COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response

From Your Pastor, April 1

“And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah….And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land”

JONAH 1.17; 2:10

God alone has aseity. What does aseity mean? God exists by his own power. God alone is all-sufficient; he does not live and move and have his being in anyone or anything except himself. God alone is the fountain of all being. He does not stop existing. Paul says, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1.16-17).

Additionally, nothing is to God contingent or uncertain (cf. WFC 2.2). God does not wait to see how things will unfold. He is not hoping for this end result or that outcome. Therefore, if God has aseity and his plans are not contingent or uncertain, then was God on his tiptoes hoping that Jonah would go to Nineveh? Simply put, no.

Who made the fish puke Jonah on dry land? Did Jonah pull a MacGyver and poke the fish with a random stick in order to make him upchuck? Nope. God is sovereign and God simply spoke and it happened. That is the same way God created the earth. Genesis tells us, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1.3).  That’s all the exertion he puts forth; he just effortlessly speaks. This is the sovereign God.

What about Jesus? What took place at that wedding in Cana? The host ran out of wine and “Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’” (John 2.7). What was in the water jars? Aged wine—the best wine, not cheap nasty wine. Jesus spoke and the water turned into wine. This is the sovereign God.

Returning to Jonah, where did the fish regurgitate or hurl Jonah? Did the big fish vomit Jonah into the depth of the ocean and did Jonah have to hold his breath, and somehow swim to the top and then swim to dry land? Did Jonah strive to survive? No. The Lord made the fish barf Jonah onto safe, dry land.

As you can see, God is not dependent on anyone or anything. He orchestrates and interweaves everything to carry out his plans in his own timing. He does it for his own praise and purpose. Do you remember God’s plan for Jesus? Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, (was) crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (Acts 2.23). How was Jesus killed? By the hands of lawless men. But whose plan did they carry out? God’s definite plan. Solomon takes it one step further to say, “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble” (Proverbs 16.4). Don’t be under any illusion. God will not be mocked. He will always have his way—even today.

– Pastor Knox


From Your Pastor, March 31

Good News in Action

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and give glory to God your father.”

MATTHEW 5:16

While many are fixated only on matters that could be classified as bad news, we are also seeing many cases of good news put into action. For the last week, I’ve been seeking to collect a few items below (and there are more) that illustrate how folks can use this unusual time.

  • One family in our church with four children gathers after supper for a backyard game of kickball. The kids love it. Family times may be improving, due to sheltering in place.
  • Another family in our church, which has been self-quarantining, similarly gathers outside after dinner for an hour of fresh air and discussion. Their health is good. Families are discovering some great patterns.
  • Another church member sent me this, from a neighbor who is on the functioning autistic spectrum:  “Dear M******, I want to offer you some encouragement during this difficult time. When you feel like you’re in total spiritual warfare because of these external forces shutting everything down . . . God loves you infinitely more than you realize, and even in the midst of one of the darkest times we have experienced in our lifetimes, He is working towards a bright future that He envisions. God provides us everything that we need, and He knows our heart. He could easily end this pandemic with a snap of His mighty fingers, but He chooses not to, because there’s a reason and a purpose for why He lets things like this happen. Turn to your friend, your brother, your sister, your spouse, and tell them how much you care about them and to not be afraid. God is with us to the end of the line.”
  • Good news also that we were able to broadcast the good news this Sunday. Our young pastors and techies figured out a way around the SermonAudio glut @ 11:00 AM. We had very few reports of reception outage and were blessed to proclaim the Word.
  • Almost two weeks ago, our deacons offered to deliver groceries to Seniors and not a single member of Midway has requested help thus far. Clark Smith and others are ready; so please don’t do without. Thankfully, most of our families are fine on food supplies.
  • I was thankful for an Atlanta condo community that gave a rousing, long ovation for local hospital personnel at shift change, when brave medical workers left. Nice.
  • I am so impressed with the Chattanooga school system (yes, Ava attends Westside Elementary). Rather than laying off bus drivers and cafeteria workers, and realizing that some homes are on the edge, they deliver take-out meals from select school cafeterias along the bus routes, three days a week. That’s both caring and economically smart.
  • To God’s praise, we’ve not had a death in our congregation since February—and funerals would be hardly recognizable—and our congregation has been spared major illnesses or hospitalizations. Please keep praying about this.
  • And even though “virtual” is no substitute for “real” (see link below to Rebecca McLaughlin’s fine essay), thankfully we are able to stay in touch by phone, MailChimp emails, website, texts, and Zoom, etc.
  • As for me and my household, if I have to shelter-in-place, it sure is nice to shelter with someone I love, who is as wonderful as Ann.

