There will be no in-person worship services this Sunday or next (May 24 and 31). Online worship services continue at ebcnorfolk.org/worship. Plans beyond this date are not yet certain. Other in-person gatherings at EBC remain suspended until further notice. The church leadership continues to meet and work toward reopening the church. Details will be shared as they become available. Please pray for our leadership, as they have many decisions to make these upcoming weeks and months. Thank you.
Letter of Encouragement from Don Ricketts, Elder Chair
We can all agree, COVID-19 created an atmosphere of anxiety and uncertainty over the past two months. God reminds us that he is the giver of endurance and encouragement. As shepherds of the flock, it is healthy to offer words of encouragement in times like these. We hope you are inspired and blessed as you read and reflect.
We thank God for his perfect gift, perfect law of freedom and imperishable implanted Word—the unstoppable gospel of salvation that is bearing fruit and growing worldwide. This message of reconciliation from eternal wrath is the salt and light of all mankind. We are the fruit of his irrevocable call and immutable blessings, as we bear his name and are forever grateful for his unmerited favor and mercy towards us. Therefore, we ascribe power and might, glory and strength to the eternal God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. As he is worthy to be exalted above all blessings and praise. Amen!
Emmanuel initiated “21 Days of Prayer” in January 2020 as a means to pursue God in “dangerous prayers,” for personal breakthrough and inroads to reclaim all parts of ourselves as weapons of righteousness. This theme carried over into February as we endeavor to be a church who prays unconditionally and is not afraid to believe God for the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Not too long after, Emmanuel’s faith would come under fire in the face of COVID-19 global pandemic. However, our faith is undaunted as we know God does not always guarantee ministry success from the outset, but he is God Immanuel, who provides eternal encouragement and is a very present help in time of need.
Therefore, Emmanuel remains steadfast and hopeful, as we are living proof the God we serve does not live in buildings but in the body of Christ made by living stones where his name dwells. For the ministry of Emmanuel is advancing in Norfolk and surrounding towns and the gates of hell shall not prevail. Moreover, we hold fast to our theme Scripture, “I will seek the lost, bring back the strays, bandage the injured, and strengthen the weak, but I will destroy the fat and the strong. I will shepherd them with justice.” With great compassion, we tend to the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of saints and seekers in our flock. As we call, facetime, pray, do walk-ins and drivebys in the absence of Sunday assembly.
Jehovah Jireh is a good, good Father. He has established Pastor Pete, surrounded him with a full complement of boards, committees and ancillary ministry teams to fulfill God’s will in 2020. As Massachusetts reopens in phases, Emmanuel’s boards and committees collaborate towards a solution that is appropriate and compliant. We pray God grants Pastor Pete enough fortitude, faith and wisdom from above to proclaim what has been entrusted to him amidst constant change and uncertainty. For we know Scripture says, “He who calls you is faithful; he will do it,” and our God is the fulfiller of all his good promises.
Therefore, let us be bold and courageous in 2020 and not let Satan or fear of the unknown blow out the light of Christ. As he has called us to shine our light before all mankind that they may see our good works and give glory to God.
In Christ's Service,
Don Ricketts, EBC Elder Board