March 10, 2021
A year ago, so many things came to a screeching halt, including many aspects of the life of our church. We made many attempts at responding the best we could to an unknown and dangerous disease. We sewed thousands of masks for healthcare workers, baked bread for neighbors, did Zoom calls and Zoom calls and Zoom calls with ABF’s, small groups, staff, elders, Finance Team, Missions Team, and kids’ classes. We did daily videos from Psalms, established a 24-hour a day prayer team, and of course, live-streamed Sunday morning and even a couple of Members’ Meetings.
Even so, it still felt like a freight train locking up her brakes and throwing sparks and screeches for miles around. We surveyed the cars and found that the luggage had been thrown around, but all in all, the train was intact. We missed celebrating Resurrection Day together, along with many other things. We missed visiting the sick, comforting the dying, and grieving with the bereaved. We missed seeing one another, and when we did, we couldn’t see one another as we were used to. Even in the midst of conflicting information regarding the disease, and a very contentious political climate, we have survived. We have taken on some water, (sorry about mixing metaphors) but so many came along to help bail, and our questions about coming out of this and through this have been set aside.
Have you ever tried to get a freight train or even a bus going? It’s not like a motorcycle that can take off from a light and hit 70 mph in 4 seconds. It takes a bit of time to get everything going, but it’s worth it. Because while a motorcycle is nimble and quick, you can’t do karaoke on it very well. Today, we’ve gotten the freight train moving again, and it’s particularly sweet, since we appreciate our gathering so much more in view of it being taken away for a time. But, while we are not up to speed yet, we continue to accelerate.
In order to re-gather, we did not provide a ministry for 4’s and 5’s during the Worship Service, and we condensed some other classes for the children. This was due to two things: 1) People were hesitant to put their kids with other kids and 2) Helpers were hesitant to serve. That is rapidly changing. Our kids are returning, and, while some of our helpers have as well, we need quite a few more. We try to spread out the responsibilities so that they are shared among many. One of the important parts of helping our train of ministry continue to catch speed will be more and more of our children’s ministries being able to get back up and running. If you could serve in any of them, there is a very good chance that we could use you. Please contact Chad or Jaclyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com in order to get more information.
In the midst of all of this, there have been some aspects of our Missions Ministry that have continued to spread in some very encouraging ways. Attached is a link to a video that I did with Shakil Khondoker about the ministries that he is involved in and how we are partnering with him. This would be helpful, informative, and encouraging to you if you have time to watch it. Shakil will be at a Missions Luncheon on March 21st after the AM service and will be able to give us an additional update on his most recent trip back to Bangladesh. (You can RSVP for that here.) In addition, five guys (Chad Holmgren, myself, Johnny Norbeck, Dave Dunham, and Bert Spalding) have been teaching some classes for the past eight weeks for the students at the Bible College and Seminary in S.E. Asia that we are so closely partnered with. It is such an honor and a thrill to have a front row seat on watching the gospel assault the darkness and bring the light of the glory of Christ to so many people. Thank you for your faithfulness.
For the church,
Sunday’s Text: Jude 24-25 (keep trying to memorize it!)