Reset, Reclaim, and Rejoice Empowerment Update!
Important Updates from our Bishop
Congregational Update 05-27-2021
So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. Nehemiah 4:6 KJV
Grace and Peace be unto you beloved from God our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!
We are getting excited, as we prepare to regather for in-person celebrations at our Midtown campus. We will commence with a community open house on July 3rd from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. All three of our facilities will be opened and available for you and yours to tour and see the various improvements that have occurred over the last 15 months. The next day, on July 4th, we will have our first celebration at 8 a.m. in the Legacy Center Sanctuary, located at 2324 L Street, Sacramento. The second in-person celebration will commence at 10:15 a.m. at the Cathedral, located at 2223 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento. There is limited onsite parking and plenty of street parking. Also, the parking garage located at 21st and Capitol offers free parking to our church family from 7am to 1pm.
Children’s Ministry (3mos to 11 years) will be available at both the 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Sunday celebrations. Pre-registration is encouraged for all children attending. Register your child(ren} on the main menu @ COP.church. Please be sure to arrive early to accommodate your young ones. NOTE: The OmniFactory Children’s Ministry is now located at the Legacy Center. Limited onsite parking is available for parents. It may be accessed near L and 23 Streets. We ask that everyone please drive cautiously and be aware that children will be present throughout the area during celebration periods.
Please be advised that we will be following applicable CDC and county health guidelines. We anticipate that the mask mandate will be lifted by the time we regather. However, we encourage everyone to keep a mask available. We will likely be a masks-optional setting. We will keep you posted as the date of regathering draws closer.
Last, if you are interested and available to help serve with a smiling face and willing heart, we want you to join us for our preview gatherings on Sundays June 6th and June 13th in the Cathedral Sanctuary. We will have a brief celebration period with Bishop Lovelace sharing. You will then have an opportunity to meet with our various ministry teams. We are looking for dedicated and excited people to serve within the following areas:
• Greeters and Parking Ministry Team
• Usher Ministry
• Children’s and Youth Ministry
• Worship and Fine Arts (Choir, Praise Teams, Musicians, Dance, Theatrical Arts)
• Creative Arts (Media, Visual Arts, Camera operators, photographers, graphic design)
• Health Ministry (First Responders, Preventative Care Support)
• Administration Office volunteers
We would love to have you serve. Plan to join us on these preview dates. We will get you plugged in and connected to the team. WE WANT YOU!
Let’s get ready COP family! I hear the sound of rejoicing. Let’s go!
Pastoral Update - May 6, 2021
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit. Psalm 147:5
Grace and peace be unto you beloved from God our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!
I pray that you are encouraged and strengthened during this season. I am so blessed to pastor such courageous and empowered people. We have seen the Hand of God upon us. He is faithful indeed. I want to ask you to be listening for a very special announcement next weekend (May 14-16). I will be posting some important update information next Friday that you will not want to miss. Meanwhile, I want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated if you have not been. Please continue to practice appropriate protocols until everyone in your setting has been vaccinated.
Thank you for your continuous prayers, encouragement, and financial support. Your tithes and offerings are helping us collectively facilitate effective and excellent ministry locally and worldwide. Also, we are very pleased with the ongoing renovations at our ministry campus. We have a little more to do. We will keep you updated.
Lady Dianna and I love you immeasurably and we pray for you and yours daily. Remember, stay the course! If we can serve you in any way, please do not hesitate to call upon us. Our Congregational Care Team is here to pray with and encourage you. We will be back home soon.
Congregational Letter - March 18, 2021
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9 ESV
I want to take this moment to let each of you know that I am praying and thanking God for you. This week marks one year that we have experienced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our last ingathering worship celebration was held on March 8, 2020. None of us would have imagined that we would experience nearly 30 million positive cases and 530,000 deaths in the U.S. due to this devastating illness. Yet, we can all affirm that the Lord has been faithful in so many ways. There are ten things that I reflect upon as we mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic:
1. The Lord has provided for each one of us. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
2. Our hearts turn to a loving God with repentance, humility, and dependency. (Psalm 51)
3. Jesus Christ is our Healer. (Matthew 11:28-30)
4. Jesus Christ is building His Church, and we will not be defeated. (Matthew 16:18)
5. We are stronger with one another. (1 John 1:7)
6. God’s promised abundance shall be fulfilled in my life. (John 10:10)
7. Faith is a daily walk. (Hebrews 11:6)
8. God’s Word sustains us. (Psalm 119:105)
9. The Holy Spirit is vital to an empowered life-experience. (John 14:26)
10. The next generation will know of our God and His wonders through us. (Genesis 17:7)
There is much more that I could acknowledge about our Lord’s goodness. I leave that for all of us to comprise. However, let us collectively offer the Lord hearts of thanksgiving. The storm is passing over. We shout hallelujah! We have a little way to go until we regather at our ministry campuses (October 17th or possibly earlier, the Lord willing).
Meanwhile, we will stay the course of worshipping together online, joining our OmniGroups, and this weekend joining in our 21-day Spiritual Growth Challenge (cop. church/challenge). Also, we stay committed to washing our hands, wearing our masks, maintaining physical distancing, and getting vaccinated. There is indeed light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not a train coming towards us. Beloved, let us prepare for some glorious days of ministry and God's outpouring in our city, nation, and world. Pray earnestly, live lovingly, and give generously. The best is yet to come!
