Letter from Pastor Mike

Hello Encounter Family, 

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1) — any trouble being physical, spiritual, financial, or relational. This is crucial to remember as the Coronavirus outbreak has taken center stage in our world. I want to encourage everyone, that we have no reason to be overcome with fear. The Bible tells us: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment." (2 Timothy 1:7)


As we witness the current events regarding this outbreak, we as a church are responding in the abundance of caution rather than reacting in the abundance of fear. We believe in and worship a God who is mighty and sovereign over all things including death and disease. Cultivating a Godward perspective is what will ground our hope and inform our wisdom and response. This is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last (H1N1/swine flu, Avian flu, Ebola, MERS, SARS) until Christ returns and restores all things into the new heaven and new earth. 

In seeking to be wise and discerning and while circumstances change daily, here is our current plan: 


PRAY: 

Times like this draw our attention to the brevity and fragility of life (James 4:14). It reminds us of our weakness and need for a Savior (2 Corinthians 12:9). It reminds us that our lives and sure hope are found in Jesus Christ. Therefore, with these truths reigning in our souls, we pray to the Father in heaven for ourselves, each other and the world. Pray for wisdom, healing, treatment/cure/vaccine, safety, provisions and the final cry of our hearts is, “Come, Lord Jesus. Come!” 


GATHERINGS: 

With the Coronavirus pandemic now center stage in our media conversation, we as a church sense a call to respond. Our Governor has requested large social gatherings to be canceled to allow social distancing during the current escalation. We take this recommendation seriously and will do our part during this season. We desire to honor those in authority as Scripture calls us to.


“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1)


In compliance to this are moving our normal gatherings online. 

CHURCH SERVICES: 

We will post our Worship Services on our Social Media platforms and our website. 

Tune in Sunday mornings at 10 AM. 

Click Here to Watch our service on Facebook Live

Click Here to Watch our service on our Website


COMMUNITY GROUPS

For now, Community Groups are not meeting. We are planning on having them over Zoom Call Meetings. Stay Tuned. 


WHAT IF I NEED PRAYER OR HELP? 

If you have a prayer request, please click here and one of our staff will be in touch with you as soon as we can. 


CAN I STILL GIVE? 

Yes and we hope that you will! Ministry is still happening and we are still relying on the faithful giving of our Encounter family. As always you can give online click here. I’ve set up recurring giving so that when situations like this arise I can remain faithful in my giving. 


URGENT: We are expecting the needs of people are going to increase as they experience the financial effects of various shutdowns. If you are able to give above and beyond your normal giving now would be a great time to do that. Thank you. 


You can also mail your giving. 

Encounter Christian Church

10012 Ramona St. 

Bellflower, Ca. 90706


Coronavirus information:

If you're like me and not sure what to believe or think about the coronavirus and what's going on we can help. We have a church family member that works for the department of health and is willing to do a call to answer your questions.


Elderly care team:

The elderly are incredibly susceptible to the coronavirus and should take a great precaution. For a person 65+, it's recommended that you stay home except for essential needs. We have a team here at the church that is ready to help our elderly family members for anything they need: groceries, run errands, pick up prescriptions, etc. If you need us, we will be there. 

During church hours, call the office at 562-866-0791. 

If it's after hours or on weekends call Tim at 562-708-7893 or Pastor Mike at 760-953-0339.


Financial care team:

Lastly, we know that various shut downs could impact our families financially. There are programs in place to help and things that can be done. If you're experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak, your church is here to help you. We have some smart folks in this area that stand ready to serve you.


Remember giving is very important at this time. Much ministry needs to be done and many Will be in need in these time. Please give faithfully, generously and sacrificially in you are able. You can give securely online or mail your offering to the office. Encounter Christian Church 10012 Ramona St. Bellflower Ca. 90706


Ultimately our God is greater than all things. We hope you find strength and hope in him during these times. Philippians tells us not to be anxious about anything but in every situation, tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. We will be in touch in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, tune in online every Sunday to hear the message.


As we move forward, our goal is to love God and love our neighbor. We grieve with those who have lost loved ones. We pray for those who are sick and we pray for those who face other difficulties due to this pandemic such as not being able to go to work, take care of older family members or who have been or will be financially affected by the restrictions due to this outbreak. The power of sin and darkness in this world is daunting and wearisome, but we do not lose heart because “this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). 

We put all of our trust in him and pray that he would be pleased to use us as a church and individually to be salt and light to this world full of darkness. May he show his power and might and bring many souls to himself even through this difficult time. To him be the glory, forever and ever, Amen. 


In the meantime, know that I love you. God is in control and He is going to see us through this.

Pastor Mike


Below is a list of verses to encourage you. You may find it helpful to pray through this list. 

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way...” Psalm 46:1-2


“For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13


“...yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14


“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9


“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On god rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” Psalm 62:5-8


“Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:8


CONTACT LIST:

Church Office:                     562-866-0791 (Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm)

Pastor Mike Larsen:           760-953-0339        mike@encounterccb.org

Nichole Mcgahey:               562-303-0998        nichole@encounterccb.org

Jessica Herrington:            562-822-9478        jessica@encounterccb.org

Chris McGahey:                   949-279-5475       chris@encounterccb.org

Tim Gilman:                          562-708-7893       tim@encounterccb.org

Glen Pool:                             562-650-5301       glen@encounterccb.org

Pas Dave Van Lant:            562-353-3630        djvanlant@gmail.com