Regarding Worship at Theophilus for the remainder of March 2020*
Updated: Mar 15, 2020
As shepherds of Theophilus and good neighbors in our community, in love and care for our congregation and our neighbors, the session decided to take the voluntary and extraordinary step of moving our Sunday worship services online for the remainder of March (3/22 and 3/29).
It is important to emphasize that we are not responding out of fear. God tells us in 2 Tim 1:7 that He has given us a spirit of power, love, and self-control. Although compliance with government mandates may be discretionary, we want to demonstrate a biblical respect for the governing authorities which God has ordained for our good, in this case, for the preservation of life (Romans 13:4, Exodus 20:13).
We want to reiterate, these are extraordinary circumstances. Though we are temporarily suspending our physical gatherings, we are NOT suspending our call and mission to worship the Triune God revealed in the Gospel. For those of you staying home tomorrow here is the Youtube channel for live streaming the worship. We encourage you to participate fully in the ordinary elements of public worship: the call to worship, public reading of God’s word, the preaching of God’s word, public prayer congregational singing, bringing of offerings, benediction (Directory for Public Worship).
Worshiping virtually is a new experience for us all, so we are committed to making appropriate adjustments in the weeks ahead to optimize and enhance this new format. With that said, we affirm a Reformed and biblical corporate worship and believe that nothing can or should ever replace public worship where believers are gathered together, in person (Hebrews 10:24-25, Matthew 18:20). What we are offering in the coming few weeks is a temporary compromise, not an ongoing convenience.
Gathering together with another family from the church to worship, while being thoughtful and responsible, is also an option. If anyone is unable to live-stream or will have difficulties worshiping at home, please contact Pastor Sim about coming to church to worship.
These are unusual times for us but not at all surprising to our King. As so many of us have experienced, God can and will use this current situation to build His church, both locally and globally, as our faith is strengthened and our witness is enlarged. May the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control of the Spirit be the hallmark of Theophilus OPC.
In His love,
*(Adapted from a letter by Escondido PCA New Life)