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Friday, 4/3/20

Tuesday, 3/31/20

I hope you’re encouraged by the experience of Peter’s audience. They understood what it meant to persevere in trials: this week, we discover one of God’s purposes for suffering. The Video Bible Study will release this Friday. To prepare, click either link below (they both share the same content).

Click to open Microsoft Word version.

Click to open Adobe PDF version.

Friday, 3/27/20

Thursday, 3/26/20

Hello church family,

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end.” You and I experience the truth of this verse this very hour. Songs have been sung of this passage by those who have gone before us: famous hymns written in tumultuous times (see Lamentations 3:23). They—like us—experienced challenging times. We all experience God’s mercies.

The church family at Immanuel is a vessel of those mercies. Many are calling and writing as a means of encouraging others. Your elders are making wise leadership decisions and shepherding the flock through various forms of communication. Though the season has changed, there is no change to the thirst and desire God’s people have for Him: you continue to receive His mercies through technology and in new and varied ways. We receive God’s mercies as we look forward to reuniting in His time.

The work of ministry in your church continues. In light of Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home-Stay Healthy” order Monday, staff will work from home until at least April 6. There is also a stoppage of all group gatherings at church through April 11. The weekly worship service will continue to be recorded and available at ibcbellingham.org: Video Bible Study, Facebook resources, children’s lessons, and small group conferencing are now all active. Thank you to our ministry leaders and technology pros for their creative spirit!

Your church family is here to serve you. If you have any needs or just need to talk, be sure to reach out. Your elders are available; Pastor Michael may be reached on his cell phone. The Coronavirus will come to an end. God’s mercies will not.

May the Lord be glorified, Pastor Michael

Tuesday, 3/24/20

Video Bible Study worksheet for week #2.

Welcome back … or welcome for the first time! We’re moving into an in-depth study of First Peter, entering the body of the letter (1 Peter 1:3-5). For an overview of the book with helpful background, click here. To prepare for the Video Bible Study lesson posting Friday, click either link below (both share same content).

Click to open Microsoft Word version.

Click to open Adobe PDF version.

Friday, 3/20/20

First Video Bible Study Video debuts Today!

Thursday, 3/19/20

Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ,

May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. I write to you as one privileged to serve in pastoral ministry. The measures we take to combat COVID-19 challenge me to serve in new and different ways. I imagine some aspects of your life look different now as well. Though life is temporarily changed, the unchangeableness of our Lord is well worth remembering. In Hebrews 13:8, the Bible says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” He never changes! The next verse commands us: “Do not be carried away by varied and strange teaching; for it is good for heart to be strengthened by grace …” (Heb 13:9). Just as new ideas about our precious Scriptures appear, so too will the varied news cycles fail to cease. In this time of testing, we will be stormed by temptation, panic, and worry.  The battle against the Coronavirus is as much a battle for our minds as it is our health. Remember Christ—your unchanging King. Keep your mind fixed upon Him and use these times as opportunities to commune in deeper ways.

I aim to help you. Here are a few ways ministry to you is advancing at Immanuel:

  • Full worship services in video will be available on our website (ibcbellingham.org)
  • A Video Bible Study through First Peter has begun. Download the worksheet on Tuesdays and dig deep (!); watch for the companion video lesson on Fridays on our website. (Worksheets and video links are on our website.)
  • Our church Facebook page regularly carries links to spiritual resources for your mind and family. This week, we posted sermons, children’s music, and writings about COVID-19 from a Christian perspective.
  • A remote conferencing tool for church Bible Studies, boards/committees, and all other ministry gatherings is now available to our ministry heads.
  • Our church website is mission central for many resources and all updates.

Our gatherings remain halted through at least Saturday, 3/28. The elders and I will discuss next steps next week—in an overflow of love and faithfulness to their calling, these men are in the process of contacting each of you. Please share your needs with your shepherds, as they arise.

God is sovereign over the big stuff—and the small. Remember Jesus Christ! And may you and your loved ones thrive in His grace in this season, Pastor Michael

Tuesday, 3/17/20

Video Bible Study Launches Today!

Video Bible Study

Missing your Bible Study? Join Pastor Michael in a video Bible Study through First Peter. On Tuesday, a worksheet will guide you through a passage. On Friday, a video will be available that teaches through the passage, incorporating the work you’ve done. This is a great way to grow while apart and make good use of your mind and time.

Let’s get started with Week #1! (both files have the same content)

Click to open Microsoft Word version.

Click to open Adobe PDF version.

Sunday, 3/15/20

May the peace of God be upon you in a restless time. God is faithful and He is our sure hope! I’m writing to give you a few updates from your local church …

  • Closures at Immanuel are extended through Saturday, 3/28. The elders are monitoring events and will continue to assess the timing of an opening.
  • Sunday Morning Worship Services will be available online at ibcbellingham.org. Sunday, 3/15 is audio; we aim to add video beginning 3/22. We are continuing our expository preaching series through Matthew. Keep worshipping and please keep giving.
  • The church website will be the central location to find a variety of resources. The church Facebook page will also be active and the church office is receiving phone calls.
  • Your elders will be in-touch with all members and regular attenders. Their heart is to pray, encourage, and meet needs. If you have specific physical needs, be sure to tell them. Do not try to navigate hard times alone. They are working with the deacons to serve you. I am personally very encouraged by the godliness and leadership I’ve seen from our men this past week.

Now is our opportunity to do what Christ calls us to. People are afraid, worried, and panicked. You have answers to each of these emotions. The time is ripe for the hope of Christ and the gospel of good news. If you encounter physical needs others have, please let us know those as well. At Immanuel, we are keenly interested in taking advantage of these opportunities for Christ.

May the Lord bless you and your family, Pastor Michael