I find Job’s words resonating this week: “The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!” (Job 1.21) The Lord has taken two from our Grace Covenant family in this past week, Jeanne French, on Sunday evening, and then Francis Nelson on Thursday evening. Our loss, but their gain. Please join me in praying for the families of these two godly ladies. Jeanne was mother of Paulette Murphy. Francis was mother of Valerie Brooks. So we pray for the Murphy’s and Brooks’ to have the comfort of God’s promise to enable them to grieve well. We pray they will grieve, but not as those who are without hope. (1 Thessalonians 4.13) Pray also for those who surround these families, as both the Brooks’ and the Murphy’s are part of the same small group.
But even as we mourn with those who mourn, we also rejoice with those who rejoice. And we rejoice this week with Katie & Daniel Block on the birth of their son, Arthur Dietrich Block, on Tuesday evening, July 28. We are thankful that both Katie and Dietrich are healthy, and that all are doing well. Let’s all not only give thanks to God for his gift to the Blocks, but let’s all begin praying for Dietrich, that by God’s grace, and the power of the Holy Spirit, that he grow to be a godly man. (Incidentally, the Blocks are also part of the same small group as are the Brooks’ and the Murhpys.)
I am also thankful for our freedom and ability to continue gathering for worship. There was some buzz this week, due to confusion regarding Governor Northam’s most recent order reducing the number of people who can gather from 250 to 50. However, that does not apply to church worship services, so those who are not in the high risk category are free to join us on Sunday morning. (Again, those in high risk category, and those who are caring for someone in high risk category, are strongly urged to exercise wisdom about when to resume in-person worship. We do not want anyone to feel compelled to get out before they are ready, and before the time is right.) But my angst about our ability to worship together, whether in-person or online, was compounded this week by the storms that passed through on Tuesday evening. A lightening strike wiped out Internet at the church, and damaged some of the tools we need to be able to LiveStream our services. Fortunately the Internet was restored Thursday, and WiFi on Friday morning. Tim Nargi has just informed me that the problems have been resolved, so we can offer the services online this weekend, as usual. I may be sounding like a broken record, but please thank Tim for his labors. I also want to thank Brad Allen, who stepped in to check things out and to make sure we contacted the right folks for the necessary repairs.
As for our Sunday mornings, we are going to simplify things somewhat, as it pertains to the tools for worship – links for the bulletin and the LiveStream. Rather than multiple emails, the links for both the bulletin (.pdf) and the LiveStream will go out in Grace Notes each Friday, and will also be able to be accessed on the Grace Covenant homepage. We will forgo the digital bulletin beginning this week. The short of it is that you will now receive the links in advance on Fridays (Grace Notes), or on Sunday morning just go to the Grace Covenant web page. We hope the simplicity will make this easier for everyone. As for these Pastor’s Notes, beginning next week a link will (usually) be included Grace Notes on Fridays. That said, there will be times when my schedule does not allow me to write before Saturday morning. In such cases, as separate email will go out. But for the next few weeks, the link to this note will be both in Grace Notes and sent out as a separate email. (Pastor’s Notes can also be accessed by going to the GCPC blog. Click the link and scroll down to find the most recent notes.)
Carolyn and I are out of town this weekend, so we will not see you on Sunday. But we do look forward seeing everyone, hopefully sometime soon.
Grace & Peace,
W. Dennis Griffith, Lead Pastor