Think about these things…
Pastoral Update - February 25, 2021
Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.” Joshua 3:5
Grace and peace be unto you beloved family, from God our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that you and yours are continuing to persevere and remain faithful during this season. We are continuing to witness the miraculous deliverance of the Lord through salvation, baptisms of the Holy Spirit, healings, and surpassing peace. I want to remind you that this is a period of preparation as we anticipate re-gathering soon. We are thankful to see a continual decrease in COVID-19 related new diagnoses and hospitalizations within our region.
I encourage you to continue wearing your masks, practicing physical distancing, washing your hands, and getting vaccinated. As mentioned, I have spoken with my physician and will plan to vaccinate in early April. Meanwhile, let me stress the importance of praying in the Holy Spirit, studying the Word of God (daily devotions), and staying in fellowship via your OmniGroups and other brothers and sisters in Christ.
Renovations and improvements are continuing to take place throughout the church campus and Rancho Cordova Youth Center. I reiterate that these are the physical renovations. However, let us bring focus to our spiritual renovation. Indeed, the Holy Spirit is preparing our hearts for a tremendous outpouring of God's presence. Stay the course!
I look forward to joining with you online during our weekend celebrations, previous on-demand teachings, Thursday Conversations with the Bishop, Monday Weekend Recap, and Tuesday Prayer Around the Throne. Also, you may view us Wednesdays and Sundays on SacramentoFaith.TV or listen to us Sundays on KDYA Gospel 1190 AM.
Finally, thank you for your continuous prayer and financial support of this ministry. We are staying faithful to our mission due to your generosity and consistent financial stewardship. You may give online at cop.church, through our COP Mobile App, text to give 844.899.7588 or mail to COP Administration, 2150 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95816.
Stay encouraged. We are turning the corner by faith. Purify your hearts. Tomorrow the Lord shall do GREAT THINGS!
Pastoral Update – February 10, 2021
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18 ESV
Grace and peace be unto you, excellencies from God our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that you are encouraged and prospering, even as your soul prospers in the peace and assurance of our great King. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued prayers, faithfulness, support, and care for one another during this season. We are blessed by the Lord's covering over each of us. It has only been the grace of God that has kept and guided us. I have a few updates to share with you now in writing. I will follow-up within upcoming Conversations with the Bishop segments to discuss these and other exciting news.
We have all heard by now that the Supreme Court has overturned the indoor gathering ban which Governor Gavin Newsome imposed. Congregations are now allowed to have up to 25% of their occupancy in attendance. Several churches within our region have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, or they are making plans to re-gather immediately. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have continuously reiterated that we desire everyone to be safe and return to in-person worship TOGETHER. Although we have all shared the burden of not being face-to-face in worship, we are thankful for putting PEOPLE first as a priority. Sadly, we have experienced the deaths of a couple of our church family members, and all of us know of someone who COVID-19 has impacted. Therefore, we stand by our decision to worship online until it is deemed safe to return.
We are encouraged by the recent and drastic decrease in hospitalizations and the number of overall new cases. Many individuals have chosen and received their vaccinations. I will be vaccinated soon. Look for upcoming virtual events, sharing information about the vaccines' safety and matters of health equity within our community.
We have recently held discussions with our Senior Leadership Team and Elders. We are also continuing consultation with those that are within the medical, ethical, and research professions. I am pleased to report that we will be presenting a proposed re-gathering fall 2021 date to the Church Advisory Council next week. We believe that if the Lord permits, we will be able to gather in person safely. Such news is indeed is an exciting prospect. Please be prayerful.
We are pleased to announce Pastor Erinn Harris, MA, M.Div., (D.Min. Candidate), as our Associate and Discipleship Director. Pastor Harris is doing an outstanding job leading the development of our OmniGroups and our church's overall discipleship processes. We also have been blessed with the addition of Cristian Munoz, Associate Media Technician. Cris was recently brought on to assist our Media Ministry with the expressive and well-designed online, television, and radio presentations. He has become invaluable support, along with Denis Hiza and the entire media team.
Clean-Up Team Thank You!
A special thank you goes out to all of the folks who came out to help clean and organize the newly acquired Legacy Center. You all are what makes doing church as a team special indeed.
There has been tremendous progress made with renovating all of our facilities. Let me state some of the specifics:
- Cathedral - new carpet and flooring throughout.
- Cathedral - received exterior painting.
- Cathedral - stadium seating installed in the rear portion of the worship auditorium.
- Cathedral - new roofing.
- Cathedral - audio/visual upgrades (in-progress).
- The youth room at the CYC - received new carpet.
- Children and Youth Complex and Administration Building - new roof and exterior painting.
- Legacy Center - painting and new carpeting is in progress.
- Legacy Center - worship center retrofitted and renovated with new auditorium seating for 500.
- Legacy Center - baptistry renovation (in-progress).
- Legacy Center - additional security gates for the parking lot (in-progress).
- Legacy Center - children’s area and chapel renovations (in-progress).
- All the facilities - are being professionally landscaped and maintained.
- All facilities are receiving lighting assessments and appropriate energy-efficient window treatments.
Thank you all for the faithful stewardship of your tithes and offering gifts. We have continued to meet our budget, enabling us to cover our employee salaries, mortgages, utilities, and monthly expenses. Just as importantly, we continued to support our global and community care ministry. Our partners are being supported in a timely and generous manner. We are blessed to serve our first responders and essential workers. We need many others to recommit and help us expand our Kingdom-inspired initiatives. If you have not given, prayerful consider what you can do to help us continue ministry now and prepare for future ministry. Remember, every gift makes a difference. Our sacrificial offerings demonstrate collective influence and expansion. We know that EVERYTHING belongs to God. We are His conduits of the blessings.
