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Stories of God at Work!

6/18/20 | Weekly Pastor's Email | by Eric Wakeling

    Dear Calvary Family,

    STORIES OF GOD AT WORK
    God continues to move in unexpected but exciting ways during this COVID-19 life we are all living through. A drive-thru pop-up food pantry wasn’t on any of our radars when 2020 began. But thanks to the generosity of our church family and a great partnership with Anaheim Vineyard Church, we have now served over 6,000 people in May and June through our weekly Tuesday grocery giveaway. In addition, we have had over 99 volunteers come and serve at least one time at the pantry.

    One of the highlights of the Pop-Up Pantry has been our prayer tent. After every car drives through our distribution line, they are given the option to pull off to the side and pray with one of our prayer volunteers.

    Last Tuesday, 70 of the 250 cars that passed through our parking lot stopped to receive prayer. Among them was a woman who had been out of work and desperately looking for a job since last Fall. Our team prayed for her two weeks ago and last week she returned to our prayer team to excitedly tell them that she had gotten a job that week, a huge answer to prayer!

    We also had a concerned mom ask our team for prayer for her drug-addicted adult son. The following week she reported back, “good news, your prayers have been answered, he was arrested this weekend and taken off the streets and will go into rehab. Your prayers saved his life!” On top of that, we have had 3 people surrender their lives to Christ, including one woman who agreed to be discipled on a weekly basis by one of our pantry volunteers.

    God is on the move on Tuesday afternoons at Calvary! Keep praying and giving to this grassroots ministry! We are definitely continuing through the month of July and hopefully even further into the future. If you would like to partner with us in outreach, you can donate to Calvary’s Emergency Needs Fund to support this ministry - Give Online Here

    RE-GATHERING IN PERSON
    The Pop-Up Pantry is just one way that the church continues to be the church even when we are limited in the ways we are able to gather together in person.

    The changes that this pandemic have brought do not change what we value. We want to be a church family that connects together, motivated by love for God and one another. We want to be a church family that grows together, learning to live and love like Jesus across cultures and generations. We want to be a church family that reaches out together, sharing the good news of Jesus locally and globally. And, we want to be a church family that worships together, in Spirit and in truth.

    Even as we look for creative ways to pursue these unchanging values in these uncertain times, I know that many of you are frustrated and disappointed that we continue to be restricted to online worship services and small group gatherings. New guidelines were published by the state of California for faith communities last weekend, but they didn’t change anything about the number of people allowed to gather indoors. I’m personally disappointed in this, but I continue to seek the Lord for wisdom while we consider some possible alternatives if this restriction continues. New decisions by the state are to be announced on July 3rd.

    We already have our Care Ministries (counseling, Celebrate Recovery, etc) meeting in person. LifeGroups are meeting in homes. Student Ministries LifeGroups are meeting on the Turf Field in distanced groups. Watch Parties are worshiping in homes together on Sunday mornings.

    We are moving in the right direction, but also want to be appropriately careful and responsible with how we handle this virus - with godly wisdom, Spirit-led unity and Christ-like love. We will continue to keep you informed of some new ideas that we are working through right now. Please keep praying for Calvary Church, our community, our nation and the world.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you,
    Eric Wakeling