Pastor Tom's Monthly Message: April
In Dark Times, Nothing Can Separate Us From the Love of God
Pat and I hope that y’all are well and braving this pandemic that has gone global since the last time that we connected through the newsletter. But no matter what happens with COVID-19, Jesus Christ will always be the same…yesterday, today and forever. We are not to fear things that happen in life or that move us through the valley of the shadow of death. Why? It is because we have the promise of God the Father, that in Christ Jesus, it is impossible that His love can be separated from us.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Since Easter is coming and there are so many uncertainties about what/where/how we may be worshipping on that day, let me encourage you that the leadership of your Church will do everything that we can to keep at least one thing ‘normal’ in your life. As of now (3/29), we are planning to hold weekly outdoor morning worship service in the parking lot when weather permits @ 11 AM.
But let me briefly tell you of a call that I received from the BSCNC last week. As me and the convention representative spoke, we shared an identical concern: ‘virtual church’. If this goes too much longer, what will happen with our congregational worship? Will people soon insist that if we can do ‘virtual church’ during this pandemic, then why not afterwards? This really does run a risk of taking a modern church that is disconnected in more ways than ever before and expanding on that disconnect!
Let’s think about Easter again. As soon as Jesus could on Resurrection Sunday, He met with His disciples that were gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem. They met and they continued to meet until Jesus ascended back to heaven and then the newly established church met daily house to house (Acts 2:46, 5:42). Here is how we will handle this at Park Place. With the exemption issued to places of worship during the pandemic IF we can maintain social distancing according to Section 3 in Governor Cooper’s order, and avoid confined spaces, we will meet at 11 on Sunday mornings and we will keep our distances of 6 feet.
IF you are in an at-risk group and are uncomfortable coming, stay at home. IF the weather is bad, we will do a Facebook Live broadcast from the sanctuary without the congregation present. To state the obvious, we are going to have to be flexible. But as soon as this order is lifted from either Raleigh or Washington, DC, we will once again meet in God’s House and with God’s people, and hopefully with a greater appreciation for how blessed we are to live in America where we have the freedom to gather together in worship.
Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. (CSB)
For the next bit, I will be in the church office sparingly, but I always have my cell with me (336) 870-8337. I am on-call 24/7. If you need me, call me. Let’s check on one another often, especially our members who may be at greater risk. If we hear of someone that needs our help, let’s help. If you have an idea on how we can minister to someone better or differently than before, let’s not criticize but willingly speak up on those newer ideas because we have never done anything like this before.
For those of you who are severely organized and cringe at the perspective of ‘flying by the seat of your pants’…my apologies. If you are someone who thrives in doing things on the fly…my congratulations. As best as we can, let’s at least fly by the seat of our pants in some order or formation. More than this, let us continue to show the love of Christ and the Gospel to the world about us that is panicked at the moment. Let us hold on, watch out and encourage in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ!
I love y’all!
Pastor Tom and Pat Campbell