A Message from Johannesburg South Africa
March 20, 2020
Dear Judson Family:
Leaders all over America are concerned about the financial future of their church’s ministries due to the crisis created by the Coronavirus. They are wondering if the people of their church will make the effort to give. Normally, we sit in the worship service and the offering plate is passed and we put our tithes and offerings in the plate. But in this new situation we are not sitting in orderly rows at the same time every week.
Furthermore, this nasty virus is creating problems in the workplace and many are losing their jobs, or having their pay severely diminished. This means many people will have less to give. This is a legitimate concern.
If I lost my job my car payment would still be due and the utilities must still be paid. It is the same in a great church like ours. Missionaries still need their support. Expenses related to church property are still an issue. The financial support of pastors is still a real need. The electric bill must still be paid. You can understand why many leaders are concerned.
What can we do to survive this financially awkward time?
1. First, we can truly pray for the financial needs of our church. We are doing important things and our community needs us. Virus or no virus our community needs the Gospel and our families need Judson. So, let’s pray. God can meet our need and He can do it however He chooses and whenever He chooses. In Jeremiah 33:3 God said, “Call unto me and I will answer thee and show you great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”
2. Give on line through our Tithe.ly App. This is convenient and you can give from home, or work, or anywhere you might be. You don’t have to write a check, or have cash. You can give using your credit card or debit card. In fact, my wife Tracy gives every week that way and it is so simple. It would only take us a minute to get familiar with the app. so that we can give that way.
3. If you are a regular giver determine that you will continue to be faithful every week in your giving for Christ’s sake. Because we are not sitting together in church every week it could be easy to lapse in our giving intending to catch up down the road. If many of us do that it will immediately cause a dreadful financial hardship for our church. So, let’s determine to maintain our regularity in giving. How we give may change due to our present situation, but let’s determine to be faithful and regular.
4. Give extra if God has blessed you and leads you to do so. Maybe God has blessed you, “for such a time as this!” Throughout the Bible there are stories of God’s people rising to the occasion and giving joyfully and sacrificially when the caused demanded it. In fact, there is one story in the Bible of God’s people giving so incredibly that they had to be told to stop giving. Wouldn’t that be exciting to behold?
I will make this promise to you. As you give, the leadership of Judson will be responsible and careful. We will not let up in our efforts to conduct the ministries of our church. I have often been amazed at how generous our Judson family is. We are not a rich church, but we are sincere. We love God. We love each other and we love our city. That is real and God sees it. Weathering the storm victoriously is what God’s people do and I am confident we will.
God willing, Tracy and I will be home on Tuesday, March 24th. Please pray that our arrival is unhindered. Sincerely,
Dear Judson Family,
If you are watching the news daily you are aware of all the uncertainty regarding the coronavirus. We need to be prudent and responsible but FEAR NOT. Now is the time to be intentional about staying connected to family, friends, your church community, and your neighbors even if you can not do so in person. Follow the directives from our state and federal leadership. These are to help you and others. If you want the facts I suggest you go to the CDC website.
Judson, like the vast majority of the churches in California, will be closed this Sunday. No service will be happening on the campus. While the gates are locked, the door is open to join the church family at 10:30 AM for a great message from Pastor Josh. You can join us by going to www.judsonsb.org. “See” you at church Sunday!
Your faithfulness in giving to the Lord through your financial partnership to Judson is sincerely needed and so appreciated. There are options for giving. I personally give every month on the same day through an automatic check from my personal account. You can make your gift automatic as I have done. You can send your gift by mail to Judson Church to 1406 Pacific Street, San Bernardino, CA 92404. You can use the giving option on the www.judsonsb.org website. Dropping your gift by the church is not the best option right now because of reduced office hours. For the most part, the church staff team are working remotely from home offices. Technology is becoming a good friend!. Thanks for your financial partnership at this critical time.
We want you to know we are here for you during this time! Please reach out to us by phone, email or through social media and let us know how we can help minister to you during this time. If you are a parent of children 5th grade or younger be sure to join the Adventureland Facebook Group. Pastor Jamie is updating it regularly with Bible lessons,resources, and information to help keep your kids connected during this time.
A missionary friend of mine from South Africa shared three tips for navigating stressful times. I believe these will encourage you as you face our new realities:\
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
“I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7
“You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.” Isaiah 26:3
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10
“The Lord is my strength and my song; He has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise Him.”
“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.” Psalm 34:17
Tracy and Keith are returning this coming week. Pray for them as they journey from South Africa back home. Travel realities have radically changed since they left just over a week ago.
God is good all the time—all the time, God is good!
Judson Board Chair
Dear Judson Family:
Over the last 24 hours your church leaders have been keeping a close eye on what is happening with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID 19). We have made some decisions that I believe are responsible and loving to protect our family of faith. Below are the following changes to our scheduled ministry activities.
Saturday, March 14: The Men of Honor breakfast will be rescheduled.
Sunday, March 15: All 9:00 am Sunday School/Small Groups for adults and children will be cancelled. Our 10:30 am church service will be cancelled and will be available via live stream instead. You may access the live stream feed at www.judsonsb.org starting at 10:30 am. Dr. Nesib Ali will be delivering the message and I will be providing you an update on church matters in light of recent public health directives. For our families with children, you can access this Sunday’s lessons at https://vimeo.com/showcase/6860371. Plan now to join us online!
Wednesday, March 18: All Wednesday night programming will be cancelled for the next two weeks. This includes AWANA, Jr. High and High School Youth Group and the Adult prayer meeting.
Saturday, March 21: The Beloved women’s conference will be rescheduled.
Sunday, March 22: A decision regarding our plan for this Sunday will be made within the next week. You will receive more information as I know more.
Saturday, March 28. The Community Outreach event will be rescheduled.
Things are rapidly developing. We will be providing ongoing updates to you as soon as we have them. Your best source of information will be found on www.judsonsb.org or on our Judson Facebook page located athttps://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010665399922. Check your emails and social media platforms for more information.
These schedule changes are proactive in order to help protect you and be compliant with the new group gatherings directives handed down by our public health officials. These changes are only temporary. As we gain greater understanding of how to safeguard our guests, families and community regarding the coronavirus, we will be making additional changes and rescheduling activities accordingly.
Your continued generous giving to support the Judson ministry is critical! A necessary change in schedule does not reduce the ongoing financial need. I encourage you to give through our Judson website www.judsonsb.org , by mailing your gift check to Judson at 1406 Pacific Street, San Bernardino, CA 92404, or by dropping your gift off at the church office. I cannot stress how important your financial partnership is at this time.
This is a time for concern, but not panic! Let’s be models of peace and consideration for others. A fellow Transformation Ministries pastor, Josh Matlock, recently posted, “We have the potential today of containing this virus. We don’t need to panic. We just need to be responsible and do our part to stop the spread. And always remember to let God be your refuge and strength.”
With deep appreciation for your involvement in the Judson Church ministry,
Elder Board Chairman