Again, thank you all for staying the course! Remember to mask up, wash your hands, maintain healthy distancing, and get accurately informed regarding vaccination. We can’t wait to greet you in-person real soon.
January 7, 2021
Grace and peace be unto you beloved from God, our Father, and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that this message finds you strengthened, safe, and encouraged. The recent events within our US Capitol and the associated violence have served to remind us all of the importance of exuding the vision of redemption, justice, and empowerment for all people. We have so much that is yet needed to see our nation reflect what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., referred to as the Beloved Community. Racism, poverty, politicism, and marginalization continue to plague our cities and communities socially. In short, we yet have a ministry to do. We are setting our hearts collectively to reset, reclaim, and rejoice as we model the Kingdom of God. Here are a few objectives that I wish to encourage us all to pursue within the coming days:
1. Be kind - Be aware that your Christ-like kindness is distinctive and impactful when observed by others.
2. Be watchful - Use discernment when going about your day through conversation, presentation, and participation. Know your surroundings, particularly during volatile times.
3. Be connected - Maintain healthy relationships with others, particularly your brothers and sisters in Christ (OmniGroups and other believers).
4. Be intentional - Maintain a loving, healthy, and joyful attitude.
5. Be godly - Resolve to live a life that reflects the holiness and the heart of a disciple of Jesus Christ.
6. Be filled - Embrace EVERYTHING the Holy Spirit has for you daily by praying in the spirit and your understanding.
7. Be generous - Remember, we are blessed to be a blessing. Continue to sow your time, talent, and tithe into the work of the Lord.
I am so honored to serve as your pastor, beloved. I could not be more thankful and godly proud of such a community of faith. You are courageous and bold, indeed. Let's go to work and be world-changers, extending the unconditional love of the Lord Jesus Christ.
December 31, 2020
Grace and Peace be unto you beloved family!
I pray that you and yours are preparing to leave the Year 2020 with hearts of thanksgiving and appreciation for all of God’s provisions. Recently I was approached with a comment of one observing Center of Praise’s recent acquisition of the historic First Baptist Church property (Legacy Center). Admittedly, I wanted to give a snide response to the inquiry when asked, "How does another building advance the Kingdom?" I’m glad you all pray for me! (LOL) I needed to pause and reflect that the individual's question may have been noteworthy. So often, I can dismiss others, under the belief that there is a hidden agenda, or I am quick to view them as the overused observation, haters. However, as I have reflected further, I realize that, indeed, the question allows reviewing and communicating what the Holy Spirit has done introspectively, is doing, and desires to do in this season of ministry.
Directly, the new Legacy Center will serve to advance the Kingdom of God, as all of our facilities have done for our 31 years of ministry. Thousands of people have been fed spiritually through the uncompromised and unadulterated Word of God. Each expository teaching has communicated the scriptures in life-transforming ways. Young and old are grasping the Kingdom of God through our missional objective of worshiping, learning, and serving together. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it has affirmed the importance of personal and corporate spiritual worship. The Holy Spirit has designed us to be together in fellowship and spiritual growth. (Genesis 2:18). Our Cathedral, Children and Youth Complex, Rancho Cordova Youth Center, and now the Legacy Center are all tools to facilitate connection, togetherness, development, and community. We emphasize that it is not the building that advances the Kingdom of God. The people who occupy these facilities and their communities advance the Kingdom of God (Acts 7:48). The Holy Spirit dwells within us (1 Corinthians 6:19). Our Lord Jesus Christ worshipped in both the temple and synagogue. Yet, He was and is the embodiment of the Kingdom of God. As He is, so we are within our families, local fellowship, community, and the world (1 John 4:17)
The new Legacy Center will afford us to continue our corporate growth through the following:
- Additional nursery, primary children, and middle school space (High Schoolers will now have much-expanded space at our current Children and Youth Complex, 2150 Capitol Avenue).
- Expanded dining facility with commercial kitchen
- Community Partnerships (PICO of California, Carrie’s Touch, Exodus Project (Re-try Program), and a planned community medical clinic. (All housed within the facility)
- Expanded Adult Learning venues
- Fully expanded library (Thousands of books, e.g., financial and economic literacy, theology, history, culture, women studies, children’s literacy, and art).
- Designated Prayer Chapel
- Expanded worship venue (Sunday 8 a.m. and first Sunday night Healing and Praise Celebration)
Our increasing footprint within our community is not merely marked by stationary buildings, but rather the thousands of feet that will soon converge weekly upon our beautiful ministry campus. It will be these feet that carry the message of the gospel throughout this region (Isaiah 52:7).
Yes, inquiring minds want to know, and we should confidently provide an answer (1 Peter 3:15). Therefore, we will be focusing on our Year 2021 theme, “The Kingdom Agenda- Reset, Reclaim, and Rejoice” (Romans 14:17). The Lord permitting, we will be spending the entire year learning about the Kingdom of God and how to live enthusiastically and with expectation.
Let's be prayerful as we hope to regather as early as Easter weekend 2021 or no later than the early fall. Meanwhile, we need everyone to “wash up, mask up, separate, and vaccinate.” I can't wait to hug you and welcome you back home soon. Meanwhile, speak with your physician, rest, eat properly, take your vitamin C, D, and Zinc, drink lots of water and herbal teas, laugh, and simply stay the course. Don’t give up! We are almost there!!!! Lady Di and I are praying for you daily, and I have got a feeling that EVERYTHING is going to be alright. Let's go, COP!
