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. You can still reach pastors and staff by email or you can leave a voice message at 626.351.9631.

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.

April 5, 2020

A Letter from Pastor Tara Beth Leach

Dear ones,

I missed you terribly today. Before preaching, I walked the aisles and imagined your faces as I walked passed the seats in which you normally sit. It's not the same preaching to an empty sanctuary, but I trust and believe in the power of King Jesus that binds us together. If you missed today's service, you can lean in here.

 This is Holy Week, and I know this is not the week so many of us expected or hoped for, but I encourage you to tune your hearts to God's this week as we together journey to the cross.

To view everything going on at PazNaz for Holy Week go to: paznaz.org/HolyWeek

Daily Readings and Prayers: Here you will find daily prayers as well as daily readings. Take the extra step and begin your days with these readings. Although we can't be together, this is still a holy week and a week in which we journey to the cross with Jesus. You will find morning, midday, and evening prayers.

Maundy Thursday: Tomorrow, you will receive a Maundy Thursday download that includes instructions for a Seder meal. Even if you aren't able to prepare the meal, consider reading through the reflections as you remember Jesus' last supper.

Good Friday: This coming Friday, April 10, at 7:00 pm there will be a very special Good Friday service streamed online. You will be able to find the link here: PazNaz on YouTube

Easter Sunday: Consider inviting friends and family for a very special Easter Sunday Service streamed online at 10:30 am.

*Correction from my last email: Last Friday, I sent an email sharing about our new Wednesday night Connects, but I gave you the wrong date! The correct date for our new Wednesday night Connect nights begins on Wednesday, April 15, at 6:30 pm. More information to follow!

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

From my heart,

Pastor Tara Beth Leach
Senior Pastor 


April 3, 2020

A Letter from Pastor Tara Beth Leach

Dear ones,

Our nation and globe continue to suffer as COVID-19 spreads around the world. The stories we hear on the news are no doubt scary, and for some in our congregation this is beginning to feel personal.

Today, I am praying for ...

Those who are living in quarantine alone.

Those who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19.

Those who have COVID-19.

Those who have a loved one with COVID-19.

Those who are lonely.

Those who are scared.

Those who have lost a job.

Those who are healthcare workers fighting the virus on the frontlines.

Those who have a household of children and are trying to work from home.

Our pastoral team knows that this has been a very difficult month for so many of you. Our hearts ache with you and we join all of creation and the spirit in “groaning,” as the Apostle Paul says,

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:22-23)

Dear ones, we long for the day that we can be together again. Until then, we groan, we pray, and we hope in knowing that Jesus has overcome the world! And this, too, shall pass. So we groan with great hope!

As you know, Holy Week is upon us. We know this isn’t the Easter that anyone wanted. I wanted to write to let you know what you can expect during Holy week and the coming weeks, and I also wanted to share a few things happening in the life of our church.

Livestream: We continue to livestream all of our worship services, and while we recognize that it’s just not the same as gathering in person, we believe it’s second best during a time like this. While we are scattered, let us not give up on the practice of gathering faithfully with our local church. Pastors are available to chat while the LiveStream is running both on YouTube and Facebook. This is a wonderful time to invite family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to worship. Please pray about who you might invite this week! You can find all of our Livestream services here: www.paznaz.org

Palms for Palm Sunday: This coming Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday. Great news! We have been able get palms. You can come by the church and drive up to the curb at the front office on the northwest corner of the sanctuary and take a palm or a few for your family. Once we are all out, we are out, so come quickly. The palms will be out beginning Friday, April 3, at 2:00 pm until dark and Saturday morning, April 4, beginning at 9:00 am until the palms are gone.

Holy Week


Readings: Beginning Monday, we will provide you with simple readings, reflections, and prayers to prepare you for your journey to the table, cross, and darkness.

Maundy Thursday: On Maundy Thursday, we will provide for you a special experience that you’ll be able to do as an individual or as a family.

Good Friday: We have a very special Good Friday worship experience planned for Friday, April 10, at 7:00 pm. Please plan to gather for an interactive and contemplative Tenebrae-style service that will move through the Seven Last Words of Jesus and into the darkness of his death through pastoral reflections, interactive prayer prompts, and music. You will be able to find the Livestream both on Facebook or at www.paznaz.org.

Easter Sunday: We are excited to celebrate the hope of resurrection on Easter Sunday at 10:30 am. Consider inviting your family, friends, and neighbors to view with you. You can gather on Facebook or at www.paznaz.org.

Pastoral Care


Care Calls: Our pastors continue to make calls throughout the congregation and check in with you. If you have not received a call, please be patient, our list is close to 1500. If you have specific needs, please reach out to us here.

We know that needs within our congregation continue to grow. If you know of someone else in the church who is hurting, don’t assume we know. You can help us by not only showing them the love of Jesus, but also letting us know.

Generosity: Our Church in the Park and Helping Hands Ministries continue to be open, and we are so thankful that we can serve our community in this way. We have seen much growth in clients, which is indeed a sign of the times. Please pray for those who both lead and serve in this ministry, and remember that when you give to PazNaz, you help us serve our community.

Connect


Small Groups and Sunday School Classes: We encourage you to stay connected with your small groups, Sunday school classes, and circles. Please consider Zoom for a gathering tool during this time. If you need assistance learning how to do this, you can fill out our care form online.

Connect Wednesdays: Beginning on Wednesday, April 8, we are excited to roll out a new way for us to stay plugged into the Lord and one another. At 6:30 pm on Wednesday nights, starting April 8, we will gather via zoom for a 30-minute teaching from a pastor, and then we will break you up in small groups for discussion. We are working with our SDMI President, Richard Cota, so we can put you in discussion groups based off of your Sunday School classes or current groups. Stay tuned for more info.

Prayer on Wednesdays: On Wednesday nights at 6:00 pm I am hosting a weekly time of prayer on Facebook Live and Instagram Live. I take live prayer requests and call those who are tuned in to agree together in prayer. If you are on social media, I hope to “see” you there. For now, this is not available on Zoom, though we are working to see if we can offer that as an option as well.

Connect Sundays: Following worship on Sundays, we want to create a “patio experience” for you to gather and connect with new and old friends. To prepare, please download zoom on your preferred device. We will "beta test" the experience this Sunday, so please look for the link in the chat bar during the worship gathering online.

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

Dear ones, I love you more than you know. I pray for you, and I am so expectant for when we can gather together again.

From my heart,

Pastor Tara Beth Leach
Senior Pastor 


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