A Pastoral Note to Grace Covenant: May 17, 2020

 

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Dear Grace Covenant Family,

This has been a dizzying week. So much information to take in, much of it seeming almost contradictory.  I am thankful for the apparent flattening of the COVID-19 curve, and for the first steps toward re-opening parts of our culture and economy. Yet, like most people, I suspect, I still have many questions.  Fortunately we serve a God who is neither stymied nor frustrated by this virus. He is working out his purpose, whether that purpose is apparent to me, or you, or not.  I repeatedly remind myself of this truth.

As it relates to Grace Covenant, I suspect that the biggest question on the mind of many is “When will we re-gather to worship together again?”  The answer to that question is: “I’m not sure.”  What I can say for certain is that it will not be before June. Our Elders and Deacons are assessing a wide array of issues related to re-gathering. Seeking wisdom rather than expedience, we are not rushing to an answer. Both Elders and Deacons will be meeting Tuesday evening (May 19) via Zoom to discuss all the things that will need to be addressed before re-opening, and evaluating where we are in our preparedness. Whether we have a target date after that meeting or not is yet to be seen.  But we do value your prayers for wisdom. And we want you to be assured that your church officers are neither overly eager nor unreasonably afraid.  We will soberly consider the factors, and in due time we will devise a plan to safely re-open the doors, and begin phasing back toward normalcy – or a new normal. In the mean time, we very much appreciate your prayers and your patience.

In addition to your prayers and patience, there is another way you can be of help to us. With input from Camper and Tim Nargi, and in connection with Barna Group and Gloo research, I have designed a survey that will help us gain some idea of thoughts and concerns of the Grace Covenant family.  If you would take a moment, click the link below, and answer the questions, Gloo will compile all the responses from the Grace Covenant family, and send the results to us; and at the same time include all of our responses with those of people around the country, which will be sent to Barna Group.  Our survey makes it optional whether you choose to give your name or not. All questions are multiple choice, and should take only 3-4 minutes to complete. Here’s the link:

Grace Covenant COVID-19 Survey

In our worship this week there are two things to note. First, several of the children of Grace Covenant will lead a portion of our worship service. A video of them reciting the Apostle’s Creed is embedded into our digital worship outline.  Second, we begin a new sermon series, our Summer series, I am titling Questions Jesus Asked. Each week, through much of the Summer, we will consider a question Jesus asked, and explore the implications for us today. While Camper may join me in this series, he also has a handful of other passages he would like to explore, so there will be a little variety over the next several weeks. But, whatever the passages, the aim is always the same: to honor God through faithfully presenting the truth and beauty of God’s Word.

Finally, I again want to thank you, the Grace Covenant family, for your continued faithfulness and generosity. If this thanks sound like a broken record, repeated week after week, it is only because we cannot thank you enough, nor adequately express how much the encouragement we receive from you means to us as a church staff, and as church officers. More tangibly speaking, we continue to keep pace with our budget, at a time when many churches are falling behind; and we continue to hear how you as a church are blessing one another though your phone calls, notes, and prayers.  You enable us to have some sense of what the Apostle Paul meant as he wrote to the Church at Ephesus, “I always give thanks for you in my prayers…”  That is how we feel about you!

Grace & Peace,

W. Dennis Griffith, Lead Pastor

 

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