Newsletter Message from Pastor Walker

Posted June 26, 2020

The summer is in full swing, but COVID-19 has put a damper on many of our plans. The larger question is what are we going to do with so much time on our hands? For some duty calls, essential workers must go in and no one is coming to rescue them. For others, things have changed drastically. Our homes have become our new office; Zoom and Skype calls are the new norm for conducting business meetings. Everyone is trying to adjust to this new normal, but at times it can become frustrating because the nostalgia of our past reminds us of how things us to be.

This adjustment period is no different for the Body of Christ. We have to rethink how we operate as a church. I no longer have office hours because the church is closed to the public. However, this does not mean my role as pastor has changed, I still seek to reach out to the members and friends of our church. Drive by visits, phone calls and cards are some of many ways that I seek to stay in touch. As a church those are some things that many of us are doing to stay connected. Driving by to see Don as a result of his health challenges and wishing Jack happy birthday from our cars has been a source of encouragement and light during these challenging times.

Only if I could say, “Things will return to normal and the church will be open soon.” Rather than mislead anyone, the best answer I can give is I don’t know. This puts us right where we need to be, trusting God for our next move. As we wait on Him, we should be prayerful, focused and vigilant concerning His will, mission and purpose that’s assigned to us individually and collectively. This may appear to be a bit much to ask during a crisis, but scripture teaches us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV) The Lord will see us through this pandemic and as a result of it our eyes have been restored to see how important tangible fellowship is to the Body of Christ.

This is the part that so many of us long for. To see, touch and embrace one another is what makes the church the living embodiment of God in real time. Sure, the church is more than people fellowshipping or spending time together. However, we cannot replace the indispensable act of being together. God in our midst, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20 NIV) When we fellowship, it not only brings us together, it also grants us the healing presence we need to overcome the trials that confront us as we travel through life together.

Until we meet again!
Rev. Dr. Dondrea Walker Sr., Pastor
First Baptist Church of Marion

Notices

Effective Friday, March 20, the church building was closed (suspension of gathering activities in the building) due to the COVID-19 pandemic in compliance with Iowa Department of Public Health recommendations/directives. The building closure is continuing as of October 2020, but the work of the church continues in other ways.

– Weekly sermons can be streamed from the church website and Facebook. Video messages of encouragement are being posted periodically on the Pastor’s Page and Facebook.

– The 29th Street Mission pantry operation was suspended after the distribution on Thursday, March 19. HACAP is distributing pre-boxed food via their mobile food pantry; see their schedule.

– On March 11 our plans for addressing COVID-19 were stated here. See the CDC website and the Iowa Department of Health website for current information. The CDC is providing guidance that helps churches to prepare for re-opening.