A Letter from Pastor Matt
Dear Grace Life,
A week ago, Julie and I were going over our calendar and planning for the next week. Our calendar was filled with baseball games, dinner plans, appointments, and various upcoming church activities. How quickly the calendar changed in just a few days.
I know your family is in the same situation. You’re navigating the craziness at work, finding childcare for your kids, and cancelling Spring break trips you were looking forward to with so much excitement.
In all of this, my heart hurts for you. We are dealing with disappointment, anxiety, and fear, all while not being able to gather together as a church family. As your Pastor, I want you to know that I am here for you. Call my phone and I’ll answer. Send me a text and I’ll reply. FaceTime me and I’ll be there with a smiling face. And hey! If you write me a letter, I’ll write you back. I say all of this because I love you deeply. I echo what the Apostle Paul said, “For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:8).
My heart is for people; to be with people. It pains me that I cannot physically be with you, but I trust in the faithful God who is always present in my life and in yours and that He will bring us together again soon, all for the praise of His glory.
Let me give you an update on our situation and our current (3/17) plans:
- The Grace Life Team has been in constant communication as we work to develop a plan to continue making disciples who are growing in the Gospel, connecting with others because of the Gospel, and influencing the community with the gospel.
- Right now, we are following local and state mandates concerning use of the our normal gathering space: Lake Asbury Elementary School. If the school is open, we will gather there. If we are unable to gather at LAE, we have secured multiple locations that we can use temporarily. In the meantime, gather with us from your living room. We will be streaming our service on YouTube and Facebook and when we do gather, we plan to continue streaming.
- This Sunday, March 22nd, we begin our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting leading up to Easter Sunday. I’m asking you to pray every day with me that God will protect us and use us to make known those around us of the wonderful riches of God’s grace. We have a unique opportunity to have Gospel conversations and how incredible would it be to hear a testimony years from now how someone in our church came to faith in Jesus Christ during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let me give you some action points to consider:
REMEMBER: I want to remind us that the church is a people, not a building. We’re we gather, we are the church; a beautiful display of the Father’s redemption through Jesus Christ.
GATHER: Gathering is a vital part of the church. In fact, that is what the church is: a gathering of redeemed people. Gather with us online and treat it as if we are together in the same room. Sit with your kids, bring your Bible, and participate. We will sing, pray, and read Scripture. Do what we do when we are together. When we are able to come together, join us if you can. If you are not comfortable or unable to join us in person, then watch online.
STAY CONNECTED: The church was not designed to live in isolation. While we are in this time of uncertainty and fluidity, do not isolate yourself! Call someone in your LifeGroup, have your D-Group meet virtually with Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, or Zoom, or serve someone in our church or your neighbor however you can.
TRUST THE LORD: Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Our God is sovereign over all things, even a worldwide pandemic. He is faithful and by faith we trust him and follow him. He is with us, now, in the midst of the uncertain. Trust the Lord.
I will continue to keep you updated and if you need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am thankful to be your pastor and love you all dearly.
By His Grace,