On Easter Morning, April 16th, we celebrated the first Resurrection Celebration at Valley Praise UMC, Santa Rosa. This was the culmination of several decades of God's mysterious work in the City of Santa Rosa and the delicate calling of Valley Praise UMC, Harlingen to unite with their struggling sister church over the past two years. All put their talents, gifts, and resources at God's disposal and when God's people humbled themselves to His plan a miracle began to form. Faced with a declining and aging congregation, in a town marked by intricate cultural changes and demographic shifts, the Lord saw fit to create an atmosphere ripe for Resurrection. He, who has adopted us as His Children, paved the way for two initially dissimilar congregations to form a cohesive family for His Kingdom.
We have discovered that our church experiences often mirror the road that Christ traveled for us during his fateful Passion week. Sometimes there are seasons of pain, pulling in and trying to find the strength to continue, trusting that there is more, letting the last leaf fall on what was once a mighty tree. We commend the saints in Santa Rosa who diligently strived, sought new vitality, persevered and opened their minds and hearts to unfamiliar ideas and outlandish dreams. Thus, over the holiday weekend, we have celebrated the Resurrection of a unified, vibrant Church in the city of Santa Rosa. It has been a time of healing, reconciliation, and incredible growth. One man plants, another nurtures, and another harvests but all do the work of God that He has given to them for His glory. Valley Praise is humbled to be part of the Santa Rosa story and to move forward aware of all that has come before us. Valley Praise UMC - Harlingen & Santa Rosa..... One Church, Two Campuses.
The following article was written by Joy Bennett of Valley Praise UMC.