We are now three weeks into the shutdowns from this crisis, and the Quebec Government has now asked that ALL non-essential businesses close and for people to stay at home.
In our wildest dreams (or nightmares), we could not have imagined a situation like this one.
I know it is difficult it is to be confronted by all the ramifications of the situation—the fear of the virus itself, the loss of work and finances. Just thinking about it can cause us fear and anxiety. But you can make a choice: you can let anxiety overwhelm you, or you can trust God.
Remember the words of Moses to Joshua and the people of Israel when they were about to fight the armies of Canaan.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
I thank God that we have governments that are doing their best to care for us and the economy. And I ask you to be good citizens and obey the directives they are giving. If you can—stay at home.
Don’t be overcome fear and anxiety. Remember that God is still in control.
He has not left us He has not forsaken His people.
One of my favourite names for God is the one Hagar used in Genesis. She called Him “the God who sees me.” He sees you today, He is aware of your needs, and He cares.
As I ask God for guidance, I remember the words of an old hymn:
Jesus, Saviour, pilot me Over life’s tempestuous sea; Unknown waves before me roll, Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal.
We are definitely going through a “tempestuous sea” with unknown times before us.
The next line in that song says:
Chart and compass come from Thee. Jesus, Saviour, pilot me.
As we thank God for governments who are doing their best, we should remember that God is our strength and guide. He is the provider of wisdom and knowledge, and He is our “present help in times of trouble.”
God has not changed, and as He went before His people in the past, He will go before us. We may not see a physical cloud or pillar of fire, but we can know that His presence is with us, and His hand will guide us.
If you are feeling anxious, remember that God is still in control. AND try to keep your JOY. Paul tells the Philippians:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! … The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
As the waves roll, hold on tight to God and to your joy.
Let me remind you that at LCA, we are continuing to do ministry. We are adding online group meetings to encourage fellowship and church life.
Please take a moment to visit the website and sign up for one of the online meetings and Bible studies.
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COVID-19, Week 2 – March 18, 2020
We are indeed living in interesting days. My hope today is that you are well and living in peace.
We are adapting to the daily changes taking place and the new information and instruction from the government. Today, new recommendations include limiting the size of gatherings and staying at home where possible.
This Sunday, March 22, 2020, we are continuing to invite people to watch from home, adding that we are inviting EVERYONE to stay home.
**Only those involved in the worship and technical teams, should be attending in person.**
We are improving the sound and video quality of our live streaming and hope that this will make the experience more enjoyable. If you can, hook your computers, phones, etc., to your TV’s and watch big as well as live. Watch as a family and take the time to pray together.
In the weeks to come, should the crisis continue, we will look to provide online gatherings via Zoom etc. so that we can have Bible studies and times together. Further information will follow in the days to come.
This Sunday, Lord willing, I will be speaking from Matthew 5:9:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Not to give away the message, but that word Peace is “Shalom” in Hebrew, “Pace” in Italian, and I think Romanian too!!!
Shalom means peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility.
In the Bible, peace is not only the absence of conflict or trouble, but it is also (and perhaps primarily) the presence and enjoyment of all good things.
Today so many are in a state of ‘unrest,’ their hearts, minds and souls are troubled, not peaceful or serene. Peace is something that seems to be in short supply.
Peace – in the way that Jesus intends it – that is something that we all could use.
Let me encourage you by saying peace is something that can exist in the midst (right in the middle) of all kinds of trials and difficulties – and yes, even in times of crisis. Peace is something that we can have when we have the presence of God in our lives. No matter the crisis, no matter your particular emotional state, you can be assured of His presence.
Jesus has promised us:
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” -John 14:27
We can be peacemakers in this world and in this time of crisis by living as a reflection of God’s character and love. As we hold out the hope of the gospel, we are inviting others to find peace in their lives and hearts as they find peace with God.
My prayer today is from the Apostle Paul:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” -Romans 15:13
Today and throughout this week and the days ahead, may you know the presence of the God of peace!
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All small groups, annual business meeting, monthly practices are cancelled.
Watch Online Sunday at 10:30 am
Update – Saturday, March 14, 2020, 11:00PM
We are recommending that people STAY HOME AND WATCH ONLINE. Those who would still like to come are welcome but ADULTS ONLY (no children).
Update – Saturday, March 14, 2020, 7:00PM
In his daily press briefing, Quebec Premier François Legault asked people aged 70 and over, the most vulnerable to coronavirus, to stay home. Avoid travel, unless necessary.
