Tom’s Midweek Greetings
Crossroads Community Church
May 13, 2020
Hello, Crossroads Family!
At the start of the book of Philippians, Paul writes this to his readers:
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:3-6).
What a beautiful expression of love for those in family of God! I hope you are remembering each other, and praying for each other with joy,… anticipating the work God is doing in our lives as we move forward each day.
Many things in life and in the world seem up in the air right now. Our gaining entry to the gym at the Y is going to happen more slowly than we thought. The staff at the Y are proceeding cautiously in their re-opening of the building, and as a result it looks like our return to worship inside the building will be pushed back until the first Sunday of June which is June 7. We want to cooperate with the team of people at the Y, and we understand the heavy burden they carry right now in trying to maintain a clean and healthy environment for the people they’re serving.
In the meantime, here is our plan for the rest of May:
This Saturday, May 16: Worship Music on Facebook Live, 5 pm.
Jessica will lead us in some worship music a little earlier this Saturday evening on her Facebook page. Thank you, Jessica!
This Saturday, May 16: Get together for Nevada High School “Cruise Nevada,” 7 pm.
If you’re interested in watching the high school seniors cruise through town, let’s meet together in the parking lot at the Y at 7:00 Saturday night. (The cruise starts at 7:00, so you might want to arrive a little early so you don’t run into it on Ash Street!) Bring a lawn chair; we’ll enjoy some fellowship and celebrate Crossroads’ graduating seniors, Adi Wilson, Esther Rea, and Konner Sisseck! Congratulations!
This Sunday, May 17: Sunday message on Crossroads Facebook Page
This Sunday’s message, “Set Free,” from Galatians 6, will be up on the church Facebook page by Saturday evening. Take time to watch it Saturday or Sunday … by yourself or with some family and friends. It will be an exciting conclusion to this letter that has been about living out the freedom we have in Christ.
Next Sunday, May 24: Worship at 10:00 a.m.
Our plan for the 24th is to meet outside at the Y for a worship service at 10:00. I hope you can be there! We will also live-stream the service on Facebook. (In case of technical difficulties, there will also be a pre-recorded sermon on the church Facebook page and on my personal Facebook page.) Bring a lawn chair, or stay in your car if you prefer on May 24th!
Sunday, May 31: Worship at 10:00 a.m.
Weather permitting, we’ll repeat the outdoor worship experience on May 31st. Plan to bring a lawn chair and join us outdoors at the Y. (There will be extra lawn chairs if you need one!)
We’re also hopeful of scheduling a hot dog roast in May for those who would like to get out, enjoy the springtime, and be with the church family.
Please pray for us as we move forward! God is at work in all of these decisions, and we believe we’re going to come through on the other side with renewed vision and energy to walk with Him! Here are a few Bible passages that have been an encouragement to me this week:
Seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
As you can see, we’re encouraged to: (a) seek the things which are above, and (2) set our minds on the things which are above. Good reminders since we’re so occupied right now with what is happening on earth.
Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
To be in church is to live life with people. Our “gathering together” looks different today than it normally does, but the instruction is to continue to be in touch and to spur each other on! Whom have you spurred on today? Don’t give up! This is part of our work as a church!
Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.
What good news! Christ doesn’t need to be sacrificed over and over again; He has finished the work of bearing our sin punishment. Now He’s coming again! Maybe soon!
Vernon County Ministerial Association
At the VCMA meeting I attended today, there was much talk about the Coronavirus.
- Some churches have had a “soft” re-open (no children’s program, no Sunday school) ; others have had a normal re-opening ; a couple have not yet re-opened. All continue to stream their services online.
- Much discussion about serving food at the church – most of the pastors present were of the opinion not to have self-serve food available. Instead, the suggestion was to have one or two people serving food or coffee, and preferably wearing gloves.
- For those who have served Communion, again the preferred idea seemed to be to have servers wearing gloves and giving worshipers a cup with juice and a cup with a morsel of bread in it. Others were of the opinion of “bring your own” bread and juice (as was likely the case in the New Testament church!).
- Discussion took place on social distancing and sanitizing. Also how to keep kids six feet apart!
Things I’m Thankful For
If you could name some things you’ve been thankful for during this pandemic, what would some of them be? Here are a few of mine:
- The patience and support of the church family while we’ve been away from our “home.”
- Some creative ministry taking place at Crossroads during this time.
- Spiritual growth in the lives of several. I heard a pastor from New York City say, “We’ve had to unplug our church programs, and as a result people are turning to prayer.”
- Learning more about the comfort of God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
- Your financial support of Crossroads.
- The frequent communication we’ve had among the church elders during this period of time.
- The use of our church Facebook page, something that hadn’t been nearly as much the case prior to the pandemic. I encourage you to add a positive comment to the page and by doing so be an encouragement to others.
- I’m thankful for my family’s new home. We like it very much and enjoy the easy walks we can take in many directions from our front door.
- Extra free time in the evenings. I’ve been many years with evenings filled to overflowing; it’s nice to have a break from that.
- The orioles busy out on the deck just outside my bedroom / office. On these long days, busy birds are fun to watch.
- A chance to listen to some good sermons online. Here’s one I enjoyed this week on the rapture: https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/understanding-the-times/
- Family and friends.
- The support I receive from other pastors, and opportunities to support them.
- Plans,… when they finally fall into place. I’m a person who has to have a plan. It’s hard for me to be in this period of uncertainty. I’m grateful when plans are able to be made!
- The many ways God heals our bodies. He doesn’t heal always, but we overlook the fact that we are healed of so many things, including cuts, bruises, broken bones, colds, asthma attacks, and more! Healing of mental health afflictions happens too!
What are your Top 15 subjects of thanks during the pandemic?
“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High” (Psalm 92:1).
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
I hope to see some of you Saturday evening for the Nevada Cruise! I’m looking forward very much to Sunday’s sermon! Send me a thought or question once you’ve seen it!
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