Dear Church Family,
Depending on which news source you watch, read, or listen to we could be in month 4, 5, 6 or more since COVID-19 was discovered. We could be in week 10, 12, 15 or more since “lockdown” and social distancing recommendations were instituted to help reduce or limit the effects of this virus. It all depends upon what “news” source you choose to allow into your home, head, mind, and sometimes even heart. Yet, God’s Word has not changed one bit in the past number of months. In fact, His Truths have been…well, “True Facts” forever. I would have said beginning of time, but He is timeless. As we continue to work through the challenges of COVID-19, a great scripture to remember in how we should conduct ourselves as Christians during this time can be found in the Book of James: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:16-17, NIV). If you feel that everything in the news cycle seems to be changing on a sometimes-hourly basis, you are probably correct! If you want to remain steady in your walk and path, keep your eyes on the One who does not change—Jesus.
If you want to keep your emotions in check, meditate on HIS Word. If you want to live in Faith, not fear, continue to trust in HIM. He has never failed us. We are called to be the people who “look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets, but a doer who acts…” (James 1:25, NIV). Read the local news to stay informed. Read His Word to live a FULL life, with wisdom and grace, as we are called to do.
The pastors and elders continue to closely monitor the recommendations and directions of the State of New Mexico regarding ability to re-open the church to “live” worship and fellowship inside the sanctuary. Based upon the latest directions issued on May 15 and continued per the Governor’s news conference today (May 20), we are in the planning stages to offer limited, live worship on June 7, 2020. The pastors and elders; deacons, greeters and ushers; along with the Operations Team have been meeting and discussing plans to hold services in the sanctuary on that Sunday. We ask that you pray with us for wisdom as we seek HIS will as we set in place processes to bring us back into fellowship together in the sanctuary. We want to ensure our members and guests are safe. We also want to be sure we model Godly character as described by the Apostle Paul in Romans 13. We are planning our “re-entry” to live worship to bring us together in JOYFUL fellowship, with no fear.
We will begin publishing guidelines and expectations next week. We have begun asking for volunteers to help us walk through all of the details, and we will walk through a “practice session” before we reconnect. We also want to emphasize that if ANYONE is not comfortable coming back together, THAT IS OK! We will strive for the utmost in safety and protections, but we do not want anyone to feel pressured to attend, or to volunteer to help. We understand everyone’s health concerns. Again, pray for us as we diligently pray and plan ourselves for this GREAT EVENT. For those who do not attend, we will continue our wonderful “Hoffmantown ONLINE” experience!
Finally, as we finish the month of May, we conclude this Military Appreciation Month with our recognition of Memorial Day. The official holiday is Monday, May 25th. I will be delivering a sermon I call “Remember” this Sunday. I hope you will join us as we thank God for the BLESSINGS of those who have laid down their lives for our LIBERTY and FREEDOM. I encourage each of you to take time this entire week to remember…and pray for the families of those whose sons and daughters followed Jesus’ example by “laying down their lives” for you, and me.
Pastor Tim Hale