Fellow Servants of Christ,
I pray this communication finds you rejoicing in the ever-present sovereign grace of God (Ps 115:3)! How encouraging and comforting to know that, no matter what happens in life, we can rest assured that all things, good and bad, have been sifted through the hands of our all-loving Lord (Eph 1:11). I pray these days help us all to grow in the peace and rest of our perfectly providential God (Isa 46:8-10)! Stop and let that truth set in, that nothing in this world happens by accident and God has never been, nor will He ever be, taken by surprise (Dan 4:34-35). That is an impossibility for a sovereignly omniscient God. Praise the Lord… I never tire of rejoicing in my Savior’s great sovereign wisdom, sovereign power, and sovereign love!
From that confident and clear perspective, the Elders want to inform you that due to the current state of the Coronavirus we will not be having any public services for the rest of the month. This means no public Sunday services (3-15, 3-22, 3-29) and Wednesday Night Discipleship gatherings (3-18, 3-25) and also no Bible studies, and scheduled ministry outings for the remainder of March. The reason for this is twofold. First, we desire to shepherd this precious flock of Christ with the utmost care and compassion that God demands of us as His under-shepherds as we seek to do all we can to guide and guard you through all of this. So we are seeking to lead clearly and protect our church faithfully before the Lord in every way that we can. Secondly, we are seeking to fully comply with Governor Hogan’s mandate as well as the stipulations given by our local officials regarding the cessation of, and necessary stipulations for, large public gatherings. The Bible clearly commands us to submit to our governing authorities (Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet 2:13-17) and we desire to obey the Lord fully as we support our leaders in their God-given responsibility to lead and protect us.
However, this does not mean that we will stop shepherding, preaching, and encouraging you specifically through the Word…that is never an option! Praise the Lord, through the sacrificial work of a number of our faithful servants, we have the full capacity to provide excellent livestreaming capabilities. Thus, I fully intend to continue preaching and teaching on Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, and even for our Men’s Bible study. I will also be preparing for you other messages and opportunities like a Q&A with the pastor that we will livestream as well. In many ways, it is my prayer that you are likely going to get more biblical truth during these days, not less, as I seek to shepherd all of us through this interesting time in our world.
Here is the YouTube link where you can go and watch the previously recorded sermons and Men’s Bible study lessons, as well as the livestream of all the different services forthcoming. Thus, Saturday morning at 8:00 am we will be livestreaming the Men’s Study. Sunday Morning at 10:30 am we will be livestreaming the Sunday sermon. On Wednesday night at 7:00 pm we will be livestreaming the parenting class. If you subscribe to the YouTube channel and click on the notification bell it will alert you when we have content going live. This means you can watch any and all of these services live in person on your phone, computer, or another applicable device. If you have any questions or need help with this, just let us know, or your elder when he reaches out to you, so that we can help seamlessly facilitate this wonderful opportunity for you.
Please know that all of our elders are eager to support and serve you during these days, and you should be receiving personal emails or phone calls from your elder. If you do not receive personal correspondence from one of our elders in the next 24-48 hours, please contact Laurie at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will see that one of our shepherds reaches out to you. Our church body, meaning every member and longtime regular attender, is placed into a specific family group with a specific elder leading one specific group. Most of you already know who your elder is and what family group you are a part of. Everyone should be hearing from their elder regarding other ways we are ready to serve and shepherd you, along with other ways you can still serve and encourage one another. If you are wondering about what to do with your regular financial offerings during this time of transition, please know you can mail those gifts to the church, and we will see that they get properly counted and deposited.
As I stated in the beginning of this letter, how encouraging to know that God is Lord of all, including every single virus known and unknown by man! While many people feel like this has never happened before, and mass panic among the general population seems to be the disorder of the day, remember that none of this has taken God by surprise or is outside of His perfect plan for His people (Rom 8:28-30)! If you are interested, you can follow this link to an article written about what happened when the “Spanish Flu” hit Washington DC in 1918, and churches had to be shut down for three weeks.
Church, I am confident that all of this is and will continue to provide the believers with many wonderful opportunities to share the love and truth of Jesus Christ with the lost. People are confused, deeply concerned, and downright scared to the point of panic. One walk through the grocery store aisle or parking lot proves my point. So, how should we respond in times like this? What does the Bible say about fear, and more specifically what is the right response when you come face to face with your fears? Tune in on Sunday morning at 10:30 am to the livestream link above as we will be considering Facing Fear Biblically!
Please, if you have any questions, concerns, or needs do not hesitate to reach out to Laurie, your elder, or even me personally. See my email and cell phone number below! Also, in light of everything that is happening with the coronavirus around the world, Tom & I have had to postpone our trip to Argentina. So, we will be here through this time of altered schedules.
For His Glory Alone,
Fellow Servants of Christ,