EAST HILLS CONNECTION WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Think About It... From Pastor Mark
With all that has been going, I need to remind myself and you that we are in a pastoral transition. Although this Covid thing has slowed our search, we are still working on finding a good, godly, growth-oriented, faithful, wise pastor for East Hills Community Church.
 
As we our search for a permanent senior pastor continues, we need to remember that that no pastor is perfect. You already know that pretty well because I have been with you for six months. Here is what you probably know about Platt:

1. He has a hard time staying under 40 minutes on Sunday mornings.
2. He tells a lot of jokes (sometimes the same ones over and over)
3. He gets “hoof and mouth” disease sometimes.
4. He gets misty and chokes up on things that touch his heart.
5. He doesn’t like to sit on the front row during services very much.
6. He has a fabulous haircut!
 
Many people are disheartened to learn that their pastor is not the perfect Christian, the perfect man, and/or the perfect pastor. So, it is wise to be careful that we do not set ourselves up for disappointment by expecting perfection out of our pastors. Also, churches that expect perfection in their pastors will sap the joy out of the man, his wife, and his family because nobody can live up to perfectionistic scrutiny. That’s why it is very important that we get a realistic view about pastors as we prepare for our new senior pastor.

Most of the Bible characters were not perfect either. Imagine if a search committee considered some of them for a pastoral position. The assessments might look like this:
 
Noah: He has 120 years of experience, but no one was converted during his entire ministry. He should consider going back to the boat building business or work in a zoo.
 
Moses: This guy has a stuttering problem when he speaks. He seems to rely on his brother Aaron too much for leadership. His former congregation says he loses his temper and throws things when he gets angry.
 
Abraham: He took off to Egypt during hard times. We heard that he got into trouble with the authorities because he lied to protect himself.
 
David: He seems to be a good leader, but his moral character is very bad. He put out a contract and had a woman's husband murdered. He might be a possibility for a minister of music position if he had not fallen in adultery.
 
Hosea: He is a sincere man but his family life is in shambles. His wife was a prostitute and went back to that life again. 
 
John: They say he is a Baptist but he is really more like an old hippie. He wears very weird clothes. All his sermons are about one thing - repentance. He would not do well at church dinners with his strange diet of locusts and wild honey.
 
Peter: This guy has a really bad temper. He can be really dangerous with that sword he carries if confronted. He was heard to deny that even knew Jesus on three different occasions. He might be better if he went go back to his former occupation as a fisherman. 
 
Paul: This preacher is harsh and argumentative. He preaches way too long. One person fell asleep in one of his sermons fell out of a three-story window and died. Worse yet, this guy has a long criminal record with a lot of jail time. We can't have this!
 
Jesus: This man tends to offend established members with his preaching, especially the people who know the Bible. He is also not an expository preacher, tells too many stories, and is way too controversial. He even offended a search committee with his pointed questions one time. 
 
Probably the only one that might have looked pretty good might have been Judas. I can picture some pastoral search committee giving this assessment of him: 
 
Judas: This man seems to be very practical, passionate, good with money, cares for the poor, and dresses well. He has a lot of good connections with religious leaders. He is a good talker too. We like his zeal and passion. We think he might be just the man we are looking for to fill our job vacancy.
 
Wow, first impressions really can be deceiving, can’t they? We want to be wise and discerning as we seek the Lord for our next pastor.
 
I know I have embellished these characters some. But my point is that nobody is perfect, including you and me. So, you can be sure that our new senior pastor will have his flaws too. So, the sooner we get realistic the more likely that our new pastor will be accepted and used of the Lord. We have to remember that imperfect people are be used of God to do His perfect will and purposes.
 
Folks, we don’t know who our new pastor will be yet. We don’t know when our new pastor will arrive either. One thing we do know, God is working. Our Elders are seeking God’s person. In time, God will make His way plain to us. We need the hand of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, so please ask God to give them wisdom as we do our search.
 
Our church has a pastoral profile. So far, we know that he must meet all the biblical criteria of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. We are looking for a person who has a vibrant faith, exemplary life, effective witness, and close walk with God. For a church of our size, our potential, and our demographics, he will need to have had graduate training in the pastoral ministry, have served in a mid-sized to large church and have expertise on a multiple-staff. He should have thorough knowledge of God’s Word and excellent preaching skills. He will need to have wholehearted agreement with our doctrinal statement, constitution, and our philosophy of ministry.  He needs to be a leader who finds, disciples, and empowers others to lead. We believe God wants our new pastor to match our church, our city, and our culture.
 
Pastoral searches are like looking for a needle in a haystack. But we have to remember that God owns the haystack and He owns the needle! Pastoral searches take time. If churches are in a hurry, they often make tragic decisions. The EHCC Elders are prayerfully making sure we do not get head of the Holy Spirit.
 
