Dear Springs of Grace Church Family,
Grace and peace. I hope the Lord is keeping you and blessing you. I have prayed for our church family several times this week out of the letter of 1 Thessalonians.
“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:2-3). I have prayed for “the joy of the Holy Spirit” (verse 6). I have prayed for the “sounding forth of the gospel” from us to others (verse 8). I have prayed for our appeal of the gospel to never spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive (2:3). I have prayed that we would not be men pleasers but God pleasers, as we trust Him as the real judge of our hearts (2:4). I have prayed that all of our ministry would be like that of “a nursing mother taking care of her own children” and that we would be ready to share not only the gospel of God, but “also our own selves, because of our love for one another “ (2:7-8).
I have prayed that we would exhort one another and encourage one another “to walk worthy of God” (to live like we are in God’s family) as a faithful father with his children (2:11-12). I have prayed that Springs of Grace would always be a place where the Bible is received “as the Word of God and not the word of men” (2:13). I have prayed that we would stand fast in the Lord and that we might have comfort and encouragement to really live from knowing that one another is standing fast in the Lord (3:8). And I have prayed the prayer Paul prays in 3:11-13 for us all: “Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints”(emphasis mine).
I want to ask you to continue to pray for our church family – to pray for those who are serving people who are sick with Coronavirus – pray for those who are experiencing trauma from the impact of the pandemic and remember to pray for those who have the “normal” hurts and trials that come with living in a fallen world. We are called to minister to one another – that is the job of the body. Check on each other. Please check on someone you haven’t seen in a while. Ask God to help you know how best to encourage one another towards love and good deeds. Find things to rejoice together over and give God thanks for. Find ways to bear one another’s burdens and weep and comfort someone who is hurting. Pray for our brothers and sisters around the world. Pray for the encouragement of their faith and for their needs to be met and for their witness to the gospel to sound forth. Pray for those who don’t know Jesus. Pray for our leaders and for other world leaders.
Please consider taking some time this Saturday or Sunday to pray and/or fast for these items above.
COVID UPDATE: In talking with some of the doctors who attend our church and other medical personnel, they have indicated that the hospitals are full and the COVID virus is creating a lot of major challenges.
At this time, in consultation with them and in prayer as your elders – we plan to continue to gather outside on Sunday mornings at 9:15 as long as we can and continue to have a livestream service at 10:45 for those who can’t attend the outdoor service. We believe God wants us to gather and these are ways that we are trying to meet your needs as we fulfill that command. You can go to our website (www.springsofgrace.church) to get the link to the livestream service or to get details about the church.
THIS SUNDAY MORNING – towards the end of the outdoor service – you will have the opportunity (with a mask required) to go inside the auditorium for a brief baptismal service. We are asking everyone inside to wear a mask, unless you have a medical condition or are a very young child who can’t. We also ask that you space yourself out in the auditorium to maintain 6’ of distancing from anyone who is not in your family or quarantine circle. The baptism will only take a few minutes. We will pray and be dismissed and encourage everyone to go back outdoors to fellowship, while those involved in the livestream, prepare for that. We will attempt to record the baptism and show it during the livestream service so that all of us can participate in that blessed event.
If you have questions or needs, please let us know. Striving to be His church, by His grace, for His glory.
Love you very much,