Friday, March 20, 2020

Dear Church Family,

These are certainly fascinating times we are living in.  As we watch the dramatic and sudden changes taking place before us, we are reminded of the Bible’s prophecies and promises.  We have nothing to fear if we are daily surrendered to Jesus.  His power and presence will sustain us as we are reminded that nothing can harm us outside of His will for our lives when we abide in Him.  We are His and that should fill us with great peace amidst this storm.   This peace can and should serve as our greatest witness at a time like this.  It serves as the platform for the everlasting gospel of which the Sabbath is a sign.

Amidst all the news, I appreciated this succinct statement from Dr. Nick Miller from Andrews University.  He wrote:

Closing churches to stop coronavirus isn’t yet Revelation 13.

 It’s Leviticus 13.  So act like 1 Corinthians 13;   Til Romans 13 runs its course!

 

In case the above isn’t clear, I encourage you to read the chapters  But in short, allow me to explain: Revelation 13 – Union of Church & State, Leviticus 13 – Social Distancing, 1 Corinthians 13 – Selfless Love, Romans 13 – The government may serve as God’s minister.  More explanation may be found by clicking here.

In the news:

  1. Until further notice, all services, meetings, and gatherings at the church are either canceled, postponed, or moved online. Any service referenced at this point with regards to the church is, therefore, referring to an online or telephone venue. We are simply seeking to follow recommended guidelines by our government and church leaders.
  2. I have secured a ZOOM video conferencing license for our church to use for conducting online meetings.  To learn more about this app and how to use it, click here.  I highly encourage you to check this out as it will be a very effective means of staying connected.  We will try to send invites out to the church body prior to the meeting so you can simply click on the link and join in via your computer, tablet, smartphone or you can call the number to join by telephone.  If you don’t see an email, you can always check the church website for the required information. 
  3. Our board is connected now through a free but secure application called TELEGRAM which the school board has been using for some time. This way the board can have quick and unobtrusive access to one another quickly to address matters if and when necessary.
  4. PRAYER SESSION: This coming Sabbath morning, there will be a prayer session via a telephone conference at 9:30 a.m. for the church family. Pastor Jared will lead out in this time of prayer.  To join the session, dial (425) 436-6360 and when prompted, enter access code: 654615.  Please note that you should call in a minute or two prior to 9:30 a.m. and identify yourself when welcomed.  However, if you join at 9:30 a.m. or later, please listen in to see what is being discussed and join in as prompted.  Lastly, one item that makes this run smoothly is to mute your phone until you are ready to speak and then resume mute after speaking.
  5. FAMILY WORSHIP: Pastor Jared has put together a video that will be available under the worship link at 8:30 a.m. on our church website tomorrow morning. It is a family worship resource and challenge that you will want to look at as a family.
  6. SABBATH SCHOOL: Sabbath School will be provided online via ZOOM at 10 a.m. with Ken Mathews leading out in the lesson study on Daniel 11. The invitation and instructions can be found via the church web site or you can just join by clicking here.    A link for our cradle roll program will also be made available there.
  7. SABBATH WORSHIP: Worship service will begin at 11 a.m. via the church website. The worship service will include prayer, a children’s story, an offering appeal and a special musical number followed by a morning message which I will share.
  8. MID-WEEK BIBLE STUDY: Our Mid-Week Bible study will begin this coming Wednesday at 7 p.m. via ZOOM. We will begin our verse by verse study on the book of Romans.  All are invited to join in on the study and discussion by simply clicking here or visiting the church web site.
  9. During this pandemic crisis, I felt it might besebastian-hietsch-RUJYUXwj3s0-unsplash beneficial to make sure we know who lives near us from the church. I have placed a password protected map of our church directory on the church website.  With this map, you can zoom in and out, search, and click on any red pin to see who lives where and who lives around you.  It’s a lot of fun to use.  Simply contact the church office or text me for the password.  The link can be found on the home page or in a drop-down menu under the ministry tab or by clicking here.
  10. In connection with the mapping software, I would encourage us as a church family to think of those who are alone or elderly during this time, that we may be vigilant to keep a check on one another that no one is overlooked who is in need of assistance. Some in our church family are more vulnerable to the threat of COVID-19 and perhaps could use some assistance at this time in running errands and the like. Prayerfully consider what you might do to encourage and possibly assist someone in the church family or a neighbor in the coming weeks.
  11. Remember if you don’t have instant church directory, our online church directory, please visit this link to register.  You must use the same email address you shared with the church.  If you need assistance with this, please contact the church office.
  12. Just a reminder that during this pandemic, it’s a great time to get caught up in your reading of the Testimonies for the Church.  My apologies for the delay in sending out Sunday and Monday’s email to those participating in the reading plan.  I will try to avoid missing future emails.  Here is the reading for today. egw-testimonies_9vol-set_large
  13. During this time of COVID-19 you may be concerned about how to give your tithes and offerings each week. I would encourage you to use online giving as it is very simple to use. I would encourage you to consider giving via electronic check instead of a credit card as it keeps the church from having to absorb credit card fees.  You can select the Giving tab on our web site to begin giving or simply download the app onto your phone and select Greeneville for your church.   I use online giving and have come to really appreciate this service.  Of course, if you feel uncomfortable with this, you are free to mail your tithe and offerings to the church or drop it by the office during the week and it will be put in the safe.  Here is a video explanation that someone put together that may help you in seeing how this works. 
  14. As many of you have been reminded, hydrotherapy is a key way to boost your immune system and encourage greater resistance to this virus. Recently Dr. Wes Youngberg gave a demonstration that you might want to watch and share with your friends and neighbors.  Remember, this proved highly successful during the Spanish Flu in 1918. 
  15. When I have time, I will be posting more helpful resources on our web page like the one above. For now, I am simply linking the resource tab to a new site that ASI put up that seeks to accomplish the same thing.   The site is called, godcareseveryday.org
  16. Cancellations and schedule updates:
    • The school mission trip that was scheduled for early April has been postponed. At this point, we have no other details as to when it will be.
    • All school programs and activities have been put on hold at this time until further notice.
    • GAA will remain closed next week and distance learning will begin March 30 through at least April 3.
    • The Community Services Center will only be open on Tuesdays from 9-12 for food assistance. The Clothing, Utilities, and Yard Sale Room are closed until further notice.  The food is provided via a drive through process but all documentation is still required for the assistance.
    • All church services have been put on hold and all online service information can be found via our church website at Greenevilleadventist.org.
    • Some have inquired about the Oaks Retreat with Pavel Goia. At this time, it is still on the calendar, however, the likelihood of having the retreat seems remote. We will keep you posted.  The orchestra will not play that weekend as it seems too unlikely we will have the retreat to move forward with all the practice and work it would require.
    • In case you haven’t heard, General Conference Session has been postponed and the session will be held in May of 2021 with a shorter schedule and smaller venue. Only delegates will be invited. Our current president and officers will serve until next May.
  17. SUMMARY OF VIRTUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMING UP:
    1. Family Worship Feature at 8:30 a.m. via greenevilleadventist.org website.
    2. Prayer Session this Sabbath at 9:30 a.m. via a teleconference.
    3. Sabbath School at 10 a.m. via ZOOM
    4. Cradle Roll at 10 a.m. via greenevilleadventist.org website.
    5. Worship Service at 11 a.m. via greenevilleadventist.org website.
    6. Mid-Week Bible Study at 7 p.m. via ZOOM

Blessings as you prepare for the joy of the Sabbath rest that is soon to come.

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

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