Pastors’ Update 04-03-2020
Hi Everyone and Happy Sabbath!
Like most of you, Linda and I have been staying at home, and pray you are all doing well! Thankfully, we have not heard of anyone in our region that has had the Covid-19 virus. Please continue to pray for one another. We know it will only be according to God’s will and His intervention that any of us will survive this worldwide pandemic.
In his update for the pastors this past Wednesday, Mr. Franks mentioned he had heard of only one member who has the Covid-19 virus. And, that person is home recovering. Of course, there may be others who have experienced mild symptoms and have not been tested or confirmed they have had the virus. This particular Corona virus affects different people in various ways, and with minor or more serious symptoms.
While preparing for the upcoming Passover, and reading from the book of Exodus, I was reminded that the Ancient Israelites suffered through the first three plagues, along with the Egyptians. (Exodus 8:22-23) Obviously, we know the purpose was for ALL to see and know the power of God, and witness His deliverance! (Exodus 14:13, 17, 31) We are reminded once again of God’s words through Moses, “Do not be afraid, Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today…The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:13-14)
Often during times of trial we can feel very much alone and in jeopardy of sickness, or even death. But, God reminds us He will always be with us, and never forsake us! “Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6 & Heb. 13:5)
This is a very important time of the year. We must not be discouraged or distracted from preparing for the coming Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. We will renew our covenant with God by partaking the symbols of the New Covenant Passover this coming Tuesday evening. We will remember His promises of forgiveness and eternal life, and express our faith in, and commitment to, God through these symbols. (John 6:35-40)
This Sabbath we will have a Sabbath service from our Redding hall at 2:30 pm. You may tune into our live service by going to COGWA.TV, go to the “Redding Congregation”, type in the password - “fot” (lower case), to be connected.
I will also conduct the Passover service on Tuesday evening, April 7th, at 7:30 pm, from our church hall in Anderson. It will be webcast over COGWA.TV. You may tune into our live service by going to COGWA.TV, go to the “Redding Congregation”, type in the password - “fot” (lower case), to be connected. Please make sure you prepare by having a basin and towel for the foot washing (singles do not need to do the foot washing, of course), and a small amount of red wine and unleavened bread. I will give instructions during the service for partaking the symbols.
This is such an important service that the church has provided a letter on how to take the Passover at home, and a pre-recorded video you may download and re-play, in case you do not have access to the internet and our live webcast, or the webcast fails or is interrupted. (see the attachments for details).
Some have asked about proper dress for the Passover service. Remember, this is a solemn service, but no dress code is specifically required. You may dress as you feel appropriate in your own home. Since most of us will be in our homes, it would be a good opportunity to let our older children watch the service and learn about what we do at this special occasion. (Ex. 12:26-27)
Headquarters would like to get a count of those taking the Passover this year. Please email or text me the number partaking of the symbols in your home on Tuesday evening. If you are unable to partake in the Passover service for some reason, please let me know and we can arrange for you to take the second Passover. (Numbers 9:9-12)
The Night To Be Much Observed should be celebrated with a special meal in our own homes this year, on Wednesday, April 8th. I suggest the host remind everyone of the meaning of the evening and read Exodus 12:41-42 & 51, and talk about how God called us out of spiritual Egypt, and into His church, as we eat the meal and celebrate this special occasion. Again, this is a great opportunity to teach our children during this special meal.
Please find attached the local calendar for April. You will note that we are planning a local webcast of Sabbath services each Sabbath in April at 2:30 pm. The Holy Days (April 9th and 15th ) will be webcast from Headquarters at 10 am PDT. Hopefully we will be able to meet together again soon each Sabbath in May, after the governor withdraws the Stay-at-Home Order.
Speaking of Sabbath Services in May, I am very pleased to announce that we have arranged for a new meeting hall for our congregation in Reno! Mark and Janelle Fike and Craig Yutzy toured the Skyline Church facilities in South Reno and we plan on leasing the facilities for Sabbath services and Holy Days. The facility has an appropriate meeting room, a reception area, a parents room, a social room, and plenty of parking, for our weekly use. Their board unanimously approved our use of their facility. I will send pictures and more details for our Reno brethren as we get closer to May. We are very pleased that God has blessed us with this new meeting hall for our Reno congregation!
I will continue to send out this Pastors Weekly Update each Friday, and I will forward announcements from Headquarters as I receive them.