Dear HTC Family,

Last week I wrote about suddenly finding ourselves traveling through the unknown and unpleasant land of, as my friend J.John put it, ‘Covidia’.

Now on the path before us lies possible self-isolation or quarantine; of choosing or being asked to stay at home for weeks.

There are, of course, exceptions to this. Many people – including some in our own congregation-will not have the option of staying at home but will be out on the front line as doctors, nurses, health staff, police and security forces, pharmacists, supermarket workers and those in other vital roles. If this is you, can I, along with our whole church, express our admiration and gratitude to you. We, who are on the sidelines of this struggle, salute you and resolve to pray and creatively support you through this time.

Now that self-isolation is what we may face, how do we handle it? Let me share a word that I hope will help.

The word is resolution.

It’s vital to take charge of the situation and not let the situation take charge of us; at the end of this we all want to be a victor, not a victim. My grandparents and parents in England were called to war, we are being called to sit on our sofa – we can do this!

I re-Tweeted my friend @JoSaxton this morning who asked a very probing question:

‘I have spent the last few days thinking of what I hope might be different when this is all over?

Mine was this: ‘When this is over I hope that all essential workers- emergency, healthcare, teachers, grocery stores & more get the recognition & pay they deserve’.

What would yours be? Shoot me an answer at [email protected] This could be helpful material for my next Virtual Sermon!

Let’s also resolve to avoid negativity or pessimism. J.John again is a source of most of my better one-liners: ‘there are some people who bring happiness wherever they go and other people bring happiness whenever they go!’ Lets choose to have a happy attitude and not drain people with negative talk. Let’s resolve to be cheerful!

Resolve to find things to do, books to read, articles, podcasts and yes, Downton Abbey and the Crown have their place.

And let’s do projects,I am trying to tidy and de-clutter my email inbox. (Remember how ‘we didn’t have time?’ Now we do!)  Resolve to set limits on what we will drink and eat. Try to get exercise, even if it’s simply walking up and down the stairs or the corridor. I read of a man who ran a marathon on his 23ft long balcony last week in Toulouse, France!

And let’s resolve to think and act to help others who are isolated – even a phone call or Facetime, or practically assist our local Fairfax County initiative:

https://patch.com/virginia/mclean/volunteers-needed-grocery-shopping-more-fairfax-county

This is all pretty much standard psychological advice but let me add another dimension to this that J.John wrote to me about today:

‘We need to remember that God rules over all things, including viruses, and this has not caught him unawares. A little word in the first two verses of Psalm 23 has come to mind. There, in the middle of those wonderful lines ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters . . .’ (NIV) is the word makes. Although we all desire freedom and the ability to do what we want, we are like sheep and our wise Shepherd may, when it suits him, make us lie down’.

God has his purposes for us in this period. Let’s resolve to make the most of them and maybe we will find our period of isolation to not be a burden but a blessing.

I miss you all and I am praying my way through the church database email address list!

Pastor D+


P.S. Thank you for continuing to support the Kingdom work of HTC during this time, we are grateful for your consistent financial support during this time. Especially if you are used to using our black giving boxes on a Sunday, would you consider a one time gift or setting up a regular recurring donation through our website: Click Here


HTC News:

1. Great Big Get Together: We are already planning to have a ‘Great Big Get Together’ the first time when we are able to meet again in the building.

2. Small Groups: If you are currently not in a small group, or would like to connect, Alex Walker will be hosting a small group gathering via Zoom on Wednesday nights at 7 PM. We’ll create a sense of community by discussing Sunday’s virtual service together. Please email Alex if you’d like to join ([email protected]). 

3. Remember we are here for you: Our 3P’s are:

  • Prayer
  • Pastoral Care
  • Provision (“I can help, I need help”)

Each one can be accessed on the website under the drop down tab, Covid-19 Updates, on right hand side of main HTC webpage.

2 Comments

  • Stephen Nishimura

    March 25, 2020

    I saw your first web service since the members cannot meet. I enjoyed it . Hope everyone is safe and healthy. I hope to everyone soon.
    Faithfully
    PAPA Nish

  • Carol Madison

    March 27, 2020

    Pastor Rust, thank you for your words of encouragement and for your exhortation to live with resolution in this time. Thank you also for letting us know you are praying your way through the church directory. That means a lot!
    In Jesus, Carol

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