Another reason to pray

Hello church! I’d like to ask you to pray for me this weekend as I have another full weekend with a memorial tomorrow and worship Sunday. Both are exciting opportunities, but my body is still rebellious, and preparation difficult with my limitations.

 

Please pray that tomorrow the Holy Spirit would minister to those who are grieving to bring comfort and joy, and also that God would strengthen me to clearly and winsomely proclaim the Gospel to the people there – especially because I know that many people who will be there don’t know Jesus.

 

Thank you, church!

Pastor Ian Hodge


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A Note from Pastor Ian

Hello church!
 
I apologize for my long and growing absence. You may have noted that the devotionals stopped a couple weeks back, and then I wasn’t at church this Sunday at all. As I think you’ve heard, I’ve been having problem with major sciatic pain. Although this pain was improving, my medication seems to have caused a new problem which became totally debilitating, and then worsened my sciatic problem as well. Today is the best I’ve felt in at least a week, and I hope that it is an indication of recovery! I am grateful for your prayers and the encouragement many of you have offered by email, phone, and otherwise! I am also grateful for the many people who stepped in (some stepped farther in!) to continue caring for our church these last couple of weeks.
 
I’m finding that my energy levels still seem to be low, but I am beginning to re-engage with the work of our church this week. I ask for your understanding as I reorient and begin doing the things I can. I also want you to know that you don’t need to be afraid to call or email if you need to connect with your church or your pastor – I want to hear from you and share life with you!
 
Look for the devotionals to start up again this week – I’ve had lots of time to reflect, and although I haven’t been able to do much study, I have a lot of questions for God coming out of the last couple of weeks, questions I aim to prayerfully test by the Scriptures, and I want to share that journey with you!
 
Folks, the bedrock conviction of my life, the thought I come back to when I am lowest is that I cannot escape the fact that God is real, that He is out there, and that He matters in my life. Angry, sad, joyful or serene, He is a brute fact.
 
I think often of John 6:66-69
 
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
 
In this moment, I’m not sure that Peter was very happy about following Jesus – Jesus had just given a particularly difficult teaching, and most of his followers were abandoning him. But Peter knew that, like it or not, Jesus was (is) the one. He may not have been the one Peter wanted to cling to in that moment, but Jesus was the only real option.
 
I am encouraged by remembering that moments of discouragement are inevitable in this life. I am reassured by knowing that Jesus is more true, more real, more important than my wavering levels of satisfaction. There is no other rock to which we can go – only Jesus. The good news is that it is our discouragement and fear that is the liar. Jesus is still the resurrected Son of God!
 
In Christ,
Pastor Ian Hodge

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Clarification on Encouragement Drive

And because it may not have been clear in the letter, if you would like to participate you can bring your donations to the church this Sunday and next Sunday, and on an ongoing basis. We will continue to update the church every week on what we’ve collected and what’s happening at the school.


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Sequoia Union Encouragement Drive

Lemon Cove Community Church

A Member of:

September 17, 2020

Hello everyone, as you know the Coronavirus pandemic has created challenges for all of us, but perhaps the greatest challenges are to our school kids and teachers. Our Mission statement as a church reads as the following:

  1. Worship God
  2. Reveal God’s Love
  3. Serve Our Neighbors – “The Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~Matthew 20:28
  4. Invite Everyone

 

Our local K-8 school, Sequoia Union, is full of people who are our neighbors, from teachers to students to staff and local families. Given the unprecedented challenges schoolkids and teachers are facing this year, we have an opportunity to live out our mission by supporting them, and hopefully building a permanent relationship with them. Right now, we can support Sequoia Union School, and our local kids by purchasing/donating supplies that the students are in need of and to help them be effective during this difficult time of distance learning. There are 17 teachers and 30-40 children currently attending school in person at the moment, as well as many more students who are learning from home. Some of the supplies our local teachers have requested are:

 

          *  Here are some of the supplies needed                 

-Crayola Crayons

-Crayola Markers

-Disinfecting wipes.

-file folders – any colors

-Large Storage containers

-Glue Sticks

-Pencils

-Tissues

-Pencil Sharpeners

-Notebooks

-Children’s Masks

 

       *      Ideas for Teachers gifts

-Disposable Mask 

-Hand sanitizer

-Written cards with encouragement and thanks (not to specific teachers, but general words of encouragement)

         

There are additional resources that the teachers have requested to help them lesson plan and teach through distance learning – the church has teamed up with an anonymous donor to help the teachers purchase resources that are not covered by the funds already available to the teachers.

We hope that this is the beginning of a long-term relationship of support to the teachers, students, and staff at Sequoia Union, and we hope that our entire church will catch the vision and be involved on an ongoing basis, including brainstorming new ideas to reach out to school staff, students, and the families that are part of Sequoia Union and the Lemon Cove community. Please be in prayer that God will open more and more doors for us to love and serve our neighbors, and that God would build our own church through service.

Please call Jessica Garcia, our church secretary, with any questions. Let’s see what kind of impact we can have on our community in obedience to and reliance upon our God!

