by: John McCready
“Unprecedented”: Meetings Here at the Building are Cancelled
“Unprecedented”. We have been hearing this word along with “fluid” over and over again lately. Through over usage words can lose their meaning or just become completely annoying. Although as one definition put it for “unprecedented” it is “without previous instance”.
Because of COVID 19 we have had to close our public services down. Starting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 we have ceased having public gatherings here at our church building. The dates and times of scheduled events that you may see here on the site are cancelled. However, we have not ceased being the church.
While in many of our life times we have not seen the governments of countries, our own included, scramble to combat such an enemy as this one. While unseen by our eyes, it has created such chaos. Closing churches from holding regular services seems so “unprecedented”.
The true church of Jesus Christ has faced great foes down through the years. Wars and plagues, oppressive rulers and hate, yet not only has the church survived but much to the frustration of the enemy, the church when under pressure grows. Even from the earliest records of the church in the book of Acts in the Bible, when the heat was turned up in Jerusalem people who had their lives changed by the living Lord Jesus Christ were spread out across the world at that time and the church grew exponentially.
As Martin Luther wrote in his hymn “A Mighty Fortress”, “For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe; His craft and power are great, And, armed with cruel hate, On earth is not his equal”. Jesus warned “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10a). The enemy that has come to destroy everyone and everything we hold dear is still at work today. These are times of suffering and uncertainty that we cannot turn a blind eye towards.
Church, we have to trade panic for prayer. When you feel the panic or anger rising to the surface in you, pray. When someone you know is suffering, pray. Pray for our country and our leaders. At this point we still have tools to work with. Find at least one person that you can call and pray with over the phone. Make contact. Check-in. Then always end with prayer.
The other tools that we are using are online. We used Facebook live last Sunday and many watched live and others watched the recorded stream later. We are attempting to be on YouTube streaming live as well at 10:40 AM this Sunday and every Sunday after. The links to these are at the bottom of our page here so you can go there and watch from your device or even many televisions offer the YouTube app so you can view it there. Here are the links to both
First Alliance Church New Castle for YouTube and
https://www.facebook.com/1stalliance for Facebook
So in many ways this is “unprecedented” for us, but God was not caught off guard by COVID 19. If you read the Bible you find that God is not done and because of that fact neither are we. First Alliance family let us continue to be the church and be attentive to the Holy Spirit as He calls on us even as we may be physically isolated to be His. To know the blessed peace, confidence, and power and let others know it during this time of great concern. Stay tuned to your phones and email for more announcements. Thanks to our Elders and board, our worship team, our secretaries, and our technical and sound crew who have been so diligent and attentive to keep us moving. Thank you to you for all of your giving, prayers, and support.
Pastor John McCready