Sunday Update (Posted 3/15/2020 at 9:30am est)

Dear Friends,

Like a lot of church congregations throughout the state and throughout the nation, we’ve chosen to suspend meeting together for the immediate future, as a response to the spread of the Coronavirus. This was a difficult decision, but we believe the best one for the safety of those who attend our services and also for the safety of the larger community.

During this time, we will be providing resources that we hope will help us stay connected to one another and also will help us continue to learn and grow in discipleship. We plan on getting some video resources to you in coming days, and thinking of creative ways that we can keep sharing life together throughout these changes.

Today, I wanted to share some Scripture with you that I believe can help shape our response when those around us are experiencing a crisis, along with some questions to guide your reading and any discussion you might have with others. We encourage you to read, to pray, to communicate with each other in whatever ways you can.

Our God is bigger than anything we face. Our friendship in Christ is more durable than anything we face. I’m praying for you all and hope that, as we journey through this crisis together, we can continue to bear witness for the God we serve.

Grace and Peace,


Where Can I Go?

Psalm 139:7-12

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

Questions for reflection:

1. What does this passage say about God’s presence?
2. Think of a time when you have felt alone. What gave you reassurance during this time?
3. How does our sin sometimes contribute to our feelings of isolation? Are we more likely to feel cut off from God’s presence and from the presence of others when we shame or guilt are present in our lives?
4. How does God make his presence known during those times when we feel separated from him?

Love and Fear

1 John 4:7-21

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Questions for reflection:

1. In times of crisis, our usual natural response is one of fear. Where does this fear come from? Where is it often directed? Who is impacted by our fear?
2. How does fear make love difficult? What thoughts, motivated by fear, stand in the way of our ability or willingness to love others?
3. How does believing that Jesus is the Son of God who has come into the world make love possible? Why is it important to believe that Jesus is who he says he is, if we are going to love others?
4. How can love shape our response to times of fear or crisis? Think of three ways that you can demonstrate love to those around you in the coming days:

Posted in Covid-19, News.