Hello, friends. Greetings from the Southern California Conference leadership. I'm right here in front of the conference office building, located on Chevy Chase here in Glendale, California. This building has been closed since March 18 — for 13 long weeks. However, this personnel has continued serving our community, especially our churches and our schools — our churches to do ministry to their communities and the schools to continue serving their students and their families.
Friends, during these 13 strange weeks, we have experienced an awesome reality. To be the church and to do ministry, buildings are not indispensable. Are they necessary? Yes. But we, the followers of Jesus, do ministry, wherever we are and wherever we go.
During this time, the Lord has blessed our churches to serve in a marvelous way and our schools to teach and inspire the students to keep the pace with their studies and complete this school year. We want to express our appreciation to all.
When I say all, I mean all — to our church members for their understanding and encouragement, to our educators for their up the adaptability to teach children, to our pastors for their creativity to keep members close during these isolating times, to our office personnel here, leaders and support staff, for working inside the doors for long hours at their home.
On May 27, the Southern California Conference officers announce that our churches could be open for worship services in person, beginning on June 1. Under the guidelines established by the Los Angeles County, not the Southern California Conference, since June 1, a few churches were ready to open following the protocols set and are open now. Others have been slowly opening their facilities, other ones they had decided not to open until they consider it safer. The bottom line with this approach is we care for our members and our friends who come and join us in worship.
You may have the question: When is the office building going to be open? Let me tell you, we want to open, but we are not desperate to open. We want to provide safety for our visitors and our employees who work in this place. We're taking some steps to be ready and safe. We will return to provide service in a very different way, and we ask for your understanding and your cooperation. We the employees have to follow certain rules of conduct. Our visitors, you will follow also some safety protocols.
Please visit our conference website at www.scc.adventist.org. Right there, we'll place some guidelines for all of us to follow in order to adapt to these new times. We have adopted this guidelines for the benefit of everybody. We thank you in advance for your help.
There is a lot of wisdom in the council of Paul the apostle when he said: "Let all things be done, decently and in order" (1 Corinthians 14:40, KJV).