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Pastoral Letter for 2021

Pastoral Letter for 2021

Dear VCC Family and Friends,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  In many ways, it seemed that our world was turned upside down in 2020, but we persevered and exhibited strength.  Even though we’re not out of the tunnel yet, we can see the light at the end of it.  In the midst of COVID-19, political upheaval, racial injustices, economic down turns, and other personal challenges, we stood strong in Jesus Christ and trusted Him despite the circumstances.  As a result, we prevailed and were not consumed by uncertainty, fear or anxiety.  By His grace, we now look forward to a new year of blessing and possibilities.

While ceasing indoor worship for a time, even longer than we had anticipated, we were challenged and inspired to re-think how we did worship.  God’s guidance and your financial support enabled us to continue the mission He has called us to through Facebook Live and Live Streaming.  As a congregation, we were also successful in a number of outreach efforts that allowed us to partner with other community organizations in order to be a blessing to those in need.  Although we look forward to resuming in-person services as soon as it is feasible and wise to do so, we will continue to be creative and seek the will of God in terms of fulfilling ministry to each other and the community at large.  No matter the challenge, we will continue to minister and demonstrate His love as He leads us.

We will also continue to be responsible and vigilant in light of the pandemic.  We thank God for granting guidance and wisdom to the scientific community that has resulted in vaccines now becoming available to our most vulnerable and soon to be available to all.  With the necessary steps having been taken, including scientific research, examination of the data, and clinical trials that determine the safety and efficacy, I look forward to receiving my own vaccination when it’s my turn!

Remain prayerful. This month, we add the Daniel Fast to our prayer.  Prayer and fasting are a most powerful force that keeps us connected to God and His best for us.  It also increases our hope and unites us in spirit.  Continue to reach out to one another; make every effort to stay connected.  In addition to phone calls, utilize technology – text, email, Zoom, etc. help us to keep in touch.  Try on some new ways to keep connected as the Body of Christ.

My prayer is that God will continue to make us instruments of His peace.  May we be a people who sow love where there is hate, forgiveness where there is hurt and offense, unity where there is division, and joy where there is sadness.  May we be light where there is darkness, salt where there are distasteful situations.  May we seek to understand and be a source of consolation where needed. And may we be reminded that giving is the key to receiving.

Finally, to all of you who are members of the VCC congregation, I thank God for the opportunity to serve as your senior pastor.  Please know that I and our staff of Elders care and are always ready to serve and listen.  Call on any one of us at any time.  Please know that during this time of continued, albeit temporary, isolation, you are never alone.  Together, we will continue to seek and discover the new and exciting things that God has in store for us in 2021!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Swanzi Saunders
Ssaunders@valenciachristiancenter.org
Pastorswanzi@valenciachristiancenter.org

Elder Darryl Berrymon
Darrylberrymon@sbcglobal.net

Elder Ivan Cole
Ivancolewesta@yahoo.com

Elder Sandra Cole
Coleprays@gmail.com

Elder Ann Kendricks
J1stannk@gmail.com

Elder Jay Stepter
Jstepter@valenciachristiancenter.org