Finding focus as we head into week 4

https://player.vimeo.com/video/407887210

Hi Church,
We hope that you and your families had a good, albeit different Easter. What a great weekend we had remembering the sacrifice God made on behalf of humanity.

There are a lot of needs out there, particularly in the current crisis. But I was reminded this week that though our immediate needs have changed, the real lasting needs of humanity haven’t. Perhaps instead, Covid-19 has served to remind us of our true condition – that we are frail and that despite our increasing knowledge and skill, we still can’t control what happens in our world.
If we can’t control what happens in our life, how can we control what happens in our death? Praise be to our God who has defeated sin and death on our behalf!

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Is 53:6

I love the way the NASB translates this: Instead of “and” it reads “but.” I.e. there is a contrast between us, the wondering sheep who deserve the consequence and the one who received the penalty.

As the apostle Paul put it “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21

Even though now circumstances may be scarier, the real needs of humanity haven’t changed. Praise be to God for giving us what we really need. May we be like John the Baptist, pointing to Jesus and telling our friends, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

UPDATES

Here are four updates as we continue to do church together yet apart.
1. Facebook Live
Thanks to all who tuned in after the service Sunday morning for our first Facebook Live interaction. If you missed it, you have another opportunity this Sunday.  At 11am, Pastor Greg will be live on our Facebook page to interact with questions and discussion regarding the message. The links will be provided Sunday in our Facebook group, so all you need to do is watch the service at 10am and look out for the Facebook notification at 11am. There will also be a link to the Facebook Live session under the sermon.

2. Church History Online Course
This Thursday night at 7pm, we are beginning an online 7 week course to look at an overview of church history. This will be facilitated through Zoom, a free online platform for video conference calls.

Pastor Greg has written this description for our Facebook event:
“STOP – this online course will NOT be life changing! It will however (I hope) help you make better sense of the world in which we live, why we believe what we do and who the key thinkers and shapers of the church have been down through the ages. We’ll be basing this course on Max Anders great book, “30 Days to Understanding Church History.” Hope you will join me each Thursday night at 7:00pm for the next seven weeks (16th April – 28th May) to explore our Christian heritage.”

Check out the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/601127363814588/ or if you don’t have Facebook, on the website here: https://theorchardchurch.co.nz/events/church-history-overview-course/

How do I join the course?

  • You can sign up for a free Zoom account here which will enable you to be part of the course: https://zoom.us
  • Once you have a Zoom account, simply use this information each Thursday night at 7pm:
    • Password: 453882
    • Meeting ID: 363 717 095

The class notes are available for download on our website: https://theorchardchurch.co.nz/events/church-history-overview-course/

3. Keep the Faith series begins this week!
Sometimes it feels like there are forces working against you – and there are! How do you hang on? How do you have tenacious faith? We’re looking at these questions in our series on 2 Timothy over the next 10 weeks. The messages will up on our website to be viewed at 10am on Sunday mornings. We will also post the link on our Facebook page and group on Sunday mornings.

If you are not part of our church group, consider following The Orchard Church Facebook page for all of the latest information and updates.

Public Page: https://www.facebook.com/The-Orchard-Church-1842085136049016/

Private Church Community Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/theorchardchurch

4. We will keep up communication
How long church will be online-only we don’t know. But what we do know is that we will strive to do our best to keep you informed. After Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern updates the nation on April 20 on what leaving level 4 will look like, we will have more information and guidelines to work with. Whatever that is, we continue to pray for you and look forward to a sweet time of praise when are united again in one building, whenever that may be.

Until that time, keep the faith. Keep persevering, keep looking to God and keep praying for one another. Remember who God is and that all those in the faith are His dearly loved children.
God bless,
The Orchard Church Elders and Staff

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