An Important Announcement:
As we hear more news of disruptions due to this evil Covid-19 virus (coronavirus), “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet we remember that nothing, including danger, shall separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39). Grounded in Christ’ love, we won’t give in to fear (1 John 4:18; Psalm 34:4). Instead we purpose to love one another, which means both reaching out to those are isolated, and taking action to protect the more vulnerable in our midst (which according to the CDC include, among others, those who are older among us).
Therefore, after prayerful consideration and counsel, and out of a motivation of love and abundance of caution, this coming Sunday, March 15, we will worship the Lord together via live-stream only. We are therefore asking TCCers to stay home this Sunday morning and participate at 9:30am via FaceBook or Vimeo or YouTube. We will have our complement of worship leaders with a full service as usual in the sanctuary. We would ask that the offering on Sunday would be done online here (or drop off at church office today or next week). We will provide regular updates for continued live-streaming options, should this fluid situation demand it.
A time to be attentive (Psalm 34:15)
The situation right now is certainly anxiety-inducing. But it’s also an opportunity to be attentive, a word President Sunquist at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary regularly uses. I love this posture. With “social distancing” as the temporary new normal, how do we practice mindful hospitality cf. our current sermon series in Luke)? Our commitment remains to close that social distance with spiritual closeness in prayer and whenever possible in practical ways. So, we are determined not to shrink back in fear. We will roll up our sleeves (and scrub our hands) to serve the sick, the needy, the lonely. Look for our other announcements for ways to help these next few days.
Now that our social calendars are opening up, the Lord is giving us opportunities to draw near to Him. Attentiveness also means a heightened awareness of our need to intercede (for Italy, South Korea, Iran, China, our missionaries, our neighbors). Prayerful attentiveness derives from confession, repentance and time in the Word. When Nehemiah found himself confronted by devastating news (Nehemiah 1:3), he began an extended soul-searching time. The rest of his story bears powerful witness that the Lord indeed used this time of distress to carry out His purposes, even if it wasn’t apparent at the time (Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20). To this end, this Sunday, we will hold a virtual prayer vigil from 11am to 11pm.
In the end, we remember our attentiveness comes from Him. We are attentive because He is attentive (Psalm 34:15). Let’s pray for ‘divine appointments’ in our lives and for the Light of Christ to shine in and through us.
- Pastor Tom