January 25 was a full Sabbath day with eventful activities. That morning, Esther and I worshipped with our Central Spanish church members, and in my sermon, I challenged them to ask the Lord for His blessing and companionship as we accomplish His mission this year 2020. That morning, we had a good crowd: around 800 (of 1,150 membership). BTW, this church is our largest church in SCC. Kudos to Elder Juan Osorio, his pastoral team and the local church leaders for carrying on God’s mission in that unique urban setting, which has its challenges.
Esther and I also had a great time there sharing old memories from when she and I were dating while I was the associate pastor back in 1986; we also remembered faithful members (Victor and Manuel Sanchez, Pedro Gutierrez, Rosa Castillo and others) who were very committed to the church and its mission. These friends now they sleep in Jesus waiting for His coming to reunite with their loving family members and friends.
After a nice fellowship meal, I rushed to Spanish American church to participate in our SCC annual Day of Prayer. More than 200 people attended from other churches across our conference. I opened the program with a call for prayer by blowing a “shofar” and portraying the prophet Joel (with attire representing Biblical times) inviting and urging people to seek the Lord because the times in which we are living demands our closest connection with the Lord. Elder John Cress persuaded the attendants to let God use them to reach out to our communities for Christ. A big thank you to our SCC Prayer and Spirituality team for planning and facilitating this collective encounter with God.
Last Sabbath, I had the privilege of visiting the Hollywood Spanish church and challenging our church members to recalibrate our vision for mission in 2020. Have good courage, Elder Ezequiel Gonzalez and local church leaders, as you lead this thriving church amid downtown Los Angeles. Such territory does not easily receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But our mission is to tell people about Jesus and lift Him up as the Savior of this world. He will draw people to Himself.
- General Pastors Meeting: Monday, February 24, 2020, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Vallejo Drive church.
- State of the Conference: All SCC employees, Monday, February 24, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Vallejo Drive church.
- Annual Pastors' Retreat: This event starts Sunday, March 1 at noon and ends Tuesday, March 3 at noon. The retreat will take place at Pine Springs Ranch.
Your fellow traveler,
Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference