MapleRidge Church is cancelling all public services on Sunday, March 15, 2020 due to the rapidly changing realities of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This decision, made by the elder and deacon boards, allows the leadership of MapleRidge Church to faithfully prepare not fearfully panic as we move forward.
As of the writing of this letter, previously scheduled events and activities on Friday and Saturday will take place unless otherwise notified by the event organizer.
As followers of Jesus we will develop well-thought through plans that provide temporary ways to care for your body and soul while keeping you informed as this health crisis unfolds. A pastoral care plan will be implemented, and technology will be employed to keep us connected.
As your pastor I have been seeking the advice of other pastors and ministry leaders around the country and here is where I am at this morning:
COVID-19 is a serious reality that requires hour-by-hour evaluations. Followers of Jesus from around the world have also experienced disruptions to their way of life and loss of life. In this time of crisis, we need to turn to God’s Word for comfort and hope.
Pray this prayer of Scripture out loud:
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Along with the Psalmist we need to accept the reality and magnitude of the things that startle us in this life. This includes things we thought would never change like the earth under our feet, the mountains we see in the distance and the water we hear roaring. Underneath all that is the most important reality: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
So today as the elders and deacons discuss and decide a way forward, I ask you to pray for the leaders of MapleRidge Church. We may not be able to pray together at the church this Sunday, but we can all pray together as a church wherever we may be.
Would you take time today and get alone with the Jesus by listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and pray through the following passages?
According to Philippians 2:4-6, how can we call others to entrust their anxieties to the Lord and to have our hearts guarded in Christ Jesus?
According to Mark 12:30-31, how can we apply the principle of love?
According to Jeremiah 29:7, after this Sunday how do our decisions to change or cancel worship services and programming can be real expressions of love and care for the vulnerable among us and for the well-being of our communities?
According to Proverbs 15:22, with the best information and the deepest faith, what is the wisest decisions for the church and the community?
According to II Corinthians 8:1-7, how may this crisis be an opportunity to serve sacrificially?
As followers of Jesus we want to be the first to help and the last to leave. As your church leaders we need your prayers as we make faithful and faith-filled preparations.
Serving Jesus alongside you with love and hope,