June 10, 2021
This past year has certainly been a challenge, not only on a personal level for many of us, but also on a corporate level for EBC. And yet, through the many ups and downs of this past year, we trust the Lord has been molding us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:28), uniting us as a church family (1 Corinthians 1:10), and preparing us for greater fruitfulness (John 15:2) — all to the glory of His name.
There are a number of reasons for this letter.
First, we want to publicly thank the members of our church staff who have served faithfully during a time of great turmoil and uncertainty. Our staff has remained committed to serving the body, even when that meant adjusting plans last minute or being forced to think outside the box. We thank the Lord for our staff’s dedication to the ministry, their commitment to the Gospel, and their love for each of us.
Second, we want to thank our church deacons. Each man has shown a servant’s heart and a shepherd’s desire over these past 15 months. They have prayed for you and have helped those who have had financial needs during this COVID year. We praise the Lord for these men, and trust they are experiencing 1 Timothy 3:13, “Those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”
Third, we want to thank you, our church family. You have humbly responded to our leadership. We know it has not been easy. We have asked you to show honor to government decisions, whether or not you agreed with those decisions. And you have done this. You have fulfilled 1 Peter 2:13-17. You have lived out Philippians 2:2-4 with humility, letting personal freedoms go for the sake of the church body. And thus, we echo Paul’s words, “We thank our God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as a testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you” (1 Corinthians 1:4-6).
Fourth, we want to let you know that starting this Sunday (June 13), EBC will be back to ministry without COVID restrictions. This week our state leadership made face coverings and social distancing optional for religious organizations. Thus, while continuing to show honor to our governing authorities, but not going beyond their requirements, face coverings and social distancing will be optional at EBC. This includes all church events and gatherings, including our children’s ministry.
We know that for some this comes as great news. We also know that for others, there still may be trepidation because of COVID concerns. We pray that we continue to show love toward one another, even if we disagree on this matter. We pray that we would not judge one another’s decision to wear or not wear a face covering (Romans 14:3-4). We pray that our unity will not be found in temporal convictions but in the eternal Gospel of our Savior. Bound together by His Spirit, we pray that we will “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3).
We look forward to gathering together in corporate worship this Sunday, to lift high the name of our Lord.
Your EBC Elders