December 1, 2020
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2
Grace and peace be unto you beloved from God of Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that you and yours are remaining safe, encouraged, and vigilant. As you know, we see the number of hospitalizations and positive cases overall trending upward within our community. Unfortunately, many people are not taking this virus pandemic seriously. I recently was told that a pastor and personal friend of mine became ill and tested positive. Sadly, his mother-in-law has also tested positive. We must be cautious and continue to practice safety. I have asked our administrative team to maintain the following until further notice:
1. We ask that no unannounced visits occur within the administration offices or ministry campus. Meetings are by appointment only.
2. All individuals entering the church campus must have temperature checks, handwashing, and the wearing of masks. NO EXCEPTIONS!
3. There will be no personal in-person appointments scheduled with the Bishop until further notice. Limited phone and online meetings are available. However, please note that such arrangements are scheduled for 1-2 months out.
4. All onsite Celebrations (including weddings and homegoings) continue to be prohibited until further notice. The pastoral team will continue to assist with private weddings (maximum 5-10 people) and graveside ceremony (maximum ten people). Physical distancing and masks are required.
5. All ministry events must be authorized and approved by the senior leadership team.
6. We are encouraging online gatherings for OmniGroups and ministry meetings at this time.
Remember, we want to do our very best to keep everyone safe at this time.
Vaccinate or Don’t Vaccinate?
I want to encourage everyone to steward your health well. It is essential to maintain a healthy diet, hydrate, and rest. Of course, we all want to practice protection protocols (frequent handwashing and sanitizing, wearing a mask, and maintaining 6 feet physical distancing. It is best to assume that everyone outside of your household is a carrier until we view these positive numbers decline.
I am not a physician. However, I am encouraged by some of the initial studies that are emerging regarding the various vaccine treatments. I encourage everyone to have a conversation with your physician regarding the benefits and safety of vaccinations. I will be vaccinated. I am accustomed to annual flu shots, and I also have been vaccinated on several occasions for foreign travel. My physician has been very forthright in guiding me in the decision for my family and me. Lady Di and I care for her elderly parents. Therefore, we must do all to protect them and ourselves. Second, I pastor thousands of people. I want to get back to my weekly hugs and hearty handshakes.
I would encourage you also to ask your physician about supplements that may provide additional immune support (Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, etc.) Nutrition and exercise are vitally important. And again, I cannot overemphasize rest and lowering stress as much as possible. Remember, we are spirit, mind, and body. Maintaining all these elements, along with prayer and medicine, will enable us to gather together within the very near future.
When will we re-gather for onsite Celebrations?
Soon and very soon. Our leadership teams are remaining prayerful as we weekly access the appropriate safety protocols and guidelines provided by our health department. We will re-gather for our onsite celebrations when we can assure EVERYONE will be safe. The good news is that we anticipate we will have plenty of extra room with the Legacy Center's addition (24th and L Street). Meanwhile, beloved stay the course. We are turning the corner.
October 16, 2020
Our Testing is Producing…
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:1-4 ESV
Grace and Peace be unto you beloved from our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that you and yours remain safe and well. Lady Di and I continue to pray for us all daily. I am encouraged by the aforementioned text. The Lord has allowed us to come through a very difficult eight months. As we enter the fall months, I want to remind you that your faith is producing a firm, unwavering, and resolute posture concerning the Lord’s goodness. Regardless of what has occurred or is occurring, we have full confidence that the Lord is faithful at all times.
I pray that we cover one another with prayer, encouragement, and words of hope. Stay the course. Let each of us allow the Holy Spirit to perfect and complete us as we mature in Christ. I remind you, the Lord has never failed His people and He never will. Everything is going to be alright.
Please remember to wear your masks, wash your hands, and maintain physical distancing. Also, please reach out and check on our seniors, single-parent families, and those that may be economically struggling. Let’s put our faith into action by serving others.
October 8, 2020
Connections Made and Lives Transformed
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 ESV
There is not a day that I am not blessed to speak with someone that either watches our online celebrations, television broadcast or listens to our Centered Living radio broadcast.
When things radically changed with the impact of COVID-19, we thought for certain that we might be looking at a couple of weeks off of our ministry campus. As the weeks turned to months, we quickly refocused and realigned our objectives around our mission of worshipping, learning, and serving. We realize that our ministry goes beyond simply gathering in the Cathedral.
Each week people are receiving Jesus as their Savior and Lord. They are rededicating their lives to the Lord. They are being filled with the Holy Spirit and receiving physical and emotional healing.
I am ever convinced that the Father’s light will always shine, wherever there appears to be darkness. He has chosen to shine through each of us. Where His light shines, there will be a revelation of knowledge, in the midst of life’s surrounding questions. Rest assured, the old
hymn rings true beloved:
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Stay the course family. The Lord has made you the light in the world. Shine bright and let us be the difference in the earth.
October 1-7, 2020
How are we Looking?
Grace and Peace be unto you Beloved, from God the Father and his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that you and yours are prospering and in good health, even as your soul is prospering
(3 John 1:2). We continue to be grateful for the testimonies of the Lord’s healing and provision of needs during this season.
This week State health officials announced that Sacramento coronavirus cases have dropped sufficiently over the past two weeks to allow the county to recategorize and move into the Tier 2 (Red zone).
Some fellowships in our area will begin meeting indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people; whichever is lower. I am also aware that larger congregations in Placer county are looking to meet with 200 people, along with outdoor gatherings. Our church leadership has prayerfully considered these options, and we will refrain from in-person gatherings for the remainder of the year 2020.
