“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:4-5).
These words from the Apostle Paul challenge us to live with Christ in us and through us. When we face trials of various kinds, our faith can rise to the occasion. We can look at each test as an opportunity to be like Jesus—to think like Jesus, to act like Jesus, and to develop the same attitude of Jesus. Since March, we have cooperated with our state and local government and community by not meeting in person. However, the church has not stopped ministry! It just looks different right now. I commend you for being so patient and kind. We have never gone through anything like this before, and you have stepped up to the challenge! As you know, our online service is offered each week, and the stats show us that more people are attending these services than were attending the in-person services. This doesn’t mean we don’t want to get back together! Your deacons have spent many extra hours in meetings—praying and discussing what we feel would be the best for our churches. We have sought the Lord’s guidance and read the latest up-to-date information on “best practices” and the “new normal.” We are attempting to hear from God and not be led by a spirit of fear. Some in our leadership team work in the medical field and are able to give us firsthand accounts of issues surrounding COVID-19. With a united heart, we feel the best decision for us is to start in-person services in July. The date we picked is Sunday, July 19. For some of you, this may seem too slow. Others think July 19 is too soon. My prayer is that we would adopt the attitude of the Lord and ask ourselves the question, “Can I consider not only myself, but also what is the best for others?” If we are going too slow for some, please consider that our motive is the safety and protection of people in our church families. If you think we are going too fast, please pray for God’s guidance. Also, please know that if you are not comfortable coming back right away, we completely understand. We are taking time and spending money right now so we can “live stream” the services on Sunday mornings. If you are at home and join us live, that would be wonderful! If you can’t watch the live stream service, it still will be recorded so you can watch it later in the day or week. Whatever your thoughts in this process, thank you for your patience and love for others. We encourage you to continue connecting with others. We encourage you to reach out to the church leadership for help and prayer (as many have done). This pandemic looks like it is subsiding, and we praise God for this good trend. When we open the doors, there will be guidelines to follow for everyone’s safety. You may feel that you don’t need to follow these in your personal life, but we ask that you cooperate in the spirit of Jesus for the benefit of others. It’s about Jesus and serving others. He keeps us staying together always!
Pastor Mark Boucher