Dear Brothers and Sisters,
"Therefore we always pray for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling and with power fulfill all your good desires and works done by faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." –2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
Greetings in the name of Christ our Lord!
In uncertain and unstable times it is easy to fall back to a position of fear but I hope that you are determined to trust God in all things. Trust is a command, such as in Psalm 4:5, which says, "Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD."
Trust is knowing that the purposes and good pleasure of God will be accomplished. Trust is knowing that God has revealed to us what is necessary to direct us to walk in faith. We have been directed through this revelation for all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 1:3).
Therefore, this is not a time for panic nor it is a time for apathy. It is the time for active faith. Notice, I did not say hypothetical or theoretical faith but active faith.
It is time to humble ourselves before the Lord. It is time to repent of our sins. It is time to be renewed by the Holy Spirit. It is time to pray. It is time to read God's Word. It is time to worship God.
It is time to love and bear each other's burdens. It is time to restore broken relationships. It is time to pray with your wife and children. It is time to restore family worship. It is time to spend time with them. It is time to call someone in the church and encourage them.
This is the time for your family and our church to band together. We have no excuses. We have smartphones and computers where we can text, call, instant message, Facetime, email, etc. The only thing lacking is our resolve.
I hope that when things return to normal that we will look back on this time and say this was our finest hour. This was when we became a family. This was when we became a church. This was when our faith truly became active. We are doing everything we can to support and aid that endeavor.
As I am sure you have surmised by the news reports concerning the Coronavirus or the COVID-19 epidemic, our worship service for this coming Sunday has been canceled. The elders met Monday evening and have decided to suspend all public services until further notice. However, this does not mean that we are going to stop being a church. Now is the time for us to follow through on what it means to be a church.
Currently, the health and government officials are operating on the new policies in two-week increments. However, they expect these restrictions to be in place to some degree over the next 8 weeks. Based upon everything we know, this is a serious threat we are facing and we must heed the warnings. To respond in an "I know better than the high-level advisors" not only puts you at risk but also your loved ones, neighbors, and fellow congregants.
These provisions do not remove all risks but are meant to minimize exposure and spread of this deadly virus. While most younger and healthy folks have nothing to worry about, those who are over 60 or have compromised immune systems due to chronic illness, do have an extremely high mortality rate if they are infected with COVID-19. This means we must do what we can to minimize this risk.
This is why we have taken steps to care for the most vulnerable among us by suspending our in-person worship services until the proper officials determine it is safe to begin lifting these restrictions.
This is in keeping with the general equity of the Old Testament law concerning things that were deemed unclean, whether it was public health hazards like for instance leprosy or the potential for a public health hazard such as contact with a dead body. In some of these instances, there was social distancing, quarantine, or isolation just as we see today. This is not new and has been practiced since Biblical times.
Therefore, we will be live streaming our Sunday morning worship service at 10:30 a.m. for you and your family to attend via the internet. This will be an actual worship service in our normal form except of course for communion or any of the normal in-person activities.
We will also be live streaming and posting additional content such as prayer services, announcements, and educational resources. We desire to maintain a high level of interaction with you in worship, prayer, and discussion.
This interaction also includes direct communication via texting, phone calls, email, etc. I hope that all the various members of the body will be doing that with each other.
This is going to be a difficult time emotionally, spiritually, and financially. For some, it will be more emotional and for others, it may be financial. Most will be able to continue working and therefore it will be the isolation their family must endure that will be the most difficult. Someone else may see reduced hours or not be able to work at all and the stress and hardship will be tough. Whatever the case, we must be there for each other even if it is only through the accommodations of technology. Because of our modern advancements, we do not have an excuse. In comparison to the past, we should be able to weather this storm in a much better fashion than those who have had to endure other kinds of pestilence.
Please make sure that we have all your contact information if you have not shared any of those things with us. If you have a need, spiritual or physical, please do not hesitate to contact us. One of the things we want to ensure is that those who are high risk can make their circle as tight as possible to reduce the possibility of being exposed to this virus. If there is anything you need we will assist you to help minimize your outside contact.
As always, we are available to visit with you, pray with you, and minister to your spiritual needs. We will be practicing social distancing and taking the necessary precautions but these restrictions do not mean we will cease to minister to you even if you do become sick. We will find a way even if it is remotely.
We desire to weather this storm wisely so that we might be able to gather back together as soon as possible. And, when we do, may we be able to do it with joy and not with grief. Joy because we are together again. Joy because we have grown closer to God and each other.
We know that loss of work, to some degree or another, is a real possibility for some. We understand that will affect the church financially. Regardless, this ministry will continue and hope that you will continue to support the work of Christ's church with your tithes and offerings. We have not set up a way to give online at this time and ask that you would send any contributions by check to:
Reformed Church of the Holy Trinity
7542 E Landersdale Road
Camby, IN 46113
We have been brought to the kingdom for such a time as this. It is of the Lord's doing that we are in this place at this time. Therefore, let us rejoice and walk worthy of God who has called us into His kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:12) that we may be counted worthy of His kingdom (2 Thessalonians 1:5).
May God bless you and keep you!
Rev. James Brown Jr.
Reformed Church of the Holy Trinity
We will be posting information in the blog section of the website. Under the "Live Stream" page there will be information on how to watch our Sunday service, prayer services, etc. We will also be posting the recorded service on our website. So, if you are not able to watch live you will be able to watch the recorded version.
Live Stream: https://www.facebook.com/reformedholytrinity/
We will be live streaming through Facebook. Our page is public and it does not require a Facebook account to see our content.