Hi Paseo Family,
What an interesting week in our world this has been. The past 48 hours have been a whirlwind of activity throughout our nation as leaders everywhere have wrestled with what is most socially responsible during this time of concern over the spread of Covid-19. On Thursday afternoon, San Diego County officials banned all gatherings of 250 people or more. In response, the Elders at Paseo del Rey met together Thursday evening to pray, seek God’s wisdom, and chart a course of action for Paseo del Rey Church over the coming weeks. As a result, we would like to both encourage and inform you regarding what lies ahead.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9)
Here is our charge to you directly from Philippians. Rejoice in what is yours in Jesus! Pray for the vulnerable and sick. Set your mind on Godly things instead of dwelling on the virus. And put your faith into practice. In so doing, allow God’s peace to guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We do not belong to this world, but to Heaven. As citizens of Heaven, we have permission to behave differently in times of anxiety. While the world fears, we can respond in peace, love, and compassion. What a great opportunity we have to put Jesus on display to the world around us!
Second, a season of precaution and care:
Given the current requirements from county and state as well as our deep concern for the elderly, infirmed, and young amongst us, we have decided to take the following steps of precaution and care:
- Sadly, we are canceling our Sunday corporate worship services in the Worship Center through the month of March. We are burdened by this because, truly, it is our favorite time of the week. We love getting to see everyone and worship our Lord together. But we do not think it wise to continue to do so for the time being. But as one of our Elders pointed out, “What a beautiful reunion it will be when we are able to come back together again.” I truly can’t wait for that Sunday!
- In the meantime, we will move to a digital and small group format. Each week, Matt Boldt and I (Pastor Shelton) will share online videos of worship and teaching through our website, email, and social media platforms. We encourage Growth Groups, families, and friends to gather in homes to watch the videos together. While this can never replace the fullness of corporate worship, we do feel it will help supplement the joy that comes from gathering together around the glory and truth of Jesus Christ.
- But ultimately, church is not something we attend, it is who we are. We are family. We are the body of Christ. As a family we need to focus on caring for and loving one another. If you are ill, elderly, or care for someone who is vulnerable and you need help with grocery shopping or errands, then we would love to help you! That’s what family does. Please reach out to us to inform us of your needs (619-421-7733). Now is not the time to allow pride to keep you from experiencing the love of Christ through His church. We also know that some of you will experience financial burdens during this season. The church is prepared to help. Please do not hesitate to ask for assistance if you are being affected by Covid-19. Conversely, most of you know or can discern the needs of your brothers and sisters in the church. If the Holy Spirit directs you to reach out to someone, please do. This is when we truly need the whole body of Christ to work together to care for one another.
- In the absence of meeting together on Sundays, you will need to increase your connection with people in the church. Please reach out weekly to your friends in the church. Call on people and check in. If you are willing to volunteer to reach out to those that are not a part of a Growth Group or are shut in due to the virus, please let us know. If you are in a Growth Group, then commit to regularly communicate with one another. I’d also encourage you to continue to meet with one another as the time of fellowship will be needed. However, exercise wisdom. If you’re sick, then do not attend the fellowships. Use extra precautions with cleanliness and food handling.
- For now, Paseo Students will continue to meet on Wednesday nights. We have had to postpone the Student Mission trip over spring break but hope to send them at a later date. Our Student Director, Carlo, will be in contact with parents with any future changes.
- At this juncture, the church offices will continue to remain open and operating as normal, as will our church budget. Many missionaries, staff, and ministries are dependent upon your regular giving. Please continue to give during this season. If you need help with giving online, please do not hesitate to contact Cindy Dickinson in the church office.
- The Elders will continue to meet weekly to help monitor the situation and make needed adjustments to our course of action. Please make it a point to read the church wide emails to stay informed.
Obviously this is not ideal, but I am so thankful for our church family. Covid-19 will continue to cause many challenges, but may we glorify God with the way we faithfully love Him and each other during the weeks ahead. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Pastor Shelton Markham