Sunday Activities are Canceled

Dear Church Family,

We have decided to cancel our services on Sunday, March 22, and all the church activities that week. We will continue to reevaluate our decision on a week-by-week basis.

I want to explain some reasons we are not doing this. We are not canceling our gatherings because we believe we are “nonessential.” We believe the church of Jesus Christ to be essential to what God is doing in His creation. We believe the church to be essential to the spiritual health of our nation. We believe it is essential to the proper worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The writer of Hebrews warns us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together for a good reason.

We are not canceling because we are putting the government above God. When ordered not to preach in Jesus’ name, Peter told the authorities, “we must obey God rather than man.” However, churches are not being singled out and being told not to preach. If that were the case, we would hold more services, not less. We are instructed to obey those in authority (whose authority, by the way, is granted to them by the ultimate authority of God). This request not to gather together at this particular time is asked of every type of organization, not just us. We do it voluntarily; we would never do if this were an order from the government for only churches to stop meeting.

We do not cancel out of fear. Throughout history, the people of God risked their health and safety to minister to the sick (I will be writing about this in my next letter). If this sickness spreads, we will do likewise. But if we are willing to be involved in taking care of the sick, isn’t it just as essential to help prevent the sickness in the first place. Thus, for now, we do what the health authorities ask of us, not to hold large gatherings.

I am grateful for the number of our church people who have contacted me with offers to help anybody in need. To run errands, or to deliver supplies, or help financially. If you need anything, please contact me, and I will see to it that you get whatever you need. Our church stands ready to share the love of Christ and bear one another’s burdens.

There is one last matter to address. As we miss assembling together, we also miss the gathering of our offerings. We still need you to give. Some of you have your gift transferred automatically from your bank to the church’s bank. That will continue as usual, but for those who give through the offering plates we suggest that you either mail your checks to the church (1849 S FORGE RD, PALMYRA) or we are going to have some open hours where you can physically come by the church building and place your offering in the plates (more on that later). You can also give through the church website

I leave you with the words of an old gospel song.

In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock