PASTOR’S PONDERINGS—GOD CARES ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
The coronavirus pandemic has stretched longer than many of us ever could have thought back in March, and shows no signs of being over anytime soon. Not only has it taken nearly 150,000 American lives but puts an added burden of anxiety on the entire population. The ongoing uncertainty of all the safety decisions we have to make and not knowing how long this will last most likely has taken some kind of toll on all of us. While many of us may know that we tend to have adrenaline surges to extreme stress and fight or flight reactions, there are studies that say that our brain also reacts to prolonged periods of not feeling safe. In the article “What Happens in the Brain Whey You Don’t Feel Safe” author Andrea Bartz points out that our prefrontal cortex needs a mix of things to feel safe, which most of us have not had for months: “a supportive social network, trust in society at large, physical health, a feeling of being in control, and access to nature.”(1) Especially that feeling of being in control is pretty elusive. It reminds me of some of the psalms where the suffering author cries out, “How long, O Lord?” (Psalm 94:3 for example). Personally I have noticed from time to time strange sensations in my body, like an aching in only my fingertips, which I think are a way of my body handling this strange long period of unease. This prolonged sense of anxiety takes a toll, though it can come out in a lot of different ways.
I don’t have any magical solutions for you. It is more important than ever to intentionally communicate with those in your social network, and I am glad many of us have been making a point to call, text or otherwise be in touch with our greater church family. The comfort of meditation and prayer I can say does make a difference for me. Whenever I feel a complete lack of control, I try to turn to God and pray once again. Reading the psalms reminds me that others have gone through times of suffering and uncertainty, sickness and mourning, and still find God hears them, rescues, heals. We do what we can to connect to nature and stay physically healthy, but not everyone’s situation is the same.
If you find yourself in need of mental health support, please reach out. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is one resource: nami.org or 1-800- 950-6264. Or for referrals locally in Tulare County: (559) 623-0900. I am also just a phone call away, I’m not a therapist but I can listen and pray.
Even though it has become somewhat of a cliché, I think an important thing to remember is: we are all in this together. We need one another. I am here for you, I care about each of you, and the beautiful thing about our church family is I know you all care for one another and for me, too. That is a blessing from God, who wants us to be well in every way, and who is always with us (Matthew 28:20).
Listen to Pastor Michelle’s latest Sunday message on the Church website:
JOYS AND CONCERNS AMONG OUR CHURCH FAMILY
Please continue to pray for cancer warriors Michael dela Montanya, Jacob dela Montanya, Gerard Laquerriere and Rick Kanderian (friends of John and Pat), Ron Gerstenberg, Irene Pasillas (Open Gate), and Chase Glosier (Steve and Kathy Botkin’s nephew).
Please keep Phyllis Martzen, Arthur Anderson, Lisa Delgado, John and Pat dela Montanya, Carol (Rossi) Christianson, Louisa Valenzuela, Hankus Nagata, Brenda Godinez, Aiko Takeda, Pat Kurihara, Rosalinda Vasquez and her mother Rosa, Richard Meffley (friend of John and Pat), Florence Brayfield, Marcia Williams, Terry and Nancy McKittrick, Katherine Rodriguez and her family, Betty Barsotti, Mel Imai (Ruth Fujinaga’s cousin), Molly Osato, Don McDowell (Jerry Munson’s nephew), Cherry Cadiente (Winnie’s sister-in-law), Steven Bulosan, Lee Bulosan (Janice’s father), Wilma Conner, Sandy Hansen, Dinuba Youth for Christ, Cruising for Jesus, domestic violence ministries, first responders, health-care workers, Open Gate Ministries and all those affected during the COVID-19 pandemic and lock-down in your prayers.
Congratulations to Brianna Cadiente and Norris Jones on the birth July 2 of baby Zayden! (3108 South 23rd Street, Abilene TX 79605) Proud great-grandmother is Winnie Cadiente.
NEWS BITS FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST, 2020
Pastor Michelle will live-stream her Sunday sermons on Facebook at 10:30 AM (more information enclosed), and she will be leading “Grace Groups” via ZOOM. Old Testament Bible Study will gather every Wednesday at 11:00 AM via conference call. Prayer Group will convene Thursdays at 10:30 over the phone. Louisa Valenzuela will be leading the NA group every Thursday at 5:00 PM via ZOOM. Ad Council will meet via ZOOM.
Virtual Coffee Hour will be held following Facebook live-stream and Zoom worship service every Sunday and Holy Communion on Sunday, August 2 !! (Please have bread and juice ready for virtual Communion.)
Our re-opening team of Pastor Michelle, Susan Yoshimura, Derek Fujinaga, and Rod Clifton has been meeting and planning for in-person worship (probably outdoors) that may be coming soon !! However we need your input to continue. Please fill out the survey you will receive in your email; or if you do not get the survey email, and you have been attending locally or online, go to this link:
If you receive a printed survey, please fill out then return !!. The sooner you complete it the better !! It should not take more than 10 minutes, so please do it now !! Thanks !!
Also we will be looking for volunteers for tasks such as greeting, offering a disposable mask to those who don’t have one, reminding people to stay six feet apart, reading a Scripture passage, wiping down surfaces before and after service, collecting and sharing electronic prayer requests, creative music ideas that don’t involve live singing, loan of pop-up canopies and / or outdoor sound equipment. If you are interested in helping in any of these ways please contact email@example.com or Susan Yoshimura 559-679-8074.
Our Ad Council during the meeting on May 20 decided to invite our entire congregation to spend a moment in prayer every day at 11:24 am, relating to Mark 11:24 where Jesus told his disciples, “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Let us join together and ask for: God’s healing and protection for our church family and our neighbors; for us to take good care of one another; for our governmental authorities to have wisdom in providing for wellbeing of all people; for healthcare workers and other essential workers; and for help in finding a vaccine and ending this time of pandemic, as soon as God’s will allows. So set your phone alarms or alarm clocks to remind you and we will join together in prayer every day at 11:24am!
