If you prefer to print the newsletter, you may download it here: Printable Apr 2020 Because all events and meetings are postponed until further notice, there is no calendar included this month. Please check online for updates.
“A Peace That Doesn’t Trivialize Our Pain”
By Phil Rushton, Associate Pastor
“Don’t worry.” “Everything is going to work out fine.” Have those words every fallen flat for you? Have you ever had someone try and reassure you but you just weren’t buying it? I have found that while people often have good intentions, their words of encouragement and peace do not always have their desired effect. Words of comfort can seem premature and can even trivialize the pain we feel when we are facing significant hardship in our life.
Over the next few weeks, more and more people are going to be implicated by the COVID-19 crisis. Unemployment is going to rise, people will lose loved ones, and we will all face losses of one kind or another. This has raised a number of questions for me as a pastor: Can we find a way to speak about hope in a way that does not trivialize our pain? Is there peace to be found even when the painful circumstances of life are not going away anytime soon? How do we celebrate the hope of Easter this month in the midst of loss and pain?
This got me thinking about Jesus’ encounter with his fearful disciples in John 20:19-23. Twice he speaks into their fear saying “peace be with you.” Yet, there is a small detail in the narrative that helps us understand the basis by which Jesus is pro-claiming peace. The text reads, “Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.”
He showed them his hands and side. This is a significant detail in the story. Jesus follows up his words of peace by showing them the reason they can have peace. His hands and side provide a testimony to the fact that rejection, pain, torture, and death itself do not have the final say. The things that cause us fear and agony are not the end of the story. Why can he say “peace” when the disciples are overwhelmed with fear? Look at his hands and side. The peace Jesus speaks is not rooted in the power of positive thinking. It is rooted in the power of the resurrection! He speaks a peace that simultaneously acknowledges the depth of human suffering but points us beyond suffering toward resurrection.
Jesus is very much aware that we face hard things in this life. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” Yes, we will face trouble. We may face job loss, we may face death itself, but that is not the end of our story. As Paul says in Philippians 4:7, there is a “peace that passes all understanding,” available to those who bring their anxieties and fears before God.
So, friends, just as the resurrected Christ met Mary in her grief at the tomb, Thomas in his doubt, Peter in his regret, and the disciples in their crippling fear, so may the God of Easter meet you in your fear and pain this season. Let us look at his hands and sides and discover again that we have put our trust in a God who has overcome the power of death itself. Beloved church, in this time of fear and uncertainty may this deeper peace that is rooted in the power of resurrection uphold you. May we, like the disciples in John 20, hear Jesus speak over us “Peace be with you.”
COVID-19 Pandemic and LvCC Church:
By Dave Hendrickson, Lead Pastor
“Whoever dwell in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
During these unprecedent times, I am thankful we have a God in whom we can turn to for peace, comfort, and protection. We are not alone as we journey through this, “He will be with you; he will not leave or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deut. 31:8).
With the ever-changing mandates, requirements, and directives from the health and government authorities, I want you to know LvCC is still carrying on with the ministries and mission of God’s Kingdom! Yes, we have had to learn new and creative ways to do this and I appreciate all of you who have joined us in this effort.
What is LvCC doing during the COVID-19 Crisis?
Church Office will by physically closed, but ALL staff will continue to work keeping the ministries, facilities, and missions going! Please feel free to call, email, or use social media to contact us.
Worship will continue to take place Sunday mornings at 9:30am. You are invited to join us on Facebook Live to watch it on Sunday mornings or you can watch it on KLTV Sunday at 3 p.m. and Wednesday at noon.
Technology is constantly changing and LvCC’s technology needs an upgrade. We began working on this last year, but with the recent crisis we are going to accelerate our process to allow us to reach more people via technology.
Deacons are communicating and assisting our shut-ins, home bound, and anyone else who is unable at this time to get the necessities they need.
FISH was up and running at LvCC! With some minor adjustments we were able to safely provide food and supplies to many families in our area.
St. Helen’s School – The missions committee is working on providing for our friends at St. Helen’s during this crisis.
Plus many more opportunities…Please continue to PRAY!
