Worship, Activities, & the Coronavirus

By Rev. Dean Davenport, Senior Pastor

This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

We do rejoice in the day that the Lord has made. The sun rose, the birds are chirping, the grass is growing, and spring is coming. The promise of God’s love for us today is as sure as it was last year at this time and it’s the same as it will be for us in 6 weeks and whenever this pandemic comes to an end! Think about that for a moment – God and His love for me doesn’t change. It isn’t dependent on anything I do; it doesn’t evaporate when there is an outbreak of a virus and His love for me is dependable despite my sin, doubts and shortcomings. Because of that alone we have reason to rejoice!!

There is much that is unknown and uncertain as we face today. We can be confident that our God will not forsake us. His love will endure forever. Psalm 118 reminds us that not only does His love endure, He is our fortress and strength. He is our salvation and His promises of life eternal are ours forever. And St. Paul reminds us “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God” Philippians 4:6

We as a church find ourselves in a unique position in these unprecedented times. We have been given the call by Jesus to let His light shine in the world that desperately needs Him. At this time of anxiety, confusion, and even fear, Jesus can and will use us to speak into these times with his peace, promise, and persistent hope.

At the same time, we want to take heed of what is being advised by those in authority. We want to care for our neighbors by not sharing germs unnecessarily. Your Pastors, staff, and leadership do not take any of these decisions lightly. We understand and want you to understand that we believe sharing Word and Sacrament ministry is important, beneficial, and necessary. We will continue this Word and Sacrament ministry although we do not know what it will look like right now. We have a desire and commitment to serve our church family and those that are in our community with the life-giving message of Jesus, in Word and deed. We believe that we can both serve our family and community while also being considerate of our neighbors.

Until further notice, we are suspending all our weekly activities including our Wednesday Lenten meals and services as well as Sunday morning Worship, Sunday School, and Bible Study.

Even in the face of this announcement we are looking for ways to provide Word and Sacrament ministry to you and your families. Please stay tuned to our lines of communication for more information, as the days go on, as to what this will look like and the opportunities that will be available to you.
 
We are aware that some of our members and worship goers are not online and do not receive emails. We need your help to make sure that everyone is connected at this time. If you know of someone who does not use email or who does not get online, please make sure they are aware of the changes and announcements that are happening and maybe spend a moment in prayer together while you are on the phone.
This information will be posted on our website and Facebook and we will update our phone message. Please keep checking these lines of communication as the information changes rapidly and decisions will continue to be made after thorough discussion and prayer.
 
Remember that the church is not made up of the building or the activities that happen in the building. The church is made up of God’s people , and as such we are people created to be in fellowship with one another. It will hurt for us not to be gathering for a time and at the same time what a rejoicing there will be when all of this has subsided!

Please remember that the Holy Spirit has given you new life through Jesus. His hope and promises are yours – He’s got you in the palm of His nail scarred hands! You do not need to fear. Please join me in offering His peace, hope, and joy with a community, State, Country, and world that desperately needs to see and hear it!

Again, please stay tuned to our communication streams while connecting with those in our congregation who may not have access to the internet. A good ole fashioned phone call to them would be a blessing to all involved!
 
God loves you and so do I!
Pastor Davenport

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