From the Pastor’s Pen 3/13/20
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
I pray this note finds you well and continuing to walk with confidence in the God of our salvation. It has been a challenging season in the life of the church, the city, the nation and now even the globe. It would be strange if some of us were not a little weary, a little anxious and fretting some of over what is happening around us. And yet, God reminds us in the Philippians scripture above that God has a wonderful peace, that surpasses all human understanding when we seek him in the midst of our storms. It is a peace that guards the very places that cause us to be anxious, to be weary and to fret — it guards our hearts and minds.
If you read further in Philippians, it all tells us to think on things that are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy…think about such things.” I encourage us, as believers in Christ, to take a moment now to think about those important things in our lives. God will bring us to a place of peace and through the storm.
In Jesus name, Amen
Earlier today, a team of leaders met to discuss Progressive’s coronavirus awareness and preparedness. The team included representation from Health and Wellness, Christian Education, Deacon and Deaconess, Trustee and the Associate Ministers. In Matthew 10:16, Jesus sent us into the world and told us to be as “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” As we address this virus, let us be innocent enough and believing enough to trust that our faith in the Lord is always secure and that he will bring us through. Let us also be wise enough to know that we need stay informed and take reasonable precautions regarding the virus.
• Make sure you’re washing your hands frequently and vigorously with soap for at least 20 seconds.
• Hand sanitizer will be available in the vestibule of the church.
• Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes—the most common places of transmission.
• The church cleaning staff is currently ensuring we are consistently disinfecting the church, especially common touch areas like doorknobs, handles, faucets and counter tops.
• Some may chose not hold hands, hug, etc. during worship on Sunday. That is an appropriate response and we should respect others wishes. Will discuss this more on Sunday.
Elderly and Compromised Immune Systems
• Elderly and those with fragile immune systems should consider staying out of crowded spaces and might decide not to come to church.
• Please check in on the elderly and sick and let church office know if there is someone who we need to check in on.
• People who are sick with cold or flu like symptoms should stay home. I know we want to honor God with our presence but wisdom and respect for others means we should stay at home. Let us know so we can check in with you.
• Cover your nose and your mouth with tissue when you cough or sneeze or cough into your elbow.
• If you use tissue in the sanctuary, clean up after yourself.
Family, there is certainly more information to share; we will continue to monitor the situation. We all could also drive ourselves to anxiety by watching the non-stop news 24/7. Instead, I encourage us to trust in the one who provides our daily bread, spend time with family and loved ones, rest, pray and laugh. We remain in the masters hands.
In love and service,
More Information from ABC of Wisconsin:
COVID-19 | Faith Leaders | Response and Responsibility – American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin
Hello Pastor. Thank you so much for addressing this. This had gotten so far out of hand that some have resorted to coming into the hospital where I work and steal toilet paper and mask. Management have decided to lock those items up. This in turn can cause a delay in care as staff have to go to the designated locked location to get supplies before caring for the patient because we must protect our selves prior to entering the room. I would never think that any of our members would do such a thing but if the word is out maybe it will stop and we can put our focus back on the patient.
Thank you for sharing Mary. Yes, we cannot be in a state if panic.