Dear Scotsdale Church Family,
Greetings to you in the name of God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. I am sending you this letter for two purposes. The first part of this letter is for your information. The second part is for your encouragement.
Recently we have seen a sharp upward trend in Covid cases in El Paso. Our Mayor has made a plea for our citizens to be wise and cautious in all of our public outings. After the last extended closure, and during our subsequent re-opening of church services, the Elders sensed that it would be dishonoring to the Lord for us to cancel services again. This decision is based on Hebrews 10:23-25
23Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, 25not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Since our re-opening we have encouraged those with immunity challenges to remain at home and to participate with us by way of our online services. I will have more to say about this in a moment. We are resolved to continue meeting in person at the Scotsdale Baptist Church location. I want to emphasize to you that WE are the church! The building is just the place where we meet. With that being said, please be assured that we are continuing to do all we can to maintain a clean facility and to provide a safe environment in compliance with recommendations.
If you are one of those who do not feel comfortable returning to our in-person services, I respect where you are. I would, however, encourage you to participate with us online. I am aware that we have had some serious challenges with providing a consistent, quality livestream production. This week we had some new equipment installed which should provide a much better service in both sight and sound for those of you who will view our services online. If you have given up on viewing our services due to past frustrations I would ask you to give us another try. Actually, give a few tries to get the kinks worked out. If you do not have online access, but you would like to watch our services, please call the church office to request a DVD. We will get one to you.
Due to this recent “up-tick” in viral infections our office is going to go back to Phase One operation status. This means that we will remain open Monday through Friday from 8:30-4:30. Our personnel will be in the office, but access will be less convenient. The gates to the courtyard will remain locked during these hours. We want to continue to serve you to the best of our ability. If you should need to come by the office for any reason during those hours, we ask that you call the church office (915) 595-2811 to let us know that you are coming and how we may assist you. If, for some reason, you need to actually come into the office please wear a mask, and please maintain a safe distance. Remember, this is for everyone’s protection!
At the beginning of this pandemic we often heard and used the term “unprecedented times.” I believe we have moved from unprecedented to “uncertain times.” There are still so many unknowns for all of us, from medical professionals to us common citizens. If we are not careful this uncertainty can lead us to worry and fear.
I want to encourage you and remind you that our Heavenly Father is still on His throne, and He has ultimate control! I don’t know about you but promises from God’s Word always help me to get His perspective on issues. So, with that in mind, allow me to share some favorite verses with you with the hope that these words will alleviate any fear or discouragement you may have.
- Joshua 1:9 – Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
- Isaiah 41:10 – Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.
- Colossians 3:1-2 – 1So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.
Dear Church Family, we have so many things tearing at the fabric of this nation. We have an enemy who wants us to fear, be discouraged, and worry. Our Heavenly Father commands us to do just the opposite. We need to suit up and go to war (Ephesians 6:10-18), not with one another, but with the one who wants to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10) this nation, our marriages, our families, and the Lord’s church. We must not let that happen! If you can come back to church, come back. If you can’t, watch online or request a DVD by calling the church office. Commit this phrase to memory—GOD IS BIGGER!