COVID-19 UPDATES

LATEST UPDATES CONCERNING COVID-19
Join us online for church each Sunday at 10am
 

February 12, 2021

 

2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

 

Dear Church Family,

We are excited to re-open our Family Life Center for gathering in-person for worship beginning February 14. In the midst of the COViD pandemic, we have been impressed at how well the Hilmar Covenant Community has quickly adapted to online church. This has been a time of tremendous uncertainty for many households and businesses. We pray that this next season brings a unity that will strengthen our bond as a people who together devote themselves to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

While we celebrate the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to allow for churches to meet indoors, our discernment process was much deeper than seeking governmental permission. We ask ourselves, “How might we best minister to the souls under our care in as safe a manner as possible?” We recognize that many people who consider Hilmar Covenant their church home have been able to deepen their relationship with Christ and strengthen their discipleship during this time. We also recognize that many others have felt like they have been cast spiritually adrift, wandering for a time in desolation. Still, others have been somewhat lethargic, neither experiencing joy nor loneliness, just status quo.

While seasons of desolation and status quo each have a place in our journey of discipleship, our desire is to create opportunities that lead you to thrive in your journey with Jesus. We want to encourage everyone to meet Jesus, equip disciples to go deeper in their relationship with Jesus and empower leaders and influencers to serve in the manner God designed them. Traditionally, much of this happened on Sunday mornings. Even though Sunday worship is an important element of our life together, the COViD pandemic has illustrated how we may be relying solely on our Sunday mornings, neglecting Monday through Saturday discipleship.

Therefore, in the next few months, we will not only be regathering for worship, but we will also be equipping you with resources and opportunities to deepen your walk with Christ Monday through Saturday. As we open the Family Life Center for worship, we are asking you to open yourself to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and the lives of others in the Hilmar Covenant family. We will be examining ways in which our life routines help or inhibit our commitment to Jesus and His Kingdom. Finally, we will look at how Hilmar Covenant might provide opportunities for you to invite your family, friends and neighbors to meet Jesus.

Attached are our Guidelines for Sunday Morning Gatherings. Please recognize that we are establishing these guidelines not only for your safety, but also for the safety and peace of mind of the greater Hilmar Covenant community. We realize that people hold many different perspectives when it comes to the COViD pandemic and measures to alleviate it. We can all agree that, as followers of Jesus, we embrace personal inconvenience for the sake of the Gospel and the sake of others.

In the wonderful name of Jesus,

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hcc update 12/23/20

Just a quick reminder that we are still following county guidelines regarding COVID safety. Please continue to show your love to other members of our church and community by abiding by these current policies.

Please call to let us know you are coming beforehand

When on campus, masks will be required.

Visitors must check in at the front office, where you will need to fill out a brief questionnaire and then have your temperature checked. Please don’t use any other entrances, even if you have a key or plan to just be in and out. You must check in for HCC to stay in compliance.

For HCC to remain in compliance during this time, please do not let yourself into the church buildings after hours. Non-staff members should only visit church during work hours.

And while you’re here, please make sure to take advantage of our hand sanitation stations!

Let’s continue to be in this together so that we can soon be together!

HCC UPDATE 11/17/20

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to god. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)

 

Dear Hilmar Covenant Family,

 

As many of you know, much of California has been placed back into the first (PURPLE) tier for COViD precautions. This means that all large group gatherings are prohibited indoors, including gyms, restaurants, and worship centers. As I shared last Sunday (11/15), our Church Council had discussed this probability last Thursday evening (11/12) and we have agreed to continue to follow our state and county guidelines at the recommendation of our insurance carrier and our denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church. Because of the cold, and possibly wet, weather we are facing, our Sunday morning worship gatherings will return to livestream only until further notice. Additionally, to protect our staff and others during the highly traveled Thanksgiving season, our offices will be open by appointment only the next two weeks (11/23-12/4).

 

I highly value face-to-face gatherings and have been deeply blessed by our outdoor and indoor worship gatherings. Our staff and Council will continue to brainstorm ways to safely provide these opportunities within the published guidelines from Merced County and the State of California. I welcome any person, or team of people, who would like to innovate in providing safe, outdoor experiences within guidelines. Please contact me if you have any inspiration!

 

We are facing an unprecedented time in our nation's history. Division, anger, anxiety, and frustration are all at incredibly high levels. I believe that the Church can have a unique role in the midst of our world today. If we practice the words from Paul's letter to the Philippians (above), we can influence those around us. We can bring about emotional and spiritual health by showing that we have a peace that the world can not bring. Our peace does not come from political parties, the presence or absence of mandates, or in the debates that the world desires us to engage. Our peace comes from God. It is a peace that springs from our joy, is nurtured by our gentleness and is possible because we have a God upon whom we can depend. This peace is beyond the world's ability to understand. I believe through this incomprehensible peace, our love for one another and our neighbor will demonstrate God's love for us (John 17).

 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 4:20-21 (NIV)

 

Peace,

Rev. Charles "Bud" Locke, Transitional Pastor

bud@hilmarcovenant.org

HCC update 8/13/20

Hilmar Covenant was visited by County officials recently, and we are needing to change some day-to-day operating procedures. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we also thank you for helping us out.

When on campus, masks will be required.Visitors must check in at the front office, where you will need to fill out a brief questionnaire and then have your temperature checked. Please don’t use any other entrances, even if you have a key or plan to just be in and out. You must check in for HCC to

stay in compliance.

For HCC to remain in compliance during this time, please do not let yourself into the church buildings after hours. Non-staff members should only visit church during work hours.

And while you’re here, please make sure to take advantage of our hand sanitation stations!

Let’s continue to be in this together so that we can soon be together!