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Sunday July 19th 2020

Good morning church,

In about one hour the Governor will be giving a news conference where he will outline the latest response from our government to the issues surrounding the virus. If you wish to watch it live, you can do so here

I'm writing you a bit early this week to ask that you pray specifically that 1) we will still be able to meet outside as a church, and 2) there will be no new restrictions that will prevent the planned opening of gospel centered Universities and Seminaries, and Christian schools.

At the moment, our plan is to gather together for worship at 9:00am, outside on the Quad as we have the last couple of weeks. The additional shade structure made it very pleasant last week, and Lord willing we'll enjoy the same thing this weekend.

Since this arrangement will likely be our method of gathering for a while, we will also begin taking communion again as a body, starting next week. More details will be included in next weeks newsletter.

Just a shepherding note on loving each other: There is plenty of space in the shade, so please make sure you spread out appropriately. You may not be concerned about the virus, but some of your brothers and sisters in Christ are, and we can love each other by wearing masks if we are within 6 feet, and by maintaining appropriate distance from those who are at risk.

As we turn our attention to God's Word, we'll look at 1 Peter 4:1-19 and be instructed on the topic of suffering. The title for the message is Suffering Souls Rejoice! based on the command from 1 Peter 4:13 to "rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings".

This whole series, Excelling in Exile is meant to equip us with tools to glorify God every day, especially when our flesh is constantly provoked in difficult situations. So far we've covered the topic of personal and corporate sanctification (1 Peter 2:4-10), and submission in our civil, work, home, and personal life (1 Peter 2:11-3:22). Sunday we'll focus our attention on what it means to suffer according to the will of God, and for his ultimate glory (1 Peter 4:1-19). 

This will be a profoundly helpful lesson for you as a believer, and a powerfully evangelistic invitation for any friends or visitors you may wish to bring.

In order to prepare you heart for receiving the ministry of the Word, consider reading Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, 1 Peter 4:1-19, and 1 Corinthians 10:23-33.

For those of you who cannot attend due to various concerns, please feel free to join us via livestream on either our YouTube or Facebook channels. 

So unless anything new comes out of the press conference today, we'll look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Grace and Peace,
Jonathan Rourke