Note from Pastor Terry | 03/21/20

Greetings Friends, 

“Let not your heart be troubled…believe in Me.”  ~ Jesus
We continue to see the worldwide toll and experience the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak. Presently, our priority is to protect the health and welfare of our members and staff of Creekside by following the mandates of California leadership and County Health officials. While this is a most difficult season with the shelter-in-place mandates, business and church closures, we take these concerns seriously not based on fear but birthed in our faith. 

There are two extremes that people can lean into during this time. 
The first is to minimize it and carry on with business as usual disregarding all warnings. I believe the worldwide statistics bear out the veracity of what we are facing and the need to make changes.  The second extreme is to maximize it and become paralyzed with fear and worry.  I believe many of the actions we’ve seen validate this taking place.

Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”  It’s been said, “Those who do not learn from
history are doomed to repeat it.” Did you know there was a Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918?  It is interesting that there are some parallels for today.  In Portland, Oregon [my old stomping grounds and no, I wasn’t around for it in 1918!] they did what we are doing now with shelter-in-place, social distancing and business closures.  At the same time, on the East coast, Philadelphia knew of the flu and still determined to hold their Liberty Loan Parade with 200K attending and within days, 12,000 people died from the flu.  900 miles west in St. Louis, they prepared and shut down the city based on the same information and it was written that they were able saved countless lives.     

I share this history lesson for a few reasons:

  1. A reminder, that it is a good thing to follow the procedures we are asked to follow.  I know, the chances are slim that any of us will contract the virus.  But that is most true as we follow the directives to help curtail its spread. 
  2. Our call as Jesus followers is to live by faith and trust in Him. We will neither be careless or reactionary but endeavor to be responsive to the times we face.
  3. We will pray, knowing this to shall pass. Our Lord has “been there, seen this, done that…” He is neither shocked nor surprised.

Knowing all this:

  1. Let’s be voices of reason that point people to Jesus and the hope and healing He brings. 
  2. Let’s be honest about our emotions as we all feel something.  Fear, anger, worry, depression, discouragement are the names of a few you may deal with.  Name it, call it what it is and do what Peter said in 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.”
  3. Let’s be kind, caring, patient, gracious and loving to others as we drive, in stores, out for walks.  We don’t know what people are going through, news they have received, but they can know us by our love [John 13:35].
  4. Let’s call and check on Creeksiders and friends outside.

News You Can Use:

  1. We will continue our live FaceBook service on Sunday at 8:45 then it will be available to view after that.
  2. This Sunday, we will take a break from our PASSION series and look at “Living an Unshakable life in Shaky Times.” 
  3. Following the talk, Dustin will do a brief children’s lesson.  We want to keep our children connected to Sunday and families doing some lessons together. 
  4. Our staff has three contingent plans for Easter depending on the gathering ban being lifted and numbers allowed to gather together.  At this point, it seems unlikely that the gathering ban will be lifted but, what an Easter celebration we can have when the time comes!
  5. If you would be available to run some local errands for our Creeksider Seniors in need, [groceries, medicines if possible] at agreed upon needs, please let me know you would be willing to serve and assist in this way [terry@creekside.org].  If you have need in this area, please let me know by email or calling, 925.200.5201.
  6. We have and will be looking and praying to where our community has needs.
  7. If you have needs, please let us know so we can assist you.
  8. We are looking at some online communication ideas for during the week.
  9. Prayer makes a difference, a big difference! 

In Jesus’ Strong Name,
Pt
   

Message from Pastor Terry | Coronavirus & SUnday

Greetings Friends,


Of all the challenges that could come, who would’ve anticipated this one and the far reach it would have. But here it is arriving at our local, national and worldwide doorsteps. Coronavirus. I want to address it in four segments.


WHAT is taking place
As Christ-followers, we live in the tension of unexpected troubles, yet, with our Lord who is not surprised by them and will lead us through them. While this is not a time to panic, it is a time to take prudent steps to follow the precautions prescribed by leaders in the medical field, our County Health Services and Center for Disease Control. 

While this seems to be much more severe, it is important to remember diseases that have come to us over the years.  This is not to diminish Covid-19 in any way, just to give some perspective, there have been past diseases from E-coli, to Swine flu, to Avian flu, to Ebola, to Sars and Mers. From October 2019 to February 2020 there have been over 20,000 flu deaths in the United States. 

 

Worldwide Coronavirus information is all over the news. Closer to home, the headlines of this crisis continues to take shape with significant changes emerging.

On a normally full to sold out flight from Oakland to Portland Tuesday, there were only 34 people on Trina’s flight.

From Washington State to New York cases are rising daily.

Professional sports teams are looking to play before empty arenas.

Our Contra Costa County Health Services asked that groups of 50 or more not meet.

As I write this watching the news, it is now being called a pandemic.


We had Church this past week, what about this week? Let me address that.


WHY are we taking Sunday off?
We will take this Sunday off from gathering but there will be church.  I’ll get back to that. Please note the following to answer the WHY:

  •  You may ask or others ask you, "Other churches are still having services, why not Creekside..."  Fair question. Those churches may be under 50 people. Or, they may be in a different county.  We also understand we are not another church and we have to do what we sense the Spirit is leading us to do.  
  • We want to demonstrate good "followership" in honoring biblical principles concerning those placed above us and their directives for our County [Romans 13:1-7].  They have issued an emergency alert advising all mass gatherings of 50 or more to be canceled. We believe it wise, while trusting Jesus, that we should follow the collective wisdom of our County Health Services.  If we disregard this, it can be seen by some as ignorance at best or, at worst, arrogance by others. 
  • We want to exercise good "leadership" by helping protect Creekside and community adults and children from the possibilities of our present reality taking place areawide and worldwide. 
  • So there is no confusion or concern, there no one from Creekside who has been tested for COVID-19. 

HOW are we moving forward?


We will communicate via FACEBOOK, email and word of mouth that we will not be gathering for service this Sunday at Creekside. 

We will be live at 8:45 a.m. at facebook.com/creeksidemtzca. If you are unable to join us during the live stream you can watch the service on our Facebook page at a time when you are able.  Jake will lead us in a time of worship and Dustin will kick off our Easter series, PASSION, The Difference a Week Makes.  

 

Also, thank you for your faithfulness in your Creekside giving as that can take place online at, creekside.org/give , by texting creeksidechurch to 77977 , using the Pushpay app, or by mail.


We will evaluate each week as we get updates from our County Health Services and let you know as soon as we make proper determinations for our ministries during the week and on Sunday.


WHO should we remember?

If we have learned anything about life, it can and will unfold in unexpected ways. Jesus forewarned us this would be true and forearmed us with faith in HIM. We will not panic or give in to fear but live as Jesus noted, heart first.

 

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world,

you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

 

Let’s pray and trust JesusPray for those who are sick, families who have lost loved ones and that Covid-19 will be quarantined and a vaccine developed.  Let’s speak with faith as we walk as seed planters of peace and flame starters of hope encouraging people in our relational orbit. 

 

Can’t wait to see you all again…together. 

 

Much love,

Pastor Terry