COVID-19 Updates

Guiding Principles

We understand that this is a complicated time for our world and community. In light of the guidance provided by government health officials and concerns expressed by the congregation, PazNaz’s leadership has developed these guiding principles to help us prepare and act for the future.

1.  We want to be the Church.
2.  We want to be wise stewards.
3.  We want to be wise, not anxious.
4.  We want to be good community members.
5.  We want to protect the elderly and vulnerable.

COVID-19 information is changing rapidly. Please make sure to check this page frequently to monitor how PazNaz is responding and ways you can help. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Pastor Joe Watkins at jwatkins@paznaz.org or 626.351.2413.

If you'd like to learn more about the COVID-19 virus:  www.cdc.gov/COVID19


Event Updates & Office Hours

We have decided to cancel Sunrise Preschool and all gatherings at PazNaz until further notice.

PazNaz Office Hours:
The church office is now closed until further notice as well.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has asked that all large gatherings over 250 people and groups over 10 people that serve a higher-risk population be canceled. As good community members, we want to honor these requests. We are also encouraging everyone to practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet apart.


PazNaz Care Form

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, we are striving to be good community members, to protect the elderly and vulnerable, and to be the Church.

  • If you are in need of assistance during this time, please fill out the form below and we will be in touch.
  • If you are healthy and able to help others, we need you. Please let us know on the form below how you are able to help.
Click here to go to the Care Form.

March 21, 2020

A Letter from Pastor Tara Beth Leach

Dear Ones,

The writer of Hebrews implores us,

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Not meeting under the same roof with my PazNaz family has left me longing to be together again. I yearn for the hugs, to be led into worship by the voices all around me, to be anointed with oil and to anoint, and to pass the peace of Christ. I set my mind not only on Jesus, but for the day we can be together again.

For now, we mustn't give up spurring one another on. Gather. Pray. Hear the word. Sing songs. Give.

Even if we aren't in the same breathing space, we desperately need one another. Please, dear ones, don't let this storm bring you to a place of despair. Fix your eyes on Jesus, and join us in worship from your own home. You can even stay in your pajamas!

Find your worship service at paznaz.org or from our Facebook page.

I need you, you need me, we need you, you need us.

From my heart,

Pastor Tara Beth Leach
Senior Pastor 


March 19, 2020

A Voice Message from Pastor Tara Beth Leach


March 14, 2020

A Letter from Pastor Tara Beth Leach

Dear Ones,

As an act of solidarity with our community and in an effort to care for the vulnerable by doing our part in “flattening the curve,” we are going digital this Sunday.

How You Can Still Gather
For those who are healthy and able, we encourage gathering in homes. Below, you can find a gathering simple gathering guide. We have been working with Sunday School class leaders to help facilitate coming together. Here are some people you might consider gathering with:

  • Your small group
  • Your Girlfriend to Girlfriend table group
  • A few neighbors
  • Your family
  • A small group from your Sunday School class
  • A few friends

If you have a home and you are able to host, please prayerfully consider especially reaching out to those who you whom you know are alone.

Your Digital Worship
We invite you to gather together for our livestream in one of our many worship services which include:

10:30 am – English, La Fuente Ministries, Cantonese Ministries
12:00 pm – Mandarin Ministries
6:00 pm – Armenian Ministries

Family Life Ministries – By 10:30 am, a lesson for children and families will also be posted. You can access that at the PazNaz home page.

All livestream channels can be accessed directly on our home page at www.paznaz.org
Simply scroll down, find your livestreaming worship service, and click on the link. Some can also be found on Facebook Live for those who are on social media.

We Have Missional Opportunities

On the Livestream 
These are frightening times for people, and we believe that many are looking for answers and hope. At PazNaz, we believe that Jesus is our hope, and we have been sent to partner with God in declaring this good news. We believe that during times like these, people are more inclined to talk about God. Tomorrow, more people will be in their own homes than any other Sunday. Here’s how you can help us bring the message of hope:

  • If you are on social media, share the livestream.
  • If you are not on social media, email or text out the links on our home page.
  • If you have coworkers or neighbors who are alone, invite them over for the livestream gathering.
  • Be prayerful about how God can use you during this time to share the hope of Jesus. The Spirit of the living God resides in you, now is the time to allow God’s light to illuminate.

Care for the Vulnerable
We have developed a call tree system that will enable our pastors to call and reach out to our people this week. But we would like to invite those who are able to help us support the vulnerable during this time. This week we will develop an online form for folks who would like to help care for the vulnerable by running errands, getting groceries, and picking up prescriptions.

But also, don’t wait. If you know if someone who may be isolated or vulnerable, pick up the phone and call them. Ask them if they have hand sanitizer, or if they need help running errands, getting groceries, or filling prescriptions.

Pray
If there was ever a time to pray, the time is now. Times like these can bring out the best in us or the worst in us. Pray that the church would illuminate the hope and light of Jesus. Pray for those on the front lines who are caring for the sick and preparing for the sick. Pray for people you know who are isolated or scared. Pray that this would be the time the people of God would reflect the love and compassion of God.

