Hi, Mark Johnson here, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada.
As I meet with conference officers, educational leaders and our other ministry leaders from across Canada, many are concerned that a significant drop in income may lead to undesirable decisions being made.
By the way, most ministries can be supported by logging into AdvenistGiving.ca.
However, my greatest concern is for the financial stability of our employees, members and ministries. Many of our members have lost their jobs, and in some cases, income earners in households have been given notices.
There is fear of losing automobiles, homes, credit ratings and more. My biggest fear is that some may lose their faith and dignity.
The stress of financial uncertainty while living in a financially based society can be unbearable.
However, we serve a God Whose wealth far surpasses that of the world, and He has promised to supply all of our needs according to the riches of His glory.
I plead with every church leader to show leadership and keep in touch with every member in these challenging days.
This is a wonderful opportunity for pastors, elders, deacons and deaconesses to connect with those who have not attended church for some time. Call them up! Speak to them sincerely from the heart, have a prayer ready to share. Some will want to come home and rejoin the family of faith… and we’d love to have you back!
For those who may not have access to an online church service, remember It Is Written broadcasts across Canada on your local CTV station at 11 am every Sabbath morning.
Let us stay connected. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Script for Message #3
Hello again, saints. I pray you’ve been keeping well, and showing compassion and kindness to others by self-isolating, social distancing, and sanitizing.
The current pandemic makes one think of the early church, with its smaller gatherings, often in homes or other private spaces.
Members of the early church focused on community and others, rather than self, and they diligently prepared their hearts for Jesus’ return.
Furthermore, the early church didn’t have the fancy buildings we gather in for worship today.
The people of the early church knew only one thing: they were the church.
Some may grieve over our church buildings having to close.
Yet, if the church is you and me, then a building’s operation hours don’t matter.
Buildings are closed and group limits are set, but the mission of the Church carries on.
You know, the concept of self-isolation is not modern.
We read in Leviticus 13 the instructions God gave to the Israelites on how to regulate those with defiling skin diseases. Those with such diseases were to be examined and put into isolation, away from others in the camp.
This is how God showed His love and protection—both to Israelites who were well, and to those with diseases.
And even while those with diseases remained alone until declared clean, God remained loving to them.
Thus are we to follow the example of our Father.
So, while confined to our homes, how do we continue loving like our Saviour?
We continue to worship in song, praise, and scriptural mediation.
We pick up our phones and call others, caring for them through words of comfort.
We check in with neighbours to find out if they have all they need.
We use social media and other non-contact mediums to build relationships and share the gospel.
The buildings are closed, my friends, but the Church lives on.
Go ye therefore and be a disciple, making disciples all around.
Script for Message #2:
Greetings, fellow believers. We continue to deal with the constant changes ignited by the coronavirus.
Many schools and workplaces are closed, routines have been drastically altered, and government makes significant decisions daily.
But while our normal day-to day activities have changed, our God and our identity remain.
In my last message to you I charged you to remember who we are. To remember that we are the church of selfless compassion, relentless in treating our neighbours with love at all times. In the same breath, I urge you to remember that we are also a people who hold steadfastly to the Word of God.
While chaos surrounds us, we are faithful, not fearful. Now, in the midst of uncertainty and anxiety, we, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada will declare our faith even louder in the One, True, Living God.
Faith in our God who has equipped us with His love and prophetic Word.
We adapt instead of dissolve, so we continue to engage in church services, whether online or over the phone.
We continue to study our Sabbath school lessons, have our daily devotionals, and thank God for meeting our needs. We continue to study and be transformed by Scripture, and we continue to pray — for our loved ones, for leaders, and for our church. We continue to prepare for His second coming.
While our routines change, our connection with our Father deepens.
We are the body of Christ, and in the furnace of testing, like our mentors Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we walk in faith evermore.
Thus, our church will come out of this pandemic stronger than we entered.