Pastoral Letter #4 in this “Present Distress”

By: Dr. Harry L. Reeder III
January 7, 2021 3:22 PM

Originally Posted April 17, 2020 -

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Grace and Peace. I wanted to take a moment in my fourth pastoral letter, in this “Present Distress” to address a few items. The first is to thank everyone who worked so hard out of love for Christ and His church that enabled us to livestream all of the Holy Week services and the various zoom Bible studies and ministry videos to our church family. Your servant-heart and sacrificial-spirit is not only noted and appreciated but honoring to Christ and as we receive feedback has proven to be effective in exalting our Risen Redeemer.

Secondly, a number of you have contacted me concerning how worship and ministry will take place in the future in light of the President’s “Opening up America Again” plan and I have also received questions concerning whether Briarwood will be participating in the provision for churches through the “CARES ACT.” So, let me answer both of these questions.

First of all, the “Opening up America Again” plan by our President leaves much room for discretion and direction to the Governors of each state. In my humble opinion, this is both Constitutional and wise. But we now have to wait for direction from our Governor who has been very thoughtful concerning the essential nature of the ministry of the church for the well-being of our citizens. From her initial directive, we created the “Briarwood Interim Worship/Ministry Plan-A”. With the subsequent changing metrics, we had to go to “Plan B” so now we will be working on “Plan C.” The Elders, Deacons and Pastoral Staff have already created about five different options of our next interim plan. But until we hear from the Governor we will not be able to make a final decision. Please know as soon as we do we will use all of our means of communication to inform you.

Concerning Briarwood’s participation in the “Cares Act.” The Act provides an avenue to request financial relief for individuals, business owners and churches/non-profits. I have been asked if Briarwood will participate. The simple answer is “no” and there are multiple reasons why. The most obvious is technically we do not qualify according to the parameters of the Act. There are seven other reasons if we did qualify which would prohibit us from applying. I will not attempt to identify or explain these seven reasons in this letter, but it will in the next InPerpective blog to be published next week. I will do so to not only answer your question, but since I am continually getting phone calls with the same question from pastors and elders of other churches, this will enable us to provide one resource answer.

It is a joy to serve Christ with you. This Lord’s Day we will return to the fourth sermon in the series, “The Crisis and the Christian in Biblical Perspective”. We will examine the personal and national crisis faced by Nehemiah in chapter one and from that we will focus upon a foundational Biblical lesson for any Christian and in particular, Christian leaders to employ when faced with a crisis. The Lord is doing something in our day. I do not know all that He is doing but I do know He is Sovereign and is “causing all things to work tougher for good” in this “present distress.”

 With confidence in Christ and gratefulness for you,

Pastor Reeder