I’m sure you’ve seen many others instances like this. Why don’t each of you start a list and share it with you family or others at the end of this week?

And perhaps God will change churches by the droves away from inward-focused, critical-spirited, discouraging, petty fault-finders . . . into incubators of love, encouragement, commendation, and wholesome speech.

Or in the words of one of Wanda Robinson’s kindergartners quoting the HHSV: “Do all things without crumbling or complaining . . . in which you shine like stars in the universe.” (Phil. 2:14-15, Hayden Hall Standard Version).

There are, actually, some great examples of people letting their light shine before men and not covering the light with a bushel basket.

Are you a good news herald?

We are not adherents, after all, of the kakangel (bad news; the opposite of evangel, which term does not even occur in the Greek NT). So join us in spreading some good news this week. Might help you, as well as others you know.

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COMING THIS WEEK . . .
            By midweek, we plan to resume several ongoing bible studies that any may join.

  • On Wednesday night at 6:30 PM our study of “Temptations of our Time: Has God Said?” will resume with this week’s topic of “Social Media and Your Witness.” Look for the details on our website and join us. And catch up with our past episodes of this (and other)

series at: https://vimeo.com/user10385038.

  • And Thursday at 12:30 the Men’s Bible Study on Leviticus will resume on our Vimeo channel—just click the link there when it goes live. If you’ve not been with us for this study, you might be surprised at how relevant it is. Sorry, there’s no way to have digital fried Chicken.
  • Get the MailChimp daily devotional and stay current on all events.

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I also recommend a great piece by Rebecca Mclaughlin, which makes the point that many of you are sensing: https://www.rebeccamclaughlin.org/single-post/2020/03/22/Like-lovers-parted-by-war

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Note: the word “quarantine” is derived from the Italian word “quaranta,” which means “forty,” a common biblical period of time. Venetians first coined this term during a severe plague to quarantine arriving merchants off-shore for 40 days—the period chosen from Christ’s 40 day fast in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry, which was thought sufficient to disinfect diseases.

Errata: In my sermon Sunday, I incorrectly attributed a modern ‘Screwtape Letter’ to what I thought was an authentic C. S. Lewis one.  Lo and behold, a few sharp Midway members found that it was a more recent paraphrase. Rev. Aaron Michael Neilson, a Lutheran pastor in Colorado, however, deserves the credit: https://www.facebook.com/stpaulsdurango/photos/a.687677907943659/3208509755860449/?type=1&theater

– Pastor Hall


From Your Pastor, March 30

“The Grace of Resignation”

In I Peter 5:6-7, the apostle gives us profound, practical truths as we face fear and uncertainty:

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

First and foremost, we’re called to humble ourselves before God. Often, we fail to see how pride is at work in our lives. We rightly associate it with boasting and rebellion against God, but Peter associates it in v.7 with anxiety in the face of what God is bringing to pass. Often, it’s anxiety that reveals a prideful heart. We are, perhaps without realizing it, attaching more importance to our plans, to what we will do, and not considering what God is doing through our trials. This is pride. 

What then does humility look like? Above all, it means we don’t stop doing the things we were doing before trouble began. We begin our day with prayer. We meditate on Scripture and resolve each day to obey what God commands. And, as often as we see temptation leading us to sin, we humble ourselves through repentance.

But Peter gives us a second truth that directly relates to humility. He reminds us that it’s the powerful hand of God that controls our circumstances. As we heard in last Sunday’s sermon, God uses pestilence to accomplish His perfect and holy will. You and I have the privilege of being part of that plan.

Over the last month, we’ve all shared in the same challenging circumstances. Whether you have been infected by the coronavirus, have lost financial security, or find yourself wondering when life will return to normal, we’ve all come to see how little we actually control. The good news in this passage is that God’s hand is mighty. There is no person, circumstance, or affliction He’s not able to deliver us from.