–Pastor Michelle, and Susan Yoshimura, Ad Board Chairman
WAYS TO COMMUNICATE WITH PASTOR MICHELLE
I pray that you are all staying safe and well! These times of pandemic can bring extra pastoral care concerns. Please, if you would like a phone call or visit, let me know! Reaching me on my cell phone is probably the best way, (805) 233- 5796. We can also set up a Zoom to “see” one another if you like. (I just ask that if it’s not urgent, to not call on Monday, my day off.) For now according to the Conference protocol, if you would like a visit I can stand outside of your house and talk to you from 10 feet away, looking at you through a window, and talking “live” or on the phone if we can’t hear each other. If you are on Facebook and would like to be “friends” there please send a friend request to Pastor Michelle Magee. Out of respect for your privacy I won’t request you, but I would be pleased to be friends on that account if you like! Please also like our church Facebook page to see updates there, and you can see the livestreamed worship every Sunday at 10:30am: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PalmUMCDinuba/videos/.
Email is great too: firstname.lastname@example.org. You should also be getting a weekly guide to an at- home devotional to do, and you can catch the sermon in print form on my blog on the website too: palmumc.org under the worship tab. Blessings! –Pastor Michelle
DIRECTORY CHANGE : Contact Marion for details:
There’s a new address on East Park Way for Louisa Valenzuela and Angel Pedregon,
Frankie, Eric, & Ezekiel Valenzuela, and Jacob and Fernando Hernandez
Pastor Michelle and Ad Board Chairman Susan Yoshimura have issued some precautionary steps to protect from COVID-19:
** In-person worship service is suspended until further notice during the coronavirus lock-down quarantine, but when we resume, we will practice social distancing by keeping six feet apart from any non-family members; we will greet each other with a wave or a bow but will refrain from physical greetings.
** Singing and audible responsive readings will be suspended.
** Hand-sanitizer will be available, and disposable masks for those who haven’t brought a re-usable cloth mask.
** Coffee Hour and Sunday School will be suspended until further notice.
** Continue to frequently wash hands for 20 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching our face.
God continues to call us to thankfully be good stewards of all we have received. Please remember, even though we aren’t presently using our facility, we still have bills to pay: salaries, utilities, insurance, etc. Your tithes and offerings are VERY important !! Snail-mail (USPS) always works, and now we have the convenient option of online giving through our web-site or Facebook !! Give it a try – SEE OUR NEW GIVING PAGE. Thank you !!
ONLINE WORSHIP SERVICES
HOW TO LISTEN TO PALM CHURCH 10:30 am SUNDAY SERVICES
WITH PASTOR MICHELLE (and virtual Communion on August 2)
“LIVE” through Zoom using a phone for audio only
1. Dial 1-669-900-6833 OR 1-346-248-7799
2. After prompt, enter Meeting I.D. 901-220-3185, and hit #
Option—Try Speaker Phone
LISTEN AND VIEW PASTOR MICHELLE’S
PALM CHURCH 10:30 A.M. SUNDAY SERMON every week on
FACEBOOK LIVESTREAM ( and VIRTUAL COMMUNION on SUNDAY, AUGUST 2 )
( even if you aren’t a member of Facebook !! )
After getting the Log-in Window, Click on “Not Now.”
► When the Live Video appears, click on the red LIVE button;
tap the Back Arrow to stop watching.
Please have juice and bread ready for virtual Communion on Sunday, August 2.
TO PARTICIPATE IN VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR FOLLOWING THE SERVICE
“LIVE” through Zoom using computer or smart phone
(or audio only—see instructions above for dial-in)
Join Zoom Meeting—
Listen to Palm Church Scripture Reading and Sermon recording for the previous Sunday with Pastor Michelle on the phone. Dial 528-8105 and stay on the line. If you get a busy signal, try again after 30 minutes. Available Monday to Saturday any time, for previous Sunday only.
OPEN GATE MINISTRIES ON-GOING NEEDS
511 North “K” Street, Dinuba 559-591-1241
Feminine Products and Diapers
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
Lotion, Shampoo, and Hairbrushes
Coffee and Creamer
Cooking Oil and Sugar
Ziplock Bags (quart and gallon size)
Aluminum Foil / Paper Grocery Bags
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Socks – All sizes
AUGUST WORSHIP TASKS
21—Sarah Clifton, Thomas Eliosa
26—Jim Lamb, Jeff Lamb,
30—Terry McKittrick,Susan Yoshimura
31—Sergio Rodriguez, Doug Millhorn,
Newsletter Editor: Marian Clifton
Worship Bulletin Editor: Kathy Lamb
Webmaster: Sandy Hansen
Office Hours: Tues./Thurs 10:30-4:00
Office Phone: 559-591-0746
Listen to Pastor Michelle’s sermons at –
Church Location: Tulare and “P” Streets
Sunday Service: 10:30 AM—Facebook Live
Palm Church Ad Council
Susan Yoshimura–Administrative Board Chair, Education Chair
Jerry Munson—Finance Chair, Financial Secretary
Pat dela Montanya—Trustee Chair
Janice Serios—UMW President, Youth co-Chair, SPRC co-Chair
Nancy McKittrick—Assistant Treasurer
Marian Clifton—SPRC co-Chair, Missions co-Chair
Aiko Takeda—Missions co-Chair
Katherine Rodriguez—Missions (Outreach), Youth co-Chair
Cathy Yada—Recording Secretary
Derek Fujinaga—Lay Leader, Annual Conference Delegate
Pastor Michelle Magee—Nominations Chair