To God’s Beloved At Cloverdale Baptist Church:
It has been such a joy to be able to gather without restrictions over these past weeks. It is so good to see one another again, and to share our love for God and one another richly. Church is ESSENTIAL! Jesus church at CBC has displayed the beauty of welcoming those who disagree on the pandemic and health response, as well as other areas, and we have welcomed those without masks and with, those who want to hug, and those who don’t want to shake hands. This is who we believe He wants us to be, and for the most part we have done this with great success, unity and thanksgiving.
This goal has not come without its challenges as there are many who are hurting and come with strong different opinions on what is going on in our world. Some of us have lost your jobs, or are under the threat of losing our jobs. Some of us have lost loved ones to COVID. Some of us are longing to be back at church, and their doctors have said to them that they should not attend until all are vaccinated causing them to feel that the unvaccinated are stealing their privilege of church attendance. Others are upset that someday there might be a passport for church attendance and exclude the unvaccinated. Some of us are concerned that the charter of rights are being violated by the government, others that if people don’t get vaccinated they are unloving to the vulnerable and insensitive to the cultural needs of the time.
So how do we be, "the church", when a few of us are struggling in our own cultural situations with deep felt emotions? How can we stay loyal to God and unified when the attack of the world is so strong and emotional to divide us?
Our answer has been to focus on God! To believe He is Sovereign and good, that He is ALL WISE and engaged in everyday life, “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46). To be radically God centred!
Our answer has been to declare that we are a Biblical church, and to seek to obey God’s Word and make our passion to avoid being saturated by worldly narratives, and to be Word saturated. Thus our thinking, and our living will be biblical (Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 7:21-27). To stay on His side no matter the cost, and obedient to His Word even as some struggle with what this means in its fullness.
Our answer has been to LOVE one another. To be a Romans 12:10 people who compete to out honour one another, and to be a people known for our love for one another as an overflow of our rich experience of God’s love and the Gospel (Ephesians 5:1-2; 3:14-21). To each own the responsibility of encouraging 3 and inviting 1.
For the most part we have seen God’s people at CBC respond in such encouraging ways, and to choose God and His Word, over the world and its patterns. With the strength of emotions on opposite sides, this has not been easy, and it would seem that for some it is even getting harder as the restrictions on the church have been lifted, but passports in the world are being proposed (on both sides of the narratives).
Sunday was a wonderful and difficult day. A day where we worshipped Jesus together, but also a day where we had one of us yelling at an elder (around others) about vaccines and masks. A day where respect and love flowed as an overflow of our love for God, and some were offended by others who chose not to shake hands, or chose to wear masks. We know this is a very small minority of our people, but also know that when this happens it impacts all of us, some directly who overheard, others indirectly who love those who were attacked, and the heartbreak that those attacking must feel to act in this way.
So how do we respond as a family to situations like this?
- Let us commit to being who we are and have promised to be. Let us be God centred, Word saturated, Gospel experiencing, preferers of one another even if some people might disagree with us, on social issues that are very important to us.
- Let us stop anything outside of this with grace and love, and point all of our people to these priorities if they are struggling. If people refuse to join us in these biblical priorities, please let an elder or deacon know and we will seek to listen to them graciously and help them join us in our passion for God and His Word and His people. If you are one who has struggled to support the focus of our church and are overwhelmed with your emotions so can’t join us in our seeking to be a place of love and respect, please consider staying home until you can. We want Cloverdale Baptist to be a safe place for all to worship the God of the Bible, and love one another!
- Let us individually and corporately seek to be authentic disciples who make disciples. Who walk worthy of our calling, and not get caught up in the social gospel issues around us, but focus on the salvation gospel issues given to us by God. We want to be a place that welcomes people with different opinions, but to never allow people with different opinions to abuse those who disagree with them. The only way we can do this is if each of us chooses Jesus first, and His love second, and let our confused narrative be defined by those, so that we stay holy and loving.
Thank you to the vast majority of you that are helping us to stay unified and honoring to God in what has been a very difficult time. I praise God for this church family, and her loyalty to their Master, Jesus, and their display of His love for one another. Please keep it up and encourage those around you to do the same!
Be encouraged! Be passionate about keeping your focus personally and helping us as a congregation to do the same!
There has been a little confusion over the use of church owned social media, mailboxes and the church directory. Our policy as a church family is that these are to serve the church as a whole, and are not to be used for any mass contact, or the dissemination of views, advertising, or other personal mass use (unless held by the church as a whole) by phone or letter from parishioners. Please do not use these tools for mass contact, regardless of the side you are on, or as an advertising tool for your business or mission (and to help you, this has been our position as a church family for as long as I can remember.) To be clear, we welcome differing views, we do not welcome the presentation of these in ways that violate the purpose of the contact tools.
That has been a little hard to write (don't want to offend anyone, but want to be a Galatians 1:8-10 person), and probably hard to read (but want you to be a Galatians 4:19 person), so be encouraged, we are weathering this storm very well, and I believe THE BEST IS YET TO COME! The vast majority of us are standing together strong, encouraging one another, and being a blessing to all, so KEEP IT UP!
We have many exciting things coming your way…
Sunday is our KICK OFF SUNDAY: Cinnamon Buns and fellowship, and an opportunity to sign up to serve and belong. Join us, 9:15 – 10:00 and find your place in the family.
Kids Min is ramping up again:
We are planning to have all the kids’ ministry classes open for September 12.
- Ages 2 & 3 – room 112
- Ages 4 & 5 – room 242
Grades 1 -6 – meet in the gym
SUNDAY SCHOOL (9am) will start on September 19
Ages 4 and up … Large Group teaching in the gym
KIDS CONNECTION (during service) – September 19
- Ages 2 & 3 – room 112
- Ages 4 & 5 – room 242
Grade school meet in gym for open session and then to following rooms
- 1 – 109
- 2 – 108
- 3 – 107
- 4 – 6 … gym
In order to get the whole kids’ ministries open and functioning well, we need more volunteers to step in to teach and/or assist in the classrooms.
Sunday Is Coming
This Sunday we begin a new series to kick off the ministry year called, THE CHURCH IS ESSENTIAL:
This is a series to learn to see the value of the local church from God’s perspective and to engage in building her up.
We will look at passages to show the value of the bride to God and His followers!
Title Of Message One: Plan A: The Value Of The Local Church
Text: Matthew 16:13-20
What is the church, from a Biblical view?
Why do you think Jesus values the church so much?
Why is it important to remember that Jesus owns the church?
How can we have hope when we realize He is LORD of the church?
He will build her!
What does Jesus want from you as a follower of His to build His family?
How can you be a unifier during times like these?
Thankful for you as a church family, and MOST thankful for our God who we can trust fully!
Humbly, prayerfully, and filled with anticipation and trust in the Sovereign One who loves us,