Remembering – Tonight at Calvary Church

Today our community remembers. Today our church family remembers. 

One year ago, our community experienced two disasters within hours of each other. Individuals, families, and the greater Conejo Valley community would be changed forever. 

Our Calvary Community Church family felt the weight of both the shooting and the fires. Along with eleven others, the life of a precious, young member of our Children’s Ministry staff, Noel Sparks, was taken during the Borderline incident. We miss her engaging smile and her infectious passion for Christ. While around 75% of our church family would be evacuated from their homes due to the Woolsey and Hill fires, dozens would lose their homes. Even while we found peace and strength in our God, the shock, pain, and senselessness of it all still sting.

God gave the Calvary family the opportunity to extend His love to those impacted by the Borderline shooting. We hosted a multi-week support group to help hurting people in our church family and our local community. We hosted several of the memorials for the Borderline victims. Those memorials included remembrances for Noel Sparks and Sergeant Ron Helus (the Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy, who was first on the scene and gave his life to save others). 

The fires caused Calvary to cancel its weekend services for the first time in the church’s forty-two-year history. That disruption was minor compared to the depth of pain felt by those who lost their homes. The Lord mobilized the Calvary family to give their time, energy, and dollars to help the fire victims in our church and our local community. Our leadership determined early on that we would walk with many fire victims throughout the extended recovery journey – even if that took years. Our staff and many key, dedicated volunteers continue to walk with over fifty individuals and families still struggling to recover.

After a year of giving of our time, energy, financial resources, and prayers to help families impacted by the Borderline incident and the fires, we still feel the personal and emotional toll our community experienced. We also look back and see the good hand of our God in the love, service, and care demonstrated toward those who were affected most. 

Tonight (Thursday, November 7th) at 7 pm, our church family and community guests will gather for a service of remembrance in the Calvary Worship Center. During the one hour service, we will remember, pray, worship, and again turn to the Lord for the peace and strength only He can give.  

Your presence tonight will bless you, but it will also bless others. There is something so special when God’s people gather together during seasons of heaviness to look to Him for hope.

Today our community remembers. Today our church family remembers. 

Remembering with you,

Shawn Thornton
Senior Pastor


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