March 25, 2020
Dear friend and family of Refuge…
You DID it! You made our virtual service Sunday a success. A healthy group of households tuned in and worshipped with us and I’m so grateful. We also got feedback on week 2 and identified a number of ways to improve the sound quality, image quality and more for next week, so hang in there as we follow the edicts presently in place but still set aside time to be present with one another. I’m reminded of the apostle Paul (who we JUST got to in Acts 9)…
“For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.”
What is God going to do with us, or help us “reap” with this time we are apart and prevented from our “normal” routines? One Refuge member told me “I think we all might be learning a better way of living, going back to the basics, remembering what is important.” If part of that remembrance is the time and focus on Christ, that’s a win already.
Paul ALSO writes “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities…” in Romans 13, and he elaborates for 7 verses. It’s a good time, even for those of us who are healthy and unconcerned about catching it, to honor our scripture. Some folks may think the latest “Stay Home” edict for the next two weeks is an overreaction, and some admittedly aren’t fond of our governing authorities. Some may just feel stir crazy. But we ARE fond of scripture, so out of deference and submission to our Lord and his kingdom we should set the example and show our neighbors that we submit – if not to presidents or governors – to our Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ, the living Word of God. May he bless us in this endeavor. And THANK God we have great resources to stay connected as a church during this time.
We have an easier link to remember for THIS Sunday’s service: https://www.youtube.com/c/RefugeChurch
That should take you to the main page where the Sunday stream/Premiere will appear Sunday morning to join in promptly at 10am.
We will also post the link on the Facebook page, and I’ll share it on my personal FB page so if you have trouble Sunday you can always check there too.
- Refuge Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RefugeinJesus/
- Pastor James’ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/harlemanic
ALSO: we still need your help! Or at least hungry children do, especially in this crisis. As mentioned on Sunday, we have a food drive still going on for Nourishing Network: that’s an “essential service” and if you’re hitting the grocery store to stay home and stay safe, you can stop by and drop off food for the functionally homeless to help keep them safe and fed. We will have a drop-off time at REFUGE SATURDAY MARCH 28, 9AM – 11AM. All healthy folks able to drop off single-serving food items, please do so! And if you’re REALLY concerned about your health but want to help, you CAN give to Nourishing Network online: https://foundationesd.org/donate-now/
Your deacons and elders would only ask me to remind you that giving should be above and beyond normal giving! Thanks to all those who have switched to online giving to Refuge during this time, it’s been a blessing! Some others admitted they didn’t know where to go, so here’s the link: https://findrefuge.churchcenter.com/giving
Remain united in prayer, united in fellowship, and united in Christ. Grace and peace,
– Pastor James