Dear Brothers and Sisters,
During this time of health emergency declared by the state I will attempt to provide frequent updates by means of the FaceBook page for Canaan Community Church, email, and through the telephone (for those without internet access).
As some of you know, there will be no church services tomorrow (3/22/20). However, I would encourage you to meet together with your family to read scripture, pray, sing, and worship. Services can be canceled but Church can never be canceled because we are the Church.
We have not yet decided about canceling services beyond tomorrow. The situation is constantly changing and fluid. The leaders of Canaan Church are prayerfully attentive to the mandates made by civil authorities and the recommendations by the health care community. We have chosen to make the decisions about future services as the time of those services approach. We are mindful of the teaching of Jesus "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34)
Be assured that we are fully committed to demonstrating love for God and love for people by obeying the mandates/laws of the authorities, taking necessary precautions to protect people's health, and trusting in the Lord. Please pray that we will have God's perspective, grace, and wisdom in the days ahead as we seek to make decisions about services and alternative ways to minister to one another that honor God in every way.
In recent days I have read many articles about the virus and also been seeking counsel and resources about how Christians and churches should respond. One article that I found, that may be encouraging and helpful to you as it was to me, can be accessed at https://thecripplegate.com/
In some ways it seems almost overnight everything has changed. In other ways nothing has changed - God is still good and in control. The mandate of the church to make disciples has not changed. The scriptures stand firm. The love of God abounds. God's grace and mercy is available. Let me suggest we choose to take heed to the instructions in Philippians 4:4-9 during these strange and uncertain days. Maybe this is a time to write these verses on a 3x5 card, commit them to memory and to meditate on them.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I am praying that through this trial we might all grow in our commitment to the Lord and that by rattling the normalcy our our lives we might seek His wisdom and be increasingly committed to the things that are important to God.
I have heard from a few people regarding personal preferences regarding future church services and would value getting more input from more people as we move forward.
May God bless you and make you a blessing,
Serving with joy in the Lord,