Mar 19th, 2020
Dear Camelback Church Family,
The Camelback church leaders, in cooperation with the Arizona Conference, are working to ensure the health and safety of church members, friends, and community.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is still spreading throughout the United States, to the degree that we still do not fully understand due to the lack of available testing to local health organizations. Governmental entities throughout the Phoenix Valley are strongly encouraging social distancing and some are now recommending the cancellation of events when 10 or more people are anticipated. As a church, we continue to take the necessary steps to cooperate with local authorities and experts on the pandemic as we pray and seek God’s grace in this ever-changing health emergency crisis.
Your pastoral staff realizes that many of our members fit the demographic of people that are at risk for more serious health challenges from contracting COVID-19. Because of this, we believe the most important thing to do is hold our services online until things improve. Therefore, we are canceling in-person Sabbath services for the next three weeks (through April 4). Each Sabbath, we will Livestream our worship service through our website at www.camelbackchurch.net. Just click the “Live” button at the top of the Home page to connect. As you remain home with your family these next few Sabbaths, we encourage you to join us online beginning at 11:00 AM. The worship service will include music, prayer, and a message to encourage.
All scheduled events, including the IFAK training this Sunday, are also canceled until after the first week of April.
We also ask that you remain faithful in your financial giving to the Lord’s work through tithes and offerings. It is easy to set up through the Adventist Giving website: https://adventistgiving.org/#/org/ANP4FB/envelope/start. There is a serious possibility of falling way behind our church budget needs at a time when the church is not meeting together for worship. Please help us stay current by planning your giving in advance through this helpful online tool.
A few of our small groups may still meet this week, but with an eye on the need to exercise social distancing practices. We are also preparing to send out a video link, Monday through Friday. It will be a message from one of us pastors, posted on our YouTube channel. More details to come.
We will be sure to keep you updated as the situation changes. Please feel free to contact the church office or one of the pastors, if you have any questions. Pastors John, Mark, and Melanie stand ready to respond to your needs and will remain available for appointments and visitation. We ask that you help us get the word out to people that you know do not frequent social media, have access to email or have other limited communication channels.
We serve a God that has called us to share the gospel in a variety of ways, not only through word but love in action. As we keep our eyes on Jesus let’s also look out for the needs of others. We are reaching out to a few health services organizations to ask what we can do to support their work of caring for the most vulnerable. If you are interested in participating in this kind of ministry, please call Cherie to volunteer.
This is a great time to focus on your personal devotional life as well. Spending time with Jesus in prayer and the Word is more important than ever. And what better time is there than when you are at home with time on your hands. Here is some inspired counsel that may be encouraging for you today:
“We need to look constantly to Jesus, realizing that it is His power which does the work. While we are to labor earnestly for the salvation of the lost, we must also take time for meditation, for prayer, and for the study of the word of God. Only the work accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by the merit of Christ, will, in the end, prove to have been efficient for good.” (The Desire of Ages, p. 362)
Please unite with your church family here, and around the world, in praying for the work of Christ’s angelic host to fight against the forces of evil and counteract the spread of this disease. And do so claiming the promise that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
God bless you all,
Pastors John, Mark, and Melanie
Jun 28th, 2019
JoAnn Bloom has a real heart to see that children and families are growing together in Christ. She approached me via email stating that she was willing to help get an Adventurer Club started. We put the feelers out to the families and there was enough interest to get a club up and running. The Camelback Colts Adventurer Club met for the first time in January of 2018.
The devil was not happy with the decision and began to work to discourage almost right away. First of all, beginning the club half way through presented lots of challenges. It meant that the teachers, children, and families would have to work very hard to finish the year in half the time. During this time, the club director battled with very serious health issues and she quietly did her best to schedule major surgeries and treatments around Adventurer schedules. By God’s mercy and grace, JoAnn, the children, and the families would not let anything deter them from their mission.
The Adventurer year 2018 – 2019 brought new and exciting plans. They not only worked extra hard to finish course work. They also added fun monthly field trips such as horseback riding, visits to a farm, the aquarium, archery, and much more. They didn’t stop there. The Camelback Colt Adventurer children understand what it means to serve the community. They engaged in several projects to help collect and donate items for under-privileged children.
In the first weekend of May, the Adventurer Club was able to attend the conference-wide Adventurer Family Camp where more than 900 were in attendance. There they learned all about the 28 FUN-da-Mental beliefs in many engaging and interactive ways. On Sunday morning awards were given to most clubs. The very last award was given to The Camelback Colts!!! It was a first place for achieving the highest amount of points for the year in the whole conference. God had truly blessed and rewarded their hard work and dedication. The biggest award however is the relationship and deeper connection that in being made within the families and most importantly with Jesus. What a sweet Victory!
Pastor Melanie Cruz