Coronavirus COVID-19

A letter from Pastor Strandburg


God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.

I just received these words of Psalm 46 in an e-mail from our Bishop, Cynthia Moore-Koikoi. She followed the Psalm with these words of encouragement for us all: “Periodically there are times when viruses and bacteria shake our world.  We are in such a time.  Nations like China and Italy are in an uproar.  The self-proclaimed kingdom of ‘Wall Street’ is tottering. During times like these I want to remind all of us that: ‘The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.’  God speaks to us: ‘Be still, and know that I am God!’”

During times like these God has provided us with health professionals and epidemiologists who can provide us with counsel and wisdom in making these decisions.  Please read the attached information and guidelines prepared by Dr. Jessica Price who leads our Conference Abundant Health Team. It will give you some valuable information. 

As your Pastor, I would encourage all of us to be prudent in our actions during these challenging times. Follow the good recommendations, such as those which Dr. Price has summarized for us. Your church will do the same. We are monitoring the situation very closely and will follow the advisories and mandates that come our way. If our local authorities advise the suspension of large group gatherings in our area, we will do so. Until then, we will maintain our usual worship schedule. I would encourage our people to follow the recommendations of our medical personnel as you make your own personal decision whether or not to attend worship. The elderly, and persons with compromised immune systems or pre-existing health conditions should take special care. The Lord will understand if you must worship from home for a time until the present situation is resolved, and so will I. If you will be so kind to notify the church of your intentions, then we will be able to keep in touch with you by other means throughout this emergency.

Do you have a special need? Please let us know. We desire to be of service to you, even during these extraordinary times. We are just a telephone call away.

The Lord of Hosts is with us!

Pastor Tom