Good morning church!
In light of the recent statewide "stay-at-home" order enacted by Gov. Wolf to counteract the spread of COVID-19, the Board and I have convened and deliberated on how best to comply with this order while maintaining a faithful witness for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Believe me when I say that these announcements do not come hastily or easily. I have prayed for God to give me and the entire leadership of the church wisdom and discernment on how best to obey God alone while also loving our neighbors well. In times like these, finding how to do both is more difficult than you might think.
To that end, we have decided to suspend Sunday School, Evening Worship, and Midweek Ministries, along with the Nursery Ministry and Junior Church Ministries until further notice. This also means that many of our ministry activities scheduled for April have either been postponed or canceled.
Good Friday Communion Service:
Easter Egg Hunt:
Easter Sunrise Service:
Congregational Business Meeting:
We will still be hosting a shortened service on Sundays at 10am throughout the month of April. These will be a minimal, simple services, including Scripture reading, prayer, and a sermon. We strongly suggest, however, that you
PLEASE STAY HOME IF…
• You are of retirement age or older.
• You are feeling sick at all.
• You are unsure or uneasy about your family's safety.
There is absolutely no obligation to attend these services. I would never want to counsel or encourage you to defy your authorities in any way. I strongly urge you, rather, to exercise your own discernment and judgment in how to approach this ongoing pandemic. Just know that the doors to the church will not be locked . . . because the throne of grace is always open.
I know this decision will impact each of you in different ways. I, too, am deeply saddened by the loss of fellowship in recent days and weeks. I cannot tell you how greatly I miss you all. I love and cherish each of you — but such, too, is why we are making this decision at this juncture. I want us to comply with our leaders and show love for each of you by doing whatever we can to stave of this virus from spreading any further. I want you to be confident that this decision is not a compromise of our commitment and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ as our sole authority. But in light of the continued spread and affects of the coronavirus, we have determined that this is the best course of action to take at this time.
Thank you for being patient with me as I learn how to pastor a church through a pandemic. I wish I could convey in words how torn I am at this whole circumstance. I will confess to letting my flesh get the better of me lately, thinking, Why is this happening to me, right now? That's a pretty selfish line of thought, I think. Especially because I know that God has allowed this pandemic to happen for a reason, just as he has allowed to happen now. I know that because God isn't just sovereign over everything, he's sovereign over timing, too. His timing is not like ours, but it's perfect nevertheless because it's his timing.
I am learning more than ever that all that's required of me (and of every believer) is merely faithfulness in the moment. If I let myself become anxious about the future, about what lies ahead, about what "might" happen, I'm not fulfilling my calling as God's child. His words to us are, "Don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself." (Matt. 6:34) Instead, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you." (Matt. 6:33) God alone is sovereign and sufficient over tomorrow and all the tomorrows for the rest of my life. My responsibility is to believe in that certainty and let that certainty guide and direct my steps in the here and now. With Jesus's grace, we are able to do just that.
Stay safe! Stay faithful! Stay hopeful!