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By Pastor Steven D. Johnson II
March 23, 2020

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still" Ex. 14:14.

Beloved Church Family,

The world is facing an unprecedented public health emergency. As our nation continues to grapple with the reality of the challenge we currently face, as a community of faith we too are effected. Times like these call for faith, prayer, wisdom, resilience, resolve and practical decisions.

As Senior Pastor of House of Hope Church, and at the direction of our Governor's order,I am writing to inform our church family that our Sunday worship experiences will move to an online format starting this Sunday, March 22. We don't know how long this will last, but we need to be safe and attentive to our government leaders' orders.Our worship service will be streamed on Facebook Live at 10A at the following website www.Facebook.com/houseofhopeie. If you need help logging in, please reach out to family members and friends for assistance.

As we transition to an online format for the time being, there are some other important notes and scheduling updates that I wish to make you are of:

  1. The Test of Faith: Crisis like these test your faith. Scripture is full of instances where God tested the faith of individuals and communities. Moses, Abraham, Jacob, the Israelites, Joshua, Ruth, Paul, Peter, etc. Scripture tells us "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance" James 1:2-3. I want you to know, as your Shepherd, that this too is a test of your faith in God. During this time, some of you mayexperience loss, financial setbacks, layoffs, etc. But let me encourage you: don't give in, don't give up and don't give out! Trust in God and have faith that God will get the glory out ofthis! Just believe! Your steps are ordered by the Lord!
  2. Community Care:In times like these, it is of utmost importance that we bond together as a church family to support and encourage one another. We must pray for one another and reach out via phone and text to our church family members. I have been following up with many of our sick and shut in members and am asking each of you to do the same. Further, I want to make sure I am made aware of any health or physical challenges that may be experienced in our church family so that we are praying for you. Please email me at sjohnson@houseofhopeie.org or call me at 909-534-2260 for any new information.
  3. Giving:As we transition to online services for the time being, I want to encourage you to keep up your tithes and offerings to our church. It is very important that we keep our ministry moving forward and preparing ourselves to thrive financially once this crisis has passed. We have every intention of beinga place of hope and refuge for our community residents once this tide has turned, and your faithful giving will ensure that we be in a financially health position to serve needs as they arise. Please give online at our website www.houseofhopeie.org
  4. Bible Study: Bible study will continue on Wednesdays at 7p on Facebook Live as well. Starting next Wednesday, I will shift our lesson plan in light of this pandemic and I want to encourage each of you to join us. www.facebook.com/houseofhopeie
  5. Events/Meetings: Bowling on 3/28 as well as the Quarterly Leadership Meeting on 4/4 have been canceled.
  6. Easter Resurrection Service: Based onthe Governor's order, we do not know how long our current gathering restrictions will be in place. Of course, this order, if still in place, will effect Easter on 4/12.I will keep all abreast on any updates.
  7. Prayer: Let us commit ourselves to praying for each other, our community, our state and our country on a daily basis as we navigate this crisis. As people of faith, the bible reminds us to "Rejoice always,pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" 1 Thes. 5:16-18. Let us be reminded that God hears our prayers, and that prayer still works, and that the prayers of the saints will get us through this difficult time.

God is not new to crisis moments. God has dealt with emergencies before. We serve a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing. You and I are mere mortals compared to God. God is a veteran at handling difficult times.Let us continually seek Him, His guidance and His covering during this time. All will be okay, and this too shall pass.

I'm standing with you,

Pastor Steven

 



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