An Offical Update from APC!
I hope that you all are well, doing well, and being well. We are in interesting times. Who knew that 2020 would get off to this kind of start? No one but the Lord, that’s who. So, as probably many of you have, I have watched the coverage of the Coronavirus daily. Not because I want to, but because my professional responsibilities require me to be informed. Just yesterday I was on a hour-long conference call with the White House and Homeland Security discussing the impact of this situation on corrections and detention operations nationwide. Thankfully, things are quite stable in my profession across the country. But the guidelines and safety precautions are continually being revised. As more and more statistical data becomes available, the authorities can use it to run models of data to predict outcomes. Those new outcomes lead to new guidelines.
So yesterday afternoon during my quiet time with the Lord I asked Him if we should be doing anything in regards to this situation and the church. Much to my surprise, the Lord told me to shut down all services for the next two weeks. He told me the next two weeks would be particularly significant for the very young and the elderly. This was not something I planned to hear. In fact, I stated to quite a few folks in the last few services, that I did not anticipate any scenario where I would call off the services. And not being one to think I have the voice of God down pat, I asked the five-fold leaders to seek God’s heart for the church during this time as well, without disclosing what He had said to me. Samantha brought me the same word from the Lord that I had heard a few hours later. So we’re going to follow the Lord’s guidance and hold off on gathering together publicly for the time being.
We’re still planning on having some teachings via online platforms. For example, I will share the next two lessons from the Bait of Satan online as I did with last week’s lesson. And for Saturday night’s teachings, we’ll either record a video to be posted or have a live feed. So do not be concerned, you will hear from us, and we will continue to commune with you, but just in a different way. Depending on weather, we also may gather for an outdoor worship and prayer session at the land, but we’ll see. We will ramp up our communication with all of you via phone over the next several weeks so we can maintain a sense of connectedness. If you’re not sure if we have your phone number, please get it to us. But stay tuned and stay in prayer for our church, and the family of God at large, the nation and the world. God is at work in all of this and His glory will be revealed, rest assured.
If you’d like to gather amongst yourselves in homes, please do so. Make informed decisions and be appropriately conscious of the risks, particularly with young children involved who can be carriers but not symptomatic, and the elderly. Right now, I am targeting April 1st as our next gathering together at Court Street. We will be flexible on that date as the time passes. We may be in a very different state two weeks from now. All other events are postponed indefinitely. We will look to do the community pancake breakfast in April, God willing. If we can assist you in any particular way at this time, please let us know. We can do just about anything but bring you toilet paper. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. Have a great week, we’ll be in touch.
In thankfulness for all of you,
I've heard back from the Methodists in reference to going back to holding services at Court Street. For now, they have denied our request, so we will be continuing with our online platform this week. The denial comes from the Bishop who oversees Virginia, so it is not a local matter. Her intention with all Methodist churches in VA is to allow in-person services to resume once the Governor moves Virginia into phase 3. If I remember correctly, this Friday we should be entering phase 2 of the Governor's re-opening plan and if the scientific data holds, phase 3 two weeks after that. We will have to wait and see how things progress. I am challenging their decision, albeit from a posture of humility and submission. Whenever the people of Israel were oppressed, they cried out to the Lord and He heard them. This week, join me in crying out to the Lord to remove the oppression of His people. We're entertaining the idea of outdoor services on the land. There's a lot that goes into that given the weather, all the rain we've had as of late, and logistical concerns so stay tuned and hopefully we'll have a path forward very soon. Keep your chin up, God is still on His throne!