To God’s Beloved At Cloverdale Baptist Church:
One of the ministries of David Platt is called Secret Church. This is a reminder for those in his ministry (and us who follow it) that there are an estimated 309 million Christians who can’t meet in buildings as they live in what is termed extreme levels of persecution…so they gather secretly, in homes, or underground and fellowship and worship. It is easy to forget these people in the comforts of Canada, even in the past year we have journeyed through.
During COVID we have continued to encourage you to meet with us in spirit, and with one another in homes, or parks, or even inconveniently at church as allowed. I know that this is nothing compared to the inconvenience (if we can even use that word) of the 309 million in intense persecution, or the other millions in persecution, but it has been difficult for us.
I was hoping the latest update from the PHO would include an opportunity to meet together in zones again right away, and so was disappointed this did not happen yesterday. HOWEVER, there was an opening on restrictions in homes, and so my encouragement to you if you can, and feel safe to do so, is to gather in homes, and almost what we could call a Cloverdale Secret Church, to remind us of what most in the early church went through, and what so many around the world now experience. Pretty sure the early church didn’t have wifi, or pastors that were allowed to preach the Gospel freely, and it is hard sometimes for persecuted Christians to gather, or even to hear God’s Word and sing (one of my treasured memories is singing with persecuted pastors gathered in the basement of a hotel in Turkey, as they let out their praise to God that is so muted in country)…so not trying to compete, rather to have compassion, and gather.
So, it would be great if you are able, and feel safe, if we would begin our momentum to gathering again by gathering in homes Sunday mornings (with PHO guidelines in mind), and as we do, and feel the frustration of inconvenience, remember those who went before us (first church house that we know of is around 240 which was a two room house that removed a wall, and put in a baptistry, and before that Christians used public space when persecution was not intense, temples, or catacombs), and pray for the persecuted church (church buildings really didn’t come into play until after Constantine, 323ish became official Roman religion).
This is a good reminder of our own blessing to live in Canada, as well as to gather together in spirit and physically, while we wait for the next phases to open the building God has blessed us with fully. Hoping and praying for another announcement this week that will let us gather in our zones, and if we can’t, or you can’t get into a zone, let’s gather as we are able and comfortable in our homes.
Watch for an email about a Sunday afternoon gathering outside for a second service, we are working on this, and will update you as details come in.
Was thankful for the Congregational Meeting last night, and the attitude of so many that contacted us and have taken the time to pray…pray…pray…and pursue God’s will with us. Thank you for all who have texted, phoned, or emailed encouragement during this time. Unity is not to be taken lightly or for granted, especially during inconvenient times (where the flesh, demonic realm and world rage against the church), so we do not take this lightly, and are thankful. Thank you also for continuing to give to God’s church at CBC, as we position ourselves for a full ministry year (asap) these resources are essential to accomplishing the Great Commission, and pursuing the Great Command together as a church family!
I am so thankful for your prayers, and the incredible display of unity and support of one another that these meetings yield. Will let our church clerk share the results, but they are worth praising God for as we journey across this rough river of 2021.
We are truly in a time where the river is rushing wildly, and falling in could be catastrophic, so stay firm in your footing by getting rid of the slippery shoes of wrong focus, and wrong fellowship (place to look for help), and pursue the first stepping stone of contentment in Christ. This can only come if we know His greatness and experience His grace.
If we truly believe He is Sovereign, good, and all wise, then no matter what we are going through we can present our requests to Him (Philippians 4:4-8) and find peace with Him, ourselves, and others. Contentment is not easy when you live in a broken world, but it is possible, in fact we all have the potential to experience it, if we are found IN CHRIST and rest in His peace.
Sunday is Coming
Encourage you to prayerfully prepare to deepen your relationship with God and others.
Title: Jesus Is Awesome
Text: Revelation 1:9-20
- When you think of Jesus, what comes into your mind?
- As you read Revelation 1:1-20, what picture of Jesus does the Spirit want us to have?
- What is the difference between how you typically think of Jesus, and this picture?
- How can we make sure that we keep our personal and corporate version of Christianity relational, and avoid dead religion, political accommodation, or fighting (Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots)?
- What are some things you can do as you prepare for God’s Word and the gathering of God’s people this week that will help others see God in you (Ephesians 5:1-2), and seek the Gospel because of you (2 Corinthians 5:11-21)?
Blessed to be a part of this family!
Continued Call To Prayer:
Alistair Begg states, “Prayer is an acknowledgment that our need of God’s help is not partial but total… Yet many of our church prayer meetings have dwindled in size and influence. Ultimately, the explanation can be traced to spiritual warfare. If, as the hymn writer says, Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees, ” then we may be sure that he and his minions will be working hard to discredit the value of united prayer. The Evil One has scored a great victory in getting sincere believers to waver in their conviction that prayer is necessary and powerful.”
Please consider joining our corporate prayer meetings, and being a part of our prayer movement as a church this summer. If we join together in prayer, we will fight powerfully in unity and for success.
Corporate Church prayer meeting Thursday, May 27, 7-8 pm.
Many of you have asked how you can pray more specifically, and we are working on some solutions to that, but you can join our prayer chain ministry (confidentiality is essential) by contacting, email@example.com, and they will explain how to be a part of this ministry.
Please pray that we would be permitted to gather in the church building again! We are seeking to courageously follow God’s Word in difficult times, and believe we are doing the right thing together, BUT it would sure be wonderful to be able to gather again in freedom and joy as a family. Pray that God would move in people (remember He is Sovereign) to accomplish this, and that COVID would end soon. We pray in faith, and trust God, together we long for this!
STAY INFORMED AND KEEP PRAYING Luke 18:1
Other Helpful Information
please check out our online bulletin that is updated every week:
Please help our search committee as they look for the man of God that will help us exalt His name in song and deepen our love for Him as we celebrate His greatness together. We long for God's man for the ministry, and would like this to be sooner than later (our timing), so please pray, and help us to pursue this patiently and in God's POWER! If you know of anyone...please share with them this amazing opportunity and have them apply!
Kids ministry is seeking to serve you, and help in discipling our children and families even though we are not gathering physically. Please take advantage of this, and continue to make church a priority that your children can see and taste!
Thanks all for staying informed, and for being a family who has a positive impact for God's glory and the good of His church in the world He has sovereignly placed us.
Please join me in making an extra effort to pursue unity, encourage a family member, and share what God is teaching you with someone else.
Encourage 3, Invite 1, Share With All Who Will Listen!
STAY STRONG, FAITHFUL, COURAGEOUS and FOCUSED!