As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses round us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right-hand side of God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1–2, Good News Translation)
Dear Church Family,
I hope each of you is well as we continue to live through the effects of COVID-19 and the recent storms in our area. In spite of all the turmoil and uncertainty in our world, we still have much for which we can be thankful.
Several people in our faith family have received answers to prayer for improved health and healing. God was gracious in the storm, although the property damage was in some cases devastating, not one life was lost. Many in our membership are involved in doing acts of kindness for those in need. Also, we are still able to connect via online broadcast. The technical issues from this past Sunday should serve as a reminder that we should take nothing for granted and be thankful for all that God provides, even if it is less than ideal.
Our governor’s most recent press conference brought no new guidelines for churches related to gathered worship. Our state does not yet meet the established criteria related to new cases being reported. Although this is disappointing, the numbers are moving in a positive direction.
I want to prepare you for when we resume congregational meetings. It will be a process, not an event. For the sake of everyone’s health and well-being, we will take a gradual approach that lessens the potential for the spread of the virus. I will keep you informed as we move step by step through this process.
In closing, I want to thank you for your financial support of your church and ask that you continue to follow the Lord’s direction in giving tithes and offerings. Also, keep reaching out to one another and your neighbors. The longer we remain in our current situation the easier it will be for us to fall into a rut. Sustaining our efforts to maintain contact with each other and to reach out to neighbors will be critical for our church in the days following this crisis. Finally, I want to remind you that none of us has ever lived under these conditions, and we are all going to experience emotional and spiritual turbulence. When those days come, cut yourself and others some slack. We all need grace and to be gracious in this season.