Coronavirus and Family Life Assembly of God
Dear Family Life Assembly of God,
I am sitting at home in my office trying to wrap my mind around everything that is going on in our world. But I do know that we serve a God that is not at a loss of what is happening. We must keep our hope and trust in Him and not the things of this world. The purpose of this letter is to let you know where we are as a church. I hope it is one that is on its knees in prayer.
A lot has changed in our world even since we met last Sunday. We have heard from our President of the United States Donald Trump, from our Governor of the State Pete Ricketts, from our national leader of our Fellowship of the Assemblies of God Doug Clay, and from our district superintendent Toby Schneckloth. Our government has gone from asking gatherings of 250 not to meet together to 50 people and now it is at 10. Our schools have closed for a couple of weeks and it could be longer.
Our fellowship leaders have also asked that all churches close down. Not to completely go on vacation but to find other ways to connect via online or phone. For our Wednesday nights we have always followed the protocol that if school is out then we would also shut down. So, we had made the decision to stop our Wednesday nights. We are looking at some ways to stay connected to our Wednesday night families and help meet their needs. After listening to our leaders and meeting with our board we have decided to stop services on Sunday mornings for right now.
This does not mean that we are not going to do anything, but we will work at staying within the guidelines. For this Sunday we are going to have the building opened for prayer at the 8:00 am hour and at 10:00 am hour. We are asking that you let us know if you are planning to attend one of these so that we don’t exceed 10 people. Let me say that if you are not feeling well or are not comfortable with this then please stay home and worship with your family.
For the following weeks we are looking at setting up a zoom time that everyone with a cell phone or computer can participate in a time of worship and devotion. We will send out instructions on this as we get it set up. I know that not everyone has internet or cell phone, so we are looking at ways to keep you in the loop as well. Please know that we are doing all that we can to stay connected as a church family but also know that this is a great opportunity for us to listen to what God is saying to us, our family, our church, and our country. There is no better time for many of us to reconnect as families to encourage and lift each other up.
Let me also say that we need to make sure that we are continuing to be faithful in our giving. Just because we are not physically meeting does not mean that all of our bills stop. We have missionaries all over the world that are counting on our support now more than ever. We are expecting an increase in benevolence requests and we want to do all that we can to be the church. The board is asking that you mail your tithes and offerings to the church or you are more than welcome to drop them off at the church or the parsonage. I want to thank you for your faithfulness through these times.
With all the events that are happening I marvel at the wisdom of God as He has been preparing us for this time. It was not a mistake that we started the year with God calling us to our knees in prayer. Doug Clay has made a global call to prayer for COVID-19. At 12:00 noon CST on Friday, March 20 he will be hosting a Facebook Live prayer time at http://facebook.com/AssembliesofGodUSA/Live. Here is the prayer focus our worldwide Assemblies of God family will be praying:
• Father, thank You that “Your name is a strong tower, where the righteous can run to You and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).
• We pray for those on the front lines of this response, including health officials who are working around the clock to protect us. Give them supernatural wisdom as they seek to create a vaccine and antidotes to combat this virus.
• We pray for courageous first responders in the medical field who are working for the health and safety of our communities in hospitals, clinics, and emergency rooms.
• We pray for You to grant wisdom to governmental leaders throughout the world, on both national and local levels, regarding actions to be taken to protect the citizens they serve. Your Word assures us that if any person lacks wisdom, we can ask You and You will give it generously.
• Lord, we lift to You our concern for people who are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19—the elderly and people with chronic health conditions. Protect them from harm and be their comfort in this time of uncertainty.
• We pray for the health and well-being of those who have already been affected by this virus. Lord, during Your ministry on earth, You showed Your power by healing people of all ages from physical, mental and spiritual ailments. Be present now to people who need Your healing touch due to COVID-19. You are a God who heals ALL of our diseases.
• Lord, please also take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from people receiving treatment and those under quarantine. Protect their families and friends and bring peace to all who love them.
• We pray for those who have been impacted financially from this interruption. Thank you, Lord, for supplying their needs according to Your riches and glory.
• We pray for a faith that will not only endure through this, but will grow, and lift up the name of Jesus—our Savior, Baptizer, Healer, and Soon-Coming King—as we remember Your greatness and know that NOTHING is too difficult for You.
• We pray for a spirit of peace and that a pandemic of hope would spread globally as Your people, who are called by Your name, live out their faith in the midst of this crisis.
• You have not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Thank You that You are the source of hope, and that You will fill us completely with joy and peace because we trust in You (Romans 15:13).
So, if you can please take time to join others all over the world to pray at noon, we can see the mighty hand of God move across our land.
I wanted to also give you some things for your family to talk about on Sunday. Prayer has been heavy on my heart throughout this year and even more so here lately. Here are some scriptures that I have been focusing on and ones that you can talk about with your family.
· 2 Chronicles 7:13-16
· Philippians 4:6
· Matthew 18:19
· Romans 12:12
· Isaiah 65:24
Now is the time for those in the family of God to fall on our knees in prayer and to seek His face. This does not have to be a time of fear as we talked about last Sunday, but it can be a great opportunity for each one of us to be the church. While we may not be together physically there is nothing in this world that can stop us from being together spiritually.
I know this letter is long and I have included a lot of information and maybe have forgotten something, but we will be victorious. Debbie and I love you all and are thankful for the leadership that God has put in place for our church. While we may not have all the answers, we will be doing our best to grow the kingdom of God during this time. Also know that if you have any questions to please contact us, the church office, or our leadership. Most of all I want to thank you for your prayers and understanding as we navigate our new world.
In His Love and Service, Pastor Lamoin