As we continue our trek through this unexpected season of trials and uncertainty, we are entering unfamiliar territory for most of us. I know this is the case for me as a pastor. I never imagined this type of scenario would present itself amongst the many potential giants I might face in the ministry. As Scripture reminds us, trials come in various forms.
Considering the recent Covid-19 pandemic and respecting the recommendations of the CDC and our President to limit gatherings to 10 or less, we will suspend all services at Raymond Road Baptist Church for this week (3/16 - 3/22). We will be assessing the following week and giving updates as we make those decisions.
As we prayerfully considered our options, we felt as if it would be wise to maintain a witness to the world by loving our neighbor as Christ commanded and honor our president’s and the CDC’s requests to do our part to keep the people in our congregations and the nation safe. Obviously, this is a difficult decision for any pastor or staff to face. However, unfortunately it is one we have been forced to make.
As we approach the days ahead, we must remember that we are the Church, not the building. True worshippers worship in Spirit and in Truth. We have been called to be a people of faith, hope, and love.
I was extremely encouraged by the great attendance we had on 3/16. I would love to keep pressing along as usual and show how much we trust our Great God! However, we aren’t just called to show people how strong our faith is by meeting together in a time of crisis, but to love those around us and to respect our authorities while making the most of every opportunity to share our hope with others.
We are great at weekly gatherings in large numbers. The world sees that consistently. But, God has given us a wonderful opportunity to unplug from our normal routine and busyness of life for a couple of weeks and gather together with our families to worship Him, to teach our children, and to pray together. Jesus said, “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
God has also given us the opportunity to reach out to a world that is in distress. It is a perfect time to be a calming voice of truth and a helping hand in the midst of chaos. We have faith. Let’s show hope and love! Let us not miss this opportunity to worship as a household, pray with our family and for our world, and offer the hope and love of Jesus to our neighbors.
I am currently assessing my options for a message on Sunday morning. One will either be live-streamed or uploaded on our website and Facebook during our usual worship time at 10:15. I love you and appreciate your understanding. If you need anything let our staff know and we will do our best to help. We will keep you informed as we continue to explore these uncharted waters. Be strong and courageous, steadfast and immoveable!
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7