Pastoral Letter from Keith Paulus on April 1, 2020

Pastoral Letter from Keith Paulus on April 1, 2020

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

William Cowper, 1774

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In an effort to touch base with you and to keep you updated during this time that we are physically apart, I will continue to send you occasional briefings. In these briefings, I will update you about ministry matters in the church and continue to point you to spiritual and practical resources that you might find helpful at this time. Also, Mark Hastings, who is one of the elders at Christ Church, will be writing up short devotionals in order to help us stay grounded in God’s Word. We will email those out to you about every other day or so. You will also be able to find them on our website. (Note: if you would like to opt-out of receiving those devotionals via email, please let me know.)

Given the most recent health guidelines, the elders and I have made the decision to cancel all public gatherings of the church throughout the month of April. Should things dramatically change – as we are praying they will – we will adjust that timeline accordingly. Given the length of this cancelation, it will be all the more important for you to keep using the church website as a resource for worship materials. New Sunday worship bulletins, Bible study questions, and audio of Bible teaching will be put on the website every weekend. Also, if you are not yet part of one of our online community groups, then now is the perfect time to get connected. To get connected, simply email me and I will send you all the information you need.

Palm Sunday – Holy Week – Easter

While it is hard to believe that we will not be meeting in person for this important week in the church calendar, there will be a few opportunities for you to connect with others online. I will provide teaching on Palm Sunday and Easter in order to help us meditate on the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Our Music Director, Martha May, will also be hosting Hymn Sings on both of those Sundays – details can be found on the church website. Finally, Martha and I are planning a Good Friday reflection with Bible readings and music in which you can participate. More details about that Good Friday reflection will be sent to you next week.

Persisting in Prayer

As one Council member noted in an email to me this week: “…prayer isn’t preparation for the work, but prayer is the work and God is the one whose work will fix everything in his time.” How important it is for God’s people to be in prayer at this time! 

  1. From Monday through Saturday, I continue to host an online prayer meeting from noon to 12:30. I invite you to join me. (Note: the call is hosted on Zoom; if you need the info about how to log in, please let me know and I will send it to you.)
  2. Every evening at 8:30 PM, my family and I are praying for the many needs in our world right now. I would love for you to do the same wherever you are and whoever you are with at 8:30 PM every night.
  3. Please continue to send me your prayer requests so that I and the elders can be in prayer for you.
  4. Help us out: do you know of any medical providers, first responders, or related professions that we can be praying for? Feel free to add in other professions that serve the public, in which the person you know can’t really shelter or distance from others. For example, law enforcement. We’d love to pray for them and acknowledge their service.

Pictures and Stories

I would love to receive any photos of how you and your households are spending your days. I would also love to receive any stories of encouragement about how you have seen God at work during this time so that I can share those with others in the congregation. As an example of the former, attached is a picture from Maria Capucciati who writes, “I have one of those little configurable message boards. After Sunday’s sermon I decided to have mine read ‘Psalm 46’ to have a visual reminder on the shelf in front of me. It helps me remember to read the text out loud and pray every day.”

Your pastor,