Give
We invite you to prayerfully ask God how God might be calling you to be generous beyond measure. Our church fiscal year ends in 2 weeks, and we have been working hard to close the gap. We are preparing for potential dips in the economy, and we want to keep furloughs at a minimum. Our highest priority is caring for our community which also includes payroll for our staff. Please help us care for our staff during these challenging times.

You can give:

  • By giving online here: paznaz.org/give
  • Mailing checks to 3700 E Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena, CA. 91107
  • Dropping it by the office this week (Yes, our offices are open!)

A Few More Updates

Church Elections
Under a special provision from our General Superintendents, we have postponed our annual church elections to the last two weeks of April. Stay tuned for further details.

Sunrise Preschool
While earlier in the week I made the announcement that Sunrise Preschool would remain open; effective Monday, March 16th, Sunrise Preschool is closed for two weeks. Packets have been sent home for families and children.

Helping Hands and Church in the Park
We are committed to keeping these two ministries running. Tomorrow, our Church in the Park team will be at their usual spot at their usual time spreading the hope and love of Jesus. They have made many adjustments to help flatten the curve. Helping Hands will also be open on Wednesday, and the great news is the Food Bank has lifted the need to have clients sign in. Recognizing the needs may grow, please know that this is available especially to those who are impacted by the outbreak.

A Simple Guide for Gathering in Homes
For those who are healthy and able, we encourage gathering in homes. Here are some people you might consider gathering with:

  • Your small group
  • Your Girlfriend to Girlfriend table group
  • A few neighbors
  • Your family
  • A small group from your Sunday School class
  • A few friends

If you have a home and you are able to host, please prayerfully consider especially reaching out to those who you know is alone during this time.

Before people arrive, trouble shoot your computer or TV to be sure you can connect to the livestream.

Invite people to arrive by 10am so you can have a time of fellowship. Remind one another to practice safe social distancing and hand washing.

Schedule:
10:00 am          Fellowship
10:20 am          Open with prayer
10:30 am          Turn on the liveStream
11:30 am          Take Prayer Requests and close together in Prayer

I need you; you need me; we need you; you need us.

From my heart,

Pastor Tara Beth Leach
Senior Pastor


March 13, 2020

A Letter from Sunrise Preschool

Dear Sunrise Families,

Our primary responsibility during this coronavirus pandemic is the health and safety of our Sunrise students, families, and staff.  With that as our #1 priority, and out of an abundance of caution, we believe that it is in the best interest of our families to close Sunrise Preschool beginning Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27.

We have curriculum packets prepared for your children for two weeks, which you are welcome to pick up at Sunrise Preschool on Monday, March 16, or Tuesday, March 17, 10:00 am-1:00 pm, along with any personal items you might need during our school closure.

If Sunrise Preschool reopens in time, we will offer classes during our previously scheduled Spring Break (April 13-17) to help make-up for the closure.

In an effort to care for the continued development of your child, and if the closure lasts longer than two weeks, we will have additional curriculum packets ready for pick up.  We will update you weekly with additional developments and potential re-opening plans.

While we had hoped to remain open for families who need childcare, it became obvious this afternoon that was not possible.  This decision was difficult but necessary for the health and safety of our entire Sunrise Community. Our leadership team will continue to check their emails regularly to support your families to the best of our ability. Please don’t hesitate to email us for any assistance or concerns.

We thank you for your trust as we all work together to minimize the risk and exposure to protect the health of our entire community.  All of us at Sunrise Preschool will continue to pray and stay vigilant and as informed as we can be to protect all of our health during this situation.

Blessings,

Jihan Massoud
jmassoud@paznaz.org
Interim Director

Barbara Fields
bfields@paznaz.org
Director of Operations


March 12, 2020

A Video Message from Pastor Tara Beth Leach

Read the transcript here


March 11, 2020

A Letter from Pastor Tara Beth Leach

Dear Ones, 
Since my most recent letter to you on Monday, we as a staff have been gathering, praying, and discerning on how to prepare for COVID-19. We are adhering to the CDC recommendations to come up with contingency plans should there be community spread of the virus. Today, we as a staff have charted 5 different levels of severity for our decision-making process. We have also developed principles to help guide this process. Some of these principles include (If there is an *, it is a review from my last letter)
 
We want to be the church: First and foremost, we are the church. With every decision we make, we want to view it through that lens. We are encouraging our staff and leaders to check in on our shut-ins and vulnerable. We are working to develop a phone tree so that our staff can look after people in our congregation should the virus reach a community spread. Further, we have various ministries that we will work hard to keep open no matter what. This includes Helping Hands, Church in the Park, and Congregational Care.
 
We want to be wise stewards: At present, we recognize that this could have a significant financial impact at the close of our fiscal year. In the coming months, we want to make decisions that are fiscally responsible based on the current conditions.
 
