March 16, 2020
Good evening, Church Family!
I hope and pray that this message finds you doing well! The COVID-19 situation – locally, regionally, nationally, and globally – continues to develop at speeds that I can never quite seem to catch up with. There’s always something new to know, some additional guidance to be informed of. Today has been no exception.
A little while ago, I received word that the Upper Columbia Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has directed all churches in the conference to cease all in-person services until otherwise notified. In accordance with this guidance, our Discovering Revelation seminar is postponed indefinitely. All other scheduled in-person meetings or services are also either postponed indefinitely or will be held online, to include prayer meeting, Pathfinders, Sabbath School and our weekly worship service. Our school was already under such restrictions and today held in-person classes for the last time until at least the last week of April.
So what will this look like? Honestly, we’re going to have to figure this out as we go. To begin with, in place of the Discovering Revelation series, which I cannot broadcast online, I will be streaming an online Bible study on Wednesday and Friday nights at 7 p.m. Additionally, our weekly Sabbath School and worship services will be broadcast online at their usual times. An e-mail with instructions on how join these services online will be sent out tomorrow and again on Friday to ensure everyone is able to participate in our services.
In the meantime, if you are a Facebook user, please like our church Facebook page and turn on notifications as we will actively use Facebook to communicate as a church family. Also, if you know of someone who is not receiving our e-mails, please have them e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so that Angie can add them to our list. Additionally, keep an eye on our church website – www.brewstersda.com – for updates. Tithes and offerings can be returned either online (click “Online Giving” on the church website) or by mailing them to the church at PO Box 641 Brewster, WA 98812. If you need tithe envelopes, just let me know and I will mail some to you.
These really are crazy times we’re living in. The devil is wreaking havoc in our world and, if he hasn’t yet, he going to try and wreak havoc in your life. Revelation 12:17 tell us, “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” This simply cannot be seen as some hypothetical proposition about future events – it’s real and it’s happening right now. And I know that if we’re not careful, this abrupt departure from our normal way of connecting with fellow believers can leave us vulnerable. It will be far too easy for some of us to wind up isolated, fall through the cracks, and be stuck facing the withering attacks of the devil all on our own.
Please join me in doing everything we can to stay connected during these turbulent times. Please be intentional about reaching out to other church members through the week – not just your close friends that you call at least weekly anyway, but others that maybe you aren’t so close to as well. Text each other, call each other, message each other on Facebook. If someone’s not doing well, let others know – especially me – so that we can pray for each other and surround people with multiple avenues of support in the midst of their difficulty. Rather than letting this current insanity allow us to be more isolated from each other, let’s use it as an opportunity to grow even more connected.
And don’t be afraid to extend this idea beyond just church members. Use the insanity of this world as an opportunity show compassion to those around you. Be beacons of peace and hope in your neighborhoods and throughout this community. Don’t fall into the traps of fear and finger-pointing when things go wrong. Truly, I cannot say this strongly enough – in the midst of chaos and fear, peace and hope are incredible witnesses.
Thank you for being a part of our church family! Stay close with Christ and stay close with each other. I pray that God will keep and protect each one of you, no matter what tomorrow brings. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Pastor, Brewster Adventist Church