Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We praise the Lord for how gracious He has been in providentially protecting all of us through this pandemic (1 Thess 5:16-17). As I have said many times, these days are unprecedented in our lifetime, but nothing has taken our Lord by surprise (Jn 13:19 cf. Ps 139:4). We must never forget that Yahweh is the Alpha and the Omega (Rev 1:8; 22:13) and that He declares the end from, and even before, the beginning (Isa 46:8-10). He forms light and creates darkness, and He makes well-being while also creating calamity (Isa 45:6-7). For as the Bible says so many times, there is no one like our God (Isa 40:25), and what comfort this is for us who believe (Mt 6:25-34). The Lord is sovereign overall, and nothing happens to His people outside of His good purpose and merciful control (Rom 8:28-39 cf. Gen 50:20). This means all believers rest secure in any and every situation they face being held in the loving hand of almighty God (Jn 10:28-29). This is foundational truth in abiding faith (2 Tim 1:7), and I pray you are growing daily in resting peacefully in the loving arms of our Sovereign Savior (Isa 40:11 cf. 1 Pet 5:6-11)!
With the rapid rise of Covid cases across our country, communities, and within our church family, the elders are adjusting our ministry schedule for the next few weeks. It is our primary goal to please the Lord as we seek to shepherd His flock prudently and patiently, and we believe these steps help us in that endeavor. Therefore, as we have done in the past, we believe it is wise to scale back in-person gatherings and public ministry events for the next few weeks as people quarantine and the virus spreads throughout our region. Here is our initial plan…
- Church is canceled for this Sunday (1-2). This will provide a full two-week window between public gatherings.
- We are planning to regather for public worship on Sunday Jan 9th, but we will not have any nurseries or childcare until Sunday Jan 16th.
- Our Wednesday Night Family ministry will not restart until Jan 19th.
- All other church sanctioned in person gatherings, Bible studies, and or events will not resume normal scheduling until on or after Jan 15th.
If you have any questions regarding these changes, feel free to reach out to your family group elder or to contact me personally. If we need to make any further adjustments, we will let you know, but this is a clear starting point as we navigate this next wave in the virus.
Thankfully, we praise the Lord, that while this current strain is very contagious, it does not seem to be as deadly. I tested positive this week and have been dealing with flu-like symptoms, a bad sinus head cold and cough, but how grateful I am to the Lord for His sufficient grace and the strength He always provides. I have nothing to complain about, but so much to praise Him for, including this sickness that is a blessing in many ways (Ps 119:71). How different life is when life is not about me, but my life instead is really all about the Lord (Rom 11:33-36)! This virus is just another gracious reminder that my life is not my own but I have been bought with a price, and God can do whatever He wants with me whenever He wants (Gal 2:20 cf. 1 Cor 6:20). And I am fine with that, for He is good and always does good (Ps 119:68 cf. Rom 8:28).
We have set up a sermon to be played on Sunday (Facing Fear Biblically Part 1 Sunday Service 3 15 20 Replay) from our YouTube channel which I preached at the very beginning of this pandemic. I believe it is also just as pertinent now as then, as it deals with facing fear biblically. We will try to send out some links ahead of time so be looking for those. May the Lord continue to humble, purify, and mature this precious body of believers to be more like Christ so that we can love and serve one another more like Christ to the glory of God alone!
Yours for the Master,