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COVID-19 Update from Rev. Serop Megerditchian

March 23, 2020

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have decided to suspend all Cilicia Church services,ministries and gatherings through further notice. We have been following closely our local and state agencies and this decision is in line with their guidance. We’ve come to this conclusion out of a desire to submit to our government officials, and to demonstrate love and care for our Cilicia Family and for our community.

These are interesting times that we are experiencing in our country and the whole world. So much of what swirls around us is out of our control yet we can take great comfort in a God who is not surprised by any of it.

Yesterday was Sunday, the Lord’s Day, and we left strange ten days behind. Days where panic, fears, worry, confusion and uncertainty characterized our conversations and lives. But, at the same time, life is going on...

Definitely we will stay at home, wash our hands, keep a little greater distance but we don't stop living. We should always remember that as Christians, our vocation is to have trust to our God even when we are afraid, to show care for each other even when we want to escape, to keep loving and serving God and our fellow human being, after all.

Every Sunday, with God’s grace, the sermon will be streamed “live” on “Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church” Facebook page. You just “Like” the page and share it with others.

Beside my phone calls and prayers (on phone) with you, I want to share some thoughts, as well.-

1. Do Not Surrender to Fear.

While the world lives in fear, we must look to the peace and power of God and be the living, the hope found in His name. Faith can be an antidote to fear, and nothing strengthens a believer’s faith like the promises of God.

- “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”(Isaiah 41:10)

- “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”(1Timothy 1:7)

- “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.”(Isaiah 26:3)

- “There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear.”(1 John 4:18)

2. The Power of Prayer.

There are many ways to react to a public health crisis like the coronavirus. But in this season, we have the power to do more than react. Now is the time for us as Christ’s followers to truly go on the offensive and unleash the power of prayer.

- Pray for doctors, nurses and for healing the sick (James 5: 14-15).

- Pray for strength for those who aren’t sick (3 John 1: 2).

- Pray for provision for both financial and physical (Philippians 4:19).

- Pray for a spirit of peace to come over the world (1 Timothy 1: 7).

- Pray for wisdom for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

-Pray in unity with other believers (Matthew 18: 20).

-Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18).

3. Put your Hope and Trust in the King of kings and Lord of lords.

- While the coronavirus may impact our health, our economy, and our very way of life, we serve a God who is bigger and stronger than any sickness, fear, darkness, and He has a plan (Jeremiah 29: 11).

- Remember, that our God is Healer (Psalms 30: 2), our God is Provider (Philippians 4:19) and our God is King (Psalms 47: 7).

- Therefore, trust in the Lord, trust in His power, trust in His plan, and stand firm in His promises

(Proverbs 3: 5-6).

- Be the light and love of Jesus Christ to a sick and frightened world. And when you too are afraid, never forget that “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.”(Psalms 30: 5)

4. Keep Reading the Word of God, the Scripture.

People are in panic situation and they are buying food for their physical bodies. Remember, that we are called to read, meditate and nourished by the spiritual food, the Bible, as well.

- “It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of

God.”(Matthew 4: 4)

- “All Scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in

righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”(2 Timothy 2:24)

5. VIP - Last but not least.

Remember, that you are all in my thoughts and prayers and I am always on call, 24 hours a day.

If you need anything, please, do not hesitate to text me or call me. We are here to pray, to help and even ready to do your groceries.

As every Sunday, for the last 98 years, we will not be in the sanctuary, we will not sit together, we will not shake hands, but we pray to our Lord and we retrieve power from our God. Therefore, let’s continue to pray that this Coronavirus and other temporal situations would not distract us but that we would continue to “run the race, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!”

(Hebrews 12: 1-2)

“Stay at home” safe and healthy and keep our / your Church, Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church in your thoughts and prayers.

May our Lord continue protecting you, your families, your loved ones and have healthy, hopeful,

peaceful, blessed and prayerful days and nights.

With best wishes and prayers

Rev. Serop Megerditchian- Senior Pastor

Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church - Pasadena

Church phone number: 1- 626- 405 9195

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