On August 2, we had in-person worship for the first time since we closed the church on March 15th. Thanks be to God! The worship service was also live streamed and recorded so that people may join in worship any time. 49 people joined in worship in person and 435 people viewed and joined in worship online. On August 9th, 62 people joined in worship in-person and 268 people joined in worship online.

The first Communion was celebrated on August 16. And the first Community Dinner will be held on August 29 with drive-through only. We will continue to expand our ministry. However, don’t forget that safety is our top priority. I truly believe God will lead and guide us as we continue to expand our ministry.

However, we need to think about the direction and vision for both our personal lives and the church in the current situation. Let me share with you some data to show our reality.

The numbers of daily average new COVID-19 cases and deaths in Monroe County:

Month New Cases/Day Deaths/Day
March 18 0.5
April 37 3.5
May 47 3.4
June 24 1.7
July 29 0.4
August 28 0.3

As you see in the table, COVID-19 was most active and reached the peak in April and May. The number of deaths has significantly decreased in July and August. However, the number of new cases has continued to be steady for the past three months around 24-29. I really hope it decreases, but it may not as fall and winter approach. It could be a new normal at least for now. So, what should our strategic plan be for our personal lives and for the church?

I want to share what God said to Isaiah:

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” (Isaiah 35:1-4)

That’s what God will do for us. Be strong and do not fear. Be ready for His coming. Let us be prepared. I believe God has already started His work of recovery. Let us join Him in His new movement of growing and expanding. However, don’t forget the importance of safety.

Pastor Sung Ho

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