Pandemic Anniversary

Hello Baysiders! Hope all is well in your souls and you are adjusting from daylight savings over the weekend. The time changing always prepares my mind for spring and Easter.

Today marks the last church service we conducted a year ago before the pandemic shutdown in our country. It’s been one year since everyone’s lives in the world changed. Last year this time toilet paper was a hot commodity, hand sanitizer was the new gold, and Costco was a zoo to get in with a three hour wait time in the line. And if you forgot, let me remind you of the Tiger King phenomenon as we sat in quarantine seeking some form of entertainment and escapism. A lot of our fun social venues were shut down. I knew it was really getting serious when Disneyland shutdown. Many of us were afraid on what the future would look like. Is the virus deadly? Will this be forever? Do masks work? All these questions were big headlines in political news. Last March 15th before Church started some members texted me they were not coming due to the uncertainty of the virus, others texted me on if service was still going on and a few showed up to worship the Lord. It was a weird time for pastoring as no one has ever gone through this before. The last sermon I preached on was from Matt 6:24-34 and it was about not worrying because God will take care of all our fears and needs. That lesson is still true today. So much has happened in 365 days but in the midst of all the ups and downs God remains faithful and is here with us. We have been together through Webex, YouTube and the traditional home visits and phone calls. Despite the pandemic, God has been working miracles, as the church is flourishing, growing faith in members, a baptism, we celebrated our 60th church anniversary last month and we have a great newly installed live stream system for our online viewers. God has been busy at Bayside.

It’s always good to look back in life and consider all that God has done for you and I. In this fast passé and quick lived life it is easy to forget the wonderful works God has done for us. Let’s not have covid memory fog and remember the great blessings God has done for us. Psalms 143:5 says, “I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works. I think about what you have done.” Numerous times from all of scripture, we are given examples of memorials and instruction to remember the past for all what God has done for us. When we do this we are transported to heaven’s file cabinet of records on all the blessings we have from God. We need this. Why? Because we quickly forget how God has been faithful to us just as quickly time moves in our calendars. Reminiscing humbles us and quiets our souls of any worry or need to control the situation. Church, look back to one year ago today and what do you see? Do you see progress? Or do you see regression? Or maybe you see stagnation? Whatever it is, there is room for God to work because hope is always there and grace available to those who seek it. The Pandemic might have affected 2020 and have lingering results for years to come, but grace is more powerful than some virus and we are God’s children and His power and love is what we are defined by. This is truth to be remembered.

Thank you to all those who came by last Sunday to the church cleaning day! I am so grateful for each one of you to help make the church look nice. It was a great blessing to have Pastor Morgan and his team stop by and assist us. Lastly, the wait is over church. Starting April 4th, we are meeting together at 11am to start our physical worship service once again at Bayside. Its so special because it’s Easter that day and there is no better way to celebrate the risen Lord than being together. Seating is designated by blue tape and certain aisles are closed off to secure safe social distancing while gathering together for worship. Sunday morning Bible study with Raymond in the fellowship dining hall, and Wednesday Night Devotion in the sanctuary will resume. Please see church covid-19 guidelines for more details.

Grace and peace ?:^)

Pastor Aaron,

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