Important Message from Pastor Jon Kragel
Here is the Mission Grove response to the rising concerns around the coronavirus (also known as COVID - 19). After prayerful discussion with our leadership team, we have decided to suspend our worship gathering for the next two weeks, meaning March 15 and 22, as well as any weekly gatherings of our groups ministries. We will reevaluate after such time.
WHY have we made this decision?
1) We want to honor God through honoring our government authorities. While no recommendation has yet been made to close our gathering, we want to be proactive in helping the potential spread of this virus as well as to protect those who might be more vulnerable.
2) We want to continue to be FOR our community. We believe the best thing for our community right now is to help prevent the spread of this virus.
3) We want to focus our efforts in helping and loving our neighbors. Now is the time to serve, sacrifice, and love one another. This Sunday, we will be posting a timely message online at 10:30 am on our website, Youtube, and Facebook. We encourage you to watch with family, friends, and maybe even a neighbor or two. We will then be sharing daily encouraging videos on social media for ways you can show love to our neighbors. Finally, we will be working with leaders of our community to find practical ways to best serve those in need.
We are not afraid, but we are aware. We are not panicked, but we want to be proactive and prepared.
Take comfort in the fact that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.
Lead Pastor Mission Grove Church
Are you feeling unsettled?
5 Ways You Can Respond
Our nation will face many obstacles in the coming weeks in response to the spreading pandemic of the coronavirus. However, we must keep in mind that this situation also provides many opportunities for the church to bring light and hope to our world. Here are five practical steps you can take in light of this crisis.
1. Pray Often
While the apostle Paul faced very different challenges than we are currently facing (he wrote to the persecuted church while he was in prison), he managed to find peace through prayer in difficult circumstances. His example demonstrated below. May we do the same.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you 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.
We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
2. Do No Be Afraid
The command to not be afraid is found throughout the entire Bible. From God to Joshua, Jesus to His disciples, or Paul to Timothy, we repeatedly find encouragement from God to His people. Let us stand strong in our faith, and fear not, for God is with us.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a Spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.
3. Walk in Wisdom
A call to faith is a call to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Following Jesus also leads us to follow Him in wisdom. Let us not be ignorant to the growing dangers of this situation, but let us use wisdom in our daily choices.
Be very careful, then how you live- not as unwise as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
4. Look to Show Love
Now is not the time to be selfish and hoard resources for ourselves, but the time to show love to the neighbors around us. If an event is cancelled, or someone is unable to travel, may we use this opportunity to help our neighbors in need wherever possible.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 John 4:11-12
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
5. Look to Share the Gospel
Events like these remind everyone that life is fragile and finite. Crisis forces people to focus on their priorities, and it puts into question what is most important in people’s lives. As we have discussions with our friends, family members, and co-workers, may we use this opportunity to share of the hope found only in Jesus.
1 Peter 1:3-9
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
We know that the coming weeks will be filled with challenges for our country and beyond, so let us decide together to pray often, do not be afraid, walk in wisdom, look to show love, and look to share the Gospel with our words and actions in our community.