Likewise, we ask that visitors and members aged 70 and over, refrain from coming to LCA Church until further notice.
Update – Friday, March 13, 2020, 1:00PM
Following the latest announcement from the Quebec Government about the closure of all daycares, schools, CEGEPs and universities for at least the next 2 weeks,
LCA Church has chosen to cancel ALL Small Group Meetings (Adult, Youth, Parents, Mommies) as of today.
However, Sunday Morning Service is OPEN as of this update.
Please refer to the precautions list in announcement below for whether or not you should attend church.
FROM PASTOR JOHN IPPOLITO
Dear friends and members of LCA,
NOTE: Some of the information has been updated – please refer to the most recent update for latest guidelines/information.
Wow-what a time we are living through. I thought it would be prudent to share a few of my thoughts with you regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
– PANIC IS NOT HELPFUL; NEITHER IS FEAR.
First, from the Biblical and spiritual side:
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7
You may be aware that the government has issued some new precautions. Please know that as a church we believe it is important to comply with these recommendations, not out of fear or paranoia, but out of sincere concern to do what is right in the face of the current situation.
Second, from a practical standpoint:
risk in Canada as of March 12, 2020 is low, and Quebec has verified only 13
cases thus far. Nonetheless the issue has become serious and I believe our
government is doing their best to act prudently.
let’s keep our heads in place and know that no matter what, we are in His
2 – LET’S USE WISDOM
Please take all the precautions recommended. For example, please wash your hands often. When opening doors use, knuckles, fists or elbows when possible. If you don’t feel well, stay home.
You can see recommendations from the Government of Canada HERE.
You can see recommendations from the Quebec Government HERE.
– WHAT ABOUT COMING TO CHURCH?
We have been saying this for months, even before the COVID-19 was even an issue so let’s be wise:
If you are sick or not feeling well, please DO NOT come to church!
UPDATE – WE ask that visitors and members aged 70 and over, refrain from coming to LCA Church until further notice.
If you or anyone in your home has travelled out of the country within the last 14 days, we invite you to remain voluntarily isolated at home for 14 days (please see above link). This includes ALL the family members in the house, not just those who have travelled.
Those who have not travelled out of the country and who are not sick are welcome to attend meetings at LCA.
While at church, please refrain from shaking hands, hugging and kissing. Even if YOU aren’t concerned, the next person whose cheek you kiss may have health concerns that make them more vulnerable. Let’s care for each other!
For the present, we will continue to have church services, bible studies etc.
church, we will exercise a few extra
precautions. We will be wiping down door handles etc. with disinfectant.
We will encourage everyone to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer. We will have additional hand sanitizer throughout the building, as well as with our greeters. We will continue to do this as long as we have supplies. Please bring your own hand sanitizer or use the washroom more frequently to wash your hands.
As time goes on, if other precautions are recommended, we’ll let you know. If you are sick at home, you can still tune in on a Sunday morning through our Facebook page’s live video.
– DEMONSTRATE LOVE
What do Christians look like when the world is in a panic over the coronavirus?
Well, can I suggest that we are not the ones hiding in a corner or gripped by fear? We should be those that are confident in the God that we serve, AND we should be serving others who may need help. In the days to come, people may experience fear, isolation and even loneliness. Some may be afraid to venture out even for food. Please put yourselves out there and help one another.
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
We have been working on our Christmas Production, STORIES
OF THE SAVIOR, with the children over the past few weeks. December 15 is quickly approaching. Children involved in the program are grades
Toddlers, PreK to Grade 6 classes. If you want your child to participate,
please follow the dates, times and instructions below. In order for your child
to be in the presentation they must be able to stand at the altar/on the stage
without a parent for at least 30 minutes.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1 – Rehearsal with the children from 10:30am – 11:30am, after which the kids will be able to go to their classes for snack and Bible review.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8 – The entire morning will be used to review the presentation with the children. The children will be in the worship room all morning (no Sunday School classes).
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14 – MANDATORY REHEARSAL – This will be in the sanctuary, between 12:45pm to 3:00pm (after lunch please). Please try your hardest to bring your children on time as we will need every minute to practice! Also, please don’t be late picking them up afterwards as everyone will want to go home.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15 – The morning of the presentation. It includes a skit and 9 songs. Please be on time (10:20am) as there will be a lot of excitement and things to prepare!
ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST ATTEND THE REHEARSAL ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14. **