Pastoral placement is vastly different from secular searches. You don’t just put an ad in the paper and take applications. A church is family, so it is more like finding a mate or a match. Our church needs a pastor who can pastor the folks over 60 while reaching out to people under 40. Our church is pastor-led, board-directed with congregational affirmations. Our next pastor needs to be multi-gifted. He has to have excellent people skills and be able deal with challenges and differences with wisdom, joy and grace. Above all, he has to be a spiritual man who loves God and has a contagious walk with Christ.
 
Just like a person who is just starting to date, we are trying to put our best foot forward. We have developed an opportunity brochure about our church, our community, and more to present our church and ministry to potential candidates. Hundreds of people have that brochure now and we hope to get it to more. We are sprucing up our facilities.
 
Our elders have talked to our former pastors and our denominational leaders. We have consulted with other pastors who know our church for insights about serving the Lord in the Bay Area. We are networking and connecting with other Christian leaders for names and connections of people who might match our pastoral profile. And most of all, our church leaders are diligently seeking God in prayer for His guidance and provision.
 
But until then, there are some things you can do. Continue to pray for our EHCC Elders. Then, pray for the man God has already chosen. Don’t despair if the search takes a while and don’t be surprised it happens quickly. Let’s just be confident in what Abraham told Isaac in Genesis 22:8: “God will provide!” Pray that we will wait with patience until God provides our new pastor. Ask God to give us a willingness to follow his leadership. 
 
Then, when our new pastor comes, show him grace, and give him some latitude. Let him be himself. Don’t compare him to pastors of the past. Respect his leadership. Love him, his wife, and kids. Let him grow into the job and the work. Serve, give, and honor the Lord. Your faithfulness will make the difference for time and eternity.
 
In the meantime, I plan on doing some “spade work” to prepare you for the next pastor. But perhaps this letter might get you thinking about our expectations and considering how we treat a new pastor.

I love being your pastor!
Pastor Mark Platt
WATCH AND LISTEN ONLINE
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This Sunday's Message
Start your week with the Word! We are in a sermon series called, “Psalms for Your Summer.” Each week we are learning more lessons from the God’s songbook. This Sunday, we will look at one of the most beloved and God-inspired songs of David, Psalm 27. My message is titled “The Fear Factor.” With Covid, racial tensions, terrorism, and international threats these days, many people are fearful and anxious about the future. This psalm will give you encouragement and spiritual tools for your life. This would be a great day to invite a neighbor, a relative, or somebody from work to watch on-line.
 
On Sunday morning, go to www.easthillscc.org on your smartphone or computer. On the first page of our web-page, choose one of the links to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and our own Truthcasting. If you go to the www.easthillscc.org, and got to “Messages” tab, you can download a printed copy of sermon outline as well as hear messages from the past. 
 
Also, if you are non-technical, you can simply call (510) 210-9117 and hear the Sunday service on your phone.
Announcements
No public services yet.

The EHCC Elders were looking the Alameda County and the State of California guidelines when Governor Newsom locked things up again. So, we are prohibited from re-opening again. Praise the Lord that we can meet on-line!
Invite Your Friends and Family to East Hills!  

In these crazy times, people are more open to the Good News. Inviting them to listen to our on-line services is a non-threatening way to tell them about new life in Christ. You can forward an invitation from your Facebook or Instagram pages. Also, you can send them an email or text and direct them to www.easthillscc.org. where you can click on "Watch This Week's Sermon."
Our New Electrical Panel

The panel's repairs are made, and protective bollards replaced! Your faithfulness made this possible! We are relieved to have this work done to prevent outages, sparks and fires. If you want to help our church with this project, designate your gift for “Electrical Panel.”
Facelift coming for EHCC!

Right now, our painter is doing the much-needed preparation work on the front of our buildings. We hope to have our facilities “spic and span” for our first Sunday when we re-open. If you want to help our church with this project, designate your gift for “Painting.”
Women's Bible Study

Held on Thursday nights with Evie Berg on Zoom. Right now, group is studying Philip Yancey's book, " Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?" This book is an invitation to communicate with God the Father who invites us into an eternal partnership through prayer. The study will explore very heartbeat--the most fundamental, challenging, perplexing, and deeply rewarding aspect--of our relationship with God: prayer. The goal is to help believers more fully consider, experience, and cherish the priceless gift of prayer in a fresh, new approach to this timeless topic.

Whether you are in Kentucky, Arizona, or right here in the East Bay, you can enjoy studying the Bible with other women. Call June Peterson at (510) 604-4277 for more information. All women are invited to enjoy the fellowship and the fun of Bible study!
Support God's Work at EHCC

All bills are paid again this month! Grateful thanks for your stewardship, generosity and faithfulness. We continue to depend on your regular and sacrificial financial support of God’s work. We need to fully support our staff and pay our utilities and other bills. We have missionary support to send. We want to continue our “online” presence during this time and that requires money. Please intensify your financial support of East Hills during this time.

