Pastor’s Desk 2020-04-28

Chuck Sheridan Avatar

Good Morning to you,
 
In our present “covid” world, news of what to share seems to be getting more and more limited. Whoever said “silence is golden” had to have the nature of a hermit. Silence is deafening in my opinion! Even the barking dogs must have gone into isolation, along with our neighbor’s peacocks. Heard a cat howling on our patio the other night. Initially, I was encouraged, although you may have guessed the “issue” at hand. However, the weather is great in San Carlos, running from 28-32C (or 85-90F). The afternoon winds are warm – very warm/hot, but they subside by supper time. We are still under quarantine, other than groceries, pharmacies, medical and gas. We’re under a “one person per vehicle” rule, which doesn’t seem to be enforced that readily. However, when one of our greatest pleasures comes from interaction with people, we do feel like we’re limping a little. Its pretty quiet.
 
We are thrilled with the number of viewers keeping up with SCCC through “online church.” That’s been very satisfying. Ryan joined us for staff meeting today as he, Selene and Mayra are very involved in putting together this service. I am amazed at the time and detail it takes to put it together. Ryan mentioned this morning that “Drive In” Church had been much simpler to put together. Regardless, it has led to the opportunity to minister to people that have never been a part of our church family. Questions about prayer, questions about influencing their community, and several others – all opportunities to speak into people’s lives. People who have headed back North have sent emails with feedback and thoughts about the service. Such a treat to have that kind of interaction.
 
Last week, we had viewers from New Brunswick – British Columbia (Canada-wide) and as many or more were represented from different states in the USA. Old friends dialed in on facebook. People who have returned North sent encouraging emails, thankful to feel they were still a part of SCCC. Our Spanish viewing audience has been over 450 views, each of the last two weeks. This week, we already have over 1000 views on our English service. We have no real way of counting what the Holy Spirit has spoken into their hearts as they participated in the service, but I trust the Lord will use these online services to both challenge and encourage the listeners. The Lord has opened up doors of opportunity our church has never dreamed of (or at least I haven’t) and we are grateful to Him. We get to touch families across the continent!
 
With “online church”, you may be feeling left out with no way to participate in the offering. Well, good news folks – there is a way for you to participate with our secure online donations if you’re in the USA or Canada. Go to www.sancarloscommunitychurch.com and click on the “giving” tab. Along with the other options for giving, we’ve added a new secure online tool, “Go Fund Me Charity” which allows for those of you in the USA to donate right from the comfort of your own home. Those in Canada can do the same through the Great Commission Foundation. Each of these methods is safe and secure and allows us to offer you official tax receipts at the end of the year. We are so grateful for your generosity.
 
We were pleasantly surprised yesterday to receive a great email from Ethel Dafoe:. She writes: “Got a good report from the oncologist this morning. He said everything was stable and really unchanged from October.” Ethel – We were so thankful to hear this good news.
 
Both the English and Spanish services are still available for viewing on the church facebook page. You do not have to have a facebook account to view it. Simply click the following link: https://www.facebook.com/sancarloscommunitychurch/videos/2561804427364409/
 
Our Food Pantry – our opportunities to care for needy families continues to expand. Please pray for these families who through no fault of their own, find themselves in this position. I am awed by the continued generosity of our SCCC people. People from our church have been dropping off donations which are then used to create these food hampers. We are so grateful to be working in partnership with Castaway, Rescate & Rotary, who along with Mark Mulligan have raised significant funds for this project.
             The unique part of this is our opportunity to care for people who are next door to the church, right in the heart of our community. As we care, picture with me a future with these local children becoming a part of our Children’s Church or Youth becoming a part of our Youth Nites,, and parents who become part of our church family – simply because these people were genuinely cared for at a most distressing time!

Sunday Messages – (Facebook Live) Next Sunday, we’ll be back on at 9:00 am, looking at Acts 15 and the first battle which broke out at the AGM, a debate which could potentially destroy the message of the Gospel – is it “Christ + nothing” or is it “Christ + something” which secures our salvation. I mean there is some critical traditions to follow, isn’t there? Well, there are some rules which are really critical to my faith, right? Get real, Preacher, sounds like “cheap grace” to me if “nothing” additional is required? Come on!  Love to see you “Online.”

If you’ve missed some of the past messages, you can listen to them on our website. Go to www.sancarloscommunitychurch.com and click on “audio messages” to listen to any previous messages, including the “Drive In” Church messages from the Patio.

Praying your isolation is filled with God’s peace,
Pastor Glenn & Jeannine  

 
I’ve included a thought provoking article I recently received from a leader I follow:

12 REASONS PEOPLE GIVE UP ON CHURCH By Chuck Lawless – April 1, 2020
 
Most, if not all, of us know someone who attended church but then simply gave up on God’s people. Based on my work with churches and the unchurched over the last 20 years, here are some of the reasons I’ve heard:
 
1. They see nothing different in Christians. They come looking for the difference the gospel makes, but they find only people who act like the rest of the world acts.

2. They hear nothing but judgment. Presented lovingly, judgment is part of helping people see their need for Jesus. The problem is that they too seldom hear it presented lovingly.

3. They hear only stories and humor. They came to church desperately wanting to hear something from God to help them with their chaotic lives, but they instead heard little or nothing from the Word.

4. Nobody connects with them. They may have come with some desire to be anonymous, but most did not come with a hope of being ignored. When nobody talks to them, they see little reason to keep coming.

5. They see no relevance in its message. Frankly, I lay this issue at the feet of preachers. If we don’t help folks know how to apply the Word in their lives, they leave with head knowledge rather than heart change.

6. Somebody hurt them or their family. Sure, they need to forgive and press on – but some folks aren’t there yet. They carry their anger with them and depart the church.

7. They have other options today. Via the Internet, they can “attend” church virtually and listen to sermons electronically. And, they can do that without putting on their best clothes.

8. Everything is “over their head.” Nobody taught them the basics of Christianity. They struggle understanding what they hear – and they’re too embarrassed to ask for help.

9. They’re tired of church drama. Some of the most ridiculous interpersonal fights I’ve ever seen have been among believers. It’s no wonder some people walk away from the silliness.

10. Nobody answers their questions. “Just because the Bible says so” isn’t always the best answer for seekers who are asking honest questions in their spiritual quest.

11. They feel unneeded. They’d love to get involved, but no one’s asked them. As far as they know, the church doesn’t need them.

12. They’re not ready for the commitment. When they really do hear the gospel, they hear its call to give up self. Those who aren’t ready for that commitment avoid its call by leaving the church.

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