We have communicated in previous updates what our criteria is for regathering. Please note the following:
1. Absolute safety for ALL attendees during worship celebrations
2. A safe vaccination of COVID-19
3. The ability for all of our congregation (seniors and youth) to participate in worship celebrations
We are most grateful for the tremendous ministry that is presented online weekly through our Worship and Fine Arts Ministry team. Second, we are blessed to see our church family connecting though our weekly OmniGroups (small discipleship groups). Please continue to pray for one another and our church leadership. Also, don’t forget to sign up for an OmniGroup at cop.church/FindAGroup
September 28, 2020
Steady as She Goes!
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. - 1 Peter 5:10
Grace and Peace be unto you Beloved from God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, nearly 5 years. One of the things that I recall while residing there was the tumultuous storms that would present tornado warnings and at times flooding. Then there were the ice storms, causing anxious drivers to drive cautiously on the slick roads.
I owned a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle. It was truly a hooptie. Yet, one of its key benefits was the engine located in the back. Other drivers would re-route or avoid driving on the roads entirely during the storms. However, my old vehicle had a simple advantage. It had an engine in the rear and a proven ability to handle the road well during hazards or inclement weather. There were no spin-outs or loss of control. The engine stabilized the vehicle and I kept moving.
So it is with God’s grace beloved. The Lord’s grace is on our lives and His Church during this period. The Lord’s calling upon us individually and collectively assures that indeed He personally restores, confirms, strengthens, and stabilizes us.
Take joyous courage and continue the course. I look forward to worshipping with you this weekend online and encourage you to get connected to your OmniGroup (Small group). Also, continue to visit our website or COP mobile app for continuous updates. We love you immeasurably.
September 14, 2020
Revival or Restoration and Reformation
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Grace and Peace be unto you beloved from God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that you and yours continue to remain encouraged and in health. So much is spoken these days regarding revival. It draws my memory back to the time we had church revivals, usually once or twice a year. It was a time in which the guest evangelist would lead us in a week of prayer, seeking, and ultimately rejoicing. However, the very nature of the term revival suggested that we were desiring a move of God and an experience that revived our hearts. I wonder if indeed we need or should even be seeking revival.
Here me out… Do I believe that revival has its place and is needed within the spiritual lives of our nation and world? Yes! However, I believe that even more needed is a prayer-based encounter with the Holy Spirit that brings about the transformation of our hearts. The elevation of revival is wonderful. Yet, are we truly seeing the transformation that only occurs from being restored in fellowship and reformed in thinking. True reformation and restoration occur on the heels of repentance.
Judson Cornwall stated, “True repentance begins as a work of the Spirit of grace, but it must be released in complete honesty before the throne of God. When we do this, God cuts off the very names of the idols we worshipped and causes the unclean spirits that had enticed us into idolatry to flee from our lives and homes.”
Let us seek the Lord with all of our hearts, not for the enthusiasm and exhilaration of revival. Let us seek the Lord, through His Holy Spirit, for true change. This type of spiritual pursuit will always lead to hearts that are steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord our labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
By His Grace,
Bishop Parnell M. Lovelace, Jr., D.Min.
Founding and Senior Pastor
September 5, 2020
We are Covered by the Blood of Jesus
The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:13
Grace and Peace be unto you beloved; from God our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that you and yours are remaining safe and sound. We continue to stay the course of remaining faithful and connected to one another. I am reminded of the power of the Blood of Jesus. I often pray and declare over my life, my family, and our church family, that there is yet authority that is found in the Blood of the lamb. We may receive forgiveness, healing, comfort, and strength as we reference the sacrifice of Jesus for us.
I urge you to incorporate the confessions and declarations of Christ’s sacrifice into your own prayers and worship every day. Also, remember to join us, as we celebrate the Table of the Lord through communion, weekly beginning September 12 and 13. We will begin our weekly online celebrations with the Table of the Lord.
Our viewing times are as follows:
Saturday – 5 p.m.
Sunday – 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Pacific Time)
We may be viewed on COP App, YouTube, and Facebook live
Please note that you may have available your own juice and crackers/bread. I encourage you to always have it prepared in advance, prior to the weekly celebrations.
You may also stop by the Cathedral on Thursday September 10 and Friday September 11 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for curbside pick-up of the communion elements for your household and special prayer by our Congregational Care Team.
Don’t give up beloved! The blood still works.
August 19, 2020
Stay the Course!
Grace and Peace be unto you Beloved from God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that you and your family are in health and prospering, even as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2). Lady Di and I, along with the entire leadership team are continually praying for you and your family. As many parents are navigating online learning, and elderly members of our church family continue to be sheltered in, we want you to know that your church family is here for you. Please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can serve you. If you need groceries, assistance with medications, or simply a word of encouragement, reach out to our Congregational Care Ministry Team at (916) 441-3305 or you may email . Remember, you are not alone.
We want you to continue logging on to our weekend celebrations Saturdays at 5 p.m., Sundays at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11 a.m., and 5 p.m. (Pacific Time). We also have our OmniFactory Production for children of all ages immediately following each worship celebration. You will be strengthened and encouraged by dynamic worship and empowering teaching each week. We also pray together as a church family on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Last, beginning September 10 we will host our Rhema Word Thursdays (6:30 pm – 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time). This midweek online gathering is designed to study books of the Bible and special empowerment studies led by our Bishop and pastoral team. You may access all of these events through our COP mobile app, YouTube, Facebook or our COP website.
Did you know that COP is sharing weekly on radio and television? Please tune in and share with family and friends that a word of encouragement and empowerment is being presented on Centered Living TV available on Sac Faith TV Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. on Comcast Channel 20, AT&T Channel 14, Surewest Channel 19 and SacramentoFaith.TV. Join us for Centered Living Radio on KDYA Gospel 1190 AM or gospel1190.com Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
Stay the course beloved. This too shall pass and we shall yet be found standing strong.
