Pastors’ Update 11-13-2020

Hi Everyone and Happy Sabbath!


As I write this Weekly Update, the outcome of the US Presidential, and a couple of Senatorial races, are still undecided. From all state vote tabulations to date, results of the most recent election indicate our new President-elect is Mr. Biden. However, Mr. Trump has not yet conceded and the Republican Presidential Campaign has filed law suits challenging the results of election outcomes in several states. As I mentioned in my sermon last Sabbath, our country is nearly evenly divided on several political and social issues. This most recent election certainly demonstrates that fact! Please continue to pray for God’s will and His direction for our country.  


We will NOT HAVE in-person Sabbath services in RENO, ANDERSON or CITRUS HEIGHTS this week. The Skyline Church is planning a weekend activity and we agreed to forgo use of our regular meeting space for this coming Sabbath. We resumed regular Sabbath services for our Sacramento and Lodi congregations in the Citrus Heights Community Center last Sabbath! It was delightful to have so many there and enjoy weekly services and fellowship again! However, Sacramento County has also moved back into the PURPLE category because of an increase in reported COVID-19 cases, and we will not be holding Sabbath services in Citrus Heights until further notice.


We will be webcasting Sabbath services from Redding this week. As most of you know, the status of Shasta County has also been changed back to PURPLE because of a spike in reported COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks. So, we will not have regular Sabbath services in Anderson this Sabbath. But, we will have our webcast crew and speakers at the church hall to produce a Sabbath service for our webcast.


We continue to closely monitor the pandemic and restrictions situation in NorCal, Nevada, Lodi and the Central Valley. As soon as we can resume in-person services, we will do so. At this point we are uncertain when meeting facilities will re-open. It may be later this month, December, or January, depending on the spread of the pandemic, and state and local officials. 


If any of us are concerned about the restrictions, guidelines, or our personal/family health issues (including age and/or pre-existing conditions), we should not feel we have to physically attend. That is a personal choice. We will continue to make a webcast of Sabbath services available for anyone wishing to observe the Sabbath at home.


If you decide to attend, we ask that you wear a mask/face covering, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands regularly (basic CDC guidelines). Please bring your own water bottle or beverage container since we will not be serving beverages or snacks.


It is estimated that 130,000 lives could be saved by February, if everyone wore face coverings in public. The President-elect, Mr. Joe Biden, is asking everyone to wear a face covering, and may consider asking all states and local authorities to mandate face coverings after he takes office. Please find a link below that features an article about face coverings, comparing such mandates to the history of seat belt and motorcycle helmet laws.


Also, the CDC published a new document recommending everyone wear face coverings, for the health of others and their own health.  The new document listed several studies that “have confirmed the benefit of universal masking,” as well as some observational studies that have given evidence of its usefulness, including an example of two masked hair stylists who had been experiencing symptoms but did not transmit the virus to any of their 67 masked clients who were later contacted. The document also referred to a study of 124 Beijing households in which mask use significantly cut transmission of the virus, and an outbreak aboard the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt in which face coverings appeared to have reduced risk of infection by 70 percent. Experts said they were thrilled to see the change in the C.D.C.’s stance, and particularly the emphasis on face coverings that protect wearers.