Area D Connections
News & Notes
May 19, 2020
"And then the end will come."
Abstract Double Exposure of Jesus Silhouette with Light Beam and Clouds.
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14 NIV84).

Jesus' words in Matthew 24 are filled with dire warnings of the signs that precede his second coming. Wars, rumors of wars, persecution, false prophets, earthquakes, and famines are among the scourges listed. One might wonder whether that list is simply representative and whether pandemics might also be such a sign.

Along with the list, we find a glimmer of hope, in the words of Matthew 24:14, above. The Good News of Christ's kingdom of grace, by which he rules in this world, and his kingdom of glory by which he rules in the world to come, stands in stark contrast to the conflict and pestilence that Jesus describes. It's also Good News to those of us dealing with COVID-19. Who of us would not say with St. Paul: "I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far" (Philippians 1:23 NIV84).

Yet while we're here, we have a job to do. Jesus commissions us as his emissaries to make disciples of "all nations" (Matthew 28:18). Among the many opportunities that this awful virus has given us, it has forced many of us to proclaim the Gospel more publicly than ever before. Many congregations in Texas are reporting a MUCH larger attendance for online worship than ever experienced in person. Perhaps the current situation is just another step in Jesus' assurance that "the gospel of the kingdom will preached to all nations."

For when it is, Jesus says, our longings will be fulfilled: "then the end will come."

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
The Future of Your Congregation: Some Significant Questions
Worship from home_ Online live church for sunday service_ Laptop screen with wooden cross church photo on wooden table
As a church leader, how are you using this this transitional time, as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic? An online webinar sponsored by the SEND institute, encouraged church leaders to consider using this time as a transitional moment, especially considering these questions:

  • Crises tend to reveal weaknesses. Are we using this time to examine our ministry and preparing to change things that need to be improved? If we are just "waiting this out," an opportunity may be lost.
  • In most cases, churches and ministries are getting a "do-over"--an opportunity to re-launch. How will our churches and ministries make use of that opportunity?
  • In most cases, the health situation has forced our churches outside of our walls. Will we continue that once circumstances change? If so, how?

The webinar went on to explore shifts to be considered by church leaders in five areas: personal, small groups, church, community, and culture.

For a brief review of suggested shifts, check out the webinar PowerPoint presentation.

To view an archive of the webinar, click here. The password is FUTURE.
Resources
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From Governor Abbott:




Additional guidance for youth camps, sports camps, etc. may be found here.
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Parenting Through Crisis and Transition Webinar Archive with Sarah Benson of Trinity, Klein

Salem, Tomball Salem Saints Open Golf Tournament --register here.