Dear Family and Friends,
UPDATE: We are happy to report that we've received 100 percent of our goal! THANK YOU ALL so very much. Now that the church doors are open and we're holding our regular worship services, we invite you to come and hear the Word of the Lord, and worship with us.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic our doors were closed for most of the year 2020, and we were faced with a budget deficit. This is in part because of receiving only 60 percent of our annual proposed budget. And, while we are thrilled to have a new full time Pastor on board to lead us, there is a rise in salary cost. In our "Share the Harvest" campaign, we asked every family to consider a one-time donation of $500 to sustain us until we could reopen our doors and get back on track. We understand that some families are struggling, and may only be able to give a little, while others may be able to help us with more. Please prayerfully consider what God has for you, and He will lead the way! We trust Him in all matters, especially the support of His Body of believers. We are keeping the campaign ongoing until March 2021, the anniversary of the Pandemic in order for budget adjustments to be made to put an end to our deficit.
Special Meetings Concerning our Local Schools
There will be Town Hall Meetings at the Walnut Grove School Cafeteria on Thursday, April 22nd at 6 p.m. for English Speakers, and Tuesday, April 27th for Spanish Speakers to discuss potential closures of River Delta Unified Schools, and Walnut Grove Elementary could be affected, as well as Bates Elementary in Courtland, which will also have a Town Hall Meeting at their Cafeteria on Thursday, April 15th at 6 p.m. for English Speakers, and Tuesday, April 20th at 6 p.m. for Spanish Speakers. Proper spacing and masks are required for safety of participants. These meetings will also be available via Zoom (Meeting ID: 979 3220 6588 Passcode: 205855). If you have any questions regarding these meetings, please contact the District Office at (707) 374-1700.
It's been almost a year since we were back in our regular scheduled worship services, and we're excited to open our doors and our hearts for the worship of our Lord this Sunday, February 14 at 9:30, our regular worship time!
We are practicing all sanitization regulations, with extra cleaning and wiping down surfaces. We ask that you observe the state recommendations of wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from another person not living with you, and stay home if you're not feeling well.
We received news late Friday, February 12th that the U. S. Supreme Court issued orders late Friday in two cases where churches had sued over coronavirus-related restrictions in the state. The high court said that for now, California can't ban indoor worship in areas where virus cases are surging, but it can cap indoor services at 25% of a building's capacity. The justices also declined to stop the state from barring singing and chanting at services. JESSICA GRESKO Associated Press, via abcNews10
Also, in an unsigned 5-4 opinion, the Supreme Court sided with the California pastors and against the public health advisories of the state on April 9th. The court majority compared home Bible studies to hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, movie theaters, private suites at sporting events and concerts, and indoor restaurants. Current restrictions in California allow those venues to gather people from more than three households.
This discriminates against religious practice, the majority said.
The Church was first formed in the 1940s with the redwood church building, built and dedicated in 1951. Some of the church members are from the same generations of families who formed the congregation initially. We love to get together and celebrate in worship and song to the glory of the Lord. Over the years, we've seen adult and youth choirs who support the worship service with their song, and many committees whose work for maintaining the facilities to reaching out in missions has been a major part of the community church. Mission projects have helped many in need, plus scholarships have helped send young people to send young people to a college of their choice. Volunteers help maintain grounds and help with fundraising. We love our church family, and we think you will too.
The Sacramento Delta Community is a large agricultural region situated along the Sacramento River with small towns that sprung up in the early 1800s when the levees were built to create rich soils for a wide variety of crops from orchards to open ground crops. The community of people is comprised mostly of farm working families, ranchers and businesses, and retired people. The Delta's charm and miles of rivers and sloughs attracts tourists to local small wineries, waterways for boating, and fishing, and the town of Locke, which is today the only town in America owned and built by Chinese immigrants. Entering Locke is like stepping back in time to the 1880's. In close proximity, the small town of Walnut Grove is a bedroom community for residents who work in Sacramento, Elk Grove, Stockton, Lodi, Walnut Grove and other towns, all within a 15 tp 35 minute drive.
The town of Walnut Grove has a population of around 1,500 residents, a volunteer fire department, grammar school for children from preschool to 6th grade, several grocery stores, a gas station, three churches, a post office, hardware store, library and small businesses from restaurants, Dentist offices, gift shops and specialty shops. The local coffee/ice cream shop offers great coffee, danishes, sandwiches and opportunity to meet up with many town folks, as well as tourists because it sits right across the main road from one of two big community public docks.
One of the well known outreach events is our annual pancake breakfast held in the church hall (Koinonia) for the whole town and their families. Held on the 4th of July and preceding the big July 4 Parade put on by the local Fire Department, our pancakes are made of a secret recipe passed down through the ages and served up with of sausage, fruit, coffee, and juice. It's a community tradition because we all have so much fun seeing everyone before the big parade. Another event is Candlelight Service during Advent, a town favorite on the Sunday before Christmas with the Chancel Choir and special music and message from our pastor.
Small towns can be a big attraction for families looking to flee the big city life and their issues. Residents know each other fairly well, with some who have lived here all their lives. Much of the surrounding area is zoned agricultural, giving the area its peaceful atmosphere. It has rich history, and small community feel that knows how to pull together to help each other when needed. Walnut Grove sees new residents move in to stay many years because of its quiet and laid back style.
Within several blocks walking distance from the church is the Pastor's home, the manse, a three bedroom, two bath home with large fenced in back yard, two-car garage and a work shed, that is owned by the church. The Pastor of the Walnut Grove Community Church is provided with this residence, rent free plus all utilities as part of his/her compensation. This cozy home is situated in a well established, friendly neighborhood and has been recently remodeled and upgraded, and welcomed its newest pastor, Anna Gheen in early August of 2020.
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