Civil War general “Stonewall” Jackson knew this truth very well. When asked how he could behave so bravely in battle, he responded:

“My religious beliefs teach me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time of my death. I do not concern myself with that, but to be always ready whenever it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and all men would be equally brave.”

Finally, as you humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, remember what Peter says of God in v.7: “He cares for you”. So often we forget that God’s power, by which He rules and upholds the world, is directed for our good. Even today, as you encounter difficulty, don’t forget that God cares for you. Humble yourself by thanking God that what He’s brought upon this world will result in His goodness to us. It will add people to His kingdom—that kingdom above all kingdoms. It will result in God’s praise and, “at the proper time,” in our exaltation.

 –Pastor Harrington


From Your Pastor, March 28

“if we are faithless, he remains faithful–for he cannot deny himself”

2 TIMOTHY 2:13

This morning I found encouragement in the book of Haggai. Yesterday I read chapter 1; this morning I read chapter 2.  For those of you who may be a little foggy on the historical setting, Haggai’s ministry occurred around the time of Ezra. He was a prophet in Jerusalem who ministered to the returned exiles who were trying to rebuild the ruined city and temple.

These people were beaten down. They had tensions among themselves and foreign enemies on every side; the oldest among them remembered a former glory that was long gone. Life was different than they remembered and life was hard. On top of everything, there was an overriding fear –– their fathers had sinned in horrible and persistent ways and broken covenant with God (see Isa 24:5; Jer 31:3) and so had they (see Hag 1:9–10).

All that to say, these people faced the same questions we face when trouble comes our way:

     –Is God angry with me?
     –Have I pushed him away?
     –Am I too guilty?
     –Are God’s promises not for me because I’ve not been faithful?

Many of us know the “head” answer, but still deal with the “heart” doubt.

The people in Haggai’s day had not been faithful. They’d served themselves and neglected the Lord (see Hag 1:9–10). There was a fear that God’s promises no longer applied to them. Then God speaks. He speaks directly into the fears that his people felt. He says,

4 Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts, 5 according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.  (Hag 2:4–5)

God promises that he’s with them two separate times. And in the middle of those promises, he reminds them why…. the covenant. The covenant their fathers broke. The covenant they’d not honored! God tells them that HE will keep his promise. Imagine the comfort they would have felt! God is still with us! It only felt like he was distant. Just because he corrects us doesn’t mean he’s left us.

As for us, we don’t have to imagine the comfort they would have felt. We have that same commitment from him. He offers us that same comfort because we have that same promise.

When we feel God’s displeasure for big reasons or small ones or when he allows hardship to come upon us (which he surely does for our good! [Rom 8:28; Heb 12:6]), we can return to what God has spoken. And we can remember; and we can believe that he is with us; his Spirit remains in our midst. Why? Because, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful–for he cannot deny himself” (2 Tim 2:13).

–Pastor Barry


From Your Pastor, March 27

Are You Kidding Me? Another Test Verse

Our faith is being stretched and tested. That’s true for all of us, and we are testing the strength of the Lord’s promises in various verses. Not surprisingly: Our Savior is unsurpassed in delivering on his promises.

We’ve recently been reminded of Psalm 46, Matthew 6, Habakkuk, and various verses in Proverbs.  We believe that as you test these verses, your faith only grows.

Today, I want to point you to Philippians 4:12–13, a well-known verse about being content in all situations. It says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through HIM who strengthens me.”

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:12–13

Now before I hear anyone clap back through some digital platform, I’ll just voice the question for you: “Are you kidding me? You think we should be content in these present circumstances?”

The short answer is: Y.

The long answer is: Yes.

Many of our neighbors may spend more time complaining about disruptions, grumbling about conditions, or cursing about this providence. But the follower of Christ who takes Phil. 4:12-13 seriously will see this verse tested . . . and pass with flying colors.

Take 3 simple things from it.

  1. It is a secret to be learned, which is to say, this is not known from nature nor does every single human instinctively find this. Contentment may be elusive, but this is one pearl to pursue.
  2. It is also comprehensive. Much of life is defined by exception to the rules. In this promise, however, there are no waivers, exemptions, or qualifiers. It is stunningly universal. Paul learned the secret of being content in all states or conditions. I’m sorry, but I fail to see any effects of the coronavirus as presenting God with a need to amend this verse.
  3. This universally-applicable secret is found in and based on one thing: the presence of Christ at work in us. Does he live in you and give you strength as this verse says? Now, to be sure, that might be tested in each of us, but any absence of contentment is not God’s failure but ours.

