Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
As your pastor, I greet each of you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. We are now approaching the 15th week of being partially “sheltered in place” without the privilege of entering and enjoying our church facilities, but by the grace of God, we are still alive.
A few weeks ago, we felt inclined to plan a Worship Celebration in one of our church parking lots because of alleged progress in regards to this pandemic in our area, but this has changed. In the last 2-3 weeks, authorities are reporting that a spike in the Coronavirus is occurring in many places, such as Contra Costa County. Our county was pretty stable until recently, and now Richmond is supposedly a leading city in our county for Covid-19 cases.
As I have consistently stated since this pandemic, the safety of St. John is essential. Even though our county will allow crowds not exceeding 100 people to assemble for Worship, to have an indoor or even outdoor Worship Celebration at this time is not safe, so we will postpone our Unplugged Sunday until conditions are better. In other words, I am regretfully saying that we will not convene for a Worship Celebration this 4th Sunday (June 28th). As I have stated previously, reopening as God directs and as our county and state advise, in light of our safety, is still our major concern.
On the positive, St. John is still “Reaching Others For Christ” (Lk. 14:16-24). On Tuesday (June 23rd), we distributed 200 bags of groceries at the South Campus and North Campus, and we were able to enhance each bag with more and better grocery items than we have in the past. Even though I do not urge older or sickly people to assist, I must thank everyone 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 30th (beginning at 12 noon) at both campuses.
Moreover, 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.
Furthermore, if you are in need or aware of a St. John member in need of groceries or unable to go grocery shopping, please share this with me by replying to this email because we want to help. We have parishioners of our church who are willing to deliver free groceries to you or go grocery shopping for you. Plus, if you desire to volunteer your services to assist elderly or disabled parishioners (housecleaning, grocery shopping, etc.), please share this with me by replying to this email.
Besides this, our Online Podcast Messages are reaching thousands every week. I encourage everyone to listen to the message every Sunday morning and to share it with as many people as possible. For more information about our Online Podcast Messages, please visit our website (sjmbc.org).
Although we are reaching and helping many, a lot of praying is greatly needed! 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 in regards to prayer as follows:
- Procure a Prayer Partner. Are you praying with another St. John member? Each of us should be doing this at least once a week (a scheduled time is preferable). Jesus said: “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything 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 praying corporately on Wednesdays at 12 pm and/or 6:30 pm? More of us should participate because God moves mightily when His church unites in prayer (Acts 12:5-19). For more information about our Online Prayer Meetings, please visit our website (sjmbc.org).
In addition to praying, God wants believers to delve deeper into His Word. Hence, let’s read a minimum of 3 chapters in the Old Testament and 1 chapter in the New Testament each day. Let’s participate each Sunday in at least one Online Sunday School class. Also, let’s participate weekly in the Wednesday evening Bible Study. We thank Dr. Lyman Alexander for walking us through the Book of Colossians, and we look forward soon to him walking us through the Book of Ephesians which is similar to the Book of Colossians. Nonetheless, in this interim, Min. Marvin Saucer is now teaching and explaining on Wednesdays at 7 pm our Church Theme: “Reaching Others For Christ.” Please visit our website (sjmbc.org) for more information about our Online Sunday School and Online Bible Study.
Very importantly, I sincerely thank those of us who have been supporting St. John financially, but more of us need to do what God requires from each of us. Giving our tithes and offerings consistently enables St. John to meet our financial obligations and help others in need. Therefore, 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 and God Still Has Plans For You. 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