Blog,  Letter to the Congregation,  Uncategorized

Update from All Saints

Dear All Saints Family,

As all of us continue walk through the uncertainty of this season of COVID-19, most, if not all of us are experiencing something we’ve never experienced before as school closings are announced, community activities are cancelled and even restaurants are limiting their service in many states. We simply don’t have a “playbook” in place for this kind of event. And yet, we are called as Christians in the world to be faithful; faithful to our God and his authority in our lives, faithful to Jesus, our Shepherd and Redeemer, and faithful to the Holy Spirit, who gives us wisdom.

Wisdom is what is most needed during these days, as there is no shortage of opinions on what course of action a church should take when considering protection against a virus that has resulted in a pandemic. As a pastor, it was very difficult to not be with you in worship on Sunday, though we, as the session, thought it the best course of action. Now it seems as if we are only in the very early stages of what could be a long haul.

That being the case, Sunday morning worship at All Saints will be cancelled through the end of March. We are hoping to be back together and worshipping as a church on Palm Sunday (April 5th). During this time, I will be writing a devotional for you to use in your family worship each Lord’s Day. You can look for it in your email inbox and it will be posted on Facebook. Also included will be congregational prayer requests that you and your family can pray for. If you would like to submit a prayer request, please email me, direct message me on Facebook or text me at the number below. Some of you have mentioned streaming a service. We will be streaming a short worship service on Facebook Live on the All Saints Facebook page this Sunday at 10:30. Instructions on how to access that will follow. 

Also, should you be wondering what to do with your regular offering, you can send your check to the church office at:
All Saints Presbyterian Church
C/O Carolyn Boswell

1698 Monroe Ave.
Memphis, TN. 38104

Finally, your elders and deacons desire to shepherd and care for all of you. If you have a need, please do not hesitate to let us know. I believe that the Lord will use our current situation to deepen us and draw us nearer to himself, even if we can’t be together in the flesh. Please pray for your church and God’s people. Pray that we will not lose sight of God’s call to love him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to embody Christ’s love for our neighbor. 

Friends, let us be reminded of God’s amazing presence in all of this. It is in these times that our trust in the Lord is deepened and we come face to face with where our true hope lies. Let these words from the Heidelberg Catechism bring you your only comfort in life and in death and all things in between:

Heidelberg #1
Question: What is your only comfort in life and in death?
Answer: That I am not my own, but belong body and soul, in life and in death to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven. In fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

Grace upon grace,  
Justin Sembler
Pastor, All Saints Presbyterian Memphis, TN.
(920) 980-3119

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