Update From Pastor Ron - April 4, 2020

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Below is the latest update from the Elders.

Easter at Home?

This Sunday is Palm Sunday and church will once again be canceled. There is also a strong probability that MDBF families will be celebrating Easter at home, and not together. Some might be asking: if we are obeying the Government guidelines, are we disobeying Hebrews 10:24-25?

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (ESV)

The word "neglecting" is also translated "forsaking" or "abandoning." We are in no way "leaving the church helpless" (another definition) during this time. We are not giving up on the church or minimizing the command to gather together. During this time that we are following the guidelines put forward by the governing authorities in order to protect others, we are encouraging you to connect with one another, listen to the same sermons as one another and to help one another. Know that the Elders are meeting weekly to try to shepherd from a distance and that we are praying for you and the needs that we know of.

When restrictions are lifted, we trust that the entire Congregation will attend Church gatherings will more zeal and more faithfully than ever before, knowing our command to gather and knowing the benefit of having the freedom to gather.

Sunday Family Worship

We are pleased to hear that many MDBF families are listening to Pastor Gary's sermons posted online: (memorialdrivebiblefellowship.com). The Elders desire that all families listen to these sermons on Sunday morning as part of your family worship time, so that we are still being fed the same Word.

Congregational Care

Please don't hesitate to contact an Elder if you or someone else around you has a need. Continue to contact one another and "encourage one another." Pray for church members who have lost income, who feel anxious or are feeling "trapped" by the travel restrictions. Pray for Pastor Gary and Pastor Andrew who continue to find ways to minister from a distance.

Financial Update

Thank you to everyone who sent in a tithe/offering check over the last couple weeks. Unofficially, over $5,600 came in by the end of our fiscal year. The bills are paid, missionaries are being supported, our staff is still employed and we have money in the bank! Please continue to remember that operations and ministry continues even if we don't meet on Sundays.

Youth Ministry

Pastor Andrew is committed to connecting with kids individually during this time of separation. All parents and youth should continue to check in and socialize on the Flip Side youth group Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/507261836010324/

Ron's Recommended Resources

AFTER you listen to Pastor Gary's weekly sermon, if you have internet access, you may want to avail yourselves to these teaching resources for encouragement during this time of trials. These can take the place of "Sunday School" or family devotions.

- John Piper: None of our Misery is Meaningless (youtube.com)

- Alistair Begg: Trusting God in the Dark (Youtube.com)

- David Platt: Peace in the Middle of a Pandemic (youtube.com)

- John MacArthur: The Promise of Peace in a Worried World (youtube.com)

- Max Lucado: Anxious for Nothing (christianbook.com)

- Lee Strobel: Trusting God in Worrisome Times Pt 1 (youtube.com)

- Lee Strobel: Trusting God in Worrisome Times Pt 2 (youtube.com)

- Ken Ham: Responding to COVID-19 from a Christian Worldview (youtube.com)

For those who enjoy music to help lift their spirits, consider listening to these songs:

- Meredith Andrews: Not for a Moment (youtube.com)

- Casting Crows: Praise You in this Storm (youtube.com)

- Anthem Lights: How Great Thous Art (youtube.com)

- I am They: My Feet are on the Rock (youtube.com)

Elders' Contact Info

If you have any needs for assistance, any concerns or fears, any prayer requests, please contact one of the Elders. Call or text us as follows:

Gary (612-390-4204)

Jeff (651-308-4698)

Luke (320-279-0690)

Ron (218-380-1033)

Words of Comfort

If fear is rising within you, take comfort in the words of Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

From "Pastor Ron": First Coronavirus Notes

In view of the current COVID-19 crisis, and in response to government guidelines, our elders have cancelled all church events through April 10th.

Additional comments are contained below.

From Ron Mossberg, Elder, On Cancellation of Large Group Activities Due to COVID-19:

Romans 13:1-3 is a key Scripture that provides some basis for a Christian's response to Government:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval. (ESV)
In our present situation, our Government officials are providing guidelines for limiting large gatherings to help stop the spread of the virus. At face value their statements indicate concern for the health of all citizens. We believe they are not targeting churches and what they are asking does not cause us to violate our faith.
Also, if we love one another we will take measures to not put others at risk. In reviewing what other solid biblical churches are doing, we find a consensus that closing for a time and heading the Government's guidelines is prudent and not contrary to Scripture.
For a practical perspective from a like-minded Congregation, Capital Hill Baptist Church, please follow this link and listen to the analysis from Pastor Mark Dever.

Congregational Care
Now is a critical time for us as a Church to love one another in word and deed. The early Church provided a great model of how we should live, as seen in Acts chapter 4:

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. (ESV)
If anyone is impacted by financial hardship; If anyone needs physical assistance; if anyone has food or material needs; if anyone needs someone to go shopping for them; whatever need you have please contact an Elder. We will facilitate matching your need with a resource. On the flip side, if anyone is able to help another or provide material goods to the Body, please let us know what you have to offer. This can be a time where we shine the love of Christ to one another.
Remember to reach out to one another with phone calls (an often overlooked feature of our cell phones) and check in with one another to help stay connected, even while we are apart.

Giving to Ministry
Our desire is to meet our obligations to pay our staff, support our missionaries and have financial resources to continue our ministries as we move into the next fiscal year. As you are financially able, we ask that you consider sending in your tithes and offerings to Church before the end of the month. You may write checks or use online Bill Pay to send your giving to the following address:
Memorial Drive Bible Fellowship
ATTN: Financial Secretary
PO Box 127
Askov, MN 55704

Alternate Sunday Activities
Even though there are no Church services the next two weeks, we greatly encourage your family to set apart (make holy) Sunday morning to the Lord and to the nourishment of your faith. Ideas to consider: Prayer, Bible reading, Right Now Media lesson, YouTube sermons, streaming Church service, listen to hymns and worship songs. Also consider inviting a nearby family from Church to join you for family worship, encouragement and a meal. Also remember the restorative health benefits of playing outside, going for a walk, taking a nap, playing games as a family and the like.

The Elders will be meeting together weekly to continue to evaluate, discuss and determine future plans. We will do our best to keep the Congregation informed in a timely manner.

Feed My Sheep (This section was added by Pastor Gary once the decision to cancel was made)
We will be cancelling our April distribution for two reasons. With so many products touched by so many hands shipped from all over, it would be entirely possible to introduce COVID-19 to our area. We must do everything we can to prevent this.
Further, t would be terribly dishonoring to God and harmful to the reputation of the fellowship to disregard the counsel of those in leadership over whether it resulted in a spread of the virus or not.

Contact Info
If you have any needs for assistance, any concerns or fears, any prayer requests, please contact an Elder or the Church Office at mdbf.askov@gmail.com.