Pastoral Letter from Keith Paulus on June 1, 2020

Pastoral Letter from Keith Paulus on June 1, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It seems very hard for me to believe that today is the beginning of June. But, nonetheless, here we are! As we begin this new month, I would like to ask you to pray for two matters in particular.

A Need for Wisdom

First, please pray that the Lord would give wisdom to all those in leadership within our church.

Your church elders had a long meeting last week and will be meeting again this week as we try to formulate a plan for what it would like for us as a church to begin to regather at some currently unknown point in the future. There are many factors that we are wrestling with and trying to consider – from what the Bible says about what constitutes a true gathering of the church to how all of us in the church can honor one another above ourselves at this time, as well as just practically how to gather together in such a manner that we don’t unnecessarily put people in harm’s way. These are things the leadership has been talking about for months now (and which keep me awake at night!), but with NYC beginning to enter into some of its initial phases of reopening this month, though there’s still so much we don’t know and that’s outside of our control, we want to be as clear as we can about what it means and what it might look like for our church to regather. The elders will then consult with the rest of the church Council and then communicate with you about some of our thinking on this matter.

In the meantime, as things now stand, we will continue to not gather as a church until at least June 18. However, with the recent allowance of gatherings of up to 10 people, I know of some small groups of people that are meeting together in person. And some of which are doing so for worship on Sunday mornings. With the appropriate safety precautions taken, this kind of small group gathering can be an encouraging way to stay physically connected with fellow church members and of which the elders are supportive.

A Need for Evangelism

Second, please pray for the work of evangelism among all the members of Christ Church.

This Sunday, I will begin a new series of Bible reflections with you in the Gospel of Mark. As I’ve been doing for a while now, I will record videos of these reflections for you to use during your time of worship at home. I’ve chosen Mark’s Gospel for us for a couple of reasons. One, I think there’s a certain stability that comes with studying the Gospels, as we reflect directly on the life of Jesus, our Lord and Savior whom we adore. Second, I have often found Mark’s Gospel to be of help in my personal work of evangelism. Mark gets to the point quickly and leaves no doubt as to who Jesus is, why He came into this world, and what it means for people to respond to Him. And, as I noted in my reflection on Acts 2 yesterday, I think there are some massive evangelistic opportunities that are now present for us and I’m praying that we’ll be faithful witnesses to Jesus at this time.

As such, perhaps consider one or two unbelieving friends or family members whom you might invite to join you in a study of Mark’s Gospel. You could invite them to join in with the reflections I’m providing or you could simply invite them to read and discuss Mark with you. You might find Christianity Explored to be a helpful resource to you as you pray and think through this –

For God’s glory and your joy in Him,
Keith Paulus