Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ!
I know from talking to many of you, that like me, you are so looking forward to being together in worship. Hopefully now on May 17. You have each said how much you miss seeing your church family and worshiping God together. If you need to continue to stay home on the advice of your doctor, just let us know so we can keep in touch as you continue to stay safe at home. I am so looking forward to seeing all of you face to face again!
Many of you have enjoyed watching the sermons online. We will not be able to continue video recording the sermons once we resume worship, but we will continue to have audio recordings of the services on our website. During this time of recording without a congregation present, it was just me and my iPhone on a tripod right in front. This method would be far too distracting during a worship service with the congregation. Once we are able to raise the funds to purchase video camera(s) to record video, we will start recording video sermons again.
In my sermon on April 26, I mention a spiritual retreat called, “The Walk to Emmaus” which is part of the ministry of the Upper Room. Local Walk to Emmaus weekends happen in the spring and the fall. If you want more information: - Visit https://emmaus.upperroom.org/ and view the informational video. - You can go to the website of the local Walk to Emmaus community at https://www.suncoastemmaus.com/home.html - If you don’t have internet access you can leave a message at the Church Office and we will send you a brochure. - You can also contact me. I took my Walk to Emmaus in 1998 at Suncoast Emmaus, which hosts the walk at Dayspring Retreat Center in Ellenton.
If you have attended the Walk to Emmaus and are interested in a Reunion Group, please let me know as I would like to form one or more at Emmanuel. A Reunion Group has been an important part of my personal journey of faith.
Many of you may have questions or concerns spiritually after our recent experiences. If so, please send them to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can begin to address them in upcoming sermons and include your phone number so I can give you a call. We are all feeling a bit out of step right now with all the new terms and processes and practices we are learning.
One of my favorite passages for times such as these comes from Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.”
Friends, we are not alone in life even if we may be sheltering by ourselves for God is with us.
God bless you,