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Good Afternoon, Church Family!

I am excited that this Sunday we will be bringing our sermon series through Esther to a conclusion. God has really worked on my heart—by revealing Jesus so clearly in a Book that doesn’t even mention God. How amazing was it to see our King Jesus portrayed in the lives of Mordecai, Esther, and even wicked Haman—the one impaled on a wooden pole! We’ll finish on Sunday by reading of the holiday feast celebrating God’s faithfulness—which is what many of us will be doing on Thanksgiving Day as well.

I also wanted to invite you to our Thanksgiving Service next Tuesday, November 24, as well. We’re not just having a service because we have to. This is a very purposeful service for two reasons. First, Scripture tells us to give thanks always—and we’re not excluded from giving thanks even after the year we’ve had. Why? Because as we raise our thanksgiving and praise to Jesus for what He has already done, what He has already promised, and what He has awaiting us in eternity—everything else, even the misery of this year, fades away. I really want look through this year and give thanks to God always!

Second, we will be releasing the names for our Giving Tree. Last year, the Giving Tree was such a blessing to both our church and our community! I cannot wait to see how God will once again work in hearts—more in the giver than the receiver. I hope you join us on November 24 to get a name from the Giving Tree.

Regarding Sunday's services

Finally, I wanted to let you know what we will be doing as a church regarding the new state mandate from the governor’s office that went into effect this week. As I mentioned on Sunday, it will be very easy for us to allow Satan to convince us that the government stepping over our personal rights as Americans is a good excuse for not gathering together for the glory of God as Christians. I would love for the people of Page County to see a group of followers of Jesus Christ boldly display that there is nothing that would keep them from assembling to encourage and edify one another—by glorifying God through song, through prayer, through testimony, and through the proclamation of God’s Word.

Truthfully, one day we will all stand before our Savior—and we will gaze upon the wounds where He was pierced for our sins. At that moment, the fact that we were required to wear a mask in order to celebrate His crucifixion and resurrection will not matter. As Paul said in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” What an amazing reminder! Any suffering we have endured in this life will fade away when our eyes finally rest on the full glory of King Jesus!  

That being said, beginning this Sunday, to follow the governor’s orders, we are asking that our church family wear a mask to church unless there is a health condition that would prevent you (and no one will question you about this). You will see signs stating that masks are required and anyone with COVID symptoms should not enter. Also, the chairs in the sanctuary will be spaced out further—and we ask that each section be used for family units.

Also, for the sake of consistency, the Student Ministry of Mt. Carmel will follow the same policies and standards of MCCA. Since MCCA is in regular communication with the health department at both the local and state levels—and routinely receives updates to important policies—our Student Ministry will simply follow suit whenever MCCA adjusts to a new policy. This would currently include wearing a mask upon entering the building. We will also continue with temperature checks before the kids enter the cafeteria.

I have as little excitement about this as you. :) However, as I mentioned last Sunday morning, I will be willing to make whatever concessions asked of me in order to be with you and our church family—for the glory of Jesus. Jesus called me to live a sacrificial, crucified life just as He did, and that’s what I hope to do. And I hope that’s what this community see in us too—a crucified life. Because if they do, they will begin to see Jesus more clearly.

I love you and ask you to join me in prayer for our church, our nation, and our world. No government official holds the answer. We all must look to King Jesus. May our eyes stay ever upon Him!

God bless you!

Pastor Brian