I appreciate all the work the staff has put forth during this outbreak! As you know, they are an amazing staff team! I want to thank the Elders for their support, encouragement, and council as we have navigated these new waters. Finally, I want to thank you as a congregation! Your patience, encouragement, and prayers have helped sustain us as a staff. I am very honored and proud to be able to minister alongside Longview Community Church! I look forward to the day when we all can join together to worship again! Until then, May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and sustain you!
Youth: “Plugged In”
By Kyle Beasley, Interim Director of Youth
We are not able to meet the way we are used to, but we are still gathering while attempting to follow COVID 19 guidelines. When the weather is decent, we will put out the word through Plugged In! News that we aremeeting at Lake Sacajawea. We will play games that allow for social distance and serve individually wrapped snacks. We might also sing some songs and have a devotion/sharing time. We are limiting these gatherings to groups of 10. If there are more than 10 that want to participate, we will have a second gathering, and maybe a third. We are providing gloves and hand sanitizer.
We are also trying to stay connected through calling, texting, FaceTime, and social media. Leaders and students are being creative and even playing games together over FaceTime.
We are also looking for ways to serve people in need. Students are helping distribute food to needy families through the FISH food bank at LvCC. We are anticipating that now, more than ever, people are going to need this service. By giving our students and leaders this opportunity to serve, we are also helping to protect our regular volunteers who are in the higher risk category. We are changing the logistics of how FISH normally operates, in order to be wise during this time.
We have postponed this event. We will reschedule when we can, or look for another creative way to communicate what is happening with our youth and provide opportunity for people to give support.
Now is the time to get registered. Camp Attitude is our summer missions experience. We provide a camp experience for kids with special needs and their families. All ages are needed to go and serve. You can register on the Camp Attitude page found on the church website or just click the following link:
This summer, we are doing something new with our Wired middle school students and we are excited! We will be going to The Dunes in Long Beach with several area churches. The dates for camp are July 6-11. Here is the link to register for The Dunes: https://www.dunesbiblecamp.com/middle-school-camp-1.
Throwback! Our Voltage high schoolers will be going to Tilikum in Newberg, OR for their High Adventure Camp. The dates for camp are July 27-31. Here is the link to register for Tilikum:
By Mary Gronseth, Interim Director of Children’s Ministry
Boy, how I miss all the kids that I get to see at the church during the week! Tuesday morning MOPS, Wednesday evening Friends and Family Night, Thursday morning Bible Study and Sunday Morning Children’s Worship and Sunday School. I usually have lots of opportunity to be with kids during the week. Unfortunately those programs cannot be happening in person right now, but I have still been able to minister to our church kids. Before the governor issued a “stay home” order, I was able to deliver to the doorsteps of each family a “kids’ care package” that included a note for each child, activity sheets and stickers from our current Sunday School series, bubbles and cupcakes! I pray for each of those kids and families as they figure out how to do life differently for a while.
I have a couple ideas for families or anyone that is needing something to do. You probably know people that would love to get a card or a letter in the mail. This is a good way to stay in communication and show love to others. If you need suggestions of people that would appreciate mail, feel free to email or call me and I can help you out. So let’s take this opportunity to reach out to each other.
Another idea I just heard of was making hearts and putting them in your window and when people walk or drive by they can enjoy the hearts and the expression of love that it shows. They could have positive comments on them or just be nice to look at. This could be a fun and meaningful activity to show those in your neighborhood you are thinking about them.
Above all, we need to be praying for each other, our leaders, the medical community and all the other service personnel that are essential to keeping everything going.
Staying Home and Staying Healthy with you, Mary
Although we are not able to meet in person right now, here is an overview of the many sharing and growth groups we offer for our women. Please consider joining one or more of them and get connected!
Community Study, Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. in the Chapel. Currently studying “Jesus the One and Only”. Contact the Church Office for more information.
Monday Evening Study, meets alternate Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room. Currently studying “Tell Someone”. Contact 253-278-5799.
Soup Sisters, Thursdays at 6 p.m., an inter-generational group that gather for a simple soup supper and contemplation of scripture. Meets in various homes. Contact 360-703-4768.
Circles: Meet once a month for fellowship, service, and spiritual growth.
