The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer
in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
Blessings to each of us in these uncertain times. Although we are now approaching the 14th week of being “sheltered in place” (now a relaxed version) without the privilege of entering and enjoying our church facilities, St. John is still “Reaching Others For Christ” (Lk. 14:16-24).
I am so pleased to report that we distributed 200 boxes of groceries (50 boxes more than last week) two days ago (Tuesday, June 16th) at the South Campus and North Campus, and each box contained twice as many groceries as the previous week. I want to thank those who assisted me in preparing and distributing the groceries, and I pray that God will bestow manifold blessings in the lives of each of them. If God is willing, we hope to distribute groceries again next Tuesday, June 23rd (beginning at 12 noon) at both campuses.
We are still assisting St. John parishioners who have difficulty paying their rent or mortgage. For more information, please contact Deacon Johnson regarding how to receive this assistance or how to financially contribute to this ministry.
We have some elderly parishioners who are disabled that need assistance. If you desire to volunteer your services to assist (housecleaning, grocery shopping, etc.), please share this with me by replying to this email.
Last week, I stated that we were planning to have an Unplugged Sunday on June 28th at the South Campus in Parking Lot #1, but some changes have occurred since then. Contra Costa County is now permitting churches to resume indoor worship consisting of 100 people or less which means that we might assemble in the South Campus Sanctuary instead of Parking Lot #1. If we do, people who are elderly or sickly will not be prohibited but should be less inclined to attend.
An additional change that occurred since last week is, unfortunately, a spike purportedly of Coronavirus cases in many places, including Contra Costa County. Because of this uptick, we are less certain at this time if we can safely have an Unplugged Sunday Worship on June 28th, but we will make a decision and discuss this hopefully next Thursday in the information From The Pastor’s Desk. Again, reopening as God directs and as our county and state advise in light of our safety is still our major concern.
As the pastor, I encourage everyone to participate and enjoy our Online Ministries, and I appreciate how well you have supported these Ministries. Our Online Ministries are designed to glorify God and edify each of us; consequently, I strongly encourage those of you who are not participating (yet able to participate) to allow our Online Ministries to be a blessing to you by participating. Through our website (sjmbc.org), needed and updated information is available about Online Podcast Messages, Sunday School, Prayer Meetings, Bible Study, The Lord’s Supper and much more.
Moreover, I strongly encourage much prayer! We have often heard that much prayer is the cause of much power! I encourage each of us to pray individually at least three times daily (1st prayer between 12-6 am). I further encourage each of us regarding prayer as follows:
- Procure a Prayer Partner. Are you (as encouraged last week) praying with another St. John member daily (a scheduled time is preferable)? If not, let’s do this, for Jesus said: “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Mt. 18:19).
- Participate in Online Prayer Meetings. Are you (as encouraged last week) praying corporately on Wednesdays at 12 pm and/or 6:30 pm? If not, let’s do this, for God moves mightily when His church unites in prayer (Acts 12:5-19). Please visit our website (sjmbc.org) for more information if needed about our Online Prayer Meetings.
Furthermore, I sincerely thank those of us who have been supporting St. John financially. The tithes and offerings are consistent because many of us are giving which enables us to meet our financial obligations and enables us to help others in need.
I encourage everyone (mainly those of us who receive income) to faithfully and generously support St. John financially with our tithes and offerings. You can mail your Tithes and Offerings to our St. John South Campus (662 South 52nd Street—Richmond, CA 94804), or you can give online through our website (sjmbc.org). Although I do not recommend this next option, if you prefer, you can also set aside weekly your Tithes and Offerings and give the total amount (individual checks, one check or cash) the Sunday we resume corporate worship.
In conclusion, are you bothered or wondering What’s Next? If so, my pastoral advice is as follows: Trust In The Lord, Encourage Yourself In The Lord, Think Yourself Happy, Think Higher, Keep Your Mind On The Lord, Hold On and take One Step At A Time because This Too Shall Pass. Remember, if you are Covered By The Blood by acknowledging that He Is Risen, God Will Take Care Of You.
May God Bless And Sustain Each Of Us.
Your Servant In Christ,
Dr. Kevin B. Hall, Pastor