“I cry out loud to God- out loud to God so that he can hear me! During the day when I’m in trouble I look for my Lord… You’ve kept my eyelids from closing. I’m so upset I can’t even speak. I think about days long past; I remember years that seem an eternity in the past. I meditate with my heart at night; I complain, and my spirit keeps searching… But I will remember the LORD’s deeds; yes, I will remeber your acts from times long past… The waters saw you, God- the waters saw you and reeled! Even the deep depths shook! Your way went straight through the sea; your pathways went right through the mighty waters. But your footprints left no trace! You led your people like sheep under the care of Moses and Aaron.” -Psalm 77:1-2a, 4-6, 11, 16, 19-20
Perhaps you can relate to this Psalm. Like the author, I too have had trouble sleeping a night or two since this all started. It seems like that was a very long time ago! And I too have found my assurance and hope by recounting the many good things God has done in the past and what God has done in my life. The Psalmist wrote this while he was still in the midst of a difficult time. It hadn’t passed yet. Even still, the author was able to be honest to God about his emotions and he was also able to maintain an anchoring hope in the Lord. This is my prayer for you in the days, weeks, and months to come.
On Monday, Governor Parson issued the Show Me Strong Recovery Plan. This is the first step in easing the COVID-19 prevention protocols and moving toward reopening businesses and organizations. The plan does allow businesses and churches to reopen, but requires that all continue to follow the 6ft social distancing rule. Our Board is meeting later this week to discuss the new protocol and make decisions regarding when and how we would reopen the church for worship services and other activities.
I know that there are several people who have expressed to me that they hope we can resume worship as soon as possible. There are also many who have made it clear that they enjoy the online services and they aren’t ready to come back to worship any time soon. I don’t have a crystal ball to know what we will do at this time but do I need to stress that, when we do reopen for worship, it will certainly not be back to “business as usual.” When we do resume regular, in person worship, things will still not likely be normal. I ask for your patience and grace as this will take a while for all of us (myself included) to get used to.
Our congregational survey has an extra question at the very end this week. It reads: “If we were to reopen, when do you plan to come back to “in person” worship at Faithbridge?” Your answers to this survey will continue to inform our Board and staff as we determine what our congregation needs at this time. You can fill out the survey on a smart phone by texting BDBM to 90888 or on your computer by CLICKING HERE. If you have a problem completing the survey by on of these methods, try the other!
Finally, I wanted to thank you all for the way that you’ve conducted yourselves during this difficult time. I talk regularly with a number of pastors in our area and around the state and… how do I say this… we all regularly share stories! I know how difficult this time has been on all of us and that it really varies from person to person. Thank you for your patience, your graciousness, your generosity, your prayers for one another, your words of encouragement, and your willingness to learn and try new things.
I am proud and humbled to serve as your pastor. Do not hesitate to reach out if there is anything that I, our staff, or our church family can do to serve you in this time.
Blessings in the wilderness,
Pastor Andy Blacksher
By our Prayers…
Please remember the following people and situations in your prayers this week:
Terry Albert – Prayers for a continued recovery
Ruth McCrary – She had several surgeries in Florida and has come through them all in great shape! Prayers for recovery.
Christy McField – Debbie Geasley’s sister-in-law who has breast cancer
Randy Moore – Jerry Geasley’s cousin, Randy is now cancer free, and just got a liver transplant (a huge answer to prayer). He is doing well, but continue to keep him in your prayers.
Mary Jo Ware – A friend of Elaine and Bill Griglione is in Louisiana undergoing chemotherapy for Pancreatic cancer.
(To be included in this list, please reply to this email or contact the church office.)
Connect, Serve, & Grow
HOPE HOUSE REQUEST
Hope House had a large, bulk donation of eggs, but need cartons to distribute them. If you can drop empty egg cartons off at Hope House, they have a basket outside to collect them.
BEWARE OF SCAMS
Sadly, there has been a resurgence of “fake non-profits” asking for money during COVID. Please remember that the church will never contact you about needing money by phone or in an email (maybe through the Newsletter). We will never ask anyone to donate except through the secure online system on our website, or by mailing a check directly to the church office. Also, Pastor Andy will never personally ask anyone in the congregation for money. Please watch for such scams and protect yourself. To read more information on this topic visit: