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Update from Rev. Megerditchian - March 30, 2020

Dear Sisters and brothers,

The last few weeks have been full of unprecedented changes in our lives, in our church and in our

ministries. Unfortunately, fear is everywhere, as I am receiving tens of phone calls everyday. I’m sure some of you are wrestling with it, too.

At times like this, we need to hang on to truths that don’t change. I am sure you know these truths. But during times of crisis, it’s really important to remember the fundamentals.

1. Not everything we hear is true.

Not everyone with an opinion on the television, Internet or social media knows what they’re talking

about. We need to be selective with who we listen to during this time. The Scripture reminds us. “The prudent man always acts out of knowledge” (Proverbs 13:16). In other words, we are called to act out of knowledge and not out of fear. Therefore, let’s make it a priority to get our facts from trustworthy sources.

2. These tough “Coronavirus” days will pass.

The Scripture reminds us that there will be trials. “Dear friends, don’t be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire” (1 Peter 4:12). Indeed, these Coronavirus days are tough days, but be sure that they won’t last forever.

We all know that not everyone is at equal risk in this pandemic. But, at the same time, we should

continue obeying the authorities and we need to do what the health professionals recommend.

We need to take the common sense actions that will decrease the spread of this virus. We won’t need to make these changes forever and our church, by God’s Grace, will gather again and worship The Lord in His Sanctuary.

3. Focus on what is unchanging.

In the coming weeks, there will be many changes in the world and our community. It’s safe to say we don’t even know all the changes this pandemic will have on our community and us. But we are called to serve God, His Church, our congregation and to serve our community.

Despite lots of changes, let’s always remember what hasn’t changed. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

In the midst of all these changes, we can count on that Truth. We can also know that God’s love for you, for your families, for our Church, for our congregation and for our community has never changed and God’s call on our life hasn’t changed.

Therefore, don’t let all the changes make you lose sight of everything that is still the same.

4. God is going and will go with us.

Be sure that this Coronavirus didn’t surprise God. He is Emmanuel (God with us). I am sure that He will walk through every bit of it with us. Sometimes you may feel alone. But you will never be alone. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze”(Isaiah 43:2).

Therefore, let’s focus on that truth and not all the noise on the TV, Internet and Social Media and

remember that by focusing on God, our worry and fear will be replaced with gratitude and praise.

5. This is not the end.

The Scripture tells us, “In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again . . . because we know that God raised the Lord Jesus to life” (2 Corinthians 4:8, 14).

Within two weeks, God willing, we will celebrate Easter. Easter reminds us that we win no matter what happens. Even, if this Coronavirus or any other disease takes our physical lives, we will go straight into the presence of God. On that day, all of our pain, sickness, and sorrow will be over. There won’t be a Coronavirus or any kind of disease in heaven.

Therefore, remember, we don’t know what the future holds, but we do know that God holds the future.

6. God wants us and wants His church to help and minister others.

As church, we are going through an incredible challenge right now. But God doesn’t want to just take our church through this crisis. He doesn’t just want our church to survive during this period. He wants our church to thrive. This is the difference between how we deal with pain as believers and how the world does. The church sees every need in the community and even in the world as an open door for ministry. I’m praying that our church will start many new ministries out of these difficult days.

Today, we don’t even know the kinds of challenges that our community will face, but God does.

Therefore, this will be an opportunity for our church to shine Christ’s light.

7. 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, still 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,

a. 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)

b. Let’s continue praying for our / your church, Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church and with

confidence that this Coronavirus didn’t sneak up on God and it won’t stop the church. Our Lord, Jesus Christ reminds us that “all the powers of hell will not conquer” the church (Matthew 16:18). Amen

“Stay at home” safe and healthy and 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

Pastor’s Cell phone number: 1- 559- 770 3895

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