Like most ecclesias throughout the world, we are holding all our meetings virtually. This will continue through the end of the year. Once a month we join with Sacramento ecclesia (about 120 miles away). We find, like others, that virtual contact is no substitute for face to face interactions, however, due to the geographic spread of our brethren we have many more in attendance at our mid-week class than we do in person; that is a plus.
Another plus was witnessing a couple of weddings virtually. May 2 Lauren Land (formerly of our ecclesia) and Dalton Henley (Sacramento) were married outdoors in a forest setting and streamed for us to witness. Then we had a real boost on June 24 when six of us gathered at the hall for the baptism of Martha Frisby (her son, Robert Frisby is in Chicago [Lombard] ecclesia). It marked the culmination of an earnest and comprehensive search for understanding the one true gospel. We rejoice to have her as our sister in Christ. Our widowed brother Jim Seagoe quietly joined in marriage to sister Rhonda Vaughn (San Diego County) on September 16.
We thank our bro. Allen Laban for his ministrations for our first virtual Weekend with the Word. Everyone found his classes to be practical and engaging. He used the Zoom poll feature to support his class presentations.
As most of you are aware, we in northern California have been overwhelmed by fire on all sides, most caused by lightning strikes (in one night 22 wildfires were ignited). Six of our members were required to evacuate their homes but thanks be to God, all have now returned to intact homes. Some have fled the intense hazardous smoke which has spread to Nevada and now onto the east coast. Oregon is under hazardous smoke over much of the state and many brethren are under pending evacuation orders. Please remember us all in your prayers and the many firefighters who are risking their lives and health to save others and their property. We are so thankful for their dedication. We thought lock down from Covid was bad enough then we got hit with a record-breaking heat wave and now smoke so unhealthy we cannot venture outside. These must surely be the last days as we have never known such disaster and chaos but we look to our Father for the strength to endure. Even so come Lord Jesus!