Good morning Church!
As I write this to you, I’m sitting on my front porch, watching the sunrise on another beautiful morning. Immediately this passage from Lamentations 3 comes to mind:
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
Great is Thy Faithfulness
This is exactly what we have experienced since March when the pandemic arose, and our state and nation began to shut down. I personally have known people who contracted the virus, but thankfully none of them faced any serious health issues. Yet, as I’ve talked with other people, they have lost loved ones and families to the virus. I’m sure you either know of someone who has battled this illness or who may have died because of it. It is a sad time, and as we look at scripture, this very well could be the beginning of sorrows. Scripture is clear about what the end times will look like, but Jesus is still LORD!
As a church, we have seen the Lord’s faithfulness! From our knowledge, no one in our congregation has contracted the virus. Praise the Lord! We only know of a few folks who have lost their jobs during this time, and we are praying for them to experience God’s continuous provision.
I wanted to give a report of how we have seen God’s faithfulness through March, April, and now May. Financially, we have limited our expenses and spending only what is necessary right now. Over these weeks, here is how our offerings have been:
|Week 3||$ 7,524.50|
|Week 4||$ 5,817.16|
|Week 2||$ 8,152.71|
|Week 4||$ 9,757.94|
|Week 3||$ 9,628.26|
Cares Act Payroll Protection Program
Our Trustees and Deacons began meeting in March about the government’s Payroll Protection Program through the Cares Act passed unanimously by the US House and Senate. The Payroll Protection Program was offered to churches. They felt this was a wonderful opportunity the Lord has opened to us, so we applied. We received $78,000 to help us with payroll and utility expenses. This money came to us through our bank, and I am very happy to say that all of this money is a grant, and we do not have to pay any of it back. Because of God’s faithfulness, the faithful giving of our members, and the Payroll Protection Program, we are well into the black for our budget this year. Praise God!
Your Safety is Our Top Priority
At the church building, we continue our sanitization efforts as we thoroughly clean our large facility. Our Summer Camp weekly childcare for kids ages 5-12 has opened. And we are looking forward to finally reopening for Sunday worship on Sunday, May 31.
During this time, our online media ministry has seen literally thousands reached through our worship service broadcasts and other “live-streamed” events. Our technology team has learned a lot over this period, and we are so thankful the Lord brought back Phil Blount to work with us. He has been the most essential part of our team, making everything work together.
As we look ahead, some of the future is still uncertain, but God is faithful!!!! We will reopen on Sunday, May 31. If things continue to be stable here in the Tulsa area and around our state, we will look to begin Sunday School, Small Groups, and Wednesday night activities again. We will also begin Senior Adult Ministry and other scheduled meetings. Of course, everything we do will stay in accordance with CDC guidelines for sanitization and with the guidelines of our city and state.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
As I end, the exhortation from Franny Crosby’s hymn Praise Him! Praise Him! sings in my heart:
Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honor give to His holy Name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
In His arms He carries them all day long.
Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness;
Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!