We are God’s servants by His grace,

Jessica Garcia
Yvonne LaFleur
Pastor Ian

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Three Rivers Evacuation

Hello church!

As you may have heard, South Fork in Three Rivers is now under a mandatory evacuation order, and a voluntary evacuation order has been given for the rest of Three Rivers. Please be earnest in your prayers over this situation. Please also consider that we have several church members who live on South Fork whose homes are in immediate danger. Carol Rookstool and her family evacuated a few days ago, but I haven’t been able to get in touch with the Klockes. The Woods are currently in good shape on North Fork, and their area is hopefully impregnable by wildfire.

I also reached out to Pastor Marilyn at Community Presbyterian in Three Rivers. She was preparing the church for evacuation, which must be a surreal experience. Several of you have mentioned that you have space for a trailer on your property along with hookups, which I passed on to Pastor Marilyn. I will let you all know if anything changes.
These folks in Three Rivers are our neighbors. If you know of any needs, please don’t hesitate to share them with your church family. In the meantime, keep praying!

In Christ,
Pastor Ian Hodge


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Hello Church!

Hello church,
 
I am glad to be back from vacation this week, and refreshed and ready to walk with you into all that God has planned for us! Okay, I was a little disappointed and disturbed to drive into the clouds of smoke, but I am glad to walk through it with you!
Pastor Ian Hodge
Lemon Cove Community Church

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Church on Sunday!

We had another wonderful Sunday worshiping together outside! Yes, it was a bit hotter (okay, a LOT hotter!) but we sang, we prayed, we took the Lord’s Supper together… it was great!

We will be meeting again this Sunday outside on the volleyball court – this week we have a guest preacher in pastor Rich Latta, who is a good friend of mine (pastor Ian) who most recently served the ECO church in Dinuba. Don’t forget to come out at 9am, bring your own chair (or we will provide you with one), bring your Bible, bring your mask (we also have those available) and say hello to your long-lost friends from a distance of at least 6 feet!

And by the way – mark your calendars, because we’re going to be worshiping outside every Sunday at 9am!

 

In Christ,
Pastor Ian Hodge

Lemon Cove Community Church


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Outdoor Worship & Online Recording

Hi folks, just a clarification: we will absolutely be singing and dancing together this Sunday at the volleyball court, but we will continue providing an online option for folks who, for any reason, do not attend in-person. The online option will be a recording of our outdoor service, so it will not be available until a bit later in the day. If you can’t make it, or aren’t quite ready to make it yet, you are still part of the family and we want you to join online!

In Christ,
Pastor Ian Hodge
 
 
On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 10:11 AM <office@lemoncovechurch.com> wrote:
Good Morning Everyone, this Sunday we will have a full worship service outside on the church property, beginning at 9am. We will be singing and praying similar to what we usually do, just a bit shorter. We’re asking that you please bring your own chair if you have one, if not one will be provided for you. We are still social distancing, which means we’re asking you to sit six feet apart from people outside of your household and we’re also asking that you wear a mask. The mask is especially important because we are going to be singing together and there are documented cases of the virus traveling by singing. If there are any other questions feel free to reach me at 559-597-2249 or office@lemoncovechurch.com
 
Sincerely,
Jessica Garcia
Church Secretary

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Outdoor Worship!

Hello church!

I wanted to let you know that we are working on getting the back together – in weekly outdoor worship services!

The Session and I (pastor Ian) have been discussing and researching this possibility, and with the help of a number of volunteers from the church we have made enough progress that I want to let you all know that we are planning on holding our first outdoor worship service a week from Sunday. That means Sunday, August 9 at 9am is a date you should mark on your calendar as a day to gather again outdoors (likely on the church volleyball court, which will be nice and shady at that time!) with your socially-distanced church family to pray, preach, and sing! The plan will be to continue outdoor worship every week for the foreseeable future!

I also want to assure you that we are still prioritizing the safety of our church and community and taking seriously our duty to slow the spread of Covid. That means we will be social distancing and that you should wear a mask. It also means that if (as a Tulare county official suggested was possible) a lockdown were to be put in place again in our county, we may have to give up even outdoor worship for a time.

With that said, we believe that it isn’t enough to care only for the physical well-being of our people and community, but we must also thoughtfully care for the emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of the same. We, as the leadership of your church, will always care for you. You, as part of the church, must always care for your brothers and sisters in Christ and in your community!

Stay tuned for more information – and keep praying!
 
In Christ,
Pastor Ian Hodge

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Sunday worship

Hello church!
Just a reminder (and/or clarification) that our worship service will be broadcast online-only this Sunday. There is no in-person gathering, but you can worship with your church online.
We are continuing to evaluate how we are going to worship and fellowship with each other longer-term, expect more information on that front in 1-2 weeks.
Call each other, love each other, pray for each other! In these days, no one is really 100% healthy, and life is more challenging, so always extend grace to each other.
1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
In Christ,
Pastor Ian Hodge

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