Letter from your Pastor
March 18, 2020
Dear Church Family,
Elders and others met yesterday afternoon to discuss the best response for our church per the CDC and Presidential recommended guidelines for social distancing. After thoughtful discussion and prayer, we feel it is best for the church to not have our regular Sunday morning gatherings for this Sunday, March 22nd, or for Sunday, March 29th. Neither will we meet for AWANA on Wednesday, March 25th, or April 1st.
This was a difficult decision! The one day a week gathering of the church is of such importance for us as believers (Hebrews 10:24-25). I believe that it is the most important means of grace for our spiritual growth! The willful joining together of believers to a local church is a gracious gift! New Testament commands for worship include the participation of the entire congregation. For instance, the commands to sing to one another (Ephesians 5:18-21; Colossians 3:15-16) involve the whole congregation in edifying one another. The New Testament also expects churches to have an active corporate prayer life (James 5:14; Colossians 4:3; 1 Timothy 2:1-2). The preaching (1 Timothy 4:1-2) and reading of God’s Word (Colossians 4:16) is a command that is given for the gathered church. Finally, the ordinances of baptism (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34) form an important and necessary part of the church’s corporate life.
One of the positive consequences of this temporary absence from our gathering is that we should long for the day that we can gather again. Pray for that day to come soon! Of course, there are other positive consequences as well. We have opportunity to slow down, and pray, and read our Bible. We have opportunity to pray and care for one another and even others outside the congregation. We can reflect on our own frailty and total dependence on God for health, safety and life. We can reflect on the attributes of God and pray better for our nation. All these and more can be the positive changes that we would not recognize as much without the disruption of COVID19.
The logistics that were determined in our meeting yesterday are as follows:
Leadership will have regular discussions about the situation and inform the church in a timely manner regarding information and changes. We will also be aware of all the information from those who are experts in infectious diseases and make decisions accordingly. We want to make the most informed decisions for our church family and community.
The elders and deacons have divided our active membership roll between one another and will be in contact with each one during our absence from Sunday services.
We will FB Live both Sunday mornings at 10:30. It will be different than our regular format of worship.
During each evening of this voluntary absence, at 8:00 pm, I will do a brief devotion and prayer that each of you can log on to as a family (or individual). This will begin Sunday night, March 22nd.
The church office will be open Monday through Thursday weekly, and Jerod and I will be ready to pray with you or help in any other practical way. I and at least one other elder will be at the church every Sunday morning by 10:00 am.
Our online giving will be temporarily available through PayPal on the website. Our being able to permanently provide online giving on the website will be available soon. Of course, regular mail and personal dropping off at the church office will be other means for giving. Please make your giving a priority during these days.
Thank you for your patience and prayer as we work through this. God’s grace is sufficient as we navigate through these days. I look forward to our corporate gathering together. Until that day, let’s pray for, serve, and love one another. Be sure to follow any updates and other information on our church FB page and the Events page on the website. I’ll see you on FB Live this Sunday morning at 10:30 am.