July 7, 2020

Patriotic greetings to all of you, hoping you had a safe, healthy and enjoyable Fourth of July (and a blessed Sabbath, of course).

It is unbelievable that we are beginning the second half of this unforgettable year 2020 with unique facts for historical records: pandemic season, social justice awakening, economic impact, political games, etc. But, here we are, as a church, keeping our mission alive and carrying it with relevance in the times we are living now.

We never expected this pandemic, which has impacted our health, our work execution, our finances, our social encounters, our worship services, our teaching methodologies and deliveries, our way to administer and serve, and more.

At this time, I want to express our appreciation to all our SCC family. To our educators, to our office personnel, to our pastors and overall to our church members who have been supportive, encouraging, faithful and ready to serve under the changing situations we are still facing as we move to do ministry.

All of you have been wonderful children of God, allowing Him to use you to serve our communities at this time of great need in all aspects: financial, emotional, social, spiritual, and much more.

In times like these, Jesus expects us to help and assist those who are suffering, those who are hurt or those who experience a loss.

Actually, when He returns, He will ask us a couple of very simple and examining questions, and you can find them in Matthew 24:31-46.

For this biweekly report, I'm taking the churches in Glendale as an example of what many of our SCC churches are doing for their members and the community. Click on each church or scroll down for more details on what these churches are doing!

• Glendale Armenian group has seen the membership in their Facebook group triple! They’re serving the community using social media, sharing health tips and caring for members with socially distanced visits or phone calls.

• Glendale City church has continued with their homeless feeding program and has been visiting members on their front lawn or over the phone.

• Glendale Filipino church is working to keep their community safe and foster online ministry opportunities for their church family.

• Glendale Korean church has started a local relief fund for members in extreme need.

• Glendale Spanish church has run a drive-through food bank for the community and started a local relief fund for members in extreme need.

• Glendale West Spanish church is starting a community center and experiencing 100 days of prayer together, virtually.

• Vallejo Drive church is operating its SOS food bank, hosting a neighborhood prayer walk and planning many activities for members!

Dear friends, the Lord has helped us to serve others, and here we are, ready for another 3 or 6 months to serve in “COVID mode,” as long He provides what we need to accomplish His mission.

Please keep lifting our church, local and global, in your daily prayers.

Your fellow traveler,

Velino A. Salazar

Serving Our Community

Utilizing Social Media
Before the pandemic, our Facebook page had about 174 members. Since March 21, I have been giving sermons literally EVERY EVENING in Armenian language (missing only 4 days) until now and answering to people’s questions. Now, we are grown almost thrice—from 174 to 414! People have joined from the USA and all over the world. We have from 3 to 5 persons that can be baptized this summer.

Sharing the Health Message
Our work for community is done mostly through social media. We try to help people that are sick or frightened by the virus or are in distress because of the pandemic, to rely on God’s promises. We suggest that they also keep the rules of safety connected with the spread of the disease. We inform the Armenian community of the healthy lifestyle and healthy food principles so that they can improve their immune system to be able to fight the virus.

Serving Our Members

Growing Together
During the daytime, Pastor Vigen Khachatryan personally does socially distanced visits with church members or calls them on the phone. Every Saturday, we give Sabbath school lessons and a sermon through the internet. We have hundreds of people who write to ask questions and send prayer requests. Please pray for all 414 people and especially for those who want to give their lives to Jesus.


Serving Our Community

Providing Food
We are still doing homeless feeding and such with sack lunches instead of hot meals. Providing weekly food boxes to five refugee families. 

A+ Adventist
Reopened our A+ Adventist Children’s Center to serve 30 children and their families in a sanitary, socially distant environment.

Serving Our Members

Checking In
We have divided up the membership among leaders to keep tabs on them making sure everyone is safe. Some leaders are actually visiting members in their front lawn. We haven’t started the in-person worship, so we are offering tablets to members who don’t know how to watch our weekly streaming worship and Bible studies.

Our church elders are checking in with our seniors over the phone, and we’re errand-running for those who are self-quarantined.


Serving Our Community

Outreach Activities
The community outreach activity of the church through the food bank ministry has been affected. Since the majority of our volunteers are elderly, our director thought it wise to discontinue food distribution, which has been stopped since April.