The great Puritan of yesteryear, Jeremiah Burroughs, distilled it this way: “It involves a realization that the Christian has a sufficient portion of Christ . . . to satisfy himself in every condition. A contented man, though he is most contented with the least things in the world, yet he is the most dissatisfied man that lives in the world. A Christian comes to contentment, not so much by way of addition, as by way of subtraction. . . . The mystery consists not in bringing anything from outside to make my condition more comfortable, but in purging out something that is within.”  **

So, are you tempted to grumble about any of these:

  • Historic shrinkage of your personal wealth?
  • Illnesses, and worry at each sneeze (most of which will prove to be seasonal related)?
  • Dissatisfaction with work schedules that have been altered?
  • Grumbling over lifestyle inconveniences?
  • Discontent with very closely-quartered family members?
  • Anxiety over the future fallout?


Here’s a time to test the strength and reliability of God. Take these or any discontents and realize that such are, at root, complaining about how God is sovereignly dispensing his will. However, for certain, God’s promises will be proven. Test this verse. I’m not kidding.
 
At the very end of the Old Testament, the Lord invited us to test him and see if following his ways in all areas would not be met with him “throwing open the floodgates of heaven” and pouring out more than we need (Mal. 3:10). Yes, we will find him “wholly true, stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are truly blest.”

** If these short quotes above, whet your appetite, here’s a FREE giveaway, too, for Midway friends. If you’d like to read more of Burroughs, for the next 5 days I’ve arranged free downloads on Kindle from my Summer Reading: Christian Classics
, which contains a full chapter on this. Money back guarantee if you don’t like it. Just go to amazon.com and search “Summer Reading: Christian Classics.”
 
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Tune in this Sunday at 11:00 AM from the website. We will have a sermon entitled, “Curing the Worst, Spreading Plague.” Invite your friends to join us virtually. Details forthcoming.
 
Walmart Faith: I told you earlier how pleased Ann and I are with the Walmart grocery pickup service. It’s easy to start an account, and other grocers offer similar services. At our last pickup, we were blessed to meet a twenty-something sister in Christ. She told us how much she missed her church and that she’d been saved only 6 months ago. We had a brief, appropriate time of fellowship. God’s people, like this young lady, shine as lights in a dark world (another nearby verse in Philippians 2:14-15)
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Yours in prayer and the faith handed down to the saints once and for all,
 


––Pastor Hall
 
PS. Also Dr. Lloyd Kim posted a fine 2-minute video at:

https://vimeo.com/400753880


From Your Pastor, March 26

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble;

  he knows those who take refuge in him.” 

Nahum 1.7

According to Nahum, who is our only true protector? The Lord. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses…” (Psalm 20.7). Some people search for protection and they find a false and puny protection that resides in their intellect, money, guns, alarm systems, spouses, children, and even external religion. We are looking for protection in all the wrongs places. 

Why is the Lord our protection? He is good. The Psalmist says, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34.8)! During a time of heartache, trouble and bad circumstances, the Psalmist stops to dwell on the goodness of God. The Hebrew word for ‘good’ is ????? (?ô?) and it means the Lord is morally excellent.

The goodness of the Lord is not abstract. His goodness is directly linked to his relationship with his people. The Lord is the paragon Protector of his people. The LORD has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29.11). The Lord is good because he is a protector. He is the “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation” (Psalm 68.5).

What is more, he knows those who take refuge in him. Yes, God is omniscient; he knows all things, but he knows those that are his possession. Historically speaking, God’s people had tasted destruction from the hands of the people of Nineveh, and God’s people were oppressed and suffering. But many had not turned to God for protection. They were still searching for some sort of earthly protection.

What is the worst thing for God to say to you? “I never knew you…” (Matthew 7.23). There were numerous people in Israel that thought they were protected, but God never knew them. Why? They did not have a personal relationship with him. Oh, sure, they went to the temple and carried out the perfunctory religious tasks, but it was a cold, distant devotion. The Lord was not their personal Protector.

