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Phil Layton | Shingle Springs, California
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530 677-4122
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Gold Country Baptist Church
3800 North Shingle Road
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
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Gold Country Baptist Church
PO Box 768
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
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UPDATED: Prayers and Plea to our County Leaders for this Friday's meeting
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6, 2020
Posted by: Gold Country Baptist Church | more..
880+ views | 250+ clicks
UPDATED AS OF 5/7 TO INCLUDE LETTER PASTOR CLIFF SENT AT THE BOTTOM BELOW.

UPDATE AFTER 5/9 COUNTY BOARD MEETING: THE REQUEST ON CHURCH GATHERINGS WAS DISCUSSED BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND WAS REQUESTED TO CONTINUE THE DISCUSSION AT TUESDAY'S MEETING. OUR COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER HAS SETUP A TIME TO MEET WITH PASTORS NEXT WEEK AFTER THAT MEETING. LET'S KEEP PRAYING!

Below is what I shared with our elders and deacons this morning for our prayers to God and pleas to our leaders to move forward in a way that honors biblical principles:

---------- Forwarded message ---------

Brothers - as a follow-up to our Monday PM conversation on letters to our government officials, things still are developing for Friday regarding county regulations and reopening.

El Dorado County's board of directors are meeting Friday if any of you in your consciences feel led to share your thoughts with our leaders [graciously and winsomely]...

Above all, let's pray brothers, like Acts 4: “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? ... grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

---------- Forwarded message ---------

From: Phil Layton <pastorphil@goldcountrybaptist.org>
Date: Wed, May 6, 2020 at 10:59 AM
Subject: A Plea from Churches for this Friday's Board Meeting

Dear Supervisor Parlin and Board of Directors,

God's Word commands us to pray for our government leaders with requests and thanksgiving (1 Timothy 2), and I've urged our church to be praying earnestly this week for you. I will encourage our people to prudence rather than defiance, and I hope to encourage you in the difficult role you are in. We've asked our people to pray today for God to give wisdom, understanding, and that our people would be strengthened for endurance with patience (from another passage in Holy Scripture I'm preaching from this Sunday).

I know I speak for other church leaders in our community as well; we pray for you and want to support you and want your support to help us reopen churches safely and legally (not to mention constitutionally) and as quickly as possible.

At the same time, God's Word tells us to submit to government where they don't forbid what God commands, or command what God forbids. But we are commanded by God to not neglect meeting together, and to obey over 30 "one another" commands, and in person ministry and interaction is essential to our faith and faithfulness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Not only are there commands of scripture that can't be fulfilled by Zoom, but there are many in our congregation who do not have the technology or ability to be a part of those... Specifically for this Friday as your citizen representing many citizens, I would ask our county leaders for:

1. CLARITY ON NUMBERS AND PARAMETERS FOR HOME AND INDOOR GATHERINGS (AND TIMELINE ON WHEN LARGER GATHERINGS WILL BE CONSIDERED)

2. IMMEDIATE ABILITY TO MEET OUTDOORS WHILE MEETING COUNTY SAFETY / SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES AND WE WOULD LIKE THAT IN WRITING

We know both indoors and outdoors there have been gatherings larger than our church services in uncontrolled environments (parks and other places) and I respectfully and reasonably assert that we can do so in a controlled environment, and should be able to exercise our first amendment rights while exercising caution and safety recommendations of our leaders. At the very least, churches meeting outdoors, and gathering in groups with a number similar to what is allowed in other settings already ... will make clear our county supports free exercise of religion.

By God's grace and for God's glory,

Pastor Phil

5/7 UPDATE: LETTER PASTOR CLIFF WROTE

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Cliff Peppers <cpeppers@goldcountrybaptist.org>
Date: Thu, May 7, 2020 at 7:43 AM
Subject: Request for Immediate Reopening of El Dorado County Churches
To: <edc.cob@edcgov.us>, <bosfour@edcgov.us>

Dear Supervisor Parlin and El Dorado County Board of Supervisors,

My name is Cliff Peppers and I am one of the pastors at Gold Country Baptist Church. I would like to add my voice to my fellow El Dorado County pastors, asking that you consider the immediate, safe opening of the churches in our county.

Please know how grateful I am for the leadership that the entire Board of Supervisors and staff have shown during these unpreceded times. Prior to my entering ministry, I served 35 years in law enforcement with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and later with the State Department of Justice as a senior law enforcement consultant. As a high level manager, I have some sense of the difficult decisions you are facing. Again, thank you for your leadership.

1 Timothy 2:2 calls of on all believers in Jesus Christ to pray for – “All who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” In that, my wife Sue and I, my fellow pastors and our congregation pray for you, your families and the El Dorado County, daily. Also, Romans 13:1 calls on the church to – “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities” - and that we gladly continue to do.

Our concern is that, in reopening the county (or State), that the churches 1st Amendment right to gather to worship God may, however inadvertently, be violated. Case in point:

El Dorado County has kept our parks open, for which I am very grateful. I hold an annual pass to Henningsen Park where my wife and I often walk our dogs and take our grandchildren.

During this last weekend there were an estimated 200 people at the park, which is wonderful. However, we must take note that meeting openly in a park, in relation to COVID-19, is an uncontrolled environment. At the same time, the church, although willing to follow proper COVID precautions, is not permitted to gather - which is, at best, incongruent and at worse, denies our liberty to meet as a church.

It would seem logical, ethical and appropriate then, to allow churches to meet in some number, in a controlled and therefore, safe environment.

Please understand, I am not of the opinion that we are being intentionally denied the right of assembly, but simply asking that the church be granted the equivalent, legal right to meet, with proper safety requirements, including social distancing.

The church meets to worship God, care for one another and care for the surrounding community. And, we can best accomplish all three, when we meet together.

So, with that, we ask you to grant us the opportunity to begin reopening our churches in a safe and controlled manner. It is, of course, our desire to meet in our sanctuary buildings, but if that is not to be the case for the near future, we specifically ask that we be allowed to meet and worship in open venues, such as our parking lots or in smaller numbers in private homes, with proper safety precautions, as already mentioned.

If you chose to limit the number of folks who may meet at any given time, we ask that you give clarity as to exactly what that number is, what safety precautions we are to follow and a specific date when we can begin meeting together again.

Thank you for hearing and considering my/our concerns. You are in our thoughts and prayers as you make these difficult decisions.

In the Love of Christ,

Pastor Cliff Peppers

Clifton (Cliff) Peppers

Pastor/Elder

Gold Country Baptist Church

(530) 677-4122

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