Church wide response to the Coronavirus Pandemic
March 25, 2020
Hello Church Family,
“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
These words came from the pen of the writer to the Hebrews to those who had endured “a hard struggle with sufferings,” having been “publicly exposed to reproach and affliction” (Hebrews 10:32-39). Instead of giving way to worry and panic, rather than doubting God or blaming Him, they drew near to Him in faith, trusting in His wisdom, might, and plan. They persevered in faith because, as James Montgomery Boice writes, they knew and trusted that “God is in control of history and will yet work all things out in accordance with his just and all-wise plan for humanity.”
I pray, brothers and sisters, that in our time of uncertainty, struggle, and affliction, we will not shrink back in fear, but step forward in faith to trust our God and King just as the followers of Jesus did to whom the writer of Hebrews sent his letter. What a great challenge this provides to us in whatever current circumstance we face, including the present health crisis. Rather than shrink back, may we advance in faith, allowing God to enlarge our faith and stretch our trust beyond its present borders.
Future Worship Gatherings
Many of you are likely already aware that Mecklenburg County has issued an Executive Order to Stay at Home starting Thursday, March 26, through Thursday, April 16.
This decision will not alter our online live stream of our Sunday morning worship service, Wednesday women’s Bible study, and Vessel student ministry Wednesday night gathering, as the order makes allowance for such.
Our staff has decided to continue with our online only live streams through the end of April. We will evaluate the situation in mid-April with the latest information from health organizations and government officials as to how we proceed forward beyond the end of April.
This week I will begin going live on Facebook, Wednesdays at 3 PM to minister the Word of God to our hearts, spend time in prayer, and share any information and updates.
As a result of the Executive Order, beginning Thursday, March 26, our church staff will be working remotely as opposed to working in the office. Though our staff will not be in the office, you can still reach us with questions or needs via email or through the following direct contact numbers.
Pastor on call: 704-614-0637
Ron Gregory: 704-840-6746
Jana Reiter: 704-320-8089
The Church Being the Church
Over these last few weeks, I have been blessed to see the hand of God moving upon His people. I want to thank you and commend you for “your love” and “the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and love for all the saints” (Philemon 1:4).
I am eager for the days to come when we can gather together again and I can continue to get to know you and build relationships with you. In the meantime, I am honored to be part of the First Matthews family and love and appreciate you.
In Christ alone,