How can you be certain that the Lord knows you and is your personal Protector? Have you “trusted the LORD with all your heart, and not leaned on your own understanding”? On the cross, Jesus was punished so that we can have protection from the wrath of God for our sins. “Upon him was the punishment that brought us peace” (Isaiah 53.5). Jesus “is our peace” (Ephesians 2.14) and he is our only Protector in times of trouble.

You may ask, “How can I have that peace right now?”
Pray. Stop what you doing—and pray.
 

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Ev’rything to God in prayer.

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.”  Nahum 1.7

–Pastor Knox


From Your Pastor, March 25

Searching for Biden

Am I the only one who has wondered what has become of Joe Biden? Until two weeks ago, he was all over the news as the expected Democratic party nominee. Before Biden, it was Bernie Sanders. Both, it would seem, have been supplanted by a virus. How has this happened? Beyond the pandemic, let me suggest a more fundamental reason that is well-illustrated in John 4. It’s the difference in what’s temporary and what’s eternal, and it emerges in the conversation Jesus had with a Samaritan woman:

“’Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water‘ (John 4:14-15).”

If I could give you one reason above all to limit your exposure to media during this time, it would be simply this: only eternal truth will satisfy. By truth, I mean that which is permanent, significant, life-giving, and hope-inspiring. Clearly, truth can be found in various media forms, but by nature, daily news can only report facts and figures. It can only provide opinion, probability, and—as anyone who has read the news can tell you—will always do so with the motive of keeping you coming back for more. In that sense, it’s a little like the water Jesus describes in John 4: “everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again.”

Though daily news is different than life-sustaining water, they have one thing in common. If you live your life only for these, if this is what you meditate on, not only must you constantly return them, you may never realize how unsatisfying they really are. Media may distract; it may help you pass the time; it may actually help in moderate doses. But there’s a very real danger that many will never realize that what they’re imbibing was never designed to answer serious questions and meet fundamental needs. 

Jesus offered the Samaria woman a type of water that would satisfy more than a physical thirst. As He pointed this out to her, she was immediately interested. Why? In her own words: “so I don’t have to keep coming back here to draw water”. Though she was a little confused, she would soon find in Christ full satisfaction and would no longer need the passing pleasures of this world.

As you read the news, realize that fundamental questions are not being asked, much less answered. May we never give ourselves to daily, passing details when Jesus offers eternal truth. Today’s news is the virus. When this ceases to be, Biden will return. Then more politics. But long before and long after the news, Christ invites us to Himself for eternal satisfaction, peace, and joy.

–Pastor Harrington


From Your Pastor,  March 24

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

I’ve heard the word “unprecedented” more times in the last two weeks than in the rest of my adult life. Our collective response to the coronavirus has been the single most disruptive thing in recent memory.  Everyone is social distancing; school is moved online; even our worship services have moved online… But, that leads to a pastoral concern:

God made us to worship together.

God calls us to gather to worship together.

A virtual worship experience is a diminished experience (here is an excellent article on that thought).

Since gathered worship is the chief place we get spiritual food, there is a concern that the sheep–the Lord’s people–won’t be fed.

And so, the pastors at Midway have begun to fervently pray that the Lord’s sheep won’t go hungry.

The Apostle Peter was broken after he denied the Lord (John 18). He knew that he had shamefully chosen to fear men more than he feared God. Surely that shame was on his heart when he met with Jesus again in John 21… When Jesus asked THE question: “Simon, son of John, do you LOVE me?” (John 21:15). Peter says that he does. Then Jesus responds, “feed my lambs.” Three times Jesus asks Peter and three times Peter confesses to loving him. Each time Jesus calls him to feed his sheep.

The test of love for Christ is the feeding of the sheep. No one can say they love the Lord Jesus––despite the most fervent of confessions––unless they commit their hearts, and prayers, and actions to the soul-nourishment of Jesus’ lambs.

Now, to the pastors’ prayer that the Lord’s sheep won’t go hungry. What can we do?  This unprecedented time has taken away much of the spiritual activity, infrastructure, and programming. The things that (for some of us) have artificially propped up a spiritual life are gone. All that’s left is the Lord’s burning question: Do you love me? Then feed his sheep.

