My dear friends in Christ Jesus:
As Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, “I thank my God every time I remember you” (1:3). During these days of physical distancing, I so much miss traveling throughout the church and seeing you in person.
The disruptions caused by COVID-19 have unfortunately become our routine. The uncertainty of what may come tomorrow and in the days ahead makes us anxious. And the physical separation required right now makes it more difficult to provide the community support that comes so naturally for us as the body of Christ.
COVID-19 is affecting some of us very personally, and we fear that will increase as time goes by. Let us continue to undergird each other with fervent prayer.
In these days of uncertainty and concern, I especially want to thank our pastors, who have been beacons of hope and encouragement. They are reflecting the resurrection hope of Jesus to their communities. Through creative pastoral leadership, they are helping all of us discover different ways to be Jesus in the neighborhood.
In these last weeks, we all have been forced to make major changes in our lives and in our communities of faith. To support pastors and other church leaders, staff of the Church of the Brethren have been working to quickly provide many resources. You can find the latest information at the Church of the Brethren website, www.brethren.org. Please check the site frequently and subscribe to Newsline; information is being updated constantly in this rapidly changing time.
The need is great, and this is an opportunity for the church to offer the cup of cold water and mutually support one another in our common ministries of Jesus Christ. The Church of the Brethren staff is committed to that end.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we live in the hope of the resurrection. Even with death comes new life. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring, but what we do know is that we can come together as the body of Christ to support the needs of our neighbors—those nearby and those far away. As Brethren around the world support each other with prayer and other expressions of love and care, we all feel the deep fellowship of our global Church of the Brethren.
Thank you for that fellowship, which remains strong even though we are apart. May God’s love and strength be with you.
All my gratitude and hope,
David A. Steele
(Read this issue of eBrethren.)