Serving Our Members

Church Life
The coronavirus pandemic has had a substantial toll on the life and activities of our church. Several members contracted COVID-19, but we praise God that they are now recovering. The pandemic affected the welfare and financial well-being of the church, but faithful members continue to support through online giving or mailing in their tithes and offerings.

Some of our small groups continue their ministry online either through Messenger or Zoom. We have two or three couples who receive Bible studies through a small group meeting by our Literature Ministry and Outreach Coordinator, Nestor Villanueva. Although confined in their homes, members actively join the Sabbath services which we do through Zoom and Facebook livestreaming. Sabbath school program features families sharing their experiences during the lockdown.

Our church has set August 1, 2020 to start opening the church doors for regular church services. We are prepared and complying with CDC guidelines and those set by the Southern California Conference.

During this unprecedented of times, our people are optimistic and hopeful that we will hurdle the challenges brought about by this pandemic.


Serving Our Community

Meeting Community Health Needs
Before COVID-19, we had been doing food banks, community cleaning, visiting a local nursing home, providing free health clinics, providing free flu vaccines and providing free health food cooking seminar. However, these services have stopped due to the restrictions of the pandemic.

Serving Our Members

Virtual Community
Our members are coming together for online worship service & online Sabbath school, plus online Bible study & prayer meeting every day. We have had the ability to do visitations along with following all social distancing rules.

Meeting Needs
We have also started providing a relief fund for the needy plus providing equipment for COVID-19, such as masks.


Serving Our Community

Caring for the Community
In our community, we have delivered food that covers all nutritional areas, cleaning products and also personal hygiene. In the iglesia parking and gym sample, we have a weekly drive-through food bank every Wednesday afternoon, where around 12,000 pounds are distributed to more than 250 families. There are also volunteers who deliver products to vulnerable people or seniors each week.

Blood Drive
Together with local hospitals, we carry out a blood donation event in the gym of our church.

Serving Our Members

Checking In
By and for the local church, we are giving $250 per month to families of church members in need, separate from food and other needed items.

Digital Events
Through digital means, we attend all Sabbath school classes for minors, and we are also running events by and for youth. We attend to every need for prayer and spiritual help through digital means. It has been two weeks since we started with an in-person church program on Saturday mornings, with all possible precautions for the health and safety of the participants. Special recognitions and gifts have also been made for graduates, moms and dads on their special day.


Serving Our Community

Community Center
We are getting ready to start a community center to meet some of the needs of our community, like providing information about different resources about emotional and spiritual health from the City and/or ngo. Plans are also being prepared to start a food bank. 

Serving Our Members

100 Days of Prayer
Telephone prayer conferences have been conducted every night during the 100 Days of Prayer.

Food Distribution & Pastoral Care
Food packages have distributed every two weeks (members also have shared with neighbors in need); pastoral care has been provided through telephone calls and also through personal visits in special cases.


Serving Our Community

SOS Food Bank
We’re running a weekly food bank for the community as an official facility of the L.A. County Food Bank program. More than 85 families come each Thursday from 12-3 p.m. and receive food for their families, from dry goods to fresh fruits and vegetables. And we need help! If there are volunteers who have time on Wednesdays and Thursdays, we could use the extra muscle!

Prayer Walk
We already have a prayer team at the church praying for members and the community, but now we want to step out into the streets and pray in person for our store owners, first responders, etc.

Serving Our Members

“Kingdom Come” Book Club
“There’s a reason Jesus taught us to pray ‘Thy Kingdom come...’ and not ‘Thy church come,’” says author Reggie McNeal. As we begin our new quarter and sermon series on “Kingdom Come,” we’re starting a book club for members to dig a little deeper into what Jesus was teaching us in this prayer.

Prayer & Power Tools
The elders of our church have begun a new ministry to bring people together in faith and deed! This ministry invites our members to come together for prayer and then put their hands to work on things needing to be done around our own church...and in the community!

SOS Kids
We want our kiddos to engage in ministry this summer as well! So even though we still have Storytime on Facebook Live every day at 4 p.m. (M-F), we're now calling on kids to come help us bag food at SOS on Tuesdays. This is a drop-em-off/pick-em-up thing where parents can drop their littles ages 8-14 off at SOS for two hours and let the future leaders of the church get their hands into active ministry (and give the parents a break!). 

Summer Social Schedule
It's not out yet, but we look forward to some safe-at-home summer activities for us to do together as a church. Schedule coming soon!