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OUTDOOR CHURCH AT PHCS A SUCCESS!

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.
June 16, 2020

Occidental Community Church family,

Psalm 147:1. "Praise the Lord!  How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!  2.The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel.  3.He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

Sunday morning at Pleasant Hill Christian School in Sebastopol we had church again!  Visit our Facebook page for photos!

After three months of isolation and sheltering in place we were privileged to assemble for a simple but exhilarating worship experience.  We observed all the recommendations and guidelines for social distancing, face masks, and sanitizing, but that didn't stop us from realizing what the Psalmist declares here, "How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!"  Being outdoors surrounded by the trees, the birds, and a gentle breeze on a bright, sunny day only added to the beauty and joy of our celebration service.

Since we have now resumed our Sunday services, this will be the final daily email devotional that I will be sending out (after 78 daily emails!).  At the beginning of this coronavirus shutdown, God laid it on my heart to stay connected with our church family in this small way until we could once again gather together for fellowship and worship.  For the concluding devotional I want to focus on one of the verses in this Psalm.  Psalm 147:3. "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
How often have you found yourself saying about an item in your possession, "It isn't worth fixing.  I'll just throw it away and buy another one."   So much of what we own today is disposable.  When it breaks down or wears out, it is easier and often more economical to replace it rather than to attempt to fix it.   When Sue and I were in Mexico some years ago visiting missionaries at Ninos de Mexico, a children's orphanage, I was reminded that not all cultures are like ours in this regard.  In Mexico, for example everything is repaired if at all possible, rather than being discarded and replaced.  

Jim Redhage was responsible not only for supervising one of the four children's homes at Ninos de Mexico, but also for keeping the vehicles in good repair at the mission.  Dr. Noe was the medical doctor who took care of the children and staff of Ninos de Mexico.  He had a VW bus with a dead starter motor.  The children had to push the bus to get it started each day.  Jim asked if I wanted to go with him to the local "auto electric" shop to get it repaired, and I readily agreed to go.

We drove into the village to what was literally a "hole in the wall."  Jim said to me, "We're here."  I responded, "We're where?"  He replied, "We're here. This is the auto electric shop.  I'll bet you don't have anything like this in California."  We walked through a large hole, not a door, in a concrete wall into a small enclosure approximately 10ft. x 15ft. in size.  Four men were working on various pieces of electrical equipment.  There was no machinery, no testing equipment, and only a few old tools scattered around the room.

Then the men began to work on the starter Jim had brought in.  I watched in awe as they put in new brushes, new wiring from the solenoid to the starter, tightened the solenoid, and installed new bushings.  A crude soldering device made from battery cables attached to a truck battery was used to secure the wires with solder.  After 30 minutes of feverish work the starter was repaired.  The total cost was 60 pesos (approximately six U.S. dollars).  We drove away, and I was quite impressed. These men were living and working in poverty, but they found a way to make a living for themselves and their families.  What I would have tossed aside and replaced with a new or reconditioned starter at the auto parts store, they fixed.

Have we lost something in our throwaway society?   Have we lost the sense of value in things that are broken and in need of repair?  Have we allowed this mindset to spill over from our material possessions to our relationships possibly?  As Christians, we know that we serve a God who doesn't give up on people whose lives are broken.  In this Psalm we are reminded that "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."   The church must demonstrate to the world the healing character of God in this regard.  We are here to bind up the wounds and heal the brokenness of those who have been tossed aside by the world, and unfortunately also by the church sometimes.  Even if everyone else has given up on them, we cannot.

Yes, this is in many respects a throwaway society.  But God has placed us here to announce that even the discarded of the world are of great value to God and can find a meaningful place in his eternal kingdom!

Trusting in Him,
Pastor Rick

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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