Greetings to everyone in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. I must sincerely express how much I miss seeing, worshipping and fellowshipping with each of you. The lifestyle that all of us is experiencing is something foreign to most of us, but we must adjust and continue to live. I need to positively address us in the following way.
First, I encourage everyone to be safe. “Sheltering in place” is the best approach we can take in order to be as safe as possible, and this means that we should only leave our house when it is essential. When we are in public, we should maintain at least 6 feet distance between ourselves and others, we should wear a mask and probably gloves and wash our hands frequently with soap and warm water at least for 20 seconds. The Contra Costa County has extended this “sheltering in place” until May 3, 2020 which means that all St. John Facilities will continue to be closed until we are no longer required to “shelter in place.”
Secondly, tonight at 7:30 pm we will present a live streaming of Dion Williams and our band in concert. Doing this will be a ministry to others while we are experiencing “Holy Week,” and it will prepare us in case we choose to do live streaming in the near future as another way to “Reaching Others For Christ.”
Thirdly, we will not have a Good Friday Worship Celebration, but I encourage everyone to spend quality time meditating on Jesus, mainly from 12-3 pm.
Fourthly, we have had over 5000 listeners weekly to our podcast messages, so since so many are listening and encouraging others to listen, I plan to proclaim a short podcast message on Easter that should be available by 5 am. I am aware that some of you would prefer a longer message, and some of you would prefer something visual (e.g. streaming). Currently, we are unique and effective, for many are streaming but ineffective. If we choose later to take this approach, we must do it right. Also, we are reaching an audience (people of other races and religions) that most are not reaching, so we need to continue with our approach since overall, it is effective.
Fifthly, “Reaching Others For Christ” is our theme for this year, and we are doing this in ways that I never imagined; however, we are exploring ways to reach others in need despite the challenge of not having many who are willing to assist physically and financially.
Sixthly, we have experienced various problems communicating online. Please be patient with us because some problems occurred that were beyond our control. If you have subscribed online, but you are not receiving information from me, please subscribe again and perhaps have someone to assist you. In many cases, people failed to subscribe correctly which hindered them from being registered.
Seventhly, we hope to launch an online Sunday School on Easter Sunday morning. Please visit our website (sjmbc.org) for more information regarding the different classes and scheduled times.
Eighthly, continue to pray mightily (at least 3 times daily—1st prayer between 12-6 am) for God’s mercy because this Coronavirus might be a display of God’s wrath since churches are failing to do what God desires and since the world has become so corrupt. Also, pray for God to protect us and caregivers from this virus, heal those infected by this virus, comfort families who lost loved ones because of this virus, provide a cure for this virus and bring this virus under control.
Ninthly, although I am able to communicate with you, I am not able to communicate with many since they do not have online capabilities. We are doing all that we can to reach all St. John members, and I need your help. As much as I desire to talk to everyone, this is not humanly possible; therefore, please assist by sharing this information with people who are not receiving this information. Also, please take the time to play the podcast messages to these types of people.
Lastly, I want to thank many of you who are still financially supporting our church, though we have not assembled for over three weeks. I recognize that some are struggling financially perhaps because of loss of income due to this Coronavirus, so please do not feel additional stress from me regarding money.
However, since our income is about 60% of usual, I appeal to many of us who are still financially blessed to be consistent in giving our Tithes and Offerings. Though we are not assembling together physically, our church still has major expenses due monthly. You have three options concerning your giving: 1) Mail your Tithes and Offerings to the South Campus (662 South 52nd Street—Richmond, CA 94804), 2) Give online by going through our website (sjmbc.org) or 3) Set aside weekly your Tithes and Offerings and give the total amount (individual checks, one check or cash) the Sunday we resume corporate worship.
Again, because of your love for Jesus Christ and His Church, please give generously and faithfully your Tithes and Offerings.
May God Bless And Sustain Each Of Us.
Your Servant In Christ,
Dr. Kevin B. Hall, Pastor