"...it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” ~Isaiah 41:13~
“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” Isaiah 41:13
This has certainly been a week of changes, changes in the way we worship, changes in how our school students learn and our teachers teach, change in our social time and the way we interact, and changes to our entire world. Throughout my time as a pastor, I have shared with many people who are going through all sorts of loss, grief, and difficult times, that when we are in the thick of struggles it is as if we are standing in the middle of a snow-globe and someone has shaken it up. Everything is spinning around us and at times we can’t see our hand in front of our face. It is in those times that Jesus reaches through the spinning chaos and grabs hold of us and carries us through. Hear God calling out to you, “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” No matter what is thrown in our direction, God holds our hand, helps us, so that we do not have to fear anything! Thanks be to God!
I wanted to take a few moments to update everyone with worship services, communion, bible study, and Holy Week and Easter celebrations. First off, thank you for everyone’s patience as we continue to adapt our worship to online streaming. With anything new, especially when it is done quickly, there are always going to be hiccups and a learning curve. We are working very diligently in order to provide a positive and Christ-centered worship opportunity for everyone. We will continue to stream Sunday morning worship at 9:30am. The easiest way to connect is to go to our website www.gracechapelstl.org and click the “Livestream Worship” icon in the upper right-hand corner of the home screen. We also have DVD copies of the service available to anyone who would like a copy. Please contact the church office to arrange mailings.
After much conversation with our elders, fellow circuit pastors, and conversations with our District President, the decision has been made to put on hold celebrating Holy Communion for the safety of our people. As, most of you are aware; St. Louis County is under a “Stay at Home” order until April 22nd. Please know that this decision has been a very difficult one to make, but it is one made out of love and concern for all people. As a pastor, it is heartbreaking not to administer Christ’s body and blood to His church, but these times are anything but ordinary. I pray for your understanding with this decision. I look forward and will rejoice when we can join together at the Lord’s Table to celebrate Holy Communion with one another, shoulder to shoulder.
Starting next Thursday, April 2nd at 10am I will be continuing our Bible Study through the Book of Proverbs. This Bible Study will be done online via Zoom and is accessible via the Internet or through the Zoom app. The Meeting ID is 404-970-9801. Simply enter that code on the Zoom website or app and you will be joined to the Bible Study automatically. The Bible Study will also be recorded and uploaded to the Grace Chapel YouTube channel.
Lastly, we are entering a time in our church and faith life that is central to who we are as redeemed children of God. Holy Week is an important part of our faith walk as we journey with Jesus; from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the institution of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, His crucifixion on Good Friday, and the glorious resurrection on Easter. We will worship together online for Holy Week; 9:30am Palm Sunday, 7pm Maundy Thursday, 7pm Good Friday, and 9:30am Easter Sunday. But, when we are once again free and clear to gather and worship together (yes, it will happen), our first service together will be a joyous celebration of Easter. It will be a beautiful day to give thanks to our God who daily protects us! It will be a blessed day to stand side-by-side with one another and celebrate Holy Communion! It will be a joyous day to celebrate our risen and living Savior!
In closing, please continue to keep our teachers, students, families, and other staff in your prayers. If you have needs of any kind, please reach out to me.
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance on you and give you peace.
+ In His Grip and In His Service +
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