May 27, 2020 Update
Great news! This Monday, the Governor of California released a 13 page document entitled "COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies," which details how we are allowed to open our church to meet again. This will be in force for at least the next 21 days. Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department gave approval for the implementation of these guidelines in our county.
Based upon this guidance, we are planning to begin meeting to the degree possible with our church service Sunday, June 7. The reason for the delay of reopening until June 7 is to ensure we would be able to implement all the requirements well in order to serve our church family.
Also, our Growth Groups will be able to meet as long as they follow the same protocols. We are leaving the timing of their in-person meeting to each group leader in order for them to minister to the specific needs of their group.
Beginning June 7, we will add a 7:30 service to our existing 9:00 and 10:30 services. The state will only allow churches to have a maximum of 100 attendees. Once we hit the 100 person limit in our service, we will provide an alternative viewing location in the youth building for the 9:00 and 10:30 services.
For at least June 7 and June 14, we will only hold church services. No other ministries, including the nursery, will be conducted.
Our church service will continue to be livestreamed. If you are unable to attend, uncomfortable exposing yourself to potential risk of infection, are challenged with bringing young children or are simply interested in freeing up seats for others, the livestream option is encouraged. As with every service, you may view it at your leisure on www.valleybible.net or on our YouTube channel.
If you choose to attend, keep these things in mind:
- It is imperative that you do not attend if you are feeling ill. Pursuant to the state guidelines, we will be taking temperatures of everyone gathering to ensure the safety of those attending.
- It is necessary that everyone over the age of two wear facemasks while we are inside the building. If you are uncomfortable with this requirement, our online video would be a good alternative.
- It is essential that you maintain at least six feet of social distance from everyone beyond your immediate household the entire time you are on our campus. Only alternating rows will be open for seating and do not sit any closer than six feet from anyone not in your household. Please refrain from any physical touching or sharing of materials.
- While we are all excited to be able to finally see each other again, please be safe and implement these limitations. Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer, which we will have available for you in the foyer. Due to the possibility of asymptomatic transmission of the virus, we should recognize that everyone is potentially infectious.
- Most of all, do not forget that our God is sovereign over all these challenges and we can trust Him fully for our lives as we serve Him. Stay safe, be faithful and overcome fear with faith!
March 17, 2020 Update
Dear Valley Bible Church,
In light of the current news of the Covid-19 pandemic, the combined restrictions provided to us by our national, state, county and city governments and out of abundance of caution for the health of our congregation and community, we consider it necessary to cancel all formal ministries of Valley Bible Church effective immediately. We do not know how long this season will last and will continue to monitor events and government guidance as we seek to return to normalcy.
We have begun to consider ways to minister through this pandemic. Our Growth Group ministry is a primary means of fellowship in our church and this ministry is developing plans to effectively minister to the diversity of people in our church and more information will be forthcoming. If you are not a part of a group, contact the church office (661-942-2218) and we will be eager to help you become connected. Our children's ministry will be providing curriculum to parents to serve their children while our existing children's ministries are suspended. This curriculum is available via email if you ask Kim Taylor. Our Deaf Ministry will continue ministry and teaching through Francisco's facebook page. Beginning Wednesday, we plan to begin a daily posting of Bible teaching from our church on Facebook and on our website as an opportunity to continue to learn God's Word. Finally, we will continue to provide and improve our livestream each Sunday and make that available to you and your family.
We realize the seniors of our church are the most vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus and are supposed to be in self-isolation. This obviously will be a hardship for them beyond simply social distancing. While we believe that most of our seniors will have their needs met through their family and friends, there is a possibility for our church to assist some who need help with their basic needs. Our senior ministry is investigating who may need such help and if there are situations we can serve we will look to provide assistance as appropriate at that time.
While this is certainly a drastic action in an unprecedented time, we know that the Lord's work is not hindered by such restrictions. The church is not a building, our formal ministries are a means to an end and we can trust that during this time. We will continue to look for new ways to serve the Lord in the midst of the pandemic. We encourage you to be mindful of the advice from the medical experts and governing authorities and to take their exhortations seriously. We do not know what lies ahead other than we have a great hope of our eternal destiny where there is no longer suffering and death. Please pray for our church as we seek to serve one another and our community in this unique moment in history. Please consider how the Lord may have you take opportunities to serve each other and your fellow man. May God be pleased with each of our responses as we love Him and each other with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
With love in Christ,
The elders of Valley Bible Church