From an email via Pastor Kent 3/20:
Receive these words from our Lord found in Matthew 6:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jesus’ words make me think of the following statement found in the CRC’s Contemporary Testimony, "Our World Belongs to God."
"As history unfolds in ways we know only in part, all things- from crops to grades, from jobs to laws- are under his control. God is present with us in our world by his Word and Spirit. The faithfulness of our great Provider gives sense to our days and hope to our years. The future is secure, for our world belongs to God." (Article 13)
If I had heard the phrase "social distancing" two weeks ago I would have had no idea what it meant. Now it is the new buzz word. Schools are closed, restaurants are take out or delivery only. The NCAA March Madness is gone (I missed that a lot last night), airlines are cutting domestic flights, and spring break trips are being canceled.
We are very cautious about stepping into crowds. We don’t shake hands with each other. Social distancing is an important strategy for us right now; but we should also know that Goes is not practicing it. God will never practice social distancing. Although God might seem far off, God will not leave us or forsake us in Christ.
God is with us! A central event in the story of salvation - the Incarnation - is all about God entering our experience. God will not and does not, distance God’s self from us. God has not done this in the past, God is not doing it now and God will not do it ever. As he promised before his ascension, Jesus will be with us to the very end of the age. By his Word and Holy Spirit, Jesus keeps that promised every day. So don’t worry, be faithful!
As you are aware, we remain closed this Sunday, March 22 for in person worship. That also means there will be NO congregational meeting. We will keep you informed as to when we will reschedule it. While activities are shut down, we rely on your faithful giving to continue. We are mindful for some of you this may mean some adjustments as income may have shifted over these last weeks. Now, as before, your giving is an exercise of faith between you and God. Some of you have dropped off your offerings off this week. Others have sent them in via mail. The deacons are currently considering other ways to accommodate our giving at this time and on Tuesday the Admin. Team will meet to consider such plans and make other decisions regarding our response to the current situation. Many of you are wondering about Easter plans and 40th anniversary plans. We will know more next week and will communicate to you at that time. Thanks for your understanding. At this point, all in person gatherings and activities are canceled or postponed.
Streaming our Worship Services
Beginning Sunday, March 15, we will be using Facebook Live to broadcast our services. While the general public is asked to stay home, a small group of people will gather to run the service.
There are two ways you can join us on Sunday mornings: through Facebook Live or Zoom.
- In order to watch the live-stream on Facebook, tune in to the Thornapple Community Church R.C.A Facebook page at 9:20a Sunday to watch (the video will pop up on our home page--and if you "like" our page, you should get a notification). Click here to be brought to our FB page.
- A link will be sent out via email with an invite to the Zoom. These Zoom sessions will take place post-worship as a time of fellowship in groups.