As you all know by now Mayor Dee Margo has issued a “Shelter in Place” order for the city of El Paso. The purpose of this letter is to let you know about the actions and operations of the church during this time. Please share this letter with another church member who does not have email capability. I would encourage you to call them and read the letter to them. This may include a Sunday School Class member or someone who attends the worship services, but not Sunday School.
First, for obvious reasons, the church office will not be open for as long as this city-wide order is in place. I want you to know that, in the meantime, the office staff and ministers will continue working from home. We have arranged for our church phone services to be transferred to Kay during regular office hours. The church number will then be transferred to the pastor’s phone during the evenings and weekends. If you call the church office number (915-595- 2811) during the weekday needing to talk to someone else, just let Kay know who you need to talk to and she will forward your information to us. We will return your call.
We will do everything we can do electronically/digitally because we will not be able to go into the office to print and mail. So again, if you receive an email or text from the church please convey our message to those that you know of who do not have an email address. This would be very helpful to us, and I am sure that your call would mean a lot to them. Speaking of mail, we have arranged for the mail carrier to deposit our church mail in a designated door that has a mail slot.
Second, in preparation for this order we have turned all thermostats off so that money would not be spent unnecessarily on utilities without people being in the buildings. We have also suspended our lawn care service for now.
Third, we will work hard to communicate with our church family well and often. It is important for us, as a church family, to continue to worship together even if we can’t be in the same building. Some of our Sunday School Classes are arranging to meet digitally. I applaud them in their efforts to do this. There are some video conference apps that would allow groups to get together to study, pray, and worship together. I encourage you to take advantage of those meetings. Additionally we are live-streaming our worship services on Sunday mornings at 10:30. You can access these services on our church Facebook page even if you do not have a Facebook account. You can also find the services on YouTube, and we are researching to see how we can broadcast on Right Now Media as well.
Fourth, I want to remind you that although we are not meeting together on Sundays this does not mean that ministry has stopped, and most of our property expenses have not stopped. In a staff meeting last Monday I announced that at this point we do not have a Children’s Minister, a Youth Minister, a Music Minister, or a Senior Minister, we just have ministers; and this group also includes our Elders and our Deacons. Our Elders will utilize our digital capabilities to continue to meet in order to give instruction, guidance, and biblical oversight to the church. Our Deacons will continue to reach out to their assigned widows, to oversee benevolent needs, and to minister to other families in need. In the future I hope we will begin to see some prayer groups meeting together via some type of video or telephonic medium just to pray. Feel free to coordinate that yourself if you feel so inclined.
Finally, because the work, ministry, and finances of the church have not stopped, I want to plead with you to be faithful in giving your tithes and offerings to the church. I know that, in uncertain times like this, it is tempting to want to save everything you can just for your own family. And while I would encourage you to be wise in your money management, I would also remind you that your investment in kingdom purposes will yield an amazing return. It is possible to make an online donation to the church through your bank. If you do not know how to do this just call your bank and they will help you set it up. If you wish to continue to mail your check you may do that. You can also give through our church website or you can text your donation. With that I will leave you with two verses:
• Malachi 3:10-11, “Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the Lord of Armies. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not ruin the produce of your land and your vine in your field will not fail to produce,” says the Lord of Armies.
• 1 Timothy 6:18-19, Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, 19 storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.