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Business Unusual

It's not business as usual right now. Frankly, how can it be?

Since the introduction of the coronavirus into our world with its resultant aftermath it's anything but business as usual. It's business unusual.

Companies are closed down, people are out of work, stock markets are gyrating, 401K's have taken significant hits, children and youth have to "home" school, families are stuck indoors, except to go outside for anything deemed "essential," people have stock-piled goods making certain items nearby extinct; everyone has had to make major adjustments to their lives so as to prevent the spread of virus.

But adjusting they are. Whether it's been a difficult ride for some or an easier road for others, I sense resilience. I sense it here in the United States. Yes, people have been afraid. Yes, there's been panic. Yes, people have displayed incredible selfishness. Yes, there has been a lot of discouragement and despondency to go around. But there seems to be something bubbling to the surface in certain quarters and it looks a little like a determination to overcome.

Have you seen it in the faces of certain doctors and nurses? Have you seen it in the eye of some local, state, and federal leadership? Have you seen it when you walk past a neighbor (at a six-foot distance of course!)? Yes, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, and there is still deep concern among the masses, but aren't you sensing a degree of resolve out there; a resolve to win?

That's the world, but how about the church? What about you and me?

Churches have suspended weekly services, along with other events and programs. Pastors and elders have scrambled to find alternate ways to stay connected with their membership and friends of the church, as well as encouraging members to keep connected with each others , especially during this critical time. There's been one hurdle and obstacle after the next. If you've ever run a steeple chase, you know that they have the ability to slow you down and tire you early in the race. Ministry leaders and small group facilitators aren't entirely sure what to do or how to move ahead. You can't blame them. What we are going through is a little like, as one person put it, "flying a plane while still building it." In other words, we're all figuring this thing out as we go.

But if there is a sense of determination in certain corners of the world as they face this massive challenge, ought not the spirit of courage, energy, and perseverance posses the people of God during this hour, and even more so?

Time and again, God's people in the past faced one crisis after another. At those times, God told them that it was business unusual because He was going to make a way where there didn't seem to be a way. It was during those crucial moments that God asked His people to trust Him, rely on Him, and have courage because He was going to do mighty things for them.

The words of that warrior Joshua, the captain of the armies of God's ancient people, Israel, still ring true today:

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9

Even though things have changed, and doing the same things to nurture God's people and reach the world with the everlasting gospel isn't an option right now, there is still a high and holy work that needs to be done. Are we to let obstacles stand in our way? Will we let circumstances master us, or will we learn, by God's grace, to master this present circumstance?

Listen to the stirring words of inspiration:

"Courage, energy, and perseverance they [God's people] must possess. Though apparent impossibilities obstruct their way, by His grace they are to go forward. Instead of deploring difficulties, they are called upon to surmount them. They are to despair of nothing, and to hope for everything. With the golden chain of His matchless love, Christ had bound them to the throne of God. It is His purpose that the highest influence in the universe, emanating from the Source of all power, shall be theirs. They are to have power to resist evil, power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master, power that will enable them to overcome as Christ overcame." - Gospel Workers p. 39

"Instead of deploring difficulties, they are called upon to surmount them." These words are a definite call to courage and decisive action! It's business unusual, which means we have to try new things and employ new methods in our life-saving work. It's business unusual, which means we may have to adjust our plans to make room for new ones, and do things for God we thought only Bible characters could do.

While the message and mission remains the same, we need to appropriately respond to the realization that it's business unusual.

But hasn't it always been this way?

Hasn't the world often viewed God's people as unusual using unusual means to promulgate an unusual message? (See 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.)

This moment may be a defining moment in light of Bible prophecy. Right now, we don't know and won't know until we have the chance to look back on it. But whether it is this moment or the next, or even the one after that, it's always business unusual for God's people, for you and me.

Here's why.

Because we live in unusual times. And these times call from us an unusual response (one we've not given before) and plead an unusual experience in the things of God (one that we've not had before) so we might face this unusual time with an unusual courage, an unusual energy, and an unusual perseverance.

The hour demands we continue to be about our Father's business. The love of Christ constrains us to engage like never before. What do you say?

Chris Buttery, Senior Pastor

More Answers To Your Questions

Q. Are in-person Sabbath services still suspended? Can I still join you live-stream?
A. Both Central Study Hour (CSH) and the worship service will be live-streamed only again this week (no in-person services available at this time). Join us for CSH starting at 9:30AM as the pastors’ panel discusses the lesson, and then 10:45 for the worship service. Our youth will be leading out, and we welcome guest presenter, Nelson Ernst. Live-stream can be accessed at www.saccentral.org or livestream.com/SacCentral (we are also trying to find a way to open up our services via tele-conferencing for those who don't have the internet--more on that soon).

Q. Is the Youth (& Young-at-Heart) Weekend of Prayer still happening this week?
A. Yes! Join us virtually for "Prayer for the Dead" presented by SacCentral's Youth Ministry and friends starting Thursday, March 26 at 7PM (Zoom), and continuing Friday, March 27 at 7PM (Zoom), and Sabbath, March 28 at 10:45AM (saccentral.org livestream) and 2 & 6PM (Facebook Live). Contact Candice at 951.965.7542 for details on joining.

