Asbury update

“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” - Isaiah 41:9-10 We are living in trying and unprecedented times. Since the beginning of this ordeal with the corona virus it has been the attitude of Asbury that we will respect the disease but we will not fear it. We will prepare and act prudently but we will not panic. Now it seems that everyday we have changes in what it means to prudently prepare. It went from no groups over 250, to 50, to 10. Now it has been recommended by the CDC and our bishop that churches shut down all activities through the end of the month. And there is the possibility that the shut down will go beyond that. The prudent thing for us to do is to comply with that request. I have heard government officials say that all unessential activities are to be halted. I believe that worship is an essential activity. But we do not need a to gather as a group to worship. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Southern California has taught that whenever we focus on God, we are worshiping. And that is one thing that we need to be doing right now - focusing on God. We do that when we engage scripture. We do that with prayers and hymns. We do that when we reach out in ways that show the love of God in many practical ways, like with our breakfast, dinners, and other ministries. When other activities are limited, these are things that need to increase. One thing that remains on the schedule for this week is the Community Breakfast. However, it will be a bag breakfast, a grab and go at the door. Plans had been made for that last weekend, and so we will keep that in place, for the need is so great. No one will be in the building except for those preparing the breakfast and those handing it out at the door. During this absence from the church building we shall remain the church, that is the body of Christ in this place. The Lord has promised that he will be with us and we trust in that. Just this week we started using software that will allow us to call all our people with timely messages. Our desire is to use that telephone communication more frequently to keep people informed and encouraged. For those who are able to receive this blog, we will be sending a link to see my sermons being preached on You Tube. The sermon series will continue.  And we will also be sending blogs that will have those sermons divided into small segments that might be easier for some to read and understand. Finally, I want to remind you that God is still in control. The power and peace of the Holy Spirit is not limited by the struggles we are experiencing right now. Hope is alive and well in the resurrected Jesus, as well as his grace and healing. We will get through this and things will be okay. Right now we might not know what okay looks like, but that’s okay, for God does. Trust, love, and pray that God’s will shall be done in us and through us. That the kingdom of God and the hope of Christ might continue to grow and expand in us and through us. That is the will of God. And in your life, in our life together, may it be so.

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