Sovereign Grace Family,
A Quick Recap
In light of the ongoing “Pandemic,” several weeks ago, with the approval of the elders, I decided to cancel our congregational gatherings. Even though almost every other church in America canceled services, this was still one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make as a Pastor. I did not enter into it lightly.
I believe we, as a congregation and me, as the Pastor have a responsibility to strive for a good reputation with our larger community. Jesus walked in favor of God and men (1 Timothy 3:7). In joining with our community in this, we are seeking to maintain a good reputation and seeking to love our neighbors.
We should also pursue being good model citizens. Paul makes it clear that believers should obey the laws and submit to civic leadership (Romans 13:1-8; Titus 3:1-3). When we do not do this, we become part of the problem instead of the solution. We must always endeavor to be the salt of the earth and light of the world. Only when the civic law violates our faith, then are we called to practice civil disobedience, just like Peter did (Acts 4:18-20).
My goal in cancelling our public services was to help with the current safety threat and to stand with our community seeking to slow the spread of the virus so that our hospitals and other medical providers could get better prepared for the potential mass influx of patients. In light of this, on two-week intervals, the elders and I prayerfully moved to postpone our gatherings.
In the mean time, we have tried to take advantage of other means that we have to reach out to our fellowship. As most of you are aware, we have been posting weekly messages as well as Bible and book studies seeking to promote intentional times of being in God’s Word. We have also promoted some interaction together by posting songs regularly for singing and reflection in home worship and short articles encouraging family worship. We understand it is not the same as seeing each other in person and worshipping together face to face but we also realize God is sovereign over illness, disease, governments and everything else in His creation.
Wise counsel from Martin Luther for our current situation…
Martin Luther was both a wise citizen and a reformer during the “Black plague” that killed over 25 million people! Here’s how he put his faith into action:
“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it.
Where do we go from here? There is light at the end of the tunnel…
Our government has issued a current stay at home order and a prohibition of public gatherings through the end of this month. As a church we will honor this and not meet for at least two more weeks. However, our goal is to meet again as a congregation the first Sunday in May (May 3). If the Lord permits, we will begin by meeting together for worship at 11:00. In this, we still want to be cautious and caring for others. So, just to be clear, we will NOT have Disciple Hour on Sunday mornings nor will we have our Wednesday, mid week service. I feel we have done our part in lessening the mass influx of sickness and yet we still must get back to meeting together for worship. Please pray to this end.
When we do meet, we desire to take balanced and common sense precautions for the safety of those around us. We will make every effort to clean and sanitize our building and restrooms. We will have hand sanitizer at the front door for each of our attendees. Please utilize these and other precautions.
That’s my update,
Grace to you and peace,