Hi Shoreline Family and Friends,
As a church we have tried to do our very best to follow the biblical principle of submitting to governing authorities and yet at the same time be committed to obeying the Lord in worshiping together and making disciples of Jesus Christ. Our first and highest priority during this time has been to honor the Lord in what we do. I want to say a personal word of thanks: our church has been extremely faithful and gracious as we try to navigate a very difficult and complex set of circumstances. I am deeply thankful to the Lord for you and the privilege the Lord has given me to be your pastor.
A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court held in a New York case that the government cannot treat a church in a disparate way than the way secular establishments are treated. In other words, if people can go inside Costco or Lowes, they can go inside a church building. Additionally, the constitution actually gives religious activities greater protections than it does to other activities. Later they vacated several prior decisions and sent them back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit recently held in a Nevada case that churches cannot be treated differently than retail stores and any orders that do so are not legal orders. Since we fall under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit, we can now continue to submit to our governing authorities and worship indoors at the same time.
Here is our plan beginning this Sunday (Dec 27).
As the pandemic is spreading more rapidly during these colder months, we want to be careful to do everything we can to keep it from spreading to others. If you are not feeling well, then please don’t come and join us online. If you have underlying health conditions or you are concerned about health concerns, then please join us online. The last thing we want is for someone to come and worship with us and become ill. For those joining us in person, I ask everyone to be especially cautious in the weeks ahead by practicing social distancing, wearing a mask, and using hand sanitizer.
Last and most important, I ask you to pray. Pray for God to give our governmental leaders wisdom. Pray for God to keep our church safe. Pray for God to grow our love for Him and one another. Pray for God to give us a humble spirit. Pray for us to trust the Lord and lean not on our own understanding. Pray for God to give us opportunities to share His love and grace in Jesus Christ. Pray for us to advance God’s glory in our lives and community. God has been so faithful to us through this time.
May God bless you and Merry Christmas,