We praise God for allowing us to live and witness the last month of the year. Unfortunately, 2020 will not be the greatest year in the lifetime of most people, but it is still a year to acknowledge God who has graciously kept us alive. As I shared in last Sunday’s message, “We’re Almost There” which was designed to motivate us to “Run” (continue being busy doing God’s work) and which informed us to run swiftly, safely and steadily.
I am very concerned about us because so many are complaining about being sheltered-in-place. This is something that most of us do not want to do, but it is incumbent that we do it for safety reasons. Covid-19 has spiked greater in our nation than ever, and it is projected to become even worse. I do not pay a lot of attention to the case numbers, but I am very attentive to the number of hospitalizations and deaths which have become dire.
Because of this, I encourage us to figure out some safe ways to enjoy life while sheltered-in-place. Life may not be the same as we approach Christmas and the New Year, but life can still be enjoyed with the help of the Lord; therefore, strive to enjoy life prayerfully and carefully.
Moreover, God is pleased with our Grocery Giveaway Ministry. We giveaway 100-150 bags or boxes of Groceries every Tuesday at noon at both our South Campus and North Campus. We cannot commend enough the St. John members who prepare these bags or boxes of groceries every Monday, the St. John members who distribute these groceries to the public every Tuesday, and the St. John members and friends who financially support this ministry.
We must now, however, limit the number of workers for the safety of everyone and to practice social distancing among our workers. Consequently, I implore everyone to please sign up online instead of just showing up to help because this is the best way to monitor the number of workers in each setting.
Last but not least, may God bless abundantly those of us who are financially supporting St. John. In the last nine months, many of us have proven our love and loyalty to God and our church by giving our Tithes and offerings. I realize that some are not able to give as much as they desire, but everyone can still give what we can. Remember, God knows our heart, and He knows exactly what we are able to give.
Again, I cannot thank enough those of us who are giving because we are enabling St. John to continue to do a great work of ministry for the Lord which benefits many. Nonetheless, I want to appeal to parishioners who are not supporting St. John financially. Do you love St. John? Do you appreciate what St. John means to you personally? Do you enjoy hearing how St. John is helping so many people during this pandemic? Well, if God has blessed you financially (even if it is not much), gratify God and put yourself in a position for God to bless you with more by supporting St. John financially (in whatever way that you can). In the last nine months, our church income is less than what it was when we were assembling together. In this last quarter (October-present), our church income has decreased from 70-80% to now about 65% of normal. This is not good, especially considering that we have a looming multi-million-dollar building project before us; hence, I encourage people, who are not giving, to give whatever you can to St. John.
As a reminder, since Christmas is approaching, we do not want to insult God by shopping with money designated for Tithes and Offerings. We currently contribute by mailing or dropping off our Tithes and Offerings to our St. John South Campus (662 South 52nd Street—Richmond, CA 94804) or by giving online through our website (sjmbc.org).
May God bless and sustain each of us.
Your Servant In Christ,
Dr. Kevin B. Hall, Pastor