June 4, 2020 Dear Church family and friends,
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:19-25 NKJV
This passage of scripture points out the privilege of drawing near to our Lord and approaching the throne of grace as a body. It also points out that it’s more than a privilege. We see that it states that we are not to forsake the assembly of ourselves together, as is the habit of some. We need and are commanded to gather and enter into the presence of our Lord for worship. This is especially true in times of trouble. It seems in these days, that we are seeing trial pile upon trial. First, we have experienced together the onslaught of the Covid-19 virus and the resulting lockdown. And now, we as a nation, have witnessed the unjust death of a man named George Floyd at the hands of police officers. We have also witnessed the suffering of many that came from the resulting riots in many cities. I urge you to be in prayer for us as a nation, for our brothers and sisters of color, especially the black community, as they struggle with the emotions that result from the injustices of these events. Please pray for the victims of these horrible riots and for those who may still find themselves in the path of riots. Please pray for the police officers and guardsmen who find themselves so often standing in the gap. Please pray that we as a church would respond appropriately to these things going on around us and that we would love our neighbors as ourselves.
Verse 25 in our Hebrews text ends in these words, “so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Assembling for worship is always essential but is even more needful in times of trouble, in times like these. Psalm 122 is a Psalm of David, who was often providentially hindered from coming to the tabernacle to worship. So, when he writes, “I was glad when He said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord”, he spoke it from the heart with zeal and feeling. I am glad that we are going to gather once again for worship on Sunday, June 7. We need it. It is my prayer that this service will honor the Lord and restore our spirits. This service will be held at Ligonier Camp and Conference Center, 188 Macartney Lane in Ligonier. It will being at 11:00 AM in the pavilion. I want to thank LCCC for making the use of their facility possible.
We are going to meet at the camp and not at our own building for several reasons. First of all, this is a large outdoor and yet sheltered facility. If there is rain, we have a roof over our heads and yet, it is outdoors and therefore very safe in regard to the Covid-19 virus and the size of the facility makes it possible to have one service. Second, there is more than adequate parking. There will be people directing you. We are asking the young and able-bodied to park near the swimming area and reserve the parking right next to the pavilion for those who are in need. If you are older, please park near the pavilion. Third, there are bathrooms available nearby. Finally, I want to remind you that it is not the building that is important. It is the gathering. We no longer have a temple and in fact, Ephesians 2:19-22 states: 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Who should come? Anyone who feels comfortable. If you are uncomfortable coming for any reason, we are still providing the online service and we encourage you to make use of it. The service at the camp and the online service will be very similar. We will sing the same hymns. I will preach on the same text. The order of worship will be the same. An offering plate will not be passed but there will be a collection box available as you exit the pavilion. Please remember that if you are feeling at all ill, you should use the provided online worship service at home.
As you approach the pavilion, there will be attendants to direct you and hand out folding chairs if you need them. For the sake of comfort, if you would like, you are free to bring your own chair. There is plenty of space and it will be very easy to maintain appropriate distance between family groups. There will be a special section for those who are at high risk. We are asking that anyone who sits in that section to wear a mask out of concern for our brother. If you approach someone who is wearing a mask, please put on a mask out of respect for the needs and concerns of that person, or maintain about 6 feet of separation. If we as a church want to continue to use the camp for worship we must observe CDC guidelines for social distancing. The camp as an organization is bound by these guidelines and if we fail to follow them, it may impact future programs they are trying to run for the sake of the gospel.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you this Sunday. It will be good to pray together, to sing together and to enter into the presence of our God together. It is my prayer that what we have learned about ourselves and our need for gathering will stay with us and that we will truly value the privilege of assembling as the church for worship. I would like to thank LCCC once again for making this possible and thank our God for calling us together as part of His body. In Christ, Dave Kenyon