Grace and peace. Well…praise the Lord this Pastoral Letter doesn’t contain any new adjustments to our Interim Worship/Ministry Plan which brings me to a moment of expressing to all of you my deep appreciation both personally and pastorally. Your thoughtful encouragement, intercessory prayers, proactive shepherding ministry, contacts with one another, full participation in the live-streaming of our Lord’s Day Worship services, and most of all your patience, perseverance and trust in the Lord has been a stellar witness to your love to Christ, the Gospel and His Church. In a word, you have embodied the Life Takeaways from our first sermon in the Interim sermon series—Crisis and the Christian in Biblical Perspective by embracing the call to “trust God but not tempt God, say yes to prudence but no to panic and live faithfully and thus fearlessly for Christ.” Now, allow me to pastorally share with you five important Pastoral Ministry Observations:
FIVE MINISTRY OBSERVATIONS
1. We will continue to send the Lord’s Day worship folder for preparation and participation. But beginning this week we will do so through The Briarwood Weekly which many of you receive by mail and some of you by email. If you receive it by email, may I encourage you to print it out so that you and your family can use it for preparation and participation this Lord’s Day.
2. If you are having difficulty or trouble navigating the various technological means which we are using to enhance our ability to participate in Worship, Ministry, Shepherding and Stewardship/Giving during this “present distress” please contact us and we will assist you.
3. If you are facing any challenges or needs, or if you have not yet been contacted by one of your Congregational Community Shepherds, please let us know—do not hesitate.
4. Please seize this moment to re-calibrate and refresh your life with Biblical priorities. This is a wonderful opportunity to reestablish your daily quiet time with the Lord in His Word and prayer, family worship, family projects and activities, reading, as well as giving appropriate attention to your physical health regimen.
5. Please engage in intercessory prayer for the Lord to use this “present distress” in His good Providence not only for personal renewal, but also revival in our Lord’s Church as we press on with anticipation of worship renewal, intimate fellowship and ministry with one another. May the Spirit of God using the Word of God be at work in us to ignite a glorious Gospel Awakening.
While being grateful for the technological remedies that we are using in this “present distress” to press on in worship, ministry and shepherding, I confess to looking forward with great anticipation to the first Lord’s Day we are able to fully gather for Divine worship to the Glory of God. It will be like a reunion…it will be glorious! In the meantime, please know that the 10 who gather on the Lord’s Day in our sanctuary to embrace all of the Biblical elements of Divine Worship are representing you and reaching out to you through the live streaming (Facebook, Roku, our Briarwood website, AppleTV, etc.) so that to some degree we can praise the Lord together. We are aware that even though we are separated physically we are united in the Spirit of God. Furthermore, we also know our God is present and at work within each one of us. So let us “live sensibly, righteously and Godly in this present age” by the Grace of God and for the Glory of God through Christ our Lord.
For Christ, The Gospel, His Church and A Great Awakening,