My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

Church Calendar – All current meetings are canceled or postponed. Please continue checking the Messenger for further updates.

Church Gathering Update

We continue to look to guidance from County and State health departments for when we can return to the physical building. And we hope that you continue to be blessed by the ministry of ABC, even though we don’t see each other in person. However, when we return things might look very different, and the Staff and Deacon Board are weighing many options; some of the suggestions put forth by the state of California are:

  • no more than 25% capacity in the sanctuary
  • no children’s services
  • no singing
  • no food or drink
  • no offering plates or communion plates
  • masks and distancing at all times

We love each of you deeply, and care for your health and safety above all else. Please pray for the leadership of ABC as we deliberate how best to keep the membership of our church safe and alive — which is our primary consideration.

Chet Kelsey’s Obituary – The obituary for Chet Kelsey can be read here. There is a space where you can enter your personal tribute.

Young Adults – Pastor Connie has begun a four week study for young adults, on Sundays, at 6:00 PM. If you want to be a part of this study, please contact Pastor Connie and she will send you the zoom link. We began Sunday, May 10, but it’s not too late to join.

Sunday Morning Worship Online Service –  We’re Moving to YouTube! A little story:
As a smaller church, we had never experimented with “live streaming” our services until five weeks ago. When the “safer at home” mandate came out, we all worked like crazy to create an online Sunday morning worship service that would enable us to socialize like we did at 791 E. Calaveras. It seemed that, because of its social features, Facebook would be the best place for us to “meet” online. Unfortunately, Facebook has not been able to handle the many, many churches streaming video on Sunday mornings. So we’re going to try YouTube, and see if we are all able to have a better viewing/sharing experience. You will still be able to chat/comment with each other in real time, so get involved!

Amazing Grace School Update (Global Outreach Partners) Ghana has experienced the same closing down of society as we have. Mama Florence Mante writes: “These days online and TV services are conducted so the church members get connected. Amazing Grace school is closed to students too. The students have online lessons and it is difficult because here not all parents understand what goes on and may not be able to explain to their wards. We are trusting the Lord to have mercy and end is pandemic for all of us. Ɔsofo (husband), Andrew (son) and I are home in Accra with five other youth staying with us. Three are university students who are home because of the COVID-19, one man is looking for a job. In Ghana there are a lots of open markets and we are worried about the way the virus is spreading now. Our country is small but the infections happened within a short time. It’s very disturbing.

Please pray for:

    • The students to be protected at home and continue to love Jesus.
    • Parents to have the means to take care of them
    • A vaccine be discovered to protect people from getting the virus.
    • Workers to be able to go back to work and earn money

Kealing Family Spotlight – Check out this great article about the Kealing family here.

Continuing the LGBTQ+ Discussion at ABC – Close to twenty-five members and friends of ABC have been on an email list of people who have indicated they want to be part of the continuing study of Biblical passages that are commonly used in discussions about LGBTQ+ issues. They have all received three document I have put together to start the discussion. Two people have responded in writing and a few more by phone. Ideally, we should all meet together to continue our discussion, but that’s not possible under our current distancing guidelines. So, we’re putting together a Zoom meeting for sometime next week to talk about what our next steps should be. I’ll email the details to those who are already on the list. Others who may be interested should contact me in the next few days.    — Pastor George

ABC Youth Group – The Youth Leaders, Christina Chevez, Mike O’Neal-Petterson, Rob Ottaviano, and Pastor Connie are meeting every Friday on Zoom with our youth. We have a small group with a large spread of ages (9-18). On Friday we are starting a curriculum entitled “Faith In an Anxious World.” For the next few weeks, as we discuss this heavy subject, we are asking you to pray. Please pray for us as we listen to our kids in small groups. Pray for the parents to have courageous conversations with their kids.  And most of all, pray for our youth. Pray that the Spirit would open them to the ways we will be talking together about anxiety and how to face it healthily and hopefully. Pray that the words of Jesus in Scripture would both comfort and challenge them. Pray that God would work transformation in whatever ways are needed

Trader Joe’s Food Distribution – ABC is still holding the Trader Joe’s food distribution on Sunday mornings at 9:30AM at church.

Your Tithe and Offerings Will Help Carry ABC Through – Since we are not receiving offerings at public services, we depend on God-inspired tithes and offerings from faithful supporters. Thanks to those who have begun to send donations by check through the mail or by PayPal (the ABC account  is altadenabaptist.org/donate – you do not need a personal PayPal account to give online).

We’re beginning to hear of ABC family members who are being laid off from work. The recent Federal emergency legislation is supposed to help them in the long run, but who knows when that will begin? Through our Benevolent Fund, the ABC Deacons distribute funds to those with special needs. If you are fortunate enough to have some extra funds, please consider a donation to the Benevolent Fund at this time as well.

Devotional Guide – Last week we mentioned a devotional guide that could unite all of us in study and prayer…and now it is ready! Download a printable PDF here. If you are not able to print one out, e-mail the church office and we will send one in the mail to you. Many thanks to Lori Ottaviano for spearheading this project and preparing it for the church body. We pray that it is a valuable tool to focus your prayer life while we are off of our normal schedules.

Coronavirus – As we hear increasing concern expressed about the spread of the Coronavirus, we want to do all we can to make sure Altadena Baptist Church is the safest possible space for our gatherings for worship and fellowship. If we all follow some simple guidelines, we can minimize the risk of contracting the disease or giving it to someone else. Based on our consultation with health professionals who are part of the ABC congregation, we believe there are two activities in which caution can make a big difference.

