March 20, 2020
During the COVID-19 crisis, the decision to cancel church is the toughest decision a Pastor must make for the congregation. During the winter months we occasionally miss a service due to weather, but recognize within a week Missouri weather has changed and normally by the next service we can be open.
As your Shepherd, I love the fellowship, connectivity through worship, and praying together. Perhaps the one thing I miss the most during these times, is watching as the Holy Ghost moves over a congregation while healing, strength, and hope is provided to us all. Yes, I can receive these in my home, but it is much more blessing to me with my church family.
The COVID-19 virus presents a new struggle, the longer-term closure of our facilities. As you are aware, our decision yesterday affects 3 weeks of services. This is a long time to be away from the church body.
As a result, our church will live stream services on Facebook, deliver CD copies of our service to the membership, communicate weekly with all members, and our teachers will be working to deliver bible lessons our youth and Sunday school classes can enjoy.
We are in uncharted waters and such an issue has never affected our lives with as much disruption to our lives. We will come out stronger on the other side of this storm with a testimony.
Here are three things to know and do during this next week:
1) Devotionals – Bible Studies – Sunday School Lessons: In the next week, we will be pushing out to our congregation opportunities to participate in online group studies and lessons. In addition, we will hand deliver these types of materials to those not able to join us online. Turning off the radio, phone, and even the cell phone will be vital to our Spiritual Health. As our physical diet reflects upon our health, our Spiritual diet will also affect our relationship with God. Sometimes a quiet time in God’s word or prayer is the answer to worry of the unknown, fear, depression, and sickness.
2) Church and Community Support: While we continue to observe social distance requirements, we must not forget to help our church family or neighbors that may need assistance. Our phones will continue to work and we can offer love and support through communicating by social media or phone calls. In addition, if anyone needs assistance, we are able to help. Let us know how we can help.
3) Offerings & Tithes: The Rolla Apostolic Pentecostal Church is on solid ground. Our congregation is united in Spirit & Truth. Our finances are solid, and will weather this storm, of course, the church expenses continue such as insurance, electric, loan payment, and maintenance. We appreciate the concern of the financial status of the church and its future. In the next week, we will set up an online opportunity to provide support to the church.