Note from Tim 2020-07-22

We have returned from Iowa after time with my family and my father’s funeral. It was an exhausting and yet encouraging week. The loss is felt as I find myself wanting to call him every day. These days have freshly revealed the vital importance of the community of fellow believers. Your messages, texts, cards, emails, expressions of love, and countless prayers lifted up on our behalf have been a great encouragement. Maniac Darryl and Marie showed up at the family visitation! Thank you. We are grateful for all of you. And then as Ruth and I left for home, it became clear that my mother and family would be well cared for as extended family, friends, and the church community had been wonderfully gathering around for support. God’s commands for our investment in fellowship and deep relationships in which we care, pray, love, encourage, and bear one another’s burdens wonderfully make sense during times like these.
The gospel has been the most vital source of encouragement for me. From the moment I received the call on early Monday morning until I preached for the funeral on Friday morning, my mind was racing to process and prepare to effectively communicate how the gospel applies to my Dad’s life and our grieving. We thrive through absorbing the gospel and developing a gospel lens through which to view life and death. My Dad’s funeral provides gospel-absorption encouragement and lens development and so I invite you to view the video recording at this link. You will also enjoy hearing a few stories about the wild character that was my Dad.
Looking forward, we are finally hosting our first in-person service this Sunday at 9am! The current virus activity and state guidelines make it necessary for all of us to extend grace and follow a number of safe and wise practices such as wearing masks. But this is another step as we learn and make adjustments. Social distancing leaves us with a capacity for 75 in our worship center at this time. And so, Laura will provide details for the criteria for who should join us and how to sign up on a first-come-first-served basis. This week, if sign-ups exceed 75 people, you will be first on the list for the following week. And in the future, two services is one option for us to accommodate more than 75 at a time. Livestream will always continue to be provided.
Again, thank you for your love and support for us. I greatly appreciate your prayers for wisdom and energy as I get my bearings again and continue to lead through this unprecedented season of loss and radical change. He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. I look forward to “seeing” many of you on Sunday.
Grace, peace, and love,
Pastor Tim