Dear Vista Church,
As you are all aware, there have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in California. At a time like this, as Christians, it is important for us to find a full assurance of peace, faith and confidence in Jesus. We trust in him! We do not let our hearts be carried away by fear or anxiety. We remember that “from him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36). We remember that God is in control of all things and that we live for his glory.
During this time let’s pray together for each other, for our city, and for other parts of our world – that God would protect, heal, give peace to people, and bring hope and faith to many! Proverbs warns us: “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10). At times, we realize that our strength indeed is small, but it is then that we turn all the more to Jesus. Remember Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We have great reason for our hope in Jesus; let’s continue with confidence and love.
Trusting God, we should also exercise wisdom at this time. As the State of California has issued new guidance on containing the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we want to follow the direction of professionals and government officials who are working diligently to protect our communities. Romans 13:1 tells us that we should be “subject to the governing authorities”. As such, we are revising our approach to the current situation:
Services and Small Groups
- We are suspending normal Sunday services and events, various ongoing trainings and kids programs.
- We will be recording Sunday morning teachings and making them available on our website by 10am each Sunday: https://www.vistachurchslo.com/sundays/teaching-audio. We encourage you to listen, worship, seek Jesus and pray for the church on your own or with your household as we are apart from one another.
- Weeknight small groups will continue to have Bible discussions virtually, please contact small group leaders for details on how to participate.
- If you have any specific needs, or if you know of someone in the Vista community that does, please feel free to reach out to your small group leader.
- Almost all of the ongoing expenses for Vista Church will continue. If Vista Church is your church home, please be faithful and consistent in your tithes and offerings so that we are able to continue in the things Jesus has asked of us and to be able to move forward effectively when this disruption is over.
- Because we don’t have regular Sunday morning gatherings as a place to give tithes and offerings, you can either mail a check to Vista Church (3000 Broad St. Suite 107, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401), use your bank’s Online Bill Pay option, or through “Tithe.ly” (an app for giving that you can download from the app store. Create an account, search for “Vista Church” on “Tithe.ly”, then follow the instructions).
Caring for Each Other
- This is a great time and opportunity for us to care for and encourage each other! The uncertainty puts all of us a little bit on edge, but we have great reason to trust Jesus and move forward with confidence. Praying together, talking on FaceTime, and texting are all great ways for us to stay connected.
- When friends from your small group are sick, figure out how to help them. For example, you can prepare a meal and leave it outside their door. Anything to help encourage and build up their faith and confidence that Jesus is with them.
Jesus’ church is not fragile! Let’s do our best to not be afraid, to give one another courage, and to trust him as we walk this out. His promise “I am with you always, to the end of the age” in Matthew 28:20 is still true. And Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose,” encourages us that God is at work for our good even through difficult times. We believe that Vista Church will come out of this stronger in faith and with more confidence in Jesus.
Pray for each other, pray for our city, our country, and our world. The work he has given us is carried out through prayer and prayer keeps us close to Jesus and keeps us from being anxious or afraid. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).
We recognize that we are not healthcare professionals. If you would like more information please refer to some of the resources below. To our knowledge, these resources are being updated regularly:
- CDC COVID-19 Summary Page
- People at higher risk (CDC)
- Prevention and treatment (CDC)
- San Luis Obispo County COVID-19 Page
- San Luis Obispo County Shelter at Home Order
- California Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Updates
Vista Church Board