Mary Martha Circle: 1st Monday at 6 p.m. in the Conference Room. Contact 360-425-8004
Louise Arnett Circle: 1st Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Journey Room. Contact 360-425-6704
Ruth Circle: 3rd Monday at 1 p.m. in the Conference Room. Contact 360-636-5047
The circles also take turns hosting Sunday coffee hours and a monthly luncheon, usually on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.
MOPS for Mothers of Preschool Children, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 9 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Contact Church Office at 360-423-6380 for childcare availability and more information.
“Single Again” for women who have been widowed or divorced, 3rd Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Chapel. Join other women who have been on a similar journey for support, prayer, and spiritual nourishment. Contact 360-425-0758.
Quarterly “Ladies’ Night Out”, an inter-generational opportunity for fellowship and fun. Watch the bulletin, website and Facebook page for information about upcoming events or call Church Office for info.
Annual Women’s Fall Retreat, usually in September. Be watching for more information soon!
Most prominent persons and events owe their success to background or preparation. The beauty that surrounds us in May is a prime example. Green lawns, flowers, bushes, shrubs and trees are awe-inspiring. The rainy, gray days we are grumbling about are the preparation. Snow may contribute.
“The Rough Rider” by Gilbert Morris
In true Gilbert Morris fashion, the research is thorough and historical facts are true. Candidates of all ages clamored to enlist with Teddy Roosevelt – to ride with him, and most likely die with him in the cause to fight for America. Gilbert Morris, as usual, expertly wove romance and a fierce search for God into his story. A must read!
This Book Report provided by Charlene O. Krause, Library Staff Member
We appreciate all of the books given by Sharon Ratcliff and Rex & Billie Jean Davis. Some of the newest ones in the church library are:
“A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life” by Donald Miller
“The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages” by Leo Buscaglia
“Big God: What Happens When We Trust Him” by Britt Merrick
“The Battle for God” by Karen Armstrong
“Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High” by Kerry Patterson, et. al.
“The Summer Retreat” (A Moonlight Harbor Novel – Book 3) by Shelia Roberts
“Light from Heaven” (Large Print – Mitford Book 9) by Jan Karon
“The Tuscan Child” by Rhys Bowen
“A Song of Joy (Under Northern Skies)” by Lauraine Snelling
“Real Stories for the Soul: 101 Incredible True Stories to Challenge Your Faith and Strengthen Your Trust in God” by Robert J. Morgan
“I am a Follower: The Way, Truth and Life of Following Jesus” by Leonard Sweet
ANOTHER RAINY DAY
This is another rainy day.
It is so wet and cold.
We are staying in right now.
It is really getting old.
This and That
ALL events and meetings at the church are postponed or being replaced by online meetings until further notice.
A new opportunity sponsored by the Lay Counseling Center is coming soon!
“The Journey Through Grief” is a 4-session group meeting offered to our church family and friends who have experienced the loss of a loved one recently or in the past. We are here to stand with you in the storm of emotions. It is the privilege of the Lay Counseling Center to guide you through what grief is and what you can do to move through this journey. The sessions will center on: The Dimensions of Grief, The needs of Grief, The Normal Reactions of Grief, The Significance of Grief.
The by-weekly sessions are tentatively scheduled to begin on April 16th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (depending on COVID-19 restrictions status). For more details please call Elizabeth Jacobsen at 360-577-1059 for questions or to sign up as there are limited numbers of spaces. You can also call the Church Office at 360-423-6380. Elizabeth, a trained Bereavement Facilitator, will be leading the sessions with assistance from the lay counselors and Dr. Meharg. Don’t delay, call today!
On behalf of our whole family, we would like to thank all of you at Longview Community Church and in the Longview community for all of the love and support we received following our mom’s sudden and unexpected death. Your cards, phone calls, memorial gifts, and your help with and attendance at her memorial service have all meant the world to us. Mere words cannot sufficiently express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude. Our love and appreciation for you is immense. You have all meant so much to our parents and to us over all of these years. Thank you for your kindness, your friendship, and your loving support of Mom, Dad, and all of us over the past 33 years. We continue to pray for and wish all of you the very best.
Christie Gilliland, Cheri Francis, and all of our Family
APRIL MISSIONS FOCUS:
Milky Cow Month at Community House on Broadway and
Providing lunches for children at St. Helens Elementary
YTD INCOME: $107,306
YTD EXPENSE: $116,645