On Friday morning, March 13, Montgomery County leaders asked churches across the county to suspend Sunday services and other group events for two weeks as they work hard to slow the spread of the virus. This request was subsequently extended.
This is not something the state can require of us, but we believe it is a reasonable request. Respecting this request is one way for us to honor government leaders and help make their burden lighter (1 Timothy 2:1-8). Moreover, it is one way for us to love our communities and express concern for their well-being. And, while our assembling together is very important (Hebrews 10:25), under the circumstances it is also a practical way for us to show care for each other as a church.
Therefore, in keeping with the shelter-in place order issued by Governor Wolf, we made the decision to suspend of our on-site Sunday services and all other in-person meetings and events through the end of May. Our Worship Ministry Team made these services available online. You can watch them using the links below that indicate a video. The pastors also provided a series of daily devotionals that you may find meaningful. These links are also posted below.
Now, Grace has made plans to phase in a restart of in-person worship. For the first phase, we will be meeting in groups of 25 or less. More information can be found at the links below:
Watch a video explaining the plan to restart
Read the details of the plan
This is uncharted territory for us. But this time affords us a unique opportunity to live out our faith and our congregational vision in other practical ways.
We encourage you to hold family worship in your homes on Sunday and practice the adventure challenges together. Read the Bible together. Share faith stories. Pray for each other. Pray for our church’s witness. Pray for those in positions of authority faced with the daunting challenge of responding to this crisis. Check in with other church members throughout the week—by phone, Zoom, card or letter—to ask about their welfare.
Check in with your neighbors, and especially any elderly or high-risk neighbors you might have, to consider if there are ways you can be Christ’s hands and feet to them in their need (e.g., run errands, get groceries, take them to a doctor visit). And be aware of doors this might open for you to give an account of the hope that is in you in Christ (1 Peter 3:15).
We will pray with hope that this present challenge will pass over quickly. But in the meanwhile, may we be watchful for the things the Lord wants to teach us and the ways He wants to use us.
Finally, I offer you these words of encouragement from Psalm 56:
"When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?" (Psalm 56:3–4).
May we experience the peace of Christ and seize the opportunity to share that peace as the body of Christ at Grace Mennonite Church.
Pastor Marc Hershberger
The pastors at Grace Mennonite Church prepared this series of devotionals to help our church navigate a faithful response to the Covid-19 crisis. You may find them to be meaningful no matter what challenge you are facing. If you would like to speak with one of our pastors, please call (215) 855-7718 or email us at email@example.com.
Sunday, July 26 — Do not be deceived (video)
Sunday, July 19 — Don't get comfortable (video)
Sunday, July 12 — The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Sharing (video)
Thursday, July 9 — The value of being out of control
Wednesday, July 8 — A matter of the heart
Tuesday, July 7 — The art of facilitating
Monday, July 6 — Being worth our salt
Sunday, July 5 — The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Serving Together (video)
Wednesday, July 1 — A message for everyone everywhere
Tuesday, June 30 — Profile of a strong church
Monday, June 29 — What do you see?
Sunday, June 28 — Remembering our purpose (video)
Friday, June 26 — Hospitality: A heart issue
Thursday, June 25 — Overcoming barriers to welcoming
Wednesday, June 24 — Hospitality's agenda
Tuesday, June 23 — Fight, flight, freeze—or face?
Monday, June 22 — Welcoming: Showing the kindness of God
Sunday, June 21 — The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Welcoming, Part 2 (video)
Sunday, June 21 — The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Welcoming, Part 1 (video)
Friday, June 19 — Things to be thankful for
Thursday, June 18 — Love pursues
Wednesday, June 17 — The power of love
Tuesday, June 16 — Here is love
Friday, June 12 — Love's evidence
Thursday, June 11 — Roots that run deep
Wednesday, June 10 — Loving presence
Monday, June 8 — The greatest of these
Sunday, June 7 — The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Loving (video)
Friday, June 5 — Careful questions vs. thoughtful questions
Thursday, June 4 — Holy curiosity
Wednesday, June 3 — Making space for good questions
Tuesday, June 2 — Created to be curious
Monday, June 1 — Coming out on the other side....together
Sunday, May 31 — The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Asking Questions (video)
Friday, May 29 — The sounds of listening
Thursday, May 28 — Listening to each other
Wednesday, May 27 — Breaking the noise
Tuesday, May 26 — "Speaking" the language of love
Monday, May 25 — The God who hears
Sunday, May 24 — The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Listening (video)
Friday, May 22 — The prayer of "casting"
Thursday, May 21 — The power of secret prayer
Wednesday, May 20 — Persistence that prevails!
Tuesday, May 19 — Prayers like raindrops
Monday, May 18 — If we are not praying....
Sunday, May 17 — The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Praying (video)
Friday, May 15 — Cultivating a way of life
Thursday, May 14 — Becoming a noticing person
Wednesday, May 13 — Noticing what Jesus does
Tuesday, May 12 — Seeing with the mind of Christ
Monday, May 11 — Who do you notice?
Sunday, May 10 — The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Noticing (video)
Friday, May 8 — Where is your head?
Thursday, May 7 — How did you like your heart attack?
Wednesday, May 6 — A fool's claim
Tuesday, May 5 — From emotion to devotion
Monday, May 4 — Son-Exposure
Sunday, May 3 — The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations - Intro
Friday, May 1 — Everyday witnesses
Thursday, April 30 — Faith coming alive
Wednesday, April 29 — Going the extra mile
Tuesday, April 28 — Living an unburdened life
Monday, April 27 — A testimony of thanksgiving
Sunday, April 26 — Rainbow Express Preschool Sunday (video)
Friday, April 24 — I shall not want
Thursday, April 23 — An opportunity for peace
Wednesday, April 22 — More than the eye can see
Tuesday, April 21 — Understanding your Father
Monday, April 20 — When more of nothing is what we need
Sunday, April 19 — Living as Lights in the Darkness (video)
Friday, April 17 — Perspective given in worship
Thursday, April 16 — Nothing can separate us
Wednesday, April 15 — The God who comes to us
Tuesday, April 14 — The Great Pause
Monday, April 13 — In search of treasure
Sunday, April 12 — He is Risen: A Matter of Fact, A Matter of Meaning (video)
Friday, April 10 — We have a Friend
Thursday, April 9 — Celebrate the gift of life!
Wednesday, April 8 — Of first importance
Tuesday, April 7 — What true peace looks like
Monday, April 6 — Handling the pressure
Palm Sunday — April 5, 2020 Sabbath Disciplines: Solitude and Silence (video)
Friday, April 3 — Be all the more diligent
Thursday, April 2 — How strong is your tent?
Wednesday, April 1 — Suffering that redeems
Tuesday, March 31 — Breaking and re-forming
Monday, March 30 — Remembering our vows
Sunday, March 29 — Fireworks vs Faithfulness (video)
Friday, March 27 — God sees the sparrow
Thursday, March 26 — A call for mutuality
Wednesday, March 25 — Pain with a purpose
Tuesday, March 24 — Does anxiety take your breath away?
Monday, March 23 — Even to the end of the age
Sunday, March 22 — A surprise lesson
Sunday, March 22 — From fear to faith (video)
Friday, March 20 — Generous living
Thursday, March 19 — Faith living
Wednesday, March 18 — Trust the engineer (or the chef)
Tuesday, March 17 — Is Jesus in the boat with you?
Monday, March 16 — The gift of "otherness"