NEFC Update, April 2020

Dear NEFC Family,

Blessings to all of you! I miss you all so much. The Sunday morning Facebook Live Streaming Events are fun… kinda sorta.

It’s better than nothing at all, and actually we’ve been having people tune in from Coast to Coast and North to South and abroad as well – Italy, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and I don’t even know where else. That’s really kind of exciting.

We are praying for you always and making phone calls occasionally. Several people have been dropping by for “Coffee Time” when I am here Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 till 10:30 a.m. There is plenty of room for “social distancing” as we meet in the Fellowship Hall. And there are usually donuts!

If you have a smart phone or computer, I or another member of the team could help you set up a Facebook account even if you use it for no other purpose that tuning in for the Sunday services. We have also had some “Zoom” meetings online as well. Zoom is a video conference app that allows us all to see each other and talk to each other on live video in our own homes in real time. We can also help you set that up if you need help.

Probably some of us are enjoying the sheltering time, but it’s also likely that some of us are going a little crazy from the isolation or even loneliness. Nancy and I would love to hear from you if you want to call during the day.

If you need things from the grocery store, etc., that you haven’t been able to find (toilet paper?) please know that we have delivered things to several people during this very unusual time. This is a brand new aspect of ministry that I’ve not really ever had to do before, but I am so happy to serve you in any way I can.

We are still having Wednesday evening Prayer time from 6:00-7:00 p.m., and once again, there is ample space for social distancing. We are also sanitizing every surface that people touch with Clorox wipes every day, from the door handles to the toilet handles, from the light switches to the countertops.

Thank you so much to all of you who have been dropping by, mailing, or giving your tithes and offerings online. We are so honored by your continued partnership!

Be encouraged. “This too shall pass.” There are rumblings that Oregon may be able to open back up for churches and businesses by June. My hope is that on the second Sunday after we can begin to gather again, we may have our “Resurrection (Easter) Celebration” and a little later our replacement Palm Sunday Brunch. We NEED the fellowship and “Communion of Community” together.

There is an old hymn that has been kind of running through my head since all this began. It’s called,

“Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer”

Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty,
Hold me with Thy pow’rful hand.
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliv’rer, strong Deliv’rer,
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield;
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death and hell’s Destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee;
I will ever give to Thee.

I greatly desire that the Lord our Redeemer would lead us, guide us through this seemingly “Barren Land.” But the Lord showed me something much like the famous “Footprints in the Sand” poem. In that poem, when it seemed like you were walking alone (only one set of footprints), the truth is that was when the Lord was actually carrying you. In the hymn, concerning the “barren land,” the truth is that it only appears barren to us, much like the month before Spring arrives. Things only appear barren, but life and vitality and fruitfulness are beginning to flow through all the plants. “Lord, I pray that our anxious fears would subside… and that we would give Songs of Praises multiplied unto our Lord.

Remember this promise for the Lord in Hebrews 13:5 AMPLIFIED VERSION

Be satisfied with your present circumstances and with what you have; for He, God Himself, has said, “I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up, nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake you, nor let you down, nor relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!

Blessings and Much Love to you all,

Pastor Mike

P.S. I hope you also enjoy the enclosed blog post from Pastor Heidi’s blog last week.