hcc update 12/23/20

Just a quick reminder that we are still following county guidelines regarding COVID safety. Please continue to show your love to other members of our church and community by abiding by these current policies.

Please call to let us know you are coming beforehand

When on campus, masks will be required.

Visitors must check in at the front office, where you will need to fill out a brief questionnaire and then have your temperature checked. Please don’t use any other entrances, even if you have a key or plan to just be in and out. You must check in for HCC to stay in compliance.

For HCC to remain in compliance during this time, please do not let yourself into the church buildings after hours. Non-staff members should only visit church during work hours.

And while you’re here, please make sure to take advantage of our hand sanitation stations!

Let’s continue to be in this together so that we can soon be together!

hcc update 12/10/20

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3


December 10, 2020


Dear Hilmar Covenant Family,


What a crazy year 2020 has become. In the midst of a global pandemic, a crazy and contentious election season, and Church Council, Senior Pastor and Worship Pastor transitions, Hilmar Covenant has been forced to face change and all of its consequences. We have adapted well to Livestream, outdoor church and indoor church with modifications. Rooted and KidSpace, our youth and children's ministries, have adapted well, providing significant ministry to our younger generations. We appreciate the many servants and leaders it takes to embark on this journey successfully.


This Sunday, December 13, is the scheduled date for our annual congregation meeting. In the midst of this pandemic, many churches and even our denomination and conference offices have had to adjust these annual gatherings to ensure people remain safe. The Evangelical Covenant Church and the Pacific Southwest Conference decided to postpone their annual gatherings for a year. However, we do not think that is a wise move for Hilmar Covenant in the midst of our many transitions. Instead, we are breaking our Congregation Meeting into two stages. 


Stage One of our 2020 Congregation Meeting will begin this Sunday when we open our voting for our 2021 Annual Budget and our slate of Church Council Nominees. We are distributing abbreviated Annual Reports via email and a download from hilmarcovenant.org. For those members who do not have internet, we will have limited printed copies of the reports available through the church office. If you need someone to deliver these, or need to have them mailed to you, please call Beth in the church office at (209) 668-0400.


Beginning Tuesday, December 15, ballots will also be available in the office between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. You can drop by and vote in person (wearing masks and spacially distanced), or you can pick up ballots and send them back via mail once completed. Again, if you are at high risk of being adversely affected by COViD, you may call the office at (209) 668-0400 and we will make sure ballots are delivered or mailed to you. All ballots need to be received by the end of day on December 31st to be counted.


Stage Two of our Congregation Meeting will occur as soon as possible in 2021 when we can gather together face-to-face and celebrate the many blessings of God. We believe that the relational, fellowship aspect of a congregation meeting would be lost in a virtual gathering. If you have questions, comments, or any input for the Council or staff, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.


In this season when we celebrate the Light of the World coming into the darkness that seems to engulf us, may our Lord continue to be our hope and refuge during this strange and unprecedented time.


In Christ's Light and Peace,


Ed Montague, Council Chair

Bud Locke, Transitional Pastor


Download the 2020 Annual Report here.

HCC update 11/17/20

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to god. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)


Dear Hilmar Covenant Family,


As many of you know, much of California has been placed back into the first (PURPLE) tier for COViD precautions. This means that all large group gatherings are prohibited indoors, including gyms, restaurants, and worship centers. As I shared last Sunday (11/15), our Church Council had discussed this probability last Thursday evening (11/12) and we have agreed to continue to follow our state and county guidelines at the recommendation of our insurance carrier and our denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church. Because of the cold, and possibly wet, weather we are facing, our Sunday morning worship gatherings will return to livestream only until further notice. Additionally, to protect our staff and others during the highly traveled Thanksgiving season, our offices will be open by appointment only the next two weeks (11/23-12/4).


I highly value face-to-face gatherings and have been deeply blessed by our outdoor and indoor worship gatherings. Our staff and Council will continue to brainstorm ways to safely provide these opportunities within the published guidelines from Merced County and the State of California. I welcome any person, or team of people, who would like to innovate in providing safe, outdoor experiences within guidelines. Please contact me if you have any inspiration!


We are facing an unprecedented time in our nation's history. Division, anger, anxiety, and frustration are all at incredibly high levels. I believe that the Church can have a unique role in the midst of our world today. If we practice the words from Paul's letter to the Philippians (above), we can influence those around us. We can bring about emotional and spiritual health by showing that we have a peace that the world can not bring. Our peace does not come from political parties, the presence or absence of mandates, or in the debates that the world desires us to engage. Our peace comes from God. It is a peace that springs from our joy, is nurtured by our gentleness and is possible because we have a God upon whom we can depend. This peace is beyond the world's ability to understand. I believe through this incomprehensible peace, our love for one another and our neighbor will demonstrate God's love for us (John 17).


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 4:20-21 (NIV)


Peace,

Rev. Charles "Bud" Locke, Transitional Pastor

bud@hilmarcovenant.org



Update: 8/13/20


Hilmar Covenant was visited by County officials recently, and we are needing to change some day-to-day operating procedures. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we also thank you for helping us out.

When on campus, masks will be required.

Visitors must check in at the front office, where you will need to fill out a brief questionnaire and then have your temperature checked. Please don’t use any other entrances, even if you have a key or plan to just be in and out. You must check in for HCC to stay in compliance.

For HCC to remain in compliance during this time, please do not let yourself into the church buildings after hours. Non-staff members should only visit church during work hours.

And while you’re here, please make sure to take advantage of our hand sanitation stations!

Let’s continue to be in this together so that we can soon be together!

Hilmar Covenant

Digital Church

Maybe you've heard - the world is a bit crazy right now. 

But, just because we can't meet in person doesn't mean that we can't still be together, or be Christ's church. The mission hasn't changed. Just the venue.

Click here for all our digital venues.

Covid-19 Update

Join us for Sunday worship in person now or virtually on Facebook and Youtube. We will be going live at 10am!


We've also canceled group use of church facilities for all groups during this time.

We will be posting updates here and on our facebook and instagram pages.

For more information, please read our statement here.

Also follow us on Spotify!

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