As you may have heard yesterday, May 22, 2020, President Trump named churches, synagogues, and mosques as essential and should be allowed to open. We have had several people reaching out and asking if we’re opening up this weekend, so it seemed good to address it.
The short version is that we won’t be having a service at our facility this coming weekend, or next weekend. We have actually been working on a timeline based on the Governor’s 4-Phased opening plan that stretches out the runway of throwing open the doors a little further. Our leadership teams are meeting on Tuesday to talk about re-opening and will most assuredly keep everyone in the loop.
We are looking forward to getting back together; we’re looking forward to church looking and feeling normal again, but we want to continue to walk forward with wisdom in this process.
Proverbs 4:7, 8 says…
"The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a graceful garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
Wisdom demands being thoughtful and thorough in moving forward. While many churches around our country seem to see this shutdown as an attack on religious freedom I still don’t see it that way; that also doesn’t mean that I agree with all the decisions our leaders are making. For MLCC this has been and continues to be about the health and safety of our people and our community. While there have been far fewer deaths in this pandemic than were predicted (and PRAISE THE LORD FOR THAT) it would be unfortunate in a rush to open if churches became hot-spots or super spreader events for this virus which can have catastrophic affects on those most vulnerable in our community. There is an old Jewish proverb that “to save one life is to save the world entire.”
We would like to hear from you in this process. We have heard from some of you that you won’t rush back to services even if we open. We’ve heard from others that they’re ready to get back in the building and get back to normal. We respect your thoughts and concerns as part of our church body on every side of this topic. We are working on a survey that we’ll be sending out early next week.
In all this let’s keep our eyes fixed on God; let’s keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Let’s live with the Fruit of the Spirit before us:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
May the peace of Christ be with us; and may the wisdom of Christ guide us,
Hello Moses Lake Christian Church! Hope you are doing well and enjoying a fantastic day.
FOOD is the subject of our mid week email update today! As we look around our community in these challenging days there are people who are in real need. We as a Church want to do something about that.
Come Join us next week for the MLCC FOOD DRIVE. We want to collect canned and non perishable food next week to share with the Moses Lake Food Bank. We will be collecting Food May 25-29 at MLCC to give to the Food Bank. There will be a drop off box in front of Church and you can come by any time and drop off your donations.
The MLCC Staff will be in the parking lot next Friday, May 29 from 12-2 to receive your donations. If you want to come by and say hi - we will be there. **However, please know that if Friday does not work for you - you can drop off donations any time.
Items to donate are:
Kid and family friendly items
Macaroni and Cheese
Any questions? Write to
Happy Saturday… and Happy May!!
As we come into this first weekend in May we continue in our time of social distancing and “staying and home and staying safe.” I suspect many of us are getting cabin fever; we’re sometimes confused at this process. Many are struggling with fear of getting sick, fear and stress over lost income, concern for neighbors and friends. I want to encourage you to continue to trust God in all that’s going on around us.
Based on Governor Inslee’s press conference it seems unlikely that we’d be back together at our facility before mid-June at the earliest, but we will definitely keep you informed as our leadership team meets and discusses our timeline.
I have been thinking a fair amount about how this time of challenge is impacting us as we walk it out, and I put together this 8 minute video that you can take a look at if you like, the gives us an opportunity to explore some thoughts around Psalm 139. I hope you’ll check it out. https://youtu.be/HRmTkColg08
In the mean time I’m looking forward to talking this weekend at our YouTube Premier on the topic of Trusting God in the Desert from the life of Elijah. I hope you’ll join us.
May God keep you in perfect peace!
April Financial Report
April Income: $40,495.90
April Expenses: $36,958.20
2020 Income to April 30 $132,052.80
2020 Expenses to April 30 $143,119.21
2020 Budget to April 30 $151,262.78
General Fund as of April 30 $165,027.94
Mortgage Balance $231,865.78
We continue to thank God for his faithfulness to us and we are grateful for each of you who partner with us in the Kingdom work we’ve been given.