Love you immeasurably,
Bishop and Lady Di
June 26, 2020
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16
Grace and Peace be unto you beloved from God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that you and yours are safe, well, and prospering in the favor of the Lord. We continue to be grateful for the Lord’s protection and strength during this time. I also thank each of you for your continued prayers for me as I seek to lead and navigate us through these uncharted days. I continue to be strengthened and encouraged through the testimonies of salvation, baptism of the Holy Spirit, and healing that is occurring daily within our beloved community. Also, let us remember that we have designated Thursday as our church-wide prayer and fasting day. We are using this prayer period as an opportunity to lift up the various members of our church family and the community. I want to update you on some opportunities to further stay connected with one another.
They are as follows:
1. Sign up for a Connect Group. Our Connect Groups are small intimate groups that are held virtually. It is a time to worship, pray, and share with other friends at COP. To sign up today go to cop.church/FindAGroup or email Pastor Jeffrey Johnson II at .
2. Tuesday Evening Prayer Gathering is a time of powerful intercessory prayer, led by our Online Minister Jackie Crooks and Minister Cindy Cain. Join us Tuesdays @ 7 p.m. on Facebook Live.
3. School of Prayer is held every Thursday at 7 p.m., led by members of our pastoral team. You may access this one-hour intensive study and application through our website: cop.church, Facebook Live, YouTube, or our COP Mobile App.
4. On-Demand teachings are available on our website: cop.church, YouTube or the COP Mobile App. You will find the School of Prayer and weekend celebration teachings for your spiritual enrichment and edification.
5.Need prayer? Please send us a request at . We have a team of prayer warriors ready to intercede on your behalf. Also, feel free to send me an email at , and check in. I will pray and drop you a quick reply.
Remember, we are connected as a family. We are never separated. Let’s take advantage of all the aforementioned opportunities, affirming we are indeed one body; never disconnected.
Love you immeasurably.
Bishop Parnell M. Lovelace, Jr., D.Min.
June 18, 2020
I am because you are; and because you are, therefore, I am…
Umbuntu Principle as prescribed by John Mbiti
Grace and Peace be unto you Beloved, God our Father and his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I was blessed to sit with key leaders from our region that visited our church campus this week. Our discussion was frank, direct, and transparent. I am always humbled that leaders would seek out my counsel and guidance with the difficult matters that challenge our society and culture. Before we dealt with the deeper conversation regarding racism and the apathetic constructs of modern-day evangelicalism, one of the leaders asked, “What is Center of Praise Ministries’ stand on church re-openings?” Notwithstanding the fact that Sacramento county has recently had a sharp spike in positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths; the governor of our state has passed an executive order, requiring the wearing of face mask. My repetitive response remains, we will re-engage for in-person fellowship when EVERYONE will be safe and sound. This includes our children and our elders (senior saints).
Beloved we are a community, village, and family. The presence of our elders, the weak, and the vulnerable is what affirms our vision and mission. WE proclaim Redemption, Justice, and Empowerment. WE worship, WE learn, and WE serve. Our heart will always be to do EVERYTHING together. We will never seek to divide our family and leave anyone out. This is who we are…
Lady Di and I certainly miss you beyond words. Yet, we will sacrifice now, so that that we may ALL reap together in days to come. I again encourage everyone to stay faithful to your virtual Connect Groups. If you are not currently in a Connect Group, please email us at . Our pastoral team will help you find a group of believers, ready to support, love, and care for you and yours.
Thank you for your prayers, care, patience, and ongoing financial support during this opportune time in history and Kingdom ministry.
Love you Immeasurably!
Bishop and Lady Di!
June 11, 2020
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Grace and Peace be unto you Beloved, from God our Father and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we see various communities reopening, I wanted to assure each of you that we are monitoring this very fluid situation daily. Although we have reinforced our advocacy initiatives regarding systemic racism and injustices that have plagued our nation and community, we have not forsaken our responsibilities of strategizing efforts to re-engage in-person gatherings at the Cathedral. Some specifics include the following:
1. Our Administrative staff is now working in the office after two months of serving remotely.
2. Our Facilities Team is working diligently to complete deferred maintenance and prepare the facilities to meet the health standards and protocols required for social distancing and safety.
When we all return, we will find refreshed and safe facilities. Although we are excited about the upgrades and improvements, we remain resolute in assuring the complete safety and welfare of all of our church family. Therefore, until further notice, we continue to be blessed by our online fellowship. The key determining factors will include: 1) the Holy Spirit’s direction 2) herd immunity 3) availability of a vaccine, and 4) a decrease in positive cases within Sacramento County.
We ask that you all remain faithful in your prayers, connected with one another, and through your financial stewardship continue your support of the ministry. Each day brings us closer to the day we shall gather once again in the House of the Lord. Until then… we stay the course!
Bishop and Lady Di!
May 1, 2020
Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!
We pray that each of you are strengthened and encouraged, as we continue to fight the good fight of faith. We want you to know that we are so blessed to serve our beloved Center of Praise family during these challenging times. Everyone continues to join together in affirming the strength of fellowship and connection, despite the shelter-in order that has prohibited our coming together at this time.
We want to thank you all for your continual prayers and financial support of the ministry. Your tithes and offerings have allowed us to continue meeting our financial responsibilities of caring for our staff, maintaining our facility mortgages, and other operating expenses. We have conferred with our Church Advisory Team, Administrative Staff, and church leaders on a regular basis during monthly and weekly updates. Pastor Wayne Kirkling, Executive Pastor and our financial team, have maintained prudence and diligence in curtailing our expenses during this period. We are most thankful.
