Dear Brother and Sisters in Christ,
How quickly our lives have changed in response to the spread of COVID-19! Almighty God, the Maker of heaven and earth, has turned this world upside down and placed our lives on hold. It is as if He has once again declared,“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10).
In one weeks time, public health orders have progressed from limiting our freedom to gather in groups of more than 250, then 50, then 10 — to now having to stay at home except for essential needs. (https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-
In light of these developments, the Consistory has decided to suspend Sunday worship services and all gatherings for church sponsored programs and activities. This applies to all in-person meetings of church groups, Bible studies, committees, societies, activities, etc. These activities will remain suspended until further notice, subject to the lifting of the public health orders that constrain us.
While we will not be doing these things, we will remain together and active as a church.
Here is what we will be doing:
The Ministers will continue in prayer for you and be available to you.
They will be working to provide aids for your worship at home on Sunday mornings, whether alone or with your family. These aids will include such things as 1) a weekly YouTube video from Rev. Gordon in which he will read and preach God’s Word and pray on behalf of the congregation; and 2) a weekly outline to assist you in personal or family worship at home, during which you can tune-in to Rev. Gordon’s broadcast. These helps will be made available to you through the EURC email posting program. Details of how to access them will be distributed weekly, starting this week, on or before Saturday.
They will continue visiting with you and checking in with you, primarily by telephone (or perhaps via email or text). If you are able to receive a video call by way of FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom, we will be pleased to do so.
The Elders will continue to pray for you and be available to you.
They will strive to communicate weekly with the more vulnerable or needy in their districts, giving particular attention to the widows or widowers and the elderly.
They will work in coordination with the Deacons in general and with individual Deacons who minister to particular members.
The Deacons will continue to pray for you and be available to you.
They will continue to supervise the works of Christian mercy among the congregation. You can help them do so by making them aware of particular needs, whether your own or those of others.
They will work in coordination with the Elders in general and with your district Elder when necessary.
They will continue to gather and manage the offerings of God’s people in Christ’s name.
You are strongly encouraged to continue your financial support of the General Fund to cover our continued church operating expenses. The Deacons suggest using one of the following methods for sending your donations:
- Mailing your contribution to the church office.
Escondido United Reformed Church
1864 N Broadway
Escondido, CA 92026
- Drop-off your contribution to the church office in person during business hours.
- Submit payment through the automatic Bill Pay service of your bank, sending it to “Escondido United Reformed Church”.
- Wait until Sunday worship resumes at the church and give extra consideration to the General Fund.
- Mailing your contribution to the church office.
The Office Administrator (Kandi Waardenburg), Bookkeeper (Michelle Postma) and Custodian (Dave Roth) will continue their work on our behalf. They can be reached by calling or emailing the church office: (760) 745-1679 / office @escondidourc.org.
The apostle Paul tells us that “grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Ephesians 4:7). The apostle Peter adds this, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace… in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:10-11).
Therefore, each of you are urged to not only take care of yourself and your immediate family, but also to do what you can to care for others around you.
Encourage other members and visitors to sign up for the prayer postings so that they can stay informed. Ask them, or help them, write an email to email@example.com to request being added to the distribution list.
Be mindful of those who do not have or use email. If you are willing to help someone by making phone calls to share what you receive via email, please inform Kandi in the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 745-1679).
Open the church directory and make some calls. Stay in touch with people you know and introduce yourself to others you don’t. Staying at home will be very difficult for some, especially those who live alone. Reach into their worlds to talk and to pray with one another. Kandi will be finalizing the most recent edition of the Church Directory very soon. When it is complete, it will be made available by email (in a PDF file) or by US Mail (as a printed book). Be sure to request yours by contacting Kandi in the church office.
If you are willing and able to help others with their essential needs (such as helping them pick up supplies from the grocery store, pharmacy, or bank), please contact Kandi in the church office. She will inform the Elders and Deacons who may reach out to you directly.
We have always been exiles in this broken world (1 Peter 1:1), walking together and loving one another with our hope set “fully on the grace that will be brought to [us] at the revelation of Jesus Christ” on the last day (1 Peter 1:13). For a season, we are going to experience what it is to be exiled from the assembly of God’s people for worship, and share in the longing of separation we find expressed in such places as Psalms 42, 63 and 84. We lament our situation: turning to God in prayer, telling Him our woes, asking for His help, and trusting in God our Savior and all His promises, which find their Yes in Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20).
In the midst of it all, which continues to change by the hour, we hold fast to this revealed promise, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1) Because “The Lord is at hand”, the apostle Paul urges, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:5-6).
Your servants in Christ,
Pastors Donovan and Gordon
For the Consistory of Escondido URC
To view the PDF file with the same content, please click the link below.