New Year’s resolution! Starting on January 1st, we will following a reading plan here to help start 2021 right with dwelling in the Word. In addition to the daily reading, Pastor Mark and Nathaniel will be providing daily videos with lessons/commentary about the text. We encourage everyone to join us and hope you will follow along. Please visit our YouTube channels for all videos: Anaheim & Orange
Wednesday Food Bank Distribution
This evening, and each Wednesday beginning at 5 p.m., our volunteers will be distributing boxes of pre-packed food into people’s trunks. If you or someone you know could benefit, do not hesitate to come/invite them to the church to come & receive. A big thanks goes out to Sharon Gladden, Martha Jauregui, and the other volunteers who help collect, organize, and distribute the food. We will continue such distributions on Wednesdays going forward. If you would like to help out in some manner, don’t hesitate to let us know!
Wednesday evening Discussion & Prayer Group
During this period of separation, our mid-week prayer group has continued meeting over Zoom. We meet at 6:00 p.m. to discuss a chapter of a book and pray together. This week, we discussing chapter 5 of the book “Great Controversy”, about John Wycliffe, the first person to translate the Bible into English. (available online at https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/132.336#336). If you’d like to join us, zoom mtg ID# is 7053955673, with password 172569.
Special “Equipped To Serve” virtual training day January 9th
You are likely aware that a couple of times per year our conference hosts a free Sabbath afternoon training event, with 20-some options for seminars to attend. Due to the obvious limitations of the Coronavirus, 2021’s early session is going to be held virtually. If you’re interested in joining/enhancing a current ministry at the church, or perhaps implementing a new one, check the site to see if an area offered suits your attraction. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-equipped2serve-tickets-128796789665
Though we are meeting exclusively outside, our church and conference still have ongoing costs of utilities, education subsidies, and workers to pay. Your tithes (10% of your increase) and offerings are most appreciated during this time. Adventist giving has both a phone app and a website you can donate through: adventistgiving.org. Any donations made here are applied directly, with no percentage skimmed off, and your donations will come in your year-end receipt, seamlessly integrated with donations made in the church. May God bless us as we partner with him in faith through our finances.
Last week I needed to get some maintenance work done on our car. Thankfully, there’s a mechanic shop just about a mile from the church, so I dropped it off there one morning, and then walked to church to do my office hours.
It was so interesting being on a road that I was very familiar with via car, though hadn’t walked on foot. In walking (rather than driving), I found I had time to pay some attention to each housefront: to see how each family landscaped their yard (or didn’t), see which houses had Christmas decorations, or had evidence of children living there. I could see little animals scurrying in the bushes, and hear birds chirping in the trees. I would occasionally pass other walkers and greet them (masked and from a distance of course).
When I got to the church I felt refreshed, happy, and a bit more connected with our neighborhood community. I even looked forward to the walk back (though I ended-up getting a ride in the afternoon from someone at the church, due to a time constraint).
Being the Christmas season, and obviously thinking of Jesus’ incarnation, I wondered if it was for a similar reason that Jesus took the time to grow up and live decades as a human before beginning His formal ministry: Sure: Jesus ‘knew’ earth and everything about it beforehand, but to experience it slowly, from the inside? That may have given an experiential aspect that overarching omniscience may not have afforded.
To think that Jesus took the time to become intimate and familiar with us: to embrace us as a human family, rather than to just say “I’m here to save you, then go”: It really endears me to Jesus that He would take the time to do that for us. He truly loves us! We are not something to be avoided (even in our sinful state), we are to be lingered with, abided with, intimately attached with.
If I were to travel to some kind of a toxic waste site (the equivalent of sin), I would want to spend as little time there as possible! I’d want to just get out! But Jesus didn’t: He looked past our contamination to what we were at our core: children of God in a desperate situation.
As we approach Christmas next week, I pray we’ll take a little extra time to abide with him (John 15:4). If he took time out from ruling the universe to abide with us, I’m sure we can find some time in our schedules for Him. 🙂
May God bless you and your families this week and beyond.
Pr. Mark Tatum
Last updated on 12/29/2020