. (hat and sunscreen advised)

WORSHIP SERVICES

  • 10 AM starting time each Sunday, beginning June 14.
  • Children are to stay with their families.
  • Communion in pre-sealed cups is to be picked up by each one.
  • Offerings are to be placed in trays near podium.
  • Bring your own drinking water.

WHO SHOULD NOT ATTEND

  • Individuals with high-risk or pre-existing health issues.
  • Those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, 
runny nose, headache, fatigue, breathing difficulty.
  • Anyone exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past two weeks.

Stay in touch with your church family!

Even if we are not fellowshipping together please keep in virtual touch!

 

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