In our lives we are often confronted with trials and tribulations. How do we respond to that which causes us suffering? As Christians we are to have more than patience we are actually called to cultivate long-suffering! That means that we will experience hardships and problems in our life but God promises to walk with us on the journey and to not forsake us. We are supposed to be able to endure long-suffering because we know that there is more than just this fallen world and these mortal bodies. If we accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, we have an eternity that awaits without pain, or tears, and filled with only joy and love. Since we have that knowledge we can make it through with long-suffering in this fallen world where sin and brokenness touches all of our lives, believers and non-believers.
Our church has partnered with World T.E.A.M Sports as they have veterans travel together on a bike ride for military veterans. The bike ride is called Face of America and the travel together from Arlington to Gettysburg. We have opened up the Promised Land as a rest stop for the veterans on their ride. We have also agreed to have some of our church members serve them refreshments and also many church members have provided baked goods for the volunteers to give out at this rest stop. Many of these veterans have lost limbs while in service to our nation, and many more have dealt with PSTD from their time serving our country. They know what long-suffering means and this ride is a way for them to be with others as part of their healing. In previous years, we have cancelled or altered our worship times at church BUT this year we will be having worship at church at 8am and 10:30am. The 8am service will be live-streamed like we have been doing. BUT we have cancelled Sunday school so that people might be able to cheer the riders on. If you want to cheer them on we are suggesting you do it from the church parking lot and line the road by our carved statue of Jesus. You can come for Fellowship time after the first service, about 9am, and enjoy each others company and we will let people know when they are coming by to cheer them on. The riders are supposed to be going by around 9:45am but could be earlier or later, and they will just be go by on their way to the Promised Land. This means people that have signed up to help and have filled out forms and provided vaccination cards will be at the Promised Land and the rest of us cheering them on their ride will stay at church. They love seeing us at the church cheering them on when they pass by, so I encourage you to do that and to invite others. Just to repeat and clarify, we will still have worship at church at 8am and 10:30am.
The bulletin is attached for this week. Please remember that COVID is still a concern. We want to offer ways for people to be able to join us depending on their level of health and comfort with dealing with larger groups of people. For some that means joining us online. For some that means coming to church with their mask on. For some that means finding a seat that is farther away from other people and wearing their mask. For others that means coming to church without a mask on. We do ask that if you have any symptoms of COVID (or the flu even) that you decide to worship with us online from home until it passes. I am going this Friday to get my COVID booster so that I am more fully protected and that I am protecting others by doing so. I do encourage you to get your vaccine as long as your doctor says that your health allows it. At Tom's Creek we journey together and we are not judging people on what they have decided to do for their health and safety. We only ask that we are conscience of not unduly putting others worshipping with us at risk. We can do this and know that different people are at different places with what works for their health.
We are not passing offering plates so the wooden boxes are available to put your offering in. Of course you can also give online, click the donate button on our website, or use text to give (844-406-0358), or mail in the offering to church. In addition, we will be collecting prayers in the prayer box on the table in the parlor. Also, if you have announcement that you need to be shared please write them down and give them to me before the service. This will be an ongoing practice for prayers and announcements to help ensure that they are heard and understood by all (especially those worshipping with us virtually).
Worshipping and journeying alongside each other helps in long-suffering. We want to be a community that walks with each other on life's journey and supports each other along the way. Come journey with us this Sunday.