Pandemic Times

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I hope you are all faring well in this Pandemic time. We will soon have information regarding reopening our church building. Our basic criteria for “when” follows the CDC recommendation of 14 days of declining Covid-19 cases in our area. There has been a slight increase in cases in Montgomery County, so bear with us. As of today, it looks like we can re-open in July. We will keep you posted in our weekly email, “Happenings”.

While we deal with the re-opening, ministry continues. Over $35,000 has been given to our Pastor’s Discretionary Fund to help people in need. Bless you!  Financially, we are doing pretty well. There was a dip in giving in May – if you can, please continue to generously support our on-going work in our community. If you can do a little extra, that would help immensely. 

Worship life is alive and well – thanks to our staff and volunteers who are doing so much to keep us centered. We are learning much that will help us move into the future – for instance, we will be offering our second live-streamed Memorial service today for Don Gilland. Please remember his wife Judy and the family in your prayers. These services are helping us practice when we return to in-person worship, because we will continue to live-stream our services beyond this pandemic time as a ministry to the community.  

Spiritual Life in general – we are grateful that daily devotions continue with “Coffee Conversation with the Heaths”.  Pastor David and Patrick Nazaroff continue their “Beyond Sunday” podcast. Bible studies are flourishing. We are doing more of them than ever before. Contact the church office if you need help getting into one at 281-367-7016. 

People have been serving in person. Over 40 members, including our youth, have helped repair and reset a member’s house for her return from hospital and rehab. Copperwood Senior Living Facility continues to be served by our congregation in this time. Thanks to all of you! If you need help getting you and your family safely connected to serving, please contact Jenny McKenna through the church office or email jMcKenna@LordofLifeOnline.org.

And our fellowship and celebrating continue – with the help of LOL member Brian Stockham and his food truck, the Mother’s Day Brunch fundraiser brought in over 80+ orders, totally $1300 for our Copperwood ministry.

Regarding George Floyd’s death

As you have been watching in the news, we are dealing with a new awareness of how far we have to go with race relations in this country at the death of Houstonian George Floyd. Protests around the country are an appropriate exercise of our 1st Amendment rights. It is our constitutional right as citizens of this country when a message needs to be sent to the powers that be that something needs to change.

That being said, we can be grateful for the positive role model displayed in Houston 2 days ago, when citizens, governmental authorities, and even police were seen to get on their knees for a moment of silence to remember George Floyd. This is the way we begin to change the culture and achieve true peace with justice. It starts when citizens and authorities recognize the need for humble, cooperative ways to deal with this problem, recognizing we are all complicit in this matter.

Martin Luther himself made it clear that when authorities abuse their power, they need to be held accountable by the people. He said in his treatise – “Secular Authority: To What Extent it Should Be Obeyed”:

“In instituting government, God has given it a specific task. It is to protect people committed to its care against exploitation by brutal selfishness and violence of their fellow men…. It is the function and honor of worldly government to make men out of wild beasts and to prevent men from becoming wild beasts.”

So even governmental authority must submit to the authority of God. This is particularly true wherever oppression and injustice rear their ugly heads. I believe this is a time of correction in our society, and another moment at which we look at a recurring issue among us, and take another step in our societal healing.

Peaceful people make for peace. That is our calling as Christians. To look at differences among us and start by seeing the love of God for every person, and our common humanity and need for basic dignity, safety and liberty.  But it has to start with us. As the song says,

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Hoping to see you all soon, my dear Brothers and Sisters,

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Gary
 

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