In this week’s episode:

—Thunderbirds Honor Frontline Medical Workers—
We were awestruck last Friday when the United States Air Force Thunderbirds flew across Southern California to honor frontline workers as part of “America Strong.” Six F-16 Fighting Falcons, in delta formation, flew over our hospitals to honor the first responders who are fighting to save the lives of those suffering from coronavirus. They spent an hour and a half buzzing the skies over about 20 medical centers in our region, including Adventist Health hospitals. The nurses and doctors who could, got a chance to step away from the stress, anxiety, and heartache inside the hospitals and for a moment, feel a bit of relief, excitement, and joy. Thank you, U.S. Air Force, for lifting our spirits and saying ‘Thank You’ to frontline workers!
Learn more: https://www.foxla.com/news/thunderbirds-honor-hospital-heroes-in-special-flyover-in-socal

—Arizona “Prayer Bikers” Show Appreciation to First Responders—
In Surprise, Arizona, Pastor Lonnie Melashenko and Ivan Weiss started “Prayer Bikers” just two weeks ago. And in just one week, the group grew! They meet at the Clearview SDA church and ride their bicycles to the local fire station, police station, and hospitals to pray with first responders from a safe distance and to say “Thank You.” Last Sunday, Clearview pastor Dennis Smith and Arizona Conference President Ed Keyes prayed with the group before leaving the church parking lot. Pastor Keyes prayed for Surprise Fire Station No. 6 and the fire engine crew waved their acknowledgment on the way to a call. Not only did the group of Prayer Bikers get wonderful exercise, they had the opportunity to pray with many first responders and fellowship with each other on a glorious sunny day in beautiful Arizona.
Arizona Conference: https://www.azconference.org/

—Oakland Area Churches and The Veg Hub Minister Via Food for the Town—
Food for the Town, an initiative led by The Veg Hub and six Oakland-area churches, is engaging the community with compassion. “We recognize that many families, including those with children, are unable to have healthy food during this crisis due to their financial challenges,” said Chef G. W. Chew, director of The Veg Hub ministry. At the Grand Advent church on April 25, volunteers packed 100 boxes of healthy groceries, including beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables. In addition to the NCC, several food distribution companies supported the effort. The next distribution event will be May 30. Learn more about The Veg Hub via the link below:

—Napa Community Seventh-day Adventist Church Posts Unleavened Bread Tutorial—
If you’re wondering how to participate in a communion service now that we’re worshiping by livestream, we’ve got a resource for you. The Napa Community church is planning a virtual communion service on May 30. Two church members made a video to demonstrate how to make unleavened bread at home, and you just may recognize the instructors: NCC Trust Officer Debi Pedersen and former NCC President Jim Pedersen. This recipe and instructions look so easy. Try making a batch in preparation for communion with your local church family. Thank you, Debi and Jim Pedersen!
Watch the tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H92xU2QQwlc&feature=youtu.be

—Memorial Day Weekend—
This is Memorial Day weekend. Observed on the last Monday of May, it’s a day to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2020 is on Monday, May 25.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it started in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season. This year the celebration will undoubtedly be colored by the brush of the pandemic, and there will be no parades or large family gatherings. But there will be memories shared and stories told. It will be celebrated in homes across the country.

This time of the year affects everyone differently, even at the most normal of times. Maybe you serve our country now or you used to, maybe you have family members or friends involved in serving, or maybe this is just the start of a three-day weekend for you. However Memorial Day affects you personally, be encouraged to reflect on those who have died in service to our country.

Learn more about Memorial Day: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history

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There are many ways to serve God: on the frontlines, in support, and even by saying Thank You. Service is what we do; it’s who we are. Paul describes it this way: “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building” 1 Corinthians 3:9 (NIV). Even though our church buildings are closed, church is not closed because WE are God’s building. And we can find ways to serve.