Currently six Bay Area counties are under shelter in place orders. This requires residents to stay in their homes whenever possible, leaving only for essential functions like food shopping or doctor visits. This is to reduce the spread of the virus via “social distancing”. It is effective through April 7 with possible modification as the situation changes. (This is a summary of that order: www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/need-to-know-Bay-Area-shelter-in-place-coronavirus-15135381.php#photo-19181029).
GGCC must comply with this order. This means we will continue our suspension of all church activities and the building will remain closed until further notice. Some of you have asked about worship services and sermons. Obviously, we will not gather to worship. I will put out periodic “sermonettes” either in written form or video. These will eventually be on the church website (www.ggcrc.org) under the “resources/sermon” drop-down menu. There you will also find the most updated bulletin under the “resources/bulletin” drop-down menu.
The COVID-19 virus forces us to push back against “individualism” and to recognize that we all depend on each other. Remember that “church” is not a physical building in a physical location. You are the church and wherever you go, you take the church with you.
In the Bible, the church is always a reference to a people, not to a place. We are a body of believers that live out the Gospel in our words and actions. The church is at its best when people inside the building take Jesus’ message outside the building and love others. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Timothy 5 of what we do as the church. It’s all focused on our actions towards people.
During this time, please treat others with love, care, and respect. Express (remotely) encouragement and hope in Christ. This is not a time to be anxious, but as in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4).
Reminders for you:
Do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions, want prayer, want to chat, or need additional assistance. Feel free to email me ([email protected]) and we will determine the best way to communicate with one another.
Supporting One Another.
There are some in our congregation who might have difficulty leaving their home when it becomes necessary. If you know someone like this (elderly, physically less mobile, without easy transportation, etc) please reach out to them. Maybe you can drop off groceries, run a necessary errand, or help them contact a doctor.
Offering and Tithing.
GGCC is funded through your financial giving. If you are able, consider mailing your offering to church (378 18th Avenue, SF, 94121) during this time.
I like to listen to music because it taps into so many emotions, thoughts, and reflections. Here are some of my favorite worship songs. Hope they speak into your heart, mind, and soul.
- Good, Good Father (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlsQrycKKsY)
- Run to the Father (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcpeLDp0Foo)
- There is a Fountain Filled with Blood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b25-LJjrGQA)
- All I Have is Christ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX8-YEw3xFA)
- Though You Slay Me (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyUPz6_TciY)
- Build My Life (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYMjO9mL0Tw)
- Jesus What a Savior (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69m3X-DQxOA&list=RDhpdloYnlQJU&index=2)
- Come to the Altar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYQ5yXCc_CA&list=RDhpdloYnlQJU&index=22)
Lent and Easter. Many of you picked up the devotional booklet “Wondrous Love”. I encourage you to daily read, reflect, and pray over those devotions. Resurrection Sunday is the defining moment of our faith. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15,
“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
It is in such a time as this, which will reveal who we are. Hopefully, it will reveal that we are the embodiment of the image of God in faith, hope, and love.