Letter from the Pastor
Dear family and friends of Word of Hope,
We are all in this together. We all want the COVID-19 pandemic to be slowed or halted. We are told by the CDC and know from our own education that the way to do that is through quarantine and social distancing.
At this point, we are planning to go "online only" for this weekend and the next. Then we will revisit. Hopefully we will be able to gather for Easter, even if it's a parking lot drive-in theatre type service!
Our service will be at 10:00 Sunday morning on Facebook Live just like last Sunday (thank you all who attended!) The sermon is called "Blessed Income". It's a teaching on the 7th Biblical principle for managing money. Attached is a little quiz I'll be talking about during the message to see how much the Mammon curse is affecting your financial well-being. The sermon note guide is included.
Giving is still available online and we strongly encourage it. Some have walked their tithe to the church during the week - God bless you! If you want to mail it in, it's Word of Hope, 1351 Jolly Ln, Rapid City, SD 57703.
Celebrate Recovery is planning to do something online as well Sunday Night - be watching for details.
KIDS: The Sunday morning Facebook Live service will include a short kids time. During the week, Pastor Lyz and I will be providing a Lunch with the Pastors time at 12:30, Tues-Fri via ZOOM. ZOOM meetings allow everyone to see each other on their computer, tablet or phone, which might be fun for the kids. Lyz and I will have a short Bible story and demo a craft/game/snack or something. We might do "In Your Bubble" interviews with kids or adults. A postcard invitation should be arriving for your child in the next couple days.
Our district superintendent is urging all churches to go online only for at least the next two weeks. Wyoming has already called for a shut down of offices, businesses and gatherings. South Dakota may not be far behind.
My Wyoming friend Pastor Sam Smith described it like this: We might question the government infringing on our freedom of assembly or our rights as a religious body. But we are also a part of a community and we cooperate with the government when it comes to safety issues. We follow building codes when we build our churches. We follow fire codes to have fire extinguishers and signs posted on the doors ("these doors must remain unlocked when occupied"). We cancel services when the highway department says it isn't safe to be on the roads because of weather. This pandemic is also a health issue. It isn't a religious freedom issue. Church's aren't being singled out for closure. Sam said something like that, and he's right.
As I've said before in letter and online, our decision to cease gatherings is a "love your neighbor" issue. As long as the virus can find new people to jump to, it can stay alive and spread. Any of us could be carrying it and not know it yet. I would hate to infect someone who infects someone who has a chronic illness and ends up in the hospital, or worse.
Be watching your email and Facebook for encouragement and updates as we walk through this unprecedented experience together!
Pastor Scott Wiley