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November 22: Christ the King Sunday
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Update from Rev. Bruce
November 18, 2020
Dear Church Family,
Grace and peace to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I write to you with sad news: Tonight the session voted to suspend in-person worship services until January 10, 2021.
While I grieve this heart-breaking decision, I whole-heartedly believe that it is the correct one given the precipitous rise in cases both in Lincoln County and here at First Presbyterian Church. With the COVID-19 trends in our county, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the Harvard Global Health Institute recommend that there be no gatherings larger than 10 people. We will follow these recommendations.
I know that many of us will disagree with this decision. I pray that those of us who disagree know that we (the session) arrived at this decision after much prayer, discussion, and frank debate. This decision is not a decision made out of fear. Rather, we made it out of love: love for every created-in-the-image-of-God person who enters our building. We love you and we do not want you to become sick with this dreadful disease.
Oftentimes, when I am feeling despair, I like to pray the psalms — especially the lament psalms. I invite you to pause for a moment and pray Psalm 13 with me:
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God! Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, 4 and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”; my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
To be sure, worship during this Advent and Christmas season will be unlike any other of our lifetime. So, I invite you to pray for the dedicated Worship Committee, our fine musicians, and your humble pastor as we endeavor to create meaningful spaces for us to celebrate the arrival of Emmanuel: God-with-Us.
I’ll close this letter with the same words I’ve closed many of the “COVID Letters:”
May we walk forward in faith together, embracing facts over fear, and washing our hands at every chance we get! Above all, let us remember and rejoice that “nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Brief Statement of Faith; Rom. 8:38–39).
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Bruce McVey Pastor First Presbyterian Church Fayetteville, TN