Redeemer Family & Visitors:
None of us has ever experienced anything like this. The situation with COVID-19 in our nation and around the globe is unprecedented and has left us all with mixed thoughts and emotions, wondering what’s going to happen next and how this virus will be dealt with.
It’s important that we all remember, most of all, that no matter what happens, Jesus’ reign over the universe has not been affected. He is King. He rules. We are His people and the subjects of His steadfast love. This is good news amid a lot of bad news this week! He cares for us, and no virus can harm our souls or end our eternal inheritance. Praise the Lord! We need not panic, fear or be in dread. The world around us clamors for security and safety in earthly possessions and human wisdom, but we who are in Christ have no need to set our minds on things on the earth – our minds are set above on Christ!
And it’s important that we who are in Christ respond to everything the Lord ordains for us in life deliberately and with love, both for Him and for others. In this situation, we should consider brothers and sisters in our body, and young children, who are at a higher risk of contracting this virus and suffering as a result. And we must also show love to our neighbors by taking steps of caution and mercy to try to help minimize the spread of this pandemic to people in our cities and communities.
How Will Redeemer Respond?
In light of the recent announcements and recommendations from the CDC, Governor Polis, and the President, as well as the statistics that show this virus continuing to spread exponentially in the coming days, the elders, along with our deacons, have decided to suspend all of our gatherings & activities for the time being. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate updates as information becomes available to us.
What Will Corporate Worship Look Like Sunday?
This Sunday, we will not gather corporately. Instead, early Sunday morning we will send out our order of worship in an email, with a playlist of the songs, and a video of the sermon, which I will record tomorrow. So on Sunday, gather around with whomever you are with, pull up your order of worship, and start working through it – sing the songs, pray the prayers, read the Scriptures, and watch/listen to the preaching of the Word. We may have to continue this practice in the coming weeks, depending on what the Lord ordains for us.
How Will This Affect Other Church Gatherings & Ministries?
Our Men’s Group Breakfast and Bible Study (previously scheduled for tomorrow), our Fellowship Groups, the Women’s studies, youth gatherings, and everything else on the church calendar, including the Pinewood Derby, is being postponed, to be continued as soon as we’re able. We will keep you informed next week as to whether or not we will extend this suspension of life in the body for another week.
This is agonizing – gathering as a faith family for fellowship, worship, and teaching is at the core of what we do as Christians out of love for Christ and His body, and indeed it is a command of the New Testament to be obeyed, not an optional activity for those who love the Lord. But sometimes godly wisdom means making decisions that are costly, and this one is a doozy. This does not indicate a “laissez-faire” attitude toward our church gatherings on the part of our leadership. As our final core value states, “Fellowship is Crucial”. The Bible is clear that we need each other, and to be together. So even if we can’t gather for corporate worship, try to get creative about ways to fellowship together, maybe using the technology that we have in our day and age to “get together” virtually. And as soon as we are able, we will gather again and take great delight in obeying our Lord by worshipping and serving Him together! Pray that we can do this soon!
How Can I Worship Through Giving While the Church Isn’t Gathering?
How Can I Serve During This Time?
We have several folks in our church that are more susceptible to this virus, whether they are a little bit older, young children, or have compromised respiratory systems. So first of all, pray for each other. Pray for healing, for protection, and for grace to endure whatever the Lord brings to us. And reach out and check in with each other – see who might have contracted the virus, who might be struggling with fear, and who might need some help with their kids, their groceries, or getting a hold of some suddenly elusive toilet paper. 😉 Some of us are going to get a bit stir crazy – and if that’s you, don’t hesitate to reach out to each other for video chats and phone calls, or if you’re comfortable with it, a 1-on-1 coffee or meal.
If you have any questions about specific ways to serve, please reach out to the deacons (email) and see what they know about who might need help with anything. And if you do contract this virus, please let us know so that we can jump in and help you however we can.
Remember, people are hurting, scared, and their lives are being turned upside down right now. What better situation can you think of to bring the good news of the gospel to someone? Be on the lookout for people whom the Spirit is drawing to Himself in this global emergency, and be ready and bold to speak the good news of hope in Jesus to whomever the Lord might bring across your path. May souls be saved through the gospel ministry of Redeemer Bible Church’s members during this time!
Friends, these are uncharted waters. As Joshua said in the passage the men were planning to go through tomorrow morning, “you have not passed this way before” (Jos. 3.4). But we’re not going through it alone. Christ is with us, He’s governing it all, and He will get the glory. I can’t wait to see what He does in and through all of us. I love you all, and I’m here for you if you want to talk or pray together. Shoot me an email or a text if I can help you in any way.