An Opportunity to Love and Serve your Neighborhood.
Hey MLCC… we really miss you… we miss hanging out… we miss seeing your faces and we really hope that you are all well.
In this weekly email I’m going to give you a little more than we usually put in these because these days there’s lots to say and we don’t get to see you. In this email you’ll find:
1.An Opportunity to Love and Serve your neighborhood.
2.An Opportunity to Love and Serve the Verhage Family in their Loss.
3.March 31, 2020 MLCC Financial Update
An Opportunity to Love and Serve your neighborhood.
Larry Bickel connected with the Elders about encouraging MLCC people to commit to walk their neighborhoods and make a specific effort to pray for their neighbors/neighborhoods. What a great idea… and an opportunity to simply intentionally pray, and speak words of blessing over our neighbors. We would love to know if you are committed daily to walk and pray? Then we’d like to pay attention to which neighborhoods have people doing this. Email us at and let us know you’re committed to walking and praying. We will send you a template for praying and blessing your neighborhood if you would like us to.
Additionally, Lisa Castro who is part of MLCC, reached out to us and said if there are people who would like to pass out cards that the Sherriff’s Dept. publicized last week she an Amador would print them. Lisa and Amador run the UPS store in the Grant County Mall. If you would like to pick up some cards email Lisa and Amador and let them know how many you would like and when you’ll pick them up. The address is . They are doubled sided with English and Spanish.
An Opportunity to Love and Serve the Verhage Family in their Loss.
Following Dr. Larry Verhage’s passing many of you asked how you could help out. As we communicated earlier it’s been a challenging time to walk through loss. Many asked about bringing food. While they have been trying very hard to reduce exposure during this Coronavirus shutdown an easy way to reach out and help with a meal would be a gift card to a local restaurant. It would help out our restaurants and also be a way of loving the Verhage family. You can contact us at for an address if you’d like to send a gift card. Their favorite places are Michael’s on the Lake, The Bistro, J’s Teriyaki, and Pizza of any kind. They LOVE pizza.
Also there is a Larry Verhage Memorial website, which you can find at http://verhagememorial.com. There is wonderful information here about Larry. You can look through a picture gallery, listen to the Memorial Service that the family held, and watch a short video of the family planting a tree in Larry’s honor.
Additionally, Larry had a heart for the Hope Medical Clinic in Guinea. He served there on multiple medical missions trips over the years. Hope Clinic is building a new Maternity Ward and Larry was planning to go and train staff when it was completed. While Larry won’t be able to fulfill his plans he was determined to help the Hope Clinic get a new ultrasound machine as theirs is outdated and not of good quality. If you scroll to the bottom of the Memorial page you can make a contribution to the “Hope Clinic Verhage Sonogram.” There are very clear instructions for making a contribution.
You can click this link to get to the page for giving:
Preparing for Easter!
Luke 24: On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this... the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen!
He has Risen Indeed!
This week as we Prepare for Easter, even in the midst of Corona, let's prepare our hearts, our minds and our families. How are you preparing for and celebrating Easter? We are going to have to be creative and intentional.
Some ideas/challenges for families:
Dress up in your "Sunday Best" on Sunday and send us a family photo!
Read the resurrection story together- Luke 24:1-12
Practice gratitude- make a video for someone or send a letter of something you're thankful for about them
Tune in to our MLCC Good Friday service
Practice some silence/quiet as a family remembering what Jesus did on the cross
Make a special meal and celebrate Jesus' resurrection
I have also attached an Easter devotional for families to download
It’s an odd time in our church life, not being able to be together. But we also know it’s an odd, and very difficult time, for many in our community. Some businesses are shutting down which is going to create significant economic impact for families. Schools have shut down, also creating challenging impacts particularly for single parent families, or families where both mom and dad need to work to make ends meet.
