From Pastor Dan
We were not sure about the status of our GFESS rental when we sent the last email, but now we know that Sunday’s Service is cancelled. Not only for this Sunday, but for 4 Sundays as far as we now know (March 15, 22, 29 & April 5). GFESS has closed their doors not only to their students, but to all usage of the school for that time span.
We will create plans for ways to serve one another and to stay connected over these weeks, but that will come together next week. For right now, here’s my suggestion:
For those who help with kids and worship and set-up/tear-down, packing and unpacking trailers… For those who are greeters and ushers and tellers and helpers in any way... For those who bake goodies or pound in flags or make coffee... For those who teach kids, organize details, wrangle toddlers, and – generally – love on the people who walk through our doors… For us all, let’s take Sunday morning as a Sabbath Rest. To plan to sit together with whoever is in your home and to talk about this week, this new phenomenon, and to talk about our Father and how He reigns. To truly rest in Him.
If you have a clear plan of what you want to do on Sunday, please feel free to do what you think is best. If you want to participate in what others are doing, with a bit of direction, here’s what the Fera family will be doing:
We will plan an hour to be together, probably around 9 a.m. We will shut off our phones and sit in our living room together.
We will start with a prayer and a few songs. We’re lucky as a family – Jules plays piano and Gabby plays ukulele, so it will be awesome! Below will be a few songs you could hear (and watch) on YouTube and sing along. I’ve attached links for the lyrics and even the chords for people who can use such things. Or, of course, you can just sing a few of your favourite songs.
Then we will pray, just to welcome God and put Him first in the time we will spend together.
Then we’re going to watch the message “Living For Eternity” by Francis Chan. I’ve shared a YouTube link below. It’s good. If that’s too long, or not what you’re looking for, there’s a section in the middle which is an amazing illustration. Maybe you just want 6 minutes or so, if so you can get that below too. It’s all about how our choices get tied up in the world we live in, and how we forget that our lives on earth are just the start of lives that go on into eternity, so we really need to think about eternity if we are going to make any good decisions here and now.
After that we will talk about all the craziness of COVID-19. Not like people do at Tim Horton’s, but like a family sitting in God’s Presence. How are you feeling about it? Who are you most concerned about? Where do you see your own fears and doubts rising up? Have you thought about how we can help people, if people we know get sick? Or how we can be instruments of peacefulness…any good ideas? Is there something you think we should do as a family that will be helpful rather than just adding to the noise of panic? Something Riverside could do that maybe we should suggest (in our house, we know a guy over at Riverside…)?
Then we will pray for one another. Pray for God’s peace in our own lives and for safety. But we will mostly pray for one another. Our friends and family and all those God is putting on our hearts. We might pray for Tom Hanks and our Mrs. Trudeau…why not? Then we will pray through our normal family lists, and probably think a bit more about my dad because Gabby was supposed to go visit him for March Break and that got cancelled too.
To reiterate…church gathering at GFESS is cancelled this week. And to reiterate further, we are still God’s people and hope you take our suggestion to have a real meaningful time of worship, Word and prayer with the people you share a house with.
God loves us, and He loves the people around us, so let’s use this forced break and reflection to honour Him and to pray for and prepare to serve them.
Blessings and Peace in Him,
Songs with Lyrics:
Great Things https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4CY3nf1Mvw (Lyrics)
King of Kings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of5IcFWiEpg (Lyrics)
Worthy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXKdmljVZFI (Lyrics)
I Exalt Thee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XzrlUL6_zc (Lyrics)
WayMaker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXQGTInPpZU (Lyrics)
Living For Eternity – Francis Chan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfvbH4Ugj7M
Rope Illustration from Living for Eternity – Francis Chan https://youtu.be/bfvbH4Ugj7M?t=1409 (that starts at 22:29, a good place to end is 29:12)