Dear Church Family,
Each day brings new developments as our nation and the world grapple with COVID-19. We’re trying to wrap our heads around what is, even as we try to anticipate what could be. Yesterday, I spoke with several people in leadership at our local hospitals. The teams at Adventist HealthCare and University of Maryland Medical Center— and I’m sure every other hospital—are working diligently to handle what they anticipate to be a significant influx of patients. As one of our church members in the medical field stated, “we are in uncharted waters.” I want to encourage all of us to keep our hospital systems as well as the frontline medical workers in prayer.
It’s not just the hospitals that are in uncharted waters. Our church and school are in the same place. Both entities have been proactive about implementing systems needed to maintain connections with our church and school families while honoring the laws and requests regarding social-distancing. We are also working on a plan to facilitate the support of our most vulnerable church members. You’ll hear more about this in the coming days.
Before I end this note, I want to make two requests; first, if you are able, will you click the green button below and give toward our membership assistance fund. Yes, returning a tithe is still of first importance, and yes, the church still has bills to pay out of our regular operating budget. However, we are anticipating a great need from within our membership. We are already learning of cutbacks for hourly employees and even some who may be laid off. As a church, we want to be able to assist these families through this challenging time, with grocery shopping cards, gas cards, etc. So please, if you are able, consider focusing some of your giving towards the member assistance fund.
Now, for my second request. Historically, it is in crisis when the church has the most significant opportunity to live out its full mission of being the hands and feet of Jesus. When I say “the church,” please note that I am not talking about the building, about programs, or events, or even preaching. When I say “the church,” I’m speaking of the calling placed on each member to be a light of hope and help in their immediate proximity. There are times in the recent past in which I’ve been so busy with meetings related to the school and the church “institution” that I didn’t consider whether I was being a good neighbor. Thankfully, I have a great help-mate in life; and Christina was a good neighbor on my behalf. This past Sabbath, when I arrived home from preaching to an empty room, Christina put a pen in my hand and asked me to write a letter to our neighbors. Here is the basic premise of that letter: “if you need groceries and can’t get out, we will go. If you need a ride to the doctor and want someone to go with you, we will go. If you need a prescription picked up at the pharmacy, we will go. Know that we are here and that we’re praying for you.”
This is just one example, there are many other ways. I’m asking that each of us live as creative, proactive Christians. If you are physically able to serve and not part of a vulnerable group, you possess the ability to demonstrate the love of Jesus in ways like never before to everyone around you.
I’m praying for you, and I ask you to also pray for us! I write this with love and care and hope for you.