It’s an odd time in our country, and my hope is we see a bit more of our leaders beginning to work together, and realize we have a common enemy to fight together, not just as a country, but as a world wide community. Times like this can either drive us closer together or further apart – I hope it brings us closer together. I was struck by the words of God to the exiled people of God in Jeremiah 29:1-14 this week as I have been walking and praying. If you want to pre-read a little for the message on Sunday morning take a look at Jer. 29!
We are starting a new series this Sunday, “The Church has Left the Building.” Phil and I will be recording messages over the next weeks as we are unable to meet together. They will be available, along with a YouTube worship set list and a communion and offering thought by 10:00 am on Sunday morning. Perhaps you can listen as a family. We’d love to have your feedback and to hear your experiences on our website, Church APP, Instagram, or Facebook page.
I want to invite you to seek the welfare of our city and to pray for the welfare of our city as we walk out these days together… mostly apart! See you Sunday… sorta!
It continues to be an interesting time with the Coronavirus challenges and now as we are not able to be together week in and week out, but we trust God’s grace, and peace, to be present with us as we journey. It’s our commitment to keep you updated as much as possible about how we plan to stay in touch, take care of each other, and provide any needed help we can in our community as this social distancing order keeps us from much face-to-face fellowship. We’ll also continue to provide you with routine financial updates and the weeks unfold. MLCC is a good spot financially at present, but obviously the bulk of our offering comes in through Sunday offerings. There are multiple ways to continue giving online through the Church App; from your bank (that’s actually how Sharlyn and I operate routinely); or the Church website (mlcc.us)
Here are some plans moving forward. I will try and be brief while providing as much information as possible.
·We will continue our rhythm of an email on Wednesday ( or Thursday) and an email on Friday. Wednesday will focus on logistics and plans; Friday usually points us towards Sunday sermon.
·I have been sending out a “VOTD – Verse of the Day” via text. We can’t always do this because we are limited in the number of texts we are allowed to send out, but our provider has greatly expanded our available texts during this time.
·We will post an announcement/encouragement video on Thursdays.
Keeping us all Connected:
·We will begin in the following way:
oOur Leadership team (Elders, Staff, a few others) will be contacting every MLCC family/individual for whom we have a correct contact number by phone before the end of this week. They will: a) let you know who they are b) ask how you’re doing c) ask if you are facing any unique challenges we may be able to help with d) pray with you. You can expect this call.
·Adopt a Senior/At Risk Person:
oWe would like to make sure that every Senior Citizen at MLCC – and others in our community if we become aware of them and have resources – is able to stay out of public as much as possible.
oThere may also be other at risk people who need assistance – we will endeavor to make sure those folks are cared for as well.
·By Sunday morning at 10:00 we will have the following up on our website/YouTube/Church App to provide resources for family or small group worship.
oSermon Video with Discussion Questions.
oWorship playlist linking to our YouTube channel if you’d like to use it for worship.
oCommunion and Offering Devotional: Obviously this will be a BYOBW situation… (bring your own bread and wine)… but will provide an opportunity to tie us all together even though we’re gonna be physically apart. It’s an opportunity to remember that the church has always been scattered historically – but also together in this meal.
Meeting Needs in the Community:
·Specifically we are hoping to take on meals for families at North Elementary during the Spring Break when the school will not be able to do so. We partner with North Elementary in a variety of ways and this is one more way to do so.
·We will seek to attentive and in contact with other community leaders to meet needs that arise with the resources we have available.
·Check our website resource page for help and support.
·Plan to lead your family in gathered worship in homes with us on Sunday mornings.
·Volunteer to adopt a Senior or At-Risk individual. (Contact Dayna at the office or via email )
·Volunteer to help with North Elementary Food Program over Spring Break – Contact Dayna at the office or email.
·Continue giving so that we can continue meeting the needs.
New State wide Guidelines From Governor Jay Inslee. Read Now!
MARCH 14th Message from our Pastor.
