To the our brothers and sisters in Christ
The first thing I want to say is, you are in our prayers daily. We are concerned for your physical health, your emotional health and your spiritual health. Personally I’d like to say its easy to get overwhelmed in times like this, its easy to shift from feeling faithful to fearful in a blink. Please don’t beat yourself up we are in a period of life, that for most of us, we have never experienced. We know the impact of cyclone and flood but nothing on this global scale.
Let me share a few first thoughts and steps with you.
First, if its all getting too much please call us, call a friend – be honest.
Its a wild ride!
Second, if you are on the same ride as me, take a regular deep breath, spend some time in prayer and worship, declare who God is (good) and who you are (son or daughter of the most high), read Psalm 91 or another similar scripture and declare the promises of God over your life, and spend time reading the scriptures. You will get distracted, but don’t beat yourself up, just keeping meditating on the word. Let me tell you it shifts your mindset and countenance and then the refreshed and strengthened ‘you’ will shift the atmosphere around you. Repeat as often as necessary.
Third, let’s shift the focus from ourselves to those around us. Reach out to your family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ. Check in with them by simply asking R U Ok? Be ready to listen and then offer prayer.
Fourthly, pray without ceasing.
Pray boldly, as saints who have the keys of the kingdom for healing for the sick and protection for the vulnerable.
Pray boldly for our world and our nation that the pandemic would slow and halt altogether
Pray for our leaders at all levels for wisdom and foresight in their decision making
Pray boldly for those whose livelihoods have been and are being deeply impacted for their provision and the resources of heaven to flow.
Our church leadership and group leaders are your local first point of call, and will be in touch shortly to make sure we keep well connected. You know that, the early church in the centuries following Jesus, were renowned for their lovein the face of terrible plagues that swept through the Roman Empire. I believe that this is a time for the church to rise and be a light to the nations. No longer are we the ‘gathered church’ – now we are the ‘scattered church’. It was the scattered and empowered church that did its best work. It was the institutionalised church that bogged it down.
As disciples of Jesus, those who imitate him – as sons and daughters of the most high we have the privilege and honour of walking with Jesus, being at peace in the storm like Jesus, and as we do inviting a hurt, dying and chaotic world to walk with us so that they to might have abundant life.
Let’s be clear this virus and the crisis it is precipitating is not God’s handiwork, neither has God gone missing. The work of the enemy is to ‘rob, kill and destroy’ whereas God’s work is one of restoration, life and recreation. God does not promise we will not go through trials – the rain falls on the just and the unjust – but he does promise to be with us always to never leave or forsake us, and He does promise to use all things for the good of those who love him. Rms 8:28. Like the rest of humanity we will go through trials ( ‘trial’ can also be translated ‘evil’). It is what we do in the midst of the trial that matters. Consider the response of the disciples when they were in the boat facing a storm that might kill them while Jesus slept. Fear or faith? Having peace in the storm will come as you believe in him and realise your authority. Mark 4:35ff.
It is our intention to communicate weekly at least through a letter like this. It will be emailed, hand delivered or mailed conventionally to you. We to get to you transcripts of messages preached on line for those who are off-line. We hope that for at least the short term you will participate in your regular small groups – especially where you are a discrete group and can come together safely. However it is an ever changing landscape. We are planing for multiple online face-to-face gatherings for the techie ones.
Finally, we would ask that you might consider our church finances. 70% of our offerings are cash offerings on Sundays. As you can imagine, without your ongoing support we are in a very precarious position. How can you continue to worship God through giving?
Make deposits on line ( the bank details are below); if you go to the bank to withdraw cash to shop deposit your offering while you are there (use the bank details below); give your offering at one of the small groups you attend (the leader will collect count and follow our collection procedures); and finally you could give your offering to the leader who brings you the weekly newsletter and sermons.
Blessings my friends, we are glad we are with you here in this beautiful part of the world doing life together.
Mark and Marie
Cassowary Coast Uniting Church bank details
ANZ Innisfail NAB Tully
bsb 014604 bsb 084974
acc# 408989473 acc# 509002236 reference Offering