Elders' Update on Sunday Services
Tuesday March 17, 2020
Dear First Christian:
The Leaders of First Christian Church have prayerfully decided to cancel all church services and meetings until further notice. We will instead stream all services and meetings online until such time as meeting together in person becomes prudent. We have made this decision for a number of reasons given below, which we hope that you will take the time to consider.
One of the many promises that God makes in his Word is that he will use everything to our good when we love Him and are called to His purpose of being conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ. Since we exist as a church to Glorify God by being the presence or image of Christ on this earth, we can take great comfort and have great confidence knowing that we have unity with God’s purpose. This time then is an opportunity for faith in God’s provision for our glory in Christ Jesus, which the leaders of FCCT see unfolding according to our church’s mission and purpose in the following ways:
This is an opportunity to believe in the goodness of God’s charge to mankind in Genesis to take dominion over all things in this world and so to become kings. We believe that this charge gives meaning and purpose to our lives especially in the face of suffering and hardship, knowing that we do not suffer or labor in vain. We believe that the community of our fellow believers and co- laborers has great value and significance, even and especially those who are weak and vulnerable among us. We believe that taking special care and concern over them is a worthwhile sacrifice in the image of the kingship and glory of Christ. The sacrifice we make on behalf of our community testifies to the meaning and purpose of the gift of community God has given us and gives us unity with other believers and with Christ as we live like Him.
We experience belonging on various levels from nation to church to family, among others. This belonging is manifested in the physical realm through the sacrifices we make in being united with others on these levels. Each of these levels of community only have physical reality through the unity of sacrificing aspects of individuality for group identity. Part of this sacrifice involves joyful submission to leaders in all things that God has given them rightful authority over, whether or not we would make the same decisions ourselves. The leaders of our country have asked that we not meet in groups greater than 10 in number for the next couple of weeks. We will comply with this request. Without the sacrifice of submission, no community can exist. In addition to this sacrifice, we make sacrifices for those members of the community who are weak or vulnerable to maintain the unity of the group. In this time, it is important to submit to our leaders and not just pray for them and to do what we can to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus that endangers older and physically vulnerable members of our community. In addition, this time of physical distance will be an opportunity to focus on spiritual unity and we ask that each of our members work hard to ensure that we stay connected to one another through various electronic and other available means. We also have the opportunity to strive together as a congregation to look out for the needs of those members who cannot get out to meet their own physical needs, as well as doing what we can to meet the needs of our neighbors and friends.
Transformation into Christ-likeness is God’s goal as well as ours as a congregation. This time of upheaval will give us an unparalleled opportunity to be transformed in many ways. The following weeks and months will allow us to become more community focused, more compassionate toward the weak, more aware of the value that we bring to one another, and more willing to make sacrifices for the good of others. This awareness of the good of others and willingness to sacrifice for it is the beginning of kingship and throughout the bible comes as the result of experiencing hardship, difficulty, and bondage. In addition to these things, this time will give our church technical expertise that we lacked and give humanity greater dominion over some aspects of creation. We hope that all of us, as members of FCCT, will make the most of this opportunity. Our church website and Facebook account will have important details on how to participate in our online services as well as to give electronically or through the mail. We as leaders pray for your health and well being as well as your growth in Christ. Please make us aware of any needs that you may have.
With the Love of Christ,