*We want to be wise, not anxious: I understand that there is a lot of fear related to the virus, and it’s not unwarranted. The reports we are hearing are concerning and we are sad for those who are impacted by this outbreak. So much about this virus is still unknown, so it’s hard to know for sure how to respond. We are all in uncharted territory. However, we are choosing not to lead out of fear and anxiety, and instead out of wisdom, and prayerful discernment. 
 
*We want to be good community members: We are paying close attention to the recommendations from the CDC, State Officials, and Local Officials. If there are specific things that we can do to help slowdown the spread of the virus, we want to do it.
 
*We want to protect the elderly and vulnerable: Recognizing that the most at risk are the immune deficient and the elderly, we want to do our best to care for and protect those who may be most at risk.
 
Holding all of these things in tension, here are the measures we as a community are currently taking (If there is an *, it is a review from my last letter):

  1. Suspension of Community Food and Coffee Services: At this time, we are suspending all potluck style food sharing. We are also suspending all Sunday morning Coffee Service with the exception of coffee being served behind the counter in the coffee shop and the welcome center. If you think you may be hungry or need water, please bring your own snack or bottle of water.
  2. *Hand Sanitizer: We have hand sanitizing stations on the outside of the sanctuary.
  3. *Hand Washing: We are encouraging all folks to wash their hands often, especially while you are in larger gatherings like worship. Wash your hands when you arrive, wash them when you leave, and when in doubt, wash them again.
  4. *No Shaking Hands: Out of an abundance of caution and to protect the most vulnerable, we are asking for the congregation to adopt a No Handshaking Policy. This may not be for you, but it may be for someone more vulnerable.
  5. *Changes in Worship: For the time being, we are no longer participating in The Passing of the Peace, or Hand Holding at the Benediction. We are also purchasing prepackaged communion elements and will withhold from doing intinction until further notice.
  6. Extra Events: At this time, we are postponing all extra events including Cuba Missions Trip, Aging Victoriously Conference, KRA Groups, Women in the Word, and MOPS. Please stay tuned for further postponements should we reach a new level of severity.
  7. Stay Home If: We welcome you to stay home if you feel as though you are vulnerable to the disease. Please login to our livestream via Facebook or YouTube. You can also access it here:  paznaz.org/sermons

 
Finally, as you know, we are prayerfully working hard to close our 2019-2020 FY giving gap. If you are unable to make it to worship in the coming days, please consider giving here: paznaz.org/give
 
If you would like to check for more updates in the days ahead, please click on this link: paznaz.org/COVID19
 
I need you; you need me; we need you; you need us.
 
Pastor Tara Beth Leach
Senior Pastor


March 9, 2020

A Letter from Pastor Tara Beth Leach

Dear Ones,

Over the last week, we have had a lot of questions regarding our response to the COVID-19 virus. Yesterday in worship, I had the opportunity to address the COVID-19 virus before prayer time. As a result of some of the many concerns related to the virus, we observed that a large percentage of our community decided to stay home. I wanted to take a moment to address our broader community.

We want to be wise, not anxious: I understand that there is a lot of fear related to the virus, and it’s not unwarranted. The reports we are hearing are concerning and we are sad for those who are impacted by this outbreak. So much about this virus is still unknown, so it’s hard to know for sure how to respond. We are all in uncharted territory. However, we are choosing not to lead out of fear and anxiety, and instead out of wisdom and prayerful discernment.

We want to be good community members: We are paying close attention to the recommendations from the CDC, State Officials, and Local Officials. If there are specific things that we can do to help slowdown the spread of the virus, we want to do it.

We want to protect the elderly and vulnerable: Recognizing that the immune deficient and the elderly are the most at risk, we want to do our best to care for and protect them.

Holding all of these things in tension, here are the measures we as a community are currently taking:

  1. Hand Sanitizer: We have hand-sanitizing stations on the outside of the sanctuary.
  2. Hand Washing: We are encouraging all folks to wash their hands often, especially while you are in larger gatherings like worship. Wash your hands when you arrive, wash them when you leave, and when in doubt, wash them again.
  3. No Shaking Hands: Out of an abundance of caution and to protect the most vulnerable, we are asking the congregation to adopt a No Handshaking policy. This may not be for you, but it may be for someone more vulnerable.
  4. Changes in Worship: For the time being, we are no longer participating in The Passing of the Peace or hand holding at the Benediction. We are also purchasing prepackaged communion elements and will withhold from doing intinction until further notice.
  5. Extra Events: As a leadership, we are currently discerning how many special events need to be postponed. Please stay tuned to the PazNaz Updates for potential postponement announcements.
  6. Stay Home If: We welcome you to stay home if you feel as though you are vulnerable to the disease. Please login to our livestream via Facebook or YouTube. You can also access it here: org/sermons

Our leadership team is meeting regularly to monitor the situation and will determine how we can best respond. As of right now, we have no plans to cancel the worship gathering. Although we aren’t anticipating needing to do that, should it become clear that we would need such a thing, we will work to livestream so you can participate from your home.

Please pray for all those impacted by this virus.

I need you; you need me; we need you; you need us.

Pastor Tara Beth Leach
Senior Pastor