One thing is for sure...we've been apart for far too long!
It's now been over 2 months since these unprecedented times began and the uncertainty of what was to come forced us to have to adapt in ways we never even conceived would be a part of reality.
Because we didn't know what the COVID-19 pandemic would look like in our area, we chose to close our doors and follow suit with federal and state guidelines for one reason - because we LOVE each and every one of you and the physical health and well-being of you and your family is one of our highest concerns!
We did NOT act out of fear, whether it was fear of the unknown effects of the virus, or fear of government punishment!
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and a sound mind
2 Timothy 1:7
And like-wise, we did not think it wise to disobey the guidelines and orders set forth by our leaders because no one knew what was to come, and so we agreed to follow suit with our leader's demands as we had no reason to believe other than that they were simply acting out of the best interests for all people. And in that sense, Paul's words in
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment
And so, in obeying and trusting in the word of God first, we chose to obey our government leaders.
And thank God for technology and innovation that we have been able to remain connected and still "gather" online in many ways so as not to violate the clear command in
to "not forsake the assembling of ourselves together".
However, over the last few weeks, there seem to be three realities that have now led us to decide otherwise and not follow suit with what the government authorities, both state and local, are continuing to (what we believe to be unjustly) impress upon our community.
- COVID-19 simply hasn't affected our area like it has the major metropolitan areas throughout the rest of the country. As of most recent statistics according the county's website, covid19.calaverasgov.us, Calaveras County has tested 485 people, there have been 13 positive cases of infection, and 0 deaths. Furthermore, all 13 people have since recovered, feasibly weeks ago! To put it plainly, COVID-19 is simply not in our area!
- The apostle Paul goes on in his letter to the Romans concerning submission to government authority, and makes some important qualifiers. First of all, in verse 3, he says that "...rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad." And in verse 4, he says, speaking of government leaders, "for he is God's servant for your good." That word servant is the Greek word diakonos which can be translated "deacon." The state is to be the servant of God in so far as serving the general welfare of all people, and not seeking to punish those for doing good. We believe that the government is no longer serving the community in that capacity, but rather has a different agenda in mind, which doesn't seem to have the Church's best interest at heart! And when we believe that the government is violating our rights as citizens and is no longer seeking to serve, but to rule, then we have an obligation to act!
- From the beginning, the government's failure to recognize the Church as an "essential service" raised many concerns, and rightfully so! And now with the rising statistics involving depression and suicidal thoughts and attempts, alcohol and drug use, and domestic and marital problems, it should be obvious the essential role church-life plays in the mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of virtually millions of people. We need church, it is absolutely ESSENTIAL to our lives!
Therefore, we believe it is the wise and loving thing to follow the apostle Peter's words in
We must obey God rather than men
And in doing so, we're re-opening our church doors!
But we will not do so unwisely, carelessly, or without consideration of your continued safety and well-being. So we feel that it is still the wise thing to follow suit with the various health and safety guidelines for re-opening church buildings.
For the full and exhaustive list that we will do our best to follow as is necessary and reasonable for our facilities, please click
for more information.
And for an idea of what to expect this Sunday morning, please click
for our general plan on how we're going to conduct worship service.
We look forward to worshiping with you and your family!
And please, if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us.
God bless you all, and let's continue to keep our country, our state, and our local government leaders in prayer, and that the Church continues to be the Church in the days ahead.
May we continue in unity and one accord, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples of all the nations!
In His love,
Pastor Jeremy and Monica
Please click on a link below for related guidelines: