Dear People of Faith,
You are generous. It is easy to be generous in times of plenty when the future is certain. But in this time of economic turmoil and uncertainty, your generosity has become even more apparent. In a time when so many organizations are needing to furlough or lay-off employees, your giving has remained steady, and has allowed our staff to worry not about paying their bills, but about serving Christ.
Your generosity has allowed our Director of Worship and Music Luke to fully commit himself to finding ways to recruit individuals in our community to lead worship from the safety of their home, to lead socially distanced rehearsals for individuals sharing their musical gifts with us, and find ways to splice the footage of our many worship leaders into a seamless and beautiful worship experience broadcast live. Your generosity has allowed our Office Manager Michael to fully commit himself to keeping open the lines of communications, whether by updating our website, answering phone calls, burning CDs, or compiling this Faith Talks, so that you all can stay connected to your Faith family. Your generosity has allowed our Director of Youth and Service, Colter Murphy to fully commit himself to transforming our youth ministry for the digital world. Colter leads weekly Sunday School on Thursday morning, with stories, crafts, and show and tell. He leads a weekly Confirmation Class over Zoom, and a weekly Youth Group of online games and conversation. Colter organizes a weekly College Crew chat, and he of course makes adorable children’s sermon videos. And that’s only half his ministry! Because as Director of Service he’s also been coordinating your generous desire to help others in this time of need. You have formed teams to call and check on one another. You’ve formed teams to deliver food for those for whom it is not safe to leave the house. You’ve formed teams to handwrite letters of hope and encouragement. You’ve formed teams to make and give out masks.
And you’ve given generously to make sure that the people of Faith do not go lacking. To our Coronavirus Fund, established to give financial support to those most affected by the pandemic, you have given over $6,000. But you have gone beyond caring for the people you already know. For eight months, we have had a team of folks researching what it means to sponsor a family going through the federal government’s asylum application process. This past month, that team felt ready to ask for your support to help a family become a part of America, by not only providing them a place to live as they go through the asylum process, but guiding them as they learn what it means to live, work, and be a part of our great nation’s fabric. You once again responded with generosity! As I write this, you have given over $5,000 to sponsor a family. Greg Massa and Raquel Krach have offered up a farmhouse for a potential family. Encouraged by your generosity, the Asylum Sponsorship Team presented our plan to the Chico Area Interfaith Council. Several other congregations have expressed interest in collaborating with us, and so we are in the process of setting up a joint account under the auspices of the North Valley Community Foundation, so that our act of hospitality might be truly a collaboration of the greater church in Chico.
Even our facility, though closed to the public, is doing its part to give back to the community. Our kitchen is daily being used as a staging ground for the meals served as part of Project Roomkey. Project Roomkey is a state program during the pandemic that is aimed at housing our community’s most vulnerable homeless, those who are 65 years old and/or those who have chronic medical conditions. We are blessed to have within our congregation the person overseeing that project in the Chico Area, Matt Reed. If you are looking for other ways to give back right now, Project Roomkey could use notes/cards of encouragement for its guests, face masks, and help preparing and delivering food. You can contact Matt Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’d like to be a part of any of the other ways that Faith is living out Christ’s call to love our neighbor, give the office a call. Thanks to you, our staff is ready to connect you.
Times of crises reveal our true colors. As in the fire last year, and the flood the year before that, in this crisis, you have shown yourselves to be people of generosity, hospitality, and Jesus. I do not know what the next month will hold for our congregation or our nation, but I am so grateful that I walk into that future with you, united in Christ.
Your brother in Christ, Pastor Ben Colahan