Physical contacts during greeting – We are encouraging as little actual touching as possible. Hand shakes are probably the likeliest way to spread germs. Fist bumps are preferable, but maybe a nod of the head will be enough. Hugs may be relatively safe, but why risk that much closeness? In a few weeks, we’ll probably be able to catch up on withheld hugs.

Restroom precautions – Thorough hand washing is critical. The ABC restrooms are supplied with plenty of soap, and sanitizers are available in several key locations. Be aware that touching doorknobs, light switches and handrails along stairways can recontaminate you after washing.

We also trust that anyone who is experiencing some of the symptoms that accompany the sickness will stay at home and not risk sharing the germs with others.

Resources

  • If you are able to help out at this time in a physical capacity (taking ABCers to medical appointments, picking up/delivering groceries, etc.), please contact the church office. On the flip side, if you need these services, please let us know. We hope we will have matches to help.
  • The Altadena Community Food Pantry is still open at this time on Saturdays from 10AM to 12noon at 943 E. Altadena Drive (Altadena Community Church upper parking, west side). Bring a bag if you can.
  • ABC is still holding the Traders Joe’s food distribution on Sunday mornings at 9:30AM at church.
  • If you are a senior finding yourself home-bound during this time, and need to talk with someone, you can call the Pasadena Telephone Reassurance Program at 626-685-6732. They offer daily calls to provide support and contact with others on a regular basis.

Update on LGBTQ+ Bible Study -The study of Bible passages relates to LGBTQ+ acceptance, which was begun last week, is being continued by an email conversation led by Pastor Van Alstine. If you want to be part of this discussion, please contact him at gvachurch@aol.com.

Save the Dates:
Vacation Bible School: July 27-31 Our dates this year are July 27-31 and the theme is “Rocky Railway: Jesus’ Power Pulls Us Through.” Please invite children grades Kindergarten through 8th grade to attend (we’ll have flyers to give out soon). We also need a lot of volunteers. For more information, please see Rob or Lori Ottaviano, Jill Zobrist, or Debra Blake.

Church Camp: October 16-18
Church Camp Information and Fundraiser

All are invited to ABC’s Church Camp at The Salvation Army Pine Summit (near Big Bear) October 16-18. Cost for adults is $150, and children 3-17 are $75 each (2 and under are free). The price includes a t-shirt, lodging, meals, other program materials, and activities. If you save $20 a month per person now, it’ll be paid by then! This camp is not as rustic as our last camp. We are usually in rooms of 4-6 people. Our Theme is “Our Wilderness Experience.”

ABC’s Paula Hegle to be Honored – Paula Hegle has been a member of ABC since 1993, and for the past twenty years, she’s been a civilian employee of the Los Angeles Police Department. Currently, she’s a Senior Management Analyst with the Risk Management Division. She provides research and support for issues involving police interactions with the public. This announcement was just made: The City of Los Angeles Police Department Office of Constitutional Policing and Policies, Risk Management and Policies Division, has selected Paula Hegle as the 2019 Civilian Employee of the Year. There will be a Los Angeles Police Department Employee Recognition banquet in September 2020 for all Sworn and Civilian Employees of the Year. Additional details for the LAPD Employee Recognition Banquet to follow.

Stories from Skid Row – Pastor Van Alstine was interviewed on June 13 on the radio program “Stories from Skid Row” (KKLA 99.5) about the life of Clinton Goodwin, who was a charter member of ABC and for two decades Superintendent of LA’s Union Rescue Mission. You can hear the broadcast here.

Stephen Ministers Care – Stephen Ministers are members of our congregation who receive special training to provide one-to-one Christian care to people in our congregation and community experiencing challenges in life – grief, loneliness, divorce, hospitalization, disability, job loss, and many other life difficulties. To learn how to become a Stephen Minister – or receive care from one – contact Pastor Connie Larson DeVaughn, Joyce Spencer, Martina Westmoreland, or Robert DeVaughn.

Community Resource Board – Please check out the postings on the bulletin board in the upstairs coffee room. We are making a renewed effort to keep current information at that location of any notices that come our way of housing and job opportunities, activities, concerts, children’s events, etc., etc.

We are requesting volunteers for the Sunday morning food distribution. We could use help with driving, assisting in food pick up, and sorting the food once it is delivered to the church. It’s easy work, and has become a very important aid to the community, and is an outreach opportunity. Those who are interested in volunteering are asked to please contact Robert DeVaughn

We Need Bags… We need plastic/paper grocery bags for the Altadena Food Bank. Please bring them by the ABC office.

Consumer Electronics – ABC collects cell phones, ink jet cartridges, laptop computers, notebook computers, iPods, digital cameras and digital video cameras as a fund-raiser for Church Camp.  We cannot accept laser or toner cartridges, damaged, reconditioned or refilled inkjet cartridges, tower or desktop computers or monitors.  Such acceptable items can be placed in the box next to the office door.

Behind a Tiny Story – Check out Myrna Barinaga’s response to George’s request for stories! — a book about her life and God’s faithfulness. $20 — proceeds go to Altadena Baptist Church www.myrnabarinaga.com

Podcasts of the ABC sermons are now available on iTunes through the Altadena Baptist Church Facebook page. Both the download for the iTunes app and the podcasts themselves are free.  We thank Loren A. Roberts for making this important service available to our friends and members. They are also now available via mp3 on the Sermon Audios tab.