Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. —Romans 12:12–13
Dear Hope Family and Friends,
We have all been alarmed by the increasing number of cases and ease of transmission of COVID-19. Further directives provided by the CDC, NHI, and of course, the White House, have called for no gatherings exceeding 10 persons, and I expect further tightening of social interaction to slow the virus’ spread. As our congregation is composed primarily of senior saints whose ages fall within the much higher risk categories for a severe infection, we must take precautions with love in order to protect our church family. While it goes against every fiber in my being to have to take this step, along with our session, I am cancelling our regular service of worship for the time being, until we have received direction from the civil powers that the pandemic is tapering off. Although we hope that this extreme measure will only affect our church for a few weeks, it is possible that public distancing will be necessary for some time.
Because we are God’s covenant family and those who love and worship our Lord Jesus Christ, we can be, as Paul writes in Romans 12, “patient in tribulation, constant in prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, and showing hospitality (at least as the current circumstances allow). His Holy Spirit and His abounding grace is alive and at work in us all. We also continue to have a calling as born again people of God in Christ to worship, glorify, honor, and adore our God and Savior and to honor the Sabbath day as before. In order to help you to continue in these God-given activities, we will be live-streaming the continuing sermon series in the book of Acts each Sunday morning, beginning at 11:30 am to approximately 12 noon. These will be broadcast from our church sanctuary and the church will also be open for anyone to attend if they are safely able to do so. The gathering will feature only prayer and the sermon. I suggest, in preparing to view the livestream at home, please read the sermon text from the title, take some time to pray before the sermon begins, and also prayerfully consider the content of the sermon when the livestream ends.
Shari will be providing a link for this sermon stream and we will remind you on Saturday of the details involved.
May the Lord bless you all as you proceed through this new territory of living with the challenges posed by this new virus. May the Lord keep all of you and your families free from its effects.
Please contact me or Neil should you have any further questions.
Prayerfully in Christ, Martin