Besides our general expenses of our ministry campuses (Midtown/East) and immediate care and support of our seniors, we have partnered with the following local organizations to assist during the pandemic in our region.
• City of Refuge, Inc. (Women and Children Oak Park outreach)
• 3 Black Chefs (Free weekly meals served in the Meadowview/South Sacramento area)
• Garden of Eats Café (Serving meals to front-liners in the medical venues)
• Vida Church (Pastors Alex and Liz Viaz)
• The Katinas (Music Ministry Outreach)
Globally and nationally we are continuing our monthly support of the following partnerships:
• Center of Praise House of Scholars in South Africa (Dr. Ronn and Aladrian Elmore)
• Yaaka Africa School (Orphaned children in Uganda, Africa, ages birth-18)
• Christlain School (Kindergarten children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti)
• Sierra Leone Outreach
Your continued support and ministry of giving is making a remarkable difference. Please know how much you are appreciated and honored. Please continue your support by giving through the following:
• Online (cop.church/giving)
• COP Mobile App (Available through your app store)
• Text to Give (text the dollar amount to 844.899.7588)
• Mail to: Center of Praise Ministries, 2150 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95816
If you are in need of self-addressed offering envelopes please call our
Administration Office at (916) 441-3305 Ext 112.
A team member will promptly respond to your request.
Remember, we love you and we look forward to being together soon!
Peace and Blessings Always!
Bishop and Mrs. Parnell M. Lovelace, Jr.
Pastor and Mrs. Wayne Kirkling
April 24, 2020
The Spring 2020 issue of THE HUB Magazine is online now! Inside every issue of THE HUB: The Urban Entertainment and Lifestyle Magazine, there are places to go, people to meet and things to do. Don't miss the article featuring Bishop Lovelace in this issue! READ NOW
DRIVE THROUGH COVID TESTING IS AVAILABLE AT CAL EXPO
Residents can register and schedule an appointment online by going to https://www.projectbaseline.
RULES & TIPS FOR SUCCESS WHILE WORKING REMOTELY
-Caleb Jobe, Marketing Lead at Brushfire
1. Start your day like you’re heading to the “office”.
2. Video chat when possible. Getting a “face-to-face” connection keeps you sane.
3. Be proud of your workspace and treat it like you would an office.
4. Use a good pair of noise-canceling headphones.
5. Don’t work from a bed, couch, or anything that tells the brain that it’s time to relax.
6. Be strict with your time.
7. Get up, keep your routine, actually wear normal work clothes. 8. Don’t work in what you slept in the night before.
9. Make small checklists.
10. Take a break and walk around the house, just like you would in the office.
11. It’s never a bad idea to step outside for a minute.
12. A clean space is a happy space.
13. Take advantage of the time to eat well and healthy.
14. Seclude yourself from distractions.
15. Structure your day more than you normally would.
16. Take lunch, shut the computer, and come back refreshed.
17. Stay active on Slack or communication tools with your teammates.
18. Set a main task for the day and don’t stop until you get it accomplished.
19. Never multitask with household chores.
20. Always wear shoes.
21. If you don’t need your cell phone, keep it out of sight.
April 1, 2020 (March 28th Update Revised)
Grace and peace be unto you, from God our Father, and from His son the Lord Jesus -Philippians 1:2
I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to your household and let you know that Lady Dianna and I are holding you close to our hearts and praying for you and yours. We are all aware of the serious challenges we have all faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our lives have been altered. However, our faith has been strengthened. I wanted to briefly share a few updates for your prayerful consideration and participation.
FOOD AND SUPPLIES
We are grateful that most of our church family has shared that they are doing fine with food and supplies. We have taken initiative to check on the elders of the church. If there is anyone needing food/supply assistance, please email us at . We have a team of women and men that will provide some assistance (box of food/supplies while available or resources that may be able to assist).
CONTACTING THE CHURCH
Our church administrative office remains closed. However, our very capable staff is working remotely and we are checking emails and voicemail frequently. You may contact us at (916) 441-3305 or email us at . You may email us with prayer requests at . We will respond.
Please visit our website at cop.church, our COP App, and our Facebook page for updates, unemployment information, virtual celebration announcements, and other pertinent information.
It is important to stay connected during this period. You will find that several of our Connect Groups (small home groups) are communicating via media platform and personal contact. If you want to get further information, please contact your Connect Group facilitator directly or you may contact our Assimilation Pastor, Jeff Johnson at .
Please go to your mobile device app store and download our COP app.
VIRTUAL CELEBRATIONS, CHURCH PRAYER, AND SCHOOL OF PRAYER EVENTS
Weekend Celebrations (Sundays) - All of our weekend celebrations occur online via Livestream. You may watch our 35-minute live stream broadcast Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 8 a.m., 10:15 a.m., and 5 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time). You will be blessed with powerful worship and a brief teaching from Bishop Lovelace, and members of our pastoral team. We may be viewed on cop.church, COP App, YouTube, and Facebook live. Previous celebrations are also available on our website (cop.church).
All Church Prayer (Tuesdays) - Join us on Facebook live Tuesday evenings 7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on our Facebook live.
All Church Fasting and Prayer (Thursdays) – Join us as we fast and pray according to James 5:16 every Thursday as a church family. We encourage you to join us as we pray collectively for our world, nation, community, church, and families.
School of Prayer Midweek Teaching on Zoom (Beginning Thursday, April 9 @ 7 p.m PDT) – Join our Bishop as he leads us in the study of prayer. We will learn how to pray effectively, fervently, and with expectancy. Visit cop.church/events and our Facebook page for more information on how to join the virtual teaching.
Please make plans to join us for the following special events:
Palm Sunday Weekend Virtual Celebrations (April 4th and 5th) – Special Virtual Celebrations Saturday, April 4th at 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 5th at 8 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Good Friday Virtual Worship (April 10th) - Our Arise Resurrection Weekend Celebrations begin with Good Friday Worship. Bishop will be joined by the award-winning musical group, the Katinas. Join us for a time of worship, reflection and a word of encouragement from our pastor Friday, April 10th at 7 p.m. on cop.church, Facebook Live, YouTube and our COP Mobile App.
Resurrection Virtual Celebrations (April 11th and 12th) - Our special online celebrations will be held Saturday, April 11th at 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 12th at 8 a.m., 10:15 a.m., and 5 p.m. (cop.church, Facebook Live, YouTube, COP Mobile App). Our renowned COP Worship Teams will be sharing special music and the Bishop will present a word of encouragement for everyone. Please invite your friends and family to watch and be blessed.
OmniFactory Production (April 11th and 12th) - Then immediately following our Resurrection Celebrations stay tuned for a special online OmniFactory Production presentation for our children. We have planned a fast-paced, fun-filled, Livestream experience for our little disciples; immediately following each celebration. You won’t want to miss this exciting weekend of celebrating our Lord’s resurrection and our abundant life in Him!
Virtual Healing and Praise Celebrations (April 18 and 19) – In order to allow more time to gather your communion elements and notify friends and family to join us for our Virtual Healing and Praise Celebration we will celebrate on Saturday, April 18th at 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 19th at 8 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. Bishop will be teaching and our renowned Worship Team and the Voices of Praise Choir will be leading us in praise and worship. Please prepare to have your communion elements and anointing oil ready for this special service. Be sure to join us on cop.church, Facebook Live, YouTube and our COP Mobile App and let’s experience the healing power of our mighty God together!
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
There are four ways everyone can immediately help:
- PRAY and PARTICIPATE with us during this season. Matthew 6:9-13 provides the pattern of prayer for believers. Join us by praying the Scriptures (available on cop.church updates page). Also, make every effort to join us during the aforementioned weekend and special event celebrations.
- SERVE -Please contact our Compassionate Care Ministry at , if you have any food or supply donations. We will make arrangements to receive them and distribute them to those that have need.
- CARE – Please contact the elderly, singles, and students that may need to be checked on and encouraged during this time.
- GIVE – Please continue to be faithful stewards in your tithes and offerings. We want to ensure that our church family remains strong and that the infrastructure is miraculously sustained and supported during this season, by the gifts and obedience of God’s people (See 2 Corinthians chapter 9). We know that with the Lord working with and through us all we will be just fine. You may send your gifts directly through our website at cop.church, the COP APP, text to give 844-899-7588, or mail directly to the Administration Office, 2150 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95816
If you have any further questions regarding how you may facilitate your stewardship, please contact Yvette Swafford at . Again, thank you for sowing your finances into the kingdom of God.
Remember, we love you all and miss you immeasurably. We strongly stand together! We can’t wait to be back in physical fellowship again. Meanwhile, we remain thankful, faithful, and encouraged as we Worship, Learn, and Serve!
Love you enthusiastically and immeasurably!
March 17, 2020
Grace and Peace Beloved, from God our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ!
These indeed are challenging times for all of us. However, we are assured that the Lord continues to be gracious and recent events presented by the COVID-19 virus pandemic will usher a season of revival, reformation, and Kingdom increase. The sharing of the gospel is our foremost directive, even during perilous seasons. Please note the following update effective immediately:
- All activities, on-site worship celebrations (Saturdays and Sundays), on-site bible studies, meetings, and other gatherings are suspended until further notice at our Midtown and East Campuses. Those facilitating our virtual celebrations will receive directives from your ministry coach.
- Our weekly in-home Connect Groups, School of Prayer and Bi-weekly School of the Local Church have been suspended until further notice.
- Our entire Executive/Administrative team will be working remotely. Therefore, the Church Administrative Office will be closed effective 3/18. We will announce when we will reopen.
In this rapidly escalating COVID-19 environment, our desire is to stay ahead of where we see the situation moving. Therefore, we will seek to provide updated information as it becomes available. Meanwhile, here is what you can do to support your church family during this season:
- Please remain prayerful and diligent in adhering to the recommendations of practicing frequent handwashing, social distancing, and self-isolation.
- Please watch our weekly updates via Facebook and YouTube.
- Please enjoy watching and participating in our weekly virtual worship celebration on Sundays at 8 a.m. and the rebroadcasting at 10:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. (via our cop.church website, COP Mobile App, Facebook, or YouTube).
- Please maintain our values of redemption, justice, and empowerment, by serving others during this time with loving and caring support. Please check on and support the elderly and those most vulnerable during this season.
- Please continue to be faithful in your giving and stewardship support of the ministry. We must keep the church sustainable and free of any burdensome circumstances. You may give online at cop.church, or you may mail your tithe and offerings to: Center of Praise Ministries, ATTN: Yvette Swafford, 2150 Capitol Ave., Sacramento, CA 95816.
- Please download the COP mobile app to your mobile device (available on all app store platforms).
We miss you all so very much. Please know that we love you and together we will get through this victoriously. Stay encouraged and joyful. The Lord is with us, and we have each other as family. We will stay in touch, and we can’t wait to hug you again.