“I have said these things to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (Jesus in John 16:33)
I hope all of you are doing well at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. “These are crazy times!,” a friend of mine said to me this week, and he is certainly right. While we must practice social distancing from one another, praise the Lord He is never distant or isolated from us! When Jesus miraculously calmed the stormy sea (Mark 4:35-41) and then asked his terrified disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” he wasn’t rebuking them. Rather, he was prodding them and us to always remember: “Jesus does care, and I can trust Him!”
Until further notice we will not be holding public worship services and meetings at our building. We will continue to offer the live stream of our worship services on Sunday mornings. To improve the quality of the live stream we’ve made some equipment changes and have added the capability of watching the live stream directly from the Chapel website in addition to Facebook. Simply click on the link on the homepage to login to the live stream. The quality of the streaming will be better on the Chapel site. The sermon and announcements will be recorded and posted on the website Sunday afternoon for later viewing.
Thank you, Pastor Josh, for working out all these technical details for us. I’m also grateful for Clayton Stratton, Brian Robinson, Vickie Collins, and Travis and Nicole Seitler for assisting in producing the live stream, and for Dan and Emily Davis, Dawn Morgan, and Carlyn Freil for taking part in the services. We’re doing our best with the resources and expertise that we have to lead you into worship and the Word; we ask for your patience and prayers.
Some of you may be wondering how we are able to continue broadcasting from church with the governor’s stay-at-home order for York County in effect. As a church/religious organization, we are exempt from the order and believe that it remains safe to meet in a small number, practicing social distancing, to produce the worship service.
Sadly, this means that we will not be gathering together for our Easter Sunday services and baptisms will take place once we are able to gather together again. For many of us that’s another loss to mourn during this season of sacrifices. However, we are brainstorming ways to make our Resurrection Celebration even more celebratory though it will take place online. The Hanover Area evangelical pastors will be holding our annual Good Friday Community Worship Service via live stream online as well. We are even trying to figure out how to share communion. This service will also be live streamed here and Facebook. Encourage your friends to join us online Good Friday and Easter; perhaps host a watch party.
Thankfully, several of the Growth Groups and share groups from our Celebrate Recovery ministry have been able to connect online by means of the app Zoom. Even though we have to be distant from one other, we don’t have to isolate. We can remain connected to each other. Let’s keep caring for one another by phone and online.
The Coronavirus pandemic has unsettled so many people, and many are wondering about death and the afterlife. It certainly seems like these crazy times are being used by God to get people’s attention. Knowing this, I will be sharing the gospel simply and clearly in the next several Sunday morning messages. I ask for your prayers for clarity, boldness, and compassion as I preach. And I’ll be praying for you and me that God would open doors for us to share the good news of King Jesus to others.
Remember that our global ministry partners are struggling with the Coronavirus situation, too. Make sure you see their prayer letters attached to the bulletin. And thank you for remembering to give online or by mail. It really helps during these uncertain economic times.
Please know that if you have any questions, ideas, concerns, or prayer requests, you can call. Your elders, pastoral staff, and leaders all love you and are praying for you!
Pastor Scott Morgan