Pastor’s Musings

Lord’s Day Worship for October 25th

After reflecting on the events of the past two weeks, I have decided to return to posting material for those worshiping at home. Delays have pushed back the live-streaming timetable. On our Lord’s Day page, you can find today’s bulletin, a prayer, a song, and a sermon. As many of you know, coronavirus is currently affecting our community at a higher reported rate than at any previous point during the pandemic. For this reason, it is wise for some of us to limit interactions with others. The resources posted help provide connection and spiritual growth for those sheltering safely at home. There is also another bonus to using these resources – you can share them with others!

Whether in-person or at-home, may God’s blessing be yours in Christ!

Worshiping at home?

Unfortunately, we are still awaiting the installation of our live-streaming equipment. In the interim, many resources are available for all those worshiping at home.

  • WCSR broadcasts updated through 10/4 (available at Sermons and Music)
  • Devotional guides for the last four months (available at Morning & Evening Devotions)
  • PDF copies of our bulletin (available at Lord’s Day Worship)
  • A growing collection of teaching videos (go to Youtube and search for “Hillsdale First Presbyterian Church”)

Would you join me in prayer?

Father, we can’t always be together, but we know that you are always with us. The connections that we have with one another are not based on geography but on personal union with Jesus. We are the branches, and he is the vine. Please, loving God, help us to know the sustaining power of Jesus and help us to know the connections that we have with one another in Christ. And may the entirety of our lives be lived for your glory. In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen.

Public Health and Public Worship

For all those keeping track of public health measures in Michigan, the last week has been action-packed. Last Friday, we learned that the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Governor Whitmer’s emergency powers have operated on an unconstitutional basis since April 30th. This decision immediately began to have an impact on how local businesses and organizations operate. Then, earlier this week, we learned that orders concerning masks and gatherings were now being enforced under the pandemic powers of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. If this has left you feeling uncertain, then please hear the following: nothing has changed concerning our practice of public worship. Christians gather for worship; this is simply what we do. Sometimes, we make adjustments and take precautions. There are always exceptional cases. Nonetheless, we remain a worshiping people. With that in mind, let me remind you of a few things concerning our current practice.

  1. We are still doing things a little differently – no choir, no food, no passing the plates, no greeters, no hand-holding. So far, these measures seem to be effective.
  2. We are still broadcasting services on the CCTV – the parlor and anniversary room are set up for remote worshipers every Sunday morning.
  3. We are still cleaning things up after service – our long-suffering and hard-working deacons still wipe down rails and doorknobs. Congregants are still encouraged to clean up their areas as they leave service.
  4. We are still anticipating live-streaming services – things are running differently than we anticipated but the day will eventually arrive. Stay tuned for information on how to access these services when the time comes.
  5. We are still operating with wisdom and love – no mask-mandate, no guilt. Nonetheless, please be considerate of others. Give each other space. Consider wearing a mask if you are able to do so. Sing a little quieter than you normally would.

In all things, live with faith, hope, and love. Faith helps us to know that God can be trusted in every season of life. Hope helps us to know that God’s good purposes for each of us will be fulfilled. Love keeps us secure as we reach out to those around us in a Christ-like manner. The world around us offers us a host of narratives to give meaning to our lives. But we reject them all in the name of Jesus. For the only story that defines us is the story of his life, death, resurrection, reign, and return.

In Christ,

Pastor Scott

Lord’s Day Resources for September 27th

New resources are posted at the Lord’s Day page. Please note two things:

  1. This is the final Sunday that I will directly record a video. In the coming weeks, we will begin livestreaming service. Please pray that our new technology gets off the ground and runs smoothly!
  2. The new monthly prayer guide will be released next Sunday. Please consider using this guide in your personal times of prayer.