Dear Family of Grace,

As I write this letter, I realize that we have gone 8 months in a very unusual time of life.  I am also reminded of the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3.1-4:
 
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance…

We have gone through spring, summer, fall and are now preparing for winter.  In the past 8 months you no doubt have experienced times of plucking (weeding) and planting, times of weeping and mourning and hopefully times of laughing and dancing.

As a church we have had our times of mourning, and I once again have sad news of another loved one who has been called “home”.  Grant Anderson passed away this past week after a car accident he and his wife Jackie were involved in.  Fortunately, Jackie is physically doing well.  But, as the Body of Christ, we mourn when others mourn, so our prayers for comfort and peace are lifted on behalf of Jackie and the family.

Also, as a church, we have experienced the effects of the ever changing Covid19 guidelines in the state and country.  Just as we began to provide more opportunities to gather as a church, we unfortunately need to limit and even stop indoor gatherings.  We are still looking to the Yakima Department of Health for clarification as to what exactly we are still able to do at the church.  For now, Community Life Groups are being instructed not to meet in homes, but to instead meet virtually until further notice. Please feel free to call the church if you have any questions about what you, your group, your committee can do or cannot do.

One thing that did not change much is the ability to gather for worship on Sunday mornings.  (Except that we cannot have congregational singing – humming is fine)  So, we will still provide worship together in the Sanctuary at 10:00am, while still providing a live stream through our website, the App post on the web, the Yakima Grace App as well as Facebook and YouTube.  If you have difficulty finding any of those sites, please call the church.  If you are comfortable and healthy, we invite you to attend in person.  Please register ahead of time to help us be fully prepared to provide a safe environment.

As you know, we are heading into Thanksgiving, and then the Season of Advent and Christmas.  Do not let the circumstances of this world or your life rob you of the joy that comes with these seasons.  As we look to the upcoming season, as we enter into Advent on November 29th, we want to provide a sense of “home” for everyone.  We will be focusing on “Home for the Holidays”, so that no matter what “home” might look like for you, there is a sense of tradition and normality.

Because of Christ, and in His Grace,
Pastor Bill         

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