Dear First Christian Church Family,
These past few months have been a roller coaster for us all. Just about the time, we sense that some semblance of normalcy will be restored, we find the rug pulled out from underneath our feet and feel the need to adjust our course of action. This leads to disappointment when events are canceled, uncertainty about future events, and hesitancy in commitment.
I want you to know that I realize that this is very frustrating for you. I certainly wish that this was not the case for us. I can only give you the assurance that every decision that we have made about scheduling, closing, and reopening has been done by carefully considering our congregation, the best available data at the time, advice from our local health officials, and weighing this information with our responsibilities with the vulnerable in our Church Family and community.
I fully realize that virtual worship services are no replacement for in-person worship services. It is important for us to physically gather together when responsible for us to do so. I long for things to be “back to normal…” but that may take some time to get there, if ever.
Here are some things we can strive to do:
- Be honest with your feelings about the situation while trying to be understanding with the reason some decisions are made. The Psalmist says “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation, and my God”. Psalm 42:5-6 ESV
- Strive to keep the unity of the faith in the midst of less than ideal circumstances. Paul encouraged the early church to do just that. Eph 4:1-3 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. ESV
- Be gracious to those whom you may disagree with. Phil 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” ESV
- Remember that the Church has gone through many times of trials. The Church actually thrives in tough times. These times should push us towards Christ, not away from Him. Rom 5:2-5 “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.“ ESV
- Pray for your church leaders. We need it!
As we all look to bear the image of Christ to one another and the world, we will see God’s purpose fulfilled, even in the strange days in which we live.
Loving you all,