As the country, and the world, continues to contend with the Coronavirus pandemic I want to invite us to see the current circumstances facing us, and our community, as an opportunity to truly be life-giving at a time when many are afraid and confused.
In view of the announcements by President Trump and Governor Inslee today, as well as a desire to sharply lower exposure to the Coronavirus in our community, MLCC is going to suspend gatherings at the building for the next few weeks. We do not have this all fleshed out – but will provide a continual stream of information as it unfolds.
Be aware that immediately:
1) We will not hold our services here this coming Sunday or next Sunday. We will be continuing to monitor this situation and keep you in the loop.
2) The “God in My Everything Retreat” scheduled for tomorrow is going to be rescheduled down the road a bit.
3) Men’s breakfast tomorrow morning will be canceled.
4) Awana and Youth Group will not meet for the next couple of weeks as well.
5) MLCC has two mission trips on the calendar; Mexico in April and Ecuador in July. We are suspending those trips for the time being. To limit exposure, and also because it could prove really challenging to get teams out and back depending on travel restrictions being put in place.
Let me challenge you regarding a few things:
First, you may have the opinion that we shouldn’t react out of fear, but rather have faith and trust God to keep us safe in the midst of this. The truth is that we aren’t responding to this out of fear, or lack of faith. And we know that God will sustain us. Rather, it’s our desire to dramatically lower the exposure of this virus, particularly among those who are at higher risk.
Second I have been reflecting back to what we believed when MLCC started up some 30 years ago. What we said then is that “the church is NOT a building.” We didn’t have a building – we didn’t have over 250 people either – but we reminded each other that the church has always been a group of people on a journey, and it doesn’t take a building – or a large gathering – for that journey to progress. We are going to work on ways to keep you well informed and connected.
Third I was thinking about the book of Acts and the diaspora, or “seeding.” When the church was persecuted in the first century it spread the church all over the known Roman world. While it probably wasn’t pleasant it was actually the event that caused the church to move outward into the known world of the time! Today we’re facing a health challenge that isn’t of human making, but it could have the net affect of pushing the church out of the building and into our community in creative ways! How can we really BE… THE… CHURCH… in the midst of this situation? Gathering together on Sundays is wonderful – and I look forward to when that resumes, but that isn’t the only way to be together – and it isn’t the only way to love our community.
We are beginning to think about ways that we can turn MLCC into a resource center for our community, and particularly those who will be hardest hit by the school shutdowns and other services that will be curtailed. How can our faith turn us to…
… see opportunities to serve our friends, and neighbors, and those who are going to be hardest hit by this crisis? Particularly thinking of those who are elderly and may need help.
… rather than hoarding toilet paper, water, and hand sanitizer think of ways to be generous and give what we have to those who have needs.
… live lives of abundant, life-giving, faith in the presence of those who are in fact living in fear and panic?
… live as salt and light in this moment.
This isn’t a time to step BACK… it’s a time to step forward and be the life-giving force that God has always intended. While this seems like an obstacle, it’s also an opportunity to be the church in a slightly different way over the next few weeks! It’s going to be an ADVENTURE!
One thing that comes up at times like these is how will things work financially. If MLCC doesn’t meet for the next several weeks we won’t take offerings, but we still have expenses. First, we trust that God is our provision, and he has proven himself over and over. Second, this may be a time when financial resources are needed more than ever, depending on how God asks us to be a resource for the most needy. We would urge you to continue to give, which you can do through your bank; online at the website or on the Church App; or by mailing your giving to the church. Please use any of these avenues. Finally, the MLCC Leadership Team has been diligent to steward what God gives us and we have a significant financial reserve… not that it’s our desire to drain it… and not that we trust in it… but because of God’s faithfulness and good stewardship we are in a good place.
We will continue to keep you informed.
May be the grace of God be with us… and use us for his purpose!
John J Roberts, Lead Pastor – for the MLCC Leadership Team.