“Planting Seeds of Kindness”-Tea
Experiencing trauma creates a multitude of emotions that can alter lives long into the future. Such has been the case for Paradise and Chico church members since the Camp Fire devastated nearly thirteen thousand Paradise homes in 2018.
As a result, the church members have supported each other in friendship, teamwork, and outreach to the community.
Recently, nearly 100 women gathered from both churches and the community in the Chico church courtyard for a tea party.
“After a week of clouds and rain, God seemed to offer a special gift of sunshine,” said Mary Jo Lauderdale, director of member care at the Chico church.
As reported by one attendee, “Laughter could be heard from the kitchen as volunteers prepared finger foods and desserts presented on five-tier serving trays.”
Lauderdale continued, “Dottie Chinnock and Milinda Hillock, a church-famous gardening duo, gave tips on yard upkeep and many door prizes went home with delighted guests.”
Joelle Chinnock, director of disaster recovery and development at the Paradise church said, “Since the Camp Fire, the two churches have had many gatherings focused on team-building, building bridges, and how to best connect the devastated community to Jesus Christ.”
Lauderdale said, “Truly seeds of kindness, joy, and love were planted between the church members and community friends which brought joy to all of our hearts.”
A Practical and Impactful Church Service
Rio Lindo Academy Spanish teacher Annie Jeong wanted to engage her students’ second language skills in a more practical way. She coordinated with the Santa Rosa Hispanic church and scheduled her class to lead the sabbath church service.
During the service, students reported that they saw faces in the congregation light up when speaking or singing in Spanish.
Landon, a senior, said. “The people there were very kind and uplifting, and they understood when we were struggling and even helped us. Even though I didn’t understand the sermon completely, I still enjoyed being there.”
Jeong explains, “I love learning a new language because it helps me build deeper relationships with people all around the world. My goal with this experience was for my students to embrace diversity in their community, and reach out to everyone with Christ-like hearts.”
Delta Area Community Regaled by Musical Good Friday Service
Boldly, the sword-wielding centurion, played by Fairmont senior pastor Tracy Baerg, welcomed the congregation and reminded all to” keep hands, heads, and feet out of the aisle as this was going to be an incredible, multi-sensory experience!”
Wishing to engage their community in a creative way, the Delta Area churches, Lodi Academy, and, other passionate Christians from the community acted out the Resurrection Weekend story in drama and music.
Crafted by Coreena and Elena Blum, the duo had three goals: “Making meaningful connections with people. Meeting new people and musicians and giving all an opportunity to connect with Jesus in worship together.”
When asked about the music, Jerry Nelson, English Oaks senior pastor said, “Panis Angelicus, sung by the 180 voice Lodi elementary choir was “heart-touching”.
Spontaneous congregational celebration erupted as the resurrected Jesus appeared. Martin Surridge, Lodi Academy English teacher who portrayed the part of Jesus, said the program “made me realize that the role of Jesus is a role that brings everyone together. That’s pretty powerful.”
Chris Wright, bassist from Quail Lakes Baptist Church said, “The highpoint of it was knowing through the program of what happened and recognizing what God did for me personally, He died for me personally and that means a lot to me. I was happy to be here to contribute and use the gifts He has loaned to me.”
The program ended with the whole church singing “from heaven to earth, from the earth to the grave, from the grave to the sky. . . “and hands lifted His name high!