During the COVID-19 outbreak we've made the decision to move our Sunday services from an in-person gathering to an online forum.
Here's how to participate:
1. Setup a blog account by clicking the login/signup button at the top right corner of this post. Follow the steps to setup an account. All you need is an email address.
2. Order a copy of Sue Nelson Kibbey's book Ultimate Reliance.
Use smile.amazon.com and set up Harmony Springs as your non-profit to support or comment below with a request for a copy and we'll get you one?
3. Give. Many of us drop our tithe in the offering plate on the way in on Sundays. When in-person church gets canceled giving goes down. Will you help us make sure that's not the case for us? If you give via offering plate on Sundays would you mail your check to us at PO Box 428 Uniontown, OH 44685, or give online. You can do it right now - we'll wait.
We're going to make sure all our staff and bills get paid during this time.
4. Grab a cup of coffee, tea, diet coke, water, come sit down in a comfortable place, quiet and center yourself and start reading, reflecting and posting your comments at the bottom. The more we interact, the more we know we're in this together.
Do you have enough toilet paper? If this goes on for months and there is a TP shortage we may have to start taking the description of the first church in Acts seriously - sharing everything :)
This mornings Scripture is: Isaiah 41:1-10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
41 “Coastlands, listen to Me in silence, And let the peoples gain new strength; Let them come forward, then let them speak; Let us come together for judgment. 2 “Who has aroused one from the east Whom He calls in righteousness to His [a]feet? He delivers up nations before him And subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, As the wind-driven chaff with his bow. 3 “He pursues them, passing on in safety, By a way he had not been [b]traversing with his feet. 4 “Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’”
5 The coastlands have seen and are afraid; The ends of the earth tremble; They have drawn near and have come. 6 Each one helps his neighbor And says to his brother, “Be strong!” 7 So the craftsman encourages the smelter, And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, Saying of the soldering, “It is good”; And he fastens it with nails, So that it will not totter. 8 “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend, 9 You whom I have [c]taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. 10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
I've heard people say, 'be careful praying/asking for patience.' I've got a new one. Be VERY careful asking 'Are we a fearless church?' I'm certain now that God has a sense of humor.
There is no spiritual theme more fitting to reflect on during a pandemic than these words from Isaiah, 'Be Not Afraid.' This three-word prayer has been uttered from the lips of prophets like Isaiah, angels during the birth of Christ, and Jesus himself to his disciples. One of the most prolific prayers of the Bible it's a prayer that both admits our human tendency to be driven by fear and a plea to reject that natural inclination.
What happens when fear drives us? We've seen that this week haven't we?
Toilet paper really?? A foreign virus?? really??
What do you look like, act like, when fear drives you?
What does a church look like, act like, when fear drives us?
When fear takes the wheel of our lives, church or community things escalate quickly don't they? It becomes increasingly difficult to turn the ship or take the wheel. At that moment we can either give in, give up, or allow an ancient prayer like 'Be Not Afraid' to permeate our souls, lives, minds, inner conversation and begin to lead our thoughts, conversations, and actions towards fearlessness.
There's something comforting in knowing that from the beginning of time people have struggled with fear. People have always needed supernatural reassurance that, 'its not the end of the world as we know it (REM).' but rather that Everything's Gonna Be Alright (Bob Marley).
My friends may fear take the back seat for you today, for us in this season of church at Harmony Springs and for our community during this pandemic. 'Be Not Afraid' friends. We've got this. We're in this together and we've got the God who always has been and always will be on our side.
Leave your comments below.
Q. What's the craziest fear driven thing you've seen people do this week?
If you have an update to one of these, comment below and we'll update it.
Youth Fundraiser The youth of Harmony Springs are making homemade chocolate candy for Easter. Order peanut, raisin, krispie, pretzel or coconut in milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate. All proceeds will help offset the cost of camp. Place your order by calling the church office 330-899-9785 or emailing Donna. Orders will be taken through March 29. Cost $10.00 Baking for Building Carol Blystone will be making nut rolls for your Easter enjoyment. All proceeds to go to the Harmony Springs Building Fund. Cost is $10.00 a roll. An order sheet is available on Sunday mornings. The Wizard of Oz A TIme to Dance Junior Company (Carliegh Culver) at North Canton Playhouse on Friday, April 24th and Saturday April 25th at 7:00pm and on Sunday, April 26th at 2:30pm. Tickets: 330-497-7097. Early Childhood Education Alliance Annual Art & More Auction May 1st 7:00-10:00pm - ECEA (Early Childhood Education Alliance) Annual Art & More Auction 2020 Camp Forms are available Sunday morning on the Welcome Table and online at www.ccinoh.org.