I was so excited to serve
with you last Sunday through our Food Truck ministry! Together we
partnered with a number of other community organizations, businesses, and
schools to provide temporary relief to more than 350 families in the Lake area.
If you missed out, read the info below, or wait to see the write-up that will
be in the newspaper next week!
I wanted to take a moment to speak frankly about the Coronavirus outbreak. I have six things to say on the subject:
- Stay calm- The CDC’s first recommendation is to remain calm. The CDC guidelines for the coronavirus are similar to their guidelines for general flu abatement. It should be noted that this illness, while aggressive, belongs to the family of viruses that cause the common cold.
- Practice common sense caution- The days of getting a bigger badge on your chest because you refuse to miss worship (or work for that matter) for any reason whatsoever are over. Anyone who is sick should stay home to avoid infecting others. Any person who has flu-like symptoms (high fever, coughing, runny nose, chills, body aches, fatigue, etc.) should refrain from attending worship services. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It is important to get a good lather of soap, wash the front and back of hands and in between fingers, and then use a paper towel to dry hands, turn off the faucet, and open the restroom door. Rest assured that ANY illness is an acceptable and valid reason for failing to attend worship. You and I can do so much more for God if we’re healthy than we can if we’re sick- and honestly, the rest of us don’t want to catch what you’ve got either!
- Know that we are cleaning- We are taking extra steps at church to make certain that we’ve done what we can to prevent the spread of any number of illnesses by regularly cleaning door handles and other high traffic areas.
- Stay informed- We are actively monitoring the latest guidelines and information coming from the CDC. You can view this information by clicking HERE. At this time we are not making any majorly disruptive changes at Faithbridge (such as canceling worship or Holy Communion). As I’ve told many people, we won’t be taking direction from politicians or hand-sanitizer production companies, but we will be listening to the scientists and doctors! So, at the time that the CDC recommends a disruptive change to how we operate we will act accordingly.
- Please continue to be generous– Again, speaking frankly, our offerings have been low the past 3 weeks. I know that many people have recently been on vacation, visiting family, sick, or worried about becoming sick and this has led our attendance to be a bit light. It appears that this has led to the offering plate being lighter than normal as well. You all have been such a generous congregation, and I would ask that you please continue in that generous spirit. I can also imagine that the recent performance of the stock market may have some of our retired friends a bit fearful about the future and their ability to give. If that is you, know that I understand knowing what the right thing to do can be difficult to discern and know that I am praying for you for wise stewardship of the resources God has given you. The church continues to move forward and we’ve got a lot of exciting ministry happening. If you have missed recent giving opportunities and you are able, please consider making a catch-up gift. Also, you may not be aware that we now have the ability to accept online donations (see the note below). This is a great way to continue to support the ministry of the church when you’re not able to be physically present.
- Fear not- This is a consistent Biblical commandment, from the beginning to the end. Fear not isn’t the same as saying, “Throw caution to the wind.” At the same time, most of us struggle to truly live without fear. But if we truly, deeply, and completely believe the gospel message of Jesus we don’t have any excuse for giving in to the temptations to live in fear. Instead of living in fear, choose to live in Christ- Christ who conquered hell and death. Those who believe in the saving power of Jesus Christ know that the worst thing is never the last thing and the last thing is never the worst thing. Even death itself isn’t something we should fear. Christians are weird because through the grace of Christ we can say that in pain we find comfort, in sorrow we find hope, and in death we find resurrection. Live every day in the hope of the resurrection, in love of God, and your neighbor and you won’t go astray. Amen and amen.
Ok, I’m finished with that sermon! On Sunday I’ll be preaching from the readings we’re all doing together on John 13 and 14. I invite you to read these chapters with me before worship on Sunday. I will mostly be preaching from John 13 where Jesus talks about loving and serving one another. Invite a friend (who isn’t ill!) and join us for worship in person or if you need to stay home you can join us online through our Facebook page (search @forthelake on Google or Facebook to find us quickly).
The Full Gospel Project
Our reading this week for The Full Gospel Project is John chapters 13 and 14- which is John’s account of the disciples’ Last Supper with Jesus. As you read this week, consider the following:
1) Today we’re concerned about proper handwashing. People in Jesus’ day had a number of rules about hand washing, but they also regularly washed their feet- especially before a meal. This is mostly because of the sandals they wore and the way they sat as they ate. In John 13:1-17 Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. This was the job of a servant- especially since they were likely in a wealthy person’s home- but apparently, this hadn’t been done for the disciples. What does it mean to you that Jesus saw the unmet need and decided it was His job to fix it?
2) In John 14 the disciples are worried about what to do without Jesus. What would they do without their teacher, their rabbi? Then he laid out the expectation that they would believe in Jesus and also practice what He had preached (“keep my commandments/word”). Still, this didn’t seem to give the disciples much confidence. Finally, Jesus promised that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to “teach you everything.” What role does the Holy Spirit play in your life?
By our Prayers…
Please remember the following people and situations in your prayers this week:
Terry Albert – Dan and Cindy have requested prayers for Terry as she recovers from cancer surgery and also battles pneumonia.
Marjorie Davis – She has been placed on Hospice. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.
Ruth McCrary – In Florida undergoing hip surgery on Friday, then recovery and rehabilitation before she can return to Missouri.
Christy McField – Debbie Geasley’s sister-in-law who has breast cancer
Levin – Sharon and Norm McGee’s grandson is dealing with health issues and waiting for a definitive diagnosis.
Randy Moore – Jerry Geasley’s cousin, Randy is battling liver cancer and needs our prayers.
Marilyn Sherfield – Undergoing treatments as she continues to battle lung cancer
Laurie Sybert – Passing of her husband Lyle. They were both part of Cornerstone Church and active in the Praise Team ministry. Cards of care and condolence can be sent to Laurie Sybert at 14105 East 104th Street, North Owasso, Oklahoma, 74055.
(To be included in this list, please reply to this email or fill out a prayer request card during the service on Sunday.)
Connect, Grow, & Serve
JOIN OUR FAITHBRIDGE CHOIR TO CELEBRATE THE EASTER SEASON
Join us this Sunday immediately following the service to sing through the Easter Cantata and pick up music and rehearsal CD’s. Everyone is invited to give it a try; It is a powerful ministry and great opportunity for fellowship. The choir will rehearse on Sundays and perform on Palm Sunday, April 5th during the Worship Service. CD’s and music will be available at the church starting this afternoon if you want to get a head start. Join Us!