March 27, 2020
Dear Salem Evangelical Church Family and Beyond,
I begin this letter with a verse of Scripture from Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
I invite you to apply this passage of Scripture to your personal needs as I apply this passage of Scripture to Salem Evangelical Church and beyond. I have also addressed this letter to people beyond our local church, as we now have an audience that goes well beyond our local area thanks to live streaming. We welcome you to our family.
I am very excited to announce to you news regarding personal contacts, senior citizens, giving, staff, volunteers and future live streaming plans.
First, PRAISE THE LORD, personal contacts have been organized by our pastoral staff under the leadership of Jim Neifert. People from S.E.C. will be receiving calls of a spiritual nature and simply just checking in with you to see how you are doing and to have prayer with you. I receive regular reports on progress being made in this endeavor and am most encouraged by contacts being made.
Second, PRAISE THE LORD, we have compiled what we believe to be a complete list of the senior population of our church, 65 years of age and older. We have 460 names that will be divided up among three staff who will be calling you, asking you four questions centered around potential physical needs of food and pharmacy needs. 1) Do you need any food right now? 2) Will you eventually need food delivered to you in the future? 3) Do you need any medicine right now? 4) Will you eventually need medicine delivered to you in the future? If you are a senior citizen, you can help us with these four questions by calling 503-581-0102 with your needs and we will fill these requests for you. We began this service even on Thursday and will continue to serve the senior citizens of our congregation. If you have not been called yet and are needing something right away, please call us and let us know. We welcome you to be on our list so we can care for your physical needs. We have both staff and volunteers who will be available to service your needs. We also would love to assist non seniors who are quarantined or have underlying conditions and would like assistance in these two areas. (Payments for groceries or pharmacy items can be made with either cash or a check.)
Third, PRAISE THE LORD, you are an incredibly loyal and generous congregation and I want to say thanks so much for your faithfulness in giving during these times of uncertainty. Your response has been truly encouraging to say the very least! To assist you with your desire to give with safety and ease, we now offer the following three ways to give: 1) We now offer online giving. Simply go to salemec.com and click the online giving bar and follow the instructions. 2) We have placed a metal drop box outside the office doors, on the right-hand side where you can safely drop off your giving without going into the building, avoiding any human contact. 3) We have placed, in the same area, a United States Post Office metal box for our postal carrier to safely deliver the mail without having any human contact. You are welcome to mail your giving to the church and this is where it will be collected when the mail is delivered. All three options are safe, secure and avoid human contact.
Fourth, PRAISE THE LORD, our staff is working hard to meet the rapidly changing needs placed on us by the social restrictions. Some staff are working from home whenever possible. Others are working at the church or servicing our congregation as stated above. We have incredibly strict guidelines in place, that go beyond what has been ordered, in relationship to social distancing. The church is undergoing a top to bottom deep cleaning in every room from carpets to countertops. So, when we come back together, you can have 100% confidence it is safe for you and your family and more germ free than any other time I can recall since being at the church.
Fifth, PRAISE THE LORD, we currently have 19 volunteers who have signed up to care for any needs that may arise in the days to come. We are incredibly blessed to have volunteers who have made themselves available during this vulnerable time. If you would like to be on the volunteer list, please call the church office and let us know of your desire to be available. In addition, Sunday School teachers are calling members in their classes to check in on them. It is a beautiful thing to see as a pastor.
Sixth, PRAISE THE LORD, we are currently live streaming on Sundays at 9:15 and 11:00 a message series called, “In the Word.” We offer a Bible study on Wednesday nights for 30 minutes beginning at 6:30 called, “Words from Jesus.” We also are offering a daily devotional that is intended for the entire family for 15 minutes each day at 1 pm called, “Encouraging Times.” Please share these offerings with people you are connected with on social media and ask them to do the same so we can spread the Gospel with many more people than ever before imagined. We plan to continue the Sunday morning live stream after this pandemic ends. We will evaluate the Wednesday night Bible study and daily devotionals at a later date. If you are not from Salem Evangelical Church but are part of our live streaming audience and you would like for these opportunities to continue, we need to hear from you so we know how to proceed going forward, beyond the pandemic. If you are from our church family, I would like to hear from you as well as to their value going forward.
Seventh, PRAISE THE LORD, WE WILL BE TOGETHER AGAIN!
You are welcome to email me, text me or simply call me with questions or concerns or anything else that is on your mind. 503-949-5998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you caught the theme of this Virus #5 update? PRAISE THE LORD!
As always, your prayers for us are priceless, as together we labor for the Lord Jesus Christ!
Lovingly in Christ,
Pastor Randy R. Butler