We are meeting again for an outdoor service, October 24 at 5:00 pm.
Please note we will not be meeting Saturday, October 31.
Thanksgiving Food Box outreach
Bring these food items to our October 24th service to help local families in need.
- canned sweet potatoes / yams
- canned green beans
- canned corn
- gravy (canned, jar, or mix)
- cranberry sauce (canned)
- aluminum foil
- a small bottle of cooking oil
- cornbread mix
- gift cards – $15 – $25 to Stater Bros or Vons for turkey & fresh food items
The evening will be as below:
Pick up a welcome pamphlet and find a place to sit
Welcome & Worship
Announcements & Short Message by Pastor John
Small-Group Discussion of Message
Dinner & Fellowship
What to bring:
- *Canopy (optional
- *Hand Sanitizer
- *A heart to worship!
We will be adhering to all social distancing mandates, so please wear masks and stay six feet apart. The Holy Spirit is not restricted by space!
We hope you will join us!
John’s email to the church:
Dear GPC Faith Family,
Last Saturday’s outdoor service was fantastic! It was SO GOOD to see everyone.
I would also like to take a minute to thank those of you who were wearing masks and social distancing. This is such an important, yet divisive matter. It is not only one of the things causing division in our nation, but also the Church at large. It is truly heart-breaking.
The Early Church had a similar situation. Theirs was not whether to wear a mask, but whether to eat meat offered to idols.
It was quite common back then for meat vendors to ask their gods to bless their products as they went to the marketplace. Some Christians felt it was dishonoring to Jesus to eat that meat. Other believers, like Paul, knew that there is only One true God, so their prayers to false gods were harmless.
This issue was not what we would call a Biblical Absolute, but rather a Personal Conviction, which, as Paul stated, was a “disputable matter”.
Wearing masks and social distancing is a disputable matter.
And yet, just as back then, followers of Christ are fighting over it as though it is a mandate from God. But it is not. It is a personal conviction based on how you interpret the science and politics surrounding it. And just as Christians back then were “judging” one another, so they are today.
The Bible tells us to,
“Endeavor (strain every nerve) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3 Unity.
We must do everything we can to always maintain it. Otherwise, we are doomed. Unifying around Biblical Absolutes is much easier than unifying around Personal Conviction.
The unifying factor around Biblical Absolutes is faith.
We all believe the same basic truths about God: Jesus is the Son, He is the only way to heaven, salvation is by grace alone, Jesus was crucified, died, rose again, and is going to come back for His Church. These and other foundational truths unify us. But how do we unify around personal convictions? Well, let’s look at what Paul said to the first century Church. It applies to us today:
Some would say that by requiring social distancing policies to be followed at GPC we are not walking in faith. But the Bible is clear on what is greater than faith – love. (See 1 Corinthians 13)I am so thankful that due to our social distancing Marsha and Jeff Brown were able to be there, as well as Maru and Francisco, and others who are battling sickness and life-threatening diseases. These folks are part of our church family and love would say that if we have to inconvenience ourselves a bit for them so they can worship with us, so be it.
Others, like myself, who have loved ones at home who are immunocompromised were also able to be there.
Even if this virus is not as deadly as some say, or that the science and reporting is skewed, or that it is a government overreach or take-over, when we come together to worship, it isn’t about any of those things. Wearing a mask when we come together does not mean you are symbolically giving into a political agenda or a government overreach, it means we are operating in love.
For those of you who did not want to wear a mask, but did anyway, thank you.
For those who have a personal conviction that causes you not to wear a mask and so you won’t come, I pray you will read Romans chapter 14, pray about it, and hopefully join us.
Let’s live by the law of love!