Hi Shoreline family and friends,
The pandemic has made it difficult to communicate with the entire church at times, especially those unable to physically come to our worship services, so I want to do my best to regularly and directly communicate with you however I can.
We have had a wonderful time of worshiping outdoors the past two Sundays. This past Sunday our physical attendance was greater than it has been in the past five weeks. We are thankful for the Lord’s blessing and I want to encourage you to invite family and friends, especially those who need to hear the gospel, to join us physically or online.
Four weeks ago, we chose to continue singing praises to the Lord despite government guidelines to refrain from singing in public worship services—you can access the explanation here. Two weeks ago, in response to government guidelines, we chose to move our worship service outdoors. Why did we disobey one but follow the other? The reason is the Bible does tell us how to worship—singing, preaching, praying—but it does not tell us where to worship. Much of our Lord’s ministry and the ministry of the early church took place outdoors. The Bible tells us to gather to worship, but it does not tell us we must worship indoors. We must not confuse the building with the church. There are times when we must obey God rather than men, but it needs to be a clear matter of biblical obedience. With that said, there may be churches that have no viable outdoor option, and I don’t want to compare their situation to ours.
We have sought to be faithful to the Lord and follow pandemic mitigation efforts wherever we could. As far as I am aware, there have been a very small number of Covid outbreaks at churches not practicing mitigation efforts, but there have not been major outbreaks among churches practicing mitigation efforts. We should be thankful to the Lord for that. Churches have done an amazing job of keeping their congregations safe. With that said, there is disagreement among Christians in terms of what mitigation efforts to take, and each Christian must seek to honor the Lord in their conscience and actions. As has been said, “In essentials we are to have unity, in non-essentials we are to have liberty, and in all things we are to have love.” May this be a time where we show the world true Christian humility, love, and unity.
Our greatest goal as individual Christians and as a church is to honor the Lord in all we do. I ask you to please share with me any concerns or needs you have so that our church can do our best to encourage and minister to you while we seek together to honor the Lord at this time. May the Lord bless you and cause His face to shine upon you (Psalm 67). I love you and you are in my prayers continually.