Step up to the test… feeding his sheep includes yourself. Your main source of spiritual food is diminished right now. You should feel hungry. You should long for “the courts of the Lord” (Ps 84:1–2).

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! 2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Ps 84:1–2

So, read more Bible. Lengthen your time in prayer. Draw near to the Lord and ask for that bread that comes from the mouth of God. Make a new or renewed commitment to talk about Scripture and to pray with your family (Deut 6:7). Let your home become a holy place.

Let that commitment be the Lord’s answer to your pastors’ prayers.

–Pastor Barry


From your Session, March 20

Dear Midway Brothers and Sisters,

As we step through this unprecedented episode together in our Lord’s Providence one day at a time, your Session wants to advise you of the decision made late this week in preparation for morning worship this coming Sunday, March 22nd. Out of an ongoing and increasingly heightened concern for the spiritual and physical wellbeing of our Midway family, the 11AM worship service this coming Sunday will be provided by Online StreamingONLY. No provision will be made for the congregation to physically gather as a group this Sunday. So, you are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the online streaming capability provided for joining in Sunday worship.

Click HERE to join

Similar to last week, there will be no Sunday Children’s Church, evening worship, nurseries, or choir.

The decision to provide this Sunday morning’s service via online streaming is not made lightly and is based on the best medical data available to us in a situation that is unprecedented in our lifetime. This week, the situation seems to have materially worsened which puts those with existing medical concerns among us at increased risk at a time when we simply do not know who may be carrying the virus.

Please know that Sunday corporate worship continues to be of principal importance to your elders at Midway. The elders just as you do feel strongly about the need to physically gather for worship. Thus, it is our equally strong desire and intent to restore all services, classes, and gatherings of our Midway family at the earliest possible date.

There are many Biblical principles that could be brought to bear at an uncertain time like this. In the New Testament letter to the Philippians, our Lord counsels us through Paul that we should value/esteem others more highly than ourselves. In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, our Lord Himself is concerned for both the physical and spiritual health of the Israelites during their trek from Egypt to Canaan, and instructs Moses and the priests on specifics to minimize the spread of infectious diseases within their camp … which in some instances required physical separation. God’s prophet Jeremiah counsels His exiled children in Babylon to be concerned for the welfare of the foreign city into which He had sent them. Yet, through it all, God’s people are still called to offer worship to our Lord who sovereignly and providentially brings about all the situations in which He places them. It is not an “either/or” situation. In thispeculiar time of “both/and”, we are also called to both worship our Lord and to exercise material concern for one another…and our city. Your elders are striving to do just that. So, please pray for your elders as they work to shepherd the Midway family in a way that honors and pleases our Lord.

For those wanting to electronically stream the service online from home but who may need technical help to do so, Midway can arrange to provide this assistance. Please advise your elder, a deacon, or a pastor if you need help with logging into the online streaming.

Prayerfully and respectfully,
Your Session at Midway


GROCERY DELIVERIES FOR MIDWAY SENIORS

Your deacons are seeking to express care for our own body (Gal. 6:10) by offering a food delivery ministry to Midway Seniors—defined as over-60. There is no need to risk a grocery visit if not necessary, and please let your church serve you in this time. For the next 30 days at least:

1. The Diaconate Mercy Ministry has approved helping any Midway members who wish to have a grocery order dropped at their porch. If you already have or can create a pick up order account from a nearby Walmart or Kroger, please do so. Then let Mr. George Taylor or any of your pastors or deacons know of your order, and we’ll seek to pick up and deliver that order to your porch.

2. Volunteers or fine young college students from Midway will drive to a grocery pickup to retrieve your order when notified and deliver it to a Senior’s porch.

3. Seniors may order from Walmart Grocery or Kroger (or other vendors if preferred) and pay for their grocery order themselves online, if technically able; under this option, no funds exchange hands.

4. Or if seniors do not have technical capability, they may contact George Taylor or any deacon—and an order for your groceries, as far as available, could be placed by George, with the receipt presented to the Senior for reimbursement upon delivery. In other words, if folks are not accustomed to online ordering, our diaconate will do that for them and all funds flow through the deacons mercy ministry.

George Taylor is the primary contact person. You may reach him or text him at: 770-722-1579 or email: george.taylor@midwaypca.org.