Midweek Update: September 1, 2021

Midweek Update: September 1, 2021

Dear Faith Community Church Family,

This week the elders have prayerfully considered the wisest path of response to the statewide mask mandate currently in place. We truly appreciate the input we have received from you and are thankful for your prayers as we have sought the Lord’s guidance regarding how best to gather for worship and fellowship during this time.

While our church is not legally obligated to follow the mask mandate as a “house of worship” per the state of Illinois, our aim is to make decisions that are both wise and loving given the increase of COVID-19 positivity rates in our region as we meet together as God’s people.

In view of these factors, here are the current mitigation measures for our church:

  • We continue to strongly encourage face masks for those who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Our Sunday service in the Worship Center will continue to be mask-optional.
  • We will host a mask-only seating area in the Mission Center lobby during the worship serviceWorship in the Mission Center lobby will be livestreamed.
  • We will continue to provide our online livestream service each Sunday.
  • If you are sick, have recently been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID, or are exhibiting any COVID-like symptoms, please worship from home and make use of our livestream worship service.

We want to emphasize that even if you have been vaccinated and would prefer to wear a mask, please feel free to do so. 

One of the most hope-giving truths that we are taught in the Scripture is this: “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This is our “only comfort in life and in death” (to quote the Heidelberg Catechism). However, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 is also one of the most countercultural verses in the Bible. We live in a society where individual freedom can and has become a form of idolatry. This verse tells us that Christians belong first of all to Jesus Christ. He is our Master. He is the One who purchased us with his own blood. As our Master, we are called to obey him and submit to him in everything we do. But here is the glorious truth: Obedience to Jesus is the path to everlasting freedom and joy.

Not only do we belong to Jesus, we’re also told that we belong to one another. Our individual lives – including our speech, our decisions, our attitudes – affect our brothers and sisters, members of Christ’s body. “[W]e, though many,” the Apostle Paul says, “are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:5) What we do has a ripple effect. It builds up, or tears down. It strengthens another’s faith, or places a stumbling block in their walk with Christ.

In all matters – spiritual, political, COVID-related – let us prioritize one another. We are brothers and sisters, purchased by the blood of Jesus and are members of his forever family.

Take time this week to prepare your heart for worship and the sharing of the Lord’s Supper this Sunday. Come before the Lord beforehand and ask that he would bring to your attention any unconfessed sin, confess it to him, and receive his gracious and abundant forgiveness.

Click here to access the livestream service.

Memorial Service in Honor of Lou Carter (Saturday, September 4; 11:00am)

This Saturday the memorial service in honor of our sister Lou Carter will be held at the church at 11:00am. We will provide livestream overflow seating in the Mission Center lobby. Following the service, a lunch will be held in the Mission Center. If you would like to send flowers in honor of Lou, they may be sent to the church to be displayed for the service. Please continue to lift up Julia and her family in prayer before the “God of all comfort” during this difficult time.

The livestream of the memorial service can be found here.

Men’s Saturday Morning Bible Study Beginning September 11 (8:00am-9:00am)

The men will resume the Saturday morning bible study beginning September 11 (8:00am-9:00am) in room 3/4. The class is led by Larry LaBelle and will focus on the parables of Jesus in the Gospels. For more information, contact Larry LaBelle.

Women’s Tuesday Night Bible Study Beginning September 14 (7:00pm-8:30pm)

The women are beginning the Tuesday Night Women’s Bible study on September 14th. The class meets from 7:00pm to 8:30pm at Valerie Austin’s home. The class will continue their study in the Gospel of Luke, beginning with chapter 9 in the “At His Feet” bible study by Hope Blanton and Christine Gordon. If you are interested in attending, please contact Valerie Austin or Amy Paglia.

Prayer Requests

Julia Doggett and family: Please pray that our Lord would encourage Julia and her family in the days ahead following the loss of Lou.

Karla Van Der Molen: Please pray that our Lord would strengthen and encourage our sister in light of an ALS diagnosis.

Mark Wissing: Please pray for Mark’s safety as he travels to Louisiana to deliver a generator to a family member following Hurricane Ida.

A final word of thanks to all who participated in the painting project last Saturday morning. In particular, we are grateful to Mark Wissing for overseeing the project. If you have not seen the newly painted wainscoting in the Mission Center, we encourage you to drop by!

We continue to be thankful to our God for the opportunity to serve you as elders of this church.

In Christ,

Pastor Rhett

Larry LaBelle

Tim Wierenga

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Worship November 27 Live at 9:30 am