Shenandoah District Connection
Holy Week Edition
April 7, 2020
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Call to Worship
A Psalm of Celebration
(loosely inspired by Psalm 118)

Though we have known hardship and pain,
though life has not always turned out as we had hoped,
we will stand here and say:
God’s steadfast love endures for ever!

Though life becomes more complex,
the deepest questions remain unanswered,
and the mystery of faith deepens, we will say:
God’s steadfast love endures for ever!

And though the pain of the world
often seems more than we can bear or address,
we will stand firm in our faith and say:
God’s steadfast love endures for ever!

Meditation and Prayer
In All Things God Works

As I ponder our current situation, one verse that keeps coming to mind is Romans 8:28, which says: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” We might wonder, then, what “good” is God working out in all this? I’ve come up with a few thoughts, though this list is hardly exhaustive:

  1. God is showing us that we live in a fallen world (Romans 8:22). This world is not what God intended it to be; it is broken because of our sin, and as a result, we experience things like this. Yet remembering that this world is fallen increases our longing for a world that is not broken, which we are promised in Revelation 21:1-7.
  2. God is reminding us just how much we are not in control of the future (James 4:1-2). I’m the type of person who likes to make plans and start each day with a list of what will happen and what I want to accomplish. This quarantine is teaching me (and I suspect many others) that we don’t always get to operate on our own timeline because God is in control of the future, not us.
  3. God is using this crisis to bring us closer together (Philippians 2:4). It’s been heartwarming to hear stories of how people have been reaching out to one another in the past few weeks. When times are “normal,” we tend to only focus on ourselves. In times like these, however, we have the opportunity to learn what it means to be part of a community.
  4. God is bringing us to the place where we will call upon Him in desperation. Sad to say, but far too many of us only call upon God in times of crisis and trouble. When times are good, many of us ignore God, but when times like this come upon us, they have a way of bringing us back to Him. The good news is no matter how far we drift from God, He is never far from us (Acts 17:27).
  5. God is using this as a way to get us to slow down and focus on Him. We tend to fill our lives with so much “stuff” that it becomes difficult to “seek first His kingdom,” as Jesus tells us to in Matthew 6:33. We focus on our careers, our work, our hobbies, our interests, our sports teams, and so on. What’s left when we’re forced to take a break from all of that? We have God, and we have one another. So perhaps this is an opportunity for us to slow down and do as God says in Psalm 46:10: Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
  6. Earlier I quoted Romans 8:28, which ends with the phrase, “who have been called according to His purpose.” And what is God’s purpose for us? We’re told in the very next verse: “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son…” (Romans 8:29). There it is! Our purpose in life is to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus, the One who came not to be served, but to serve; the One who became obedient unto death for our sake; and the One who laid down His life for us only to take it back up again. I believe that God can use anything and everything to accomplish this purpose (yes, even the coronavirus pandemic!).

Let us trust that He is working this situation for our good!

Prayer: Almighty God, in the midst of these uncertain times, help us to deepen our trust in You. We thank You that Your word reminds us that You use all things for our good, and we ask You to help us see this time not as an inconvenience or an interruption, but as an opportunity to learn what You wish to teach us. Help us to glorify You as we minister to one another during this time. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Tim Craver
Pastor, Summit Church of the Brethren
Congregational Care Team member
Churches with Alternative or Online Services
Many Shenandoah District churches are streaming services online during this time of time of quarantine and social distancing. Some churches are posting on their church websites, some are broadcasting through Facebook and others are using meeting software such as Zoom . Be sure to download the application needed to view services in the format the specific church is utilizing prior to service times, where applicable.

Special Holy Week Services:

Maundy Thursday: Pleasant Hill will post a link to view service on Facebook
7 p.m. Good Friday: Antioch will stream service on their YouTube channel .
7:30 p.m. Good Friday: White Hill will have a service through Facebook live.

6:30 a.m. Easter morning: Pastor George Bowers will be streaming Sunrise service on Facebook .
7 a.m. Easter morning: Pastors Larry Aikens and Jon Prater will be streaming a joint Sunrise service. The service can be viewed live by following Larry or Jon on Facebook. It will also be posted on the YouTube channel for Pastor Jon CoB after recording.

The following congregations have online access to services:
Antioch  | 8:30 a.m. Sundays | Bible Study
Barren Ridge  | 11 a.m. Sundays | Bible Study
Beaver Creek  | 11 a.m. Sundays
Blue Ridge Chapel | 10:30 a.m. Sundays (check weekly for link) | Bible Study
Bridgewater | 11 a.m. Sundays
Briery Branch | Noon Sundays
Calvary  DVDs will be made available for members upon request.
Cedar Run | 11 a.m. Sundays
Community Mission | 10 a.m. Sundays Drive-in Worship Service by PA system.
Fairview Endless Caverns | 11 a.m. Sundays
Forest Chapel  | 10:50 Sundays; Bible Study | 7 p.m. Thursdays
Harrisonburg First  | 10:30 a.m. Sundays or on  Facebook
Leake’s Chapel  | 10 a.m. Sundays and on  Facebook
Madison | 11 a.m. Sundays on Zoom. Contact Pastor Ed Morris for the Zoom meeting number to enter the worship service
Middle River | 6 p.m. Sundays
Mill Creek   | 10 a.m. on Sundays
Mountain Grove Fulks Run | 11 a.m. Sundays; remain in cars for the service and hear message via PA system.
Mt Olivet | on YouTube.com
Mt Zion-Linville  | 9:45 a.m. Sundays
Oak Hill | 11 a.m. Sundays
Pleasant View-Mt. Jackson  |Daily posts on Facebook | Bible Study on Zoom      
Salem | 11 a.m. Sundays
Staunton  and or on  website
Stone  | 10:45 a.m. Sundays
Summit  and on  Facebook
Valley Pike | 11 a.m. Sundays and on Facebook
Wakemans Grove  | 11 a.m. Sundays
White Hill  | 10:45 a.m. Sundays

These are the congregations who have submitted information thus far. If your congregation wishes to be included, e-mail your info to John Jantzi at the District Office at  johnjantzi@shencob.org .
If you have questions about the Daily Connection, contact:
Director of Communications
Shenandoah District Church of the Brethren
P.O. Box 67
Weyers Cave, Va. 24486
(540) 234-8555
www.shencob.org

Photo by B. Diehl
(Graphics courtesy of pixabay.com, unless otherwise stated)