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Dear church family,

In an effort to keep us up-to-date with our church life and to retain a sense of community, we want to increase the communications from our office. I want to assure you that our church is bearing well under these unusual circumstances and that we are doing our best to retain a sense of normalcy. By His grace, our church continues to fulfill our divinely appointed mission. I thank you for your support and prayers for His bride here in Calhoun.

Here are a few important items for your attention:

1. God's Pantry will open on Monday at normal time to keep serving the needy in our community. Our team under the leadership of Glenda Thomas have worked out a plan to safeguard our volunteers and to provide this much needed help to our community. I want to express our church's thanks and appreciation to our members for their commitment and hard work to keep this ministry open during this crisis. Our church office will remain operational during regular times this week also.

2. We are organizing a special crisis task force who will "meet" at least twice a week via a teleconference to discuss ongoing issues regarding our church's program and also evaluate our current procedures and arrangements in response to this national emergency. Please visit our website for the latest updates about our church. You can also follow us on our Facebook page.

3. I am making a special call to all and especially to our deaconesses and deacons, to please help us check on our elderly who may have difficulty in getting the necessary supplies at stores, and/or who may just need companionship during this time of "isolation." Please help us remain sensitive to those who may have specific needs by making a call to our shut-ins and the infirmed. Let us also practice compassion and thoughtfulness to our neighbors at this difficult time.

4. If you are suffering financial hardship because of loss of work or for other reasons connected to this emergency, then please let me know. We have a team in place to deal with such needs and I want to thank you for you generosity to our church to make this possible.

5. Please call me If you need pastoral support and/or if you need me to pray with you. Pastor Amy is away for the week on leave for a much needed break, but I stand ready to help however I can. Please do not hesitate to pick your phone, send me an email or just text.

6. Thank you for being such a great church! We are working on helping us to remain connected during this unusual disruption to our church life and I plan to email you more details about this soon. In the meantime, I would like to encourage you to please reach out to our members and others by telephone, email and social media.

7. Let us hold up our nation and community in prayer. I think especially of those affected by this contagion, our first responders, our brave medical professionals who are on the frontlines of this situation and God's church around the world.

I want to express my deep thanks to our leaders and staff who are working so hard to keep our church "running" at this time. I deeply appreciate their "can do" attitude and team work!

Let us remember that these challenging times also afford us a unique opportunity to share God's love and share hope with our community. Thank you for your support and commitment to be a positive witness for Christ and to share His light with your neighbors, friends and strangers.

Finally, here is something for your encouragement:

"As the wheel-like complications were under the guidance of the hand beneath the wings of the cherubim, so the complicated play of human events is under divine control. Amidst the strife and tumult of nations, He that sitteth above the cherubim still guides the affairs of the earth." - Education, p. 178.

Until the next update--Let's keep looking up!

You are in my prayers.

In His grace and service,

Pastor Mark