CRITICAL UPDATE: PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS!
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
Genesis 1:1-2 (NLT2)
Sisters and Brothers,
This is how it all began. God created. I start this update with the reminder that God is the One who did it all, and who continues to be in control. Nothing...absolutely NOTHING is beyond His care or control. Please remember this the next time someone on the news or on Facebook tries to convince you that chaos is in charge: God created.
Friends, it has been a very difficult couple days keeping up with new information, but God has a plan and our church is still in the business of MINISTRY in the name of Jesus Christ! I want to give you a very important update on how your church is navigating this heretofore uncharted “coronavirus crisis” territory. To begin, at the direction of Bishop Trimble and in consultation with leadership, we are suspending in-person worship for AT LEAST the next TWO Sundays (beginning THIS Sunday), with the real possibility of extending to a total of four Sundays. An entire worship service will be uploaded to our YouTube channel each week. To access our channel, simply look for the “VIDEO WORSHIP” button at the top of our website home page (www.oldbethel.org). Be certain to worship with us from your home!
NOTE: To accommodate the bishop’s directive, we MAY have to move our Palm Sunday and Easter celebrations to the following: Palm Sunday to April 26 and Easter to May 3. STAY TUNED for more updates!
We are doing three more very intentional things to help keep you connected with your church family. The first is keeping you connected with our EMAIL BLAST. This is an occasional email containing timely and updated information you will want to know. Second, we are launching an on-line Bible study, and we want YOU to join us. However, neither of these are possible to deliver to you if have NOT signed up with your email on our webpage!!! It is EASY! Simply go to our webpage (www.oldbethel.org) and click on the words “Email Signup” in the very upper right corner, enter your information, and you will be connected! The third way we will stay connected is by phone calls. We have a team who will be making calls to check in with you, ask if you need any help, listen to your joys and concerns, and offer to pray with you! If you do NOT wish to be called, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I’ll see you are removed from the list.
During these next four weeks, our church building will remain open normal days and times. It will be up to your ministry leader as to whether your meeting or class will happen, so please contact them. Please NOTE that my three remaining Wednesday evening classes are cancelled. Also expect the next issue of the Shofar to be slightly delayed as we now must update almost all the information in this issue.
Finally sisters and brothers, PLEASE continue your prayer and financial support. Prayer continues to be the most powerful and important thing you can do for our church, our country, our world, and each other. Also, as we enter into this unwanted in-person worship hiatus, our church still must meet its financial obligations. Please be on the lookout for instructions from the Finance Committee for the VERY EASY way to sign up for on-line giving, or simply mail a check (7995 E. 21st Street Indianapolis, IN 46219).
Friends, remember that God is still in charge, and in this time of unbridled anxiety flying everywhere, you and I NEED to be the light shining in the darkness. We must be beacons of the One True Hope named Jesus Christ! We are saved and redeemed people. Our future is guaranteed—no matter what. So, let’s not act like those with no hope.
I love you more than you know.
Pastor Rusty <><