loren Eric Swanson: Salinas Valley Community Church

Monday, November 14, 2005

Salinas Valley Community Church

Yesterday I drove down to Salinas for the 10:45 service of Salinas Valley Community Church (www.svcc.net) SVCC is an externally focused church in the Salinas Valley of California, a few miles inland from Monterey. On Saturday they sent another team of 20 folks down to Gulfport, MS. On Friday night they sponsored a community concert that raised $4K for Habitat for Humanity (not to be confused with Halibut for Humanity, which is a local fish restaurant). Under the leadership of pastor Diane Pate their externally focused ministry has flourished. They have really taken Jeremiah 29:5-7, 11 as their mandate. Diane says, "We love Salinas. We want to be the church that, if we were to leave, we'd leave a huge hole." Executive pastor, Mark Simmons, adds, "We measure ourselves not by our seating capacity but by our sending capacity."

Mark Simmons led yesterdays service. He started by asking folks in the auditorium their professions. Then he asked how many professional ministers were present. Then he asked the question, "If you were God, which group would be more strategic to change the world, professional workers or lay people? With him, on the platform, were seven community leaders that folks from the community have been praying with since April. Included in this group were the mayor and chief of police of Salinas. They meet to pray for each other and for the community. Mayor Anna Caballero was recently the keynote speader at a Young Life fund-raiser. When some of her colleagues questioned her, she said, "I've never met a parent who said, 'I'm going to mess this child up,' but life has its way of getting away from us and the more we can provide healthy opportunities, physically, mentally and spiritually, in a safe environment, well, I'm all over that." It was a great morning.


At Tuesday, November 15, 2005 11:54:00 PM, Blogger Eric said...

Sounds like a great morning! Thanks for sharing that story!


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