Thursday, July 16, 2020
Dear SCA Family and Friends,
Psalm 23 is among my favorite of the Psalms. I love the opening of verse one, which sets the tone for both the Psalm and my perspective. “The Lord IS…”. Three simple words that can flood our hearts and our perspectives with hope and courage. It’s a short and powerful reminder that in spite of what this world produces, what does or does not happen, who lets us down, or what struggles we face - the eternal, standing truth will still be that GOD STILL IS. The Psalmist goes on to declare some of the ways God cares for us and “still is” in the midst of life’s challenges. He is my shepherd, He leads me, He guides me, He provides for me, He refreshes me, He renews me, He comforts me, He prepares for me, He anoints me, and He overcomes my life with His goodness, His love, and His faithfulness. There is not one part of life and its challenges or surprises that changes the reality that GOD STILL IS. This is a truth that extends far beyond the current world crisis of COVID-19. This is a truth that is intended to reach into the depths of our souls and soak the deepest, the weariest, and the darkest parts of our lives with the love, care and faithfulness of our Savior.
Yesterday Governor Wolf announced new guidelines for the state of Pennsylvania in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Included in his announcement was the restriction of gatherings to groups of no more than 25. From the very beginning of the US outbreak, both local and state leadership have declared that churches are both essential and exempt from government guidelines and restrictions. Their only request was for churches to be wise in how we go about ministering to our congregations.
Here at SCA we have been very intentional to use care and caution in our re-gathering process. Just last week we added the guideline for individuals to wear masks when not at their seats in the sanctuary. With this in mind and the continued care we give towards minimizing the spread of germs, we have decided to continue offering our in person service along with the live-stream each Sunday. Additionally, we have resumed our mid-week gatherings at 6 PM.
For the remaining Wednesdays in July and August, we have planned several outdoor connection opportunities. Most of these will take place on the upper athletic field (behind the church). We have also planned two more times of prayer and worship (Wednesdays, July 29 and August 26 @ 6 PM) outside of the Municipal Building downtown. These times of worship and prayer are great opportunities to pray for our nation, our community and our local police department. All of these events and their details will be communicated via text, email, bulletin and Facebook. I hope you and your loved ones will be intentional to join us for these.
Remember, our world and the guidelines on how we go about life as we know it may change from day-to-day, but as followers of Christ we keep our outlook and our actions anchored in the reality of who God is.
“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Onward Christian Soldiers,
Pastor Steve Silliman