There are 4 ways to give:
Option 1: Mail checks to East Hills at 12000 Campus Drive, Oakland, CA 94519
Option 2: Text "Give" to 510-800-7175
Option 4: Set up online banking with your bank and list East Hills as a payee

Thank you and God bless!
Submit Your Prayer Requests on our Website
"Need Prayer"
As we weather this storm together, we are trying to keep the lines of communication open, especially for prayer. If you have a prayer need, please click the button and submit your prayer. We have a dedicated team who will pray for your request. Prayers can be marked "confidential" for Pastor Mark. If not marked, the information will go to the prayer team.
Corporate Prayer
Join with other East Hills people for prayer each night at 7 PM. This is not online or formal. Just find a quiet place in your home to pray. You can ask your spouse and/or your family members to join you in prayer too.
Please pray for seven specific things:

1. Pray for protection and for containment of the Coronavirus.
2. Pray for wisdom for our leaders as they deal with the virus.
3. Pray for God's protection and guidance for our medical professionals as they treat those affected.
4. Pray for those whose businesses, jobs, and incomes are affected.
5. Pray for those who are the most vulnerable to the attack of this virus.
6. Pray that God will use this time to bring our nation to repent, trust Christ, and bring spiritual change to our prodigal nation.
7. Pray for the ministry of East Hills with our online Sunday service, our devotionals on Facebook, our phone conversations, our witness in our neighborhoods, and with each other.
Videos
Sermon Video
Games
Fake Books
In each of the following sets, only three of the four names listed are actually books of the Bible. Can you figure out which is the fake book?
  1. Luke, Thomas, James, Matthew
  2. 1 Timothy, J John, 3 Peter, 3 John
  3. Ephesians, Temptations, lamentations, Colossians
  4. Job, Jude, Nod, Joel
  5. Jeremiah, Isaiah, Hosea, Josiah
  6. Hezekiah, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah
  7. Ezra, Enoch, Esther, Ezekiel
  8. Daniel, Barnabas, Amos, Jonah
  9. 2 Samuel, 2 Kings, 2 Isaiah, 2 Chronicles
  10. Revolutions, Deuteronomy, Romans, Exodus
Current Sermon Series
Psalms is a book for people in all kinds of life-situations. Many of the Psalms were “songs of accent” that the people of God sang as traveled up to Mount Zion for Hebrew holy days. Since our church is in the hills, we hope to take our own “accent” in our walk with God. This summer, Pastor Mark taking up to some powerful Psalms to help you travel with God. As we study 11 Psalms we will be looking for “ lessons for your life from God’s songbook”

July 19 – Psalm 27 – The Fear Factor
July 26 – Psalm 34 – Between a Rock and a Hard Place
August 2 – Psalm 42 – The Perfect Health Plan for the Soul
August 9 – Psalm 71 – Aging God’s Way
August 16 – Psalm 73 – Life from Another Perspective
August 23 – Psalm 90 – Life As God Meant It to Be
August 30 – Psalm 121 – Real Security in an Insecure World
September 4 – Psalm 139 – Where Is God When I Need Him Now?
September 13 – Psalm 150 – The Song of the Saved
In The Bible (Reading Plan)
Weekly Through the Bible Readings
Join us as we read through the Bible in 2020. Here are the readings for the next few weeks:

July 12-18      Psalms 26-51; Romans 1-3
July 19-25      Psalms 52-75; Romans 4-6
July 26-Aug 1     Psalms 76-91; Romans 7-9
August 2-8          Psalms 92-125; Romans 10-12
August 9-15        Psalms 126-150; Romans 13-16
August 16-22      Proverbs 1-10; 1 Corinthians 1-6
August 23-29      Proverbs 11-21; 1 Corinthians 7-11
August 30-Sept 5     Proverbs 22-31; 1 Corinthians 12-16
September 6-12       Ecclesiastes; 2 Corinthians 1-4
September 13-19     Song of Solomon; 2 Corinthians 5-9
September 20-26     Isaiah 1-23; 2 Corinthians 10-13
September 27-Oct 3 Isaiah 24-45; Galatians, Ephesians
Answers to "Fake Books":
  1. Thomas
  2. 3 Peter
  3. Temptaions
  4. Nod
  5. Josiah
  6. Hexekiah
  7. Enoch
  8. Barnabas
  9. 2 Isaiah
  10. Revolutions
We Need Your Help
Text Give to 510-800-7175
12000 Campus Drive,
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 531-7100