January 31, 2021
Occidental Community Church family,
Colossians 3:16 - "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."
This is the verse which will serve as our theme verse for 2021. It reminds us that it is the "word of Christ" which gives us spiritual life and is to be expressed in teaching, music and singing as we encourage and admonish one another in the Lord. For now we are limited to our livestreaming services each Lord's Day to accomplish this, but we are hopeful of gathering together for worship in the near future. I am happy to hear that many of you are following our Sunday morning services each week at home.
Thank you for your faithfulness and support in your prayers and your giving. At our January board meeting a few weeks go we learned that we ended the difficult year of 2020 having successfully met our financial needs. As we look forward to 2021 we have decided to raise our giving to missions from 5% to 7% of our total offerings. God has blessed us, and we want to pass on His blessings to our missionaries. Besides this percentage of our weekly offerings, any amount we receive which is designated "missions" is added to our giving for missions. We have been reminded once more of the great spiritual truth, "You can't outgive God!"
In the past months we have had a few individuals from our church family move out of the area. Here are some updated contact addresses:
JOY BYARS - 8585 LaMesa Blvd., La Mesa, CA 91942
COLE & ANGIE HARRISON - 216 John Duke Tyler Blvd., Clarksville, TN 37043
LLOYD & MARSHA FRITZ will soon be leaving us as well. They will be moving to Indiana, living near their son Chris & family. Here is an excerpt from an email they recently sent, with details of their move: "On February 20th we will begin loading our POD unit with what belongings we are choosing to move. On the 23rd, the POD will be picked up and head for Indiana to be delivered at our Noblesville address on March 8th. We plan to leave on the 23rd and visit more family members on our trip. When we arrive on March 5th, we will stay with our son Chris and family as we await the POD. We appreciate all prayers for the packing and transportation of goods and souls! We will so dearly miss so many, many friends here in Sonoma County. We arrived in 1983 and could never have imagined all God had prepared for us. We will keep you all in our hearts and prayers."
LLOYD & MARSHA FRITZ - 18585 Piers End Dr., Noblesville, IN 46062
How much we miss these church family members who have recently moved away to their new homes! Keep them in your prayers, as I know they are keeping all of us in theirs!
One final word regarding a memorial service for ROGENE RAWLINS who recently died of cancer and is now with her Lord. On Saturday, February 13, at 2:00 PM there will be a memorial service at Occidental Community Church. Rogene's nephew Jason Davis is a minister and will be officiating. Since we are still under COVID restrictions regarding gatherings such as this, the number attending must be kept low. Therefore, we cannot give an open invitation to our church family. A few from Rogene's family and a few from our church will be in attendance. We plan to livestream the service as we do our regular Sunday morning worship services. You may view the service there if you wish. We will send out a link soon.
May God bless you all as we begin a new year! There will certainly be challenges, but our God delights in strengthening and supporting His children in difficult times. He has never failed us yet!
Trusting in Him,