Special Message from Pastor Tom

Monday, March 16, 2020

Dear Beloved Christ-followers of the Porterville UM Churches,

In all things we strive to be faithful, steadfast and prayerful. Amid this, the COVID-19 virus presents unprecedented challenges to us. These fast-changing times led our Governor to announce a call to “deep social distancing” for a “pragmatic response to the moment.”

This is a moment that requires us to act in unique ways unprecedented in many of our lives. The guidelines further recommend home isolation of everyone over age 65 and people with chronic disease, both high-risk populations.

Our Methodist churches have a deep treasure in people whose physical vulnerability we should not ignore. Therefore, after consulting with the leadership of both Methodist Churches, we decided that cancelling our church services, at Grand Ave UMC and Porterville First on Sunday, March 22 will allow us the space needed to reassess and regroup as a community. As your pastor I will continue to be available to all who need me in whatever capacity I can assist.

We will continue to re-evaluate the situation which changes daily. The physical and spiritual health of all in our care is a high priority. That makes all the tough decisions worth the effort. If you have special prayer requests, we do ask that you would let us know how best to pray for you.

We ask that as we wash our hands that God would wash our hearts and cleanse from all that would prevent us from experiencing His grace. Please know that it is hard for us to cancel gatherings and would do so only under such extreme circumstances.

Finally, our church remains grateful for the generosity that so many have expressed to allow the ministry of the church to continue. We want to remind you that the financial support of God’s people remains very important to our continuing mission to reach our community for Jesus Christ. If you can mail your contribution or save it up for the following service, we would be grateful.

As you give, the Lord gives in return and those who are in need receive as well. Please be healthy, blessed, and at peace. For updates visit www.grandavenue.org, www.facebook.com/portervillefumc or www.facebook.com/GrandAvenueUMC.

Blessings,

Pastor Tom

Grand Avenue United Methodist Church 776 W. Grand Ave. Porterville, CA. 93257 Phone: 559-784-3791 First United Methodist Church 344 E. Morton Ave, Porterville, CA 93257 Phone 559-784-4232

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