Q. Are you offering a virtual Prayer Meeting during this time?
A. We are happy to announce that our weekly Prayer Meetings are now being live-streamed Tuesday's at 7PM (for the timebeing). We continue our study in The Great Controversy, chapter 38, The Final Warning. Join Central's pastors to learn more about last-day events. Live-stream can be accessed at www.saccentral.org or livestream.com/SacCentral

Q. Is the church office running usual business hours?
A. The office staff will only be coming into the office to perform essential functions. If you don't reach someone by phone (916.457-6511), please leave a message and our Administrative Assistant will get back with you as soon as possible. She can also be reached by email (office@saccentral.org). If you need to access the church during the week, please arrange a time with the Administrative Assistant to do so. We are sorry about the inconvenience at this time, but please know that the office staff are still committed to helping you where they can.

Q. Is there a way we can get a copy of the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide?
A. If you have access to the internet, you can download an electronic copy of the weekly lessons at saccentral.org/central-study-hour. If you prefer a hard copy you are welcome to stop by the church Monday and/or Thursday next week between 9AM and Noon to pick up your copy. If you are picking up for someone else, please let our Admin Assistant, Chrystal, know.

Q. How do I get my children's Sabbath School quarterly? Will they also be made available?
A. Yes, your child(ren) will be receiving their lesson(s) in the mail. They were mailed out this week. If you do not receive anything in the mail, please stop by the church next Monday or Thursday (9AM -Noon) to pick up what you need.

Q. Is there a way we can get a DVD/CD copy of previous Sabbath School classes with the pastor's and sermons?
A. If you would like to pick up a copy of the sermon or Central Study Hour, they will also be made available at the church office on Monday and Thursday next week from 9AM to Noon. Downloads are also available on our website at saccentral.org/central-study-hour and saccentral.org/sermons

Q. Will the pastor's be offering a way to receive some spiritual encouragement during the week while we go through this experience?
A. Need a little encouragement during the COVID-19 crisis? Starting next week your Ministry Team and Elders will be offering a 15-minute call-in service for a time of prayer and encouragement from the Word of God. Please stay tuned for more information coming soon.

Q. How can I continue to return my tithe and offerings to the church?
A. There are several easy options:
  • Put a check in the mail made out to "Sac Central SDA Church". Please be sure to indicate what is tithe and what is offering.
  • Give online via our website. Go to www.saccentral.org and click on the "Donate" button at the top of the page, or click here to go there directly. For instructions to set up a personal account, review this short video.
  • Give via the AdventistGiving app. Set up is easy and you can use it on any device.
Q. Is there a place I can go to get quick updates on how COVID-19 is affecting our church?
A. To learn more about how COVID-19 has impacted Central, to get some of your questions answered, and to locate excellent resources for you and your family during this time, please visit saccentral.org/church-life-and-covid-19/

8 Lessons From the Coronavirus

There’s much we can learn from the coronavirus crisis. Pastor John Bradshaw with It Is Written takes a closer look at the issue (hint: it's not what you expect). Read more here.

Are We Entering The Little Time Of Trouble?

It's a question we've been asked. Are we heading into the final events as outlined in Bible prophecy and The Great Controversy? Could this be what what we've all been waiting for? We invite you to watch a stirring presentation by our own Pastor Fred Dana where he grapples with the answer to this important question. Watch here.

Total Community Immunity

Watch these interviews with Dr. Neil Nedley as he seeks to answer the question, How can we fight the coronoavirus? It's an ongoing series. So far he has covered the following topics:
  • Total Community Immunity - NEWSTART
  • Fight Coronavirus with Immunity Boosting Foods
  • Fight Coronavirus with NAC
  • Fight Corinavirus with Exercise
You can watch each interview here.

Free Offer!

Amazing Facts offers you their beautiful, informative, and live-changing Amazing Health Magazine for free. You definitely want to keep yourself healthy at this time and there's no better resource to learn how to do that. Get yours here. And be sure to share it with others.


Looking for an encouraging word during this disheartening time? Listen to Pastor Chris's recent message entitled #ResourcefulNotFearful. You can find this sermon, and many others on a variety of different topics here.

Don't Practice "Social Distancing" (read on)

Socialize at a distance instead. It's a must if we're going to get through this life and safely into the next (see Hebrews 10:24, 25). There are a variety of tools you can use to meet with your LIFE Group, Bible study family, church ministry team, or anyone you're wanting to connect with. Try using the following free resources: Zoom (offers 40 minute video conference for free) and FreeConferenceCall.com (free conferencing calling for an unlimited number of people). There are many more options, but this should get you started.

Tips for How to Find TP

Due to a number of people in our community hoarding it, TP has become scarce and hard to find. If you are looking for TP for you or a loved one keep the following in mind:
  • Medline.com carries large boxes of TP and can be ordered online. If they are out, just ask to be notified when they are back in stock;
  • Target always has TP, but you need to show up 30-45 minutes before opening time to get some;
  • Smart & Final has some, but you need to ask the person at the manager's desk for it as they don't put it on the shelves.
One things you definitely don't want to be without right now is the promises found in God's Word. Be sure to hide them in your heart.

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