Hello and welcome back to the Living Water newsletter!
First, some good news. Thanks to all the people who voiced their opposition to the White House’s decision to deport international students with remote-only classes, the administration has agreed to reverse its ruling and allow students to stay in the U.S. while taking classes online. Please continue to pray for the safety and security of our students as they navigate this uncertain time.
In other news: unfortunately, it seems as though Living Water is going to have to hold off on in-person worship for a while due to rising coronavirus cases in the area. These unideal circumstances we find ourselves in may be a great opportunity for us to think more deeply about what it means for us to worship. We can often fall into thinking of “worship” to be a thing that happens at church once a week. You go and sit next to your friends, pass the “peace of Christ,” sing along with the worship band, listen to an interesting sermon, and then eat bagels and drink coffee, after which you go back to your weekly routine until Sunday comes around again.
Going to church and being in the company of other believers is a huge blessing, and singing worship songs as part of a congregation can be uplifting and satisfying. But now that we can’t do those things, we need to use our creativity and imagination to find different ways to worship, ways that we can continue to practice even when we are able to get back to worshipping together in person again. Spend some time before this Sunday thinking of ways that you can worship and glorify God in your daily life.
Sermon Sneak Peek
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?
Isaiah accuses Israel (and by extension the followers of Christ) of neglecting to pursue righteousness in their actions and justice in their society while making grand outward gestures of piety. If we are turning a blind eye toward injustices in our world, it doesn’t matter that we fast or go to church or make offerings. This Sunday we will be learning about how seeking justice is a form of honoring, glorifying, and worshiping God.
Read this week’s passage: Isaiah 58:1-14
Bonus: The Bible Project’s videos on Isaiah Part I and Part II
If anyone in the church is falling behind on their bills because of the current economic disruption, please consider asking for support from the Diaconal Ministry!
Simply take a photo of your overdue bill and attach it to a message to email@example.com. Make sure that the image shows the amount and number of days overdue, as well as the contact info and account number of the recipient of payment.
The Diaconal Ministry Team will then evaluate the requests we receive, and as appropriate may contact service providers or pay some overdue bills directly on behalf of Living Water people.
We are also working on creating a system to support our brothers and sisters in Christ by sharing transportation and other resources. If you have any needs, questions, or ideas, feel free to reach out to the Diaconal Ministry as well!
- Friday, July 17 4:00pm: LWYG Bible Study
- Sunday, July 19 10:00am: Sunday Worship
- Sunday 2:00pm: Children’s Ministry
- Sunday 6:00pm: College Bible Study
- Monday, July 20 10:00am: Children’s Ministry
- Wednesday, July 22 2:00pm: Women’s Bible Study
- Wednesday 6:30pm: Overflow Gathering
- Thursday, July 23 7:00pm: Prayer Meeting
All meetings will be held on Zoom. Click on the links to join or visit https://livingwatercrc.org/events/!
Living Water continues to seek people to serve in leadership. The following are in need of volunteers:
- Welcoming Ministry
- Outreach Ministry
- College Small Group Leaders for the Fall
Please contact a leader if you feel called to step up!
Online Office Hours with Pastor David
Whether you are a student, regular attendee, visitor, or interested in joining the Living Water family, Pastor David would love to get to know you! If you would like to meet up with him, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a virtual meeting.
Some Things to Pray About This Week
- For international students facing so much uncertainty
- For wisdom and strength for our leaders continuing to serve
- For justice and healing for those hurt by discriminatory practices of law enforcement in the US
- For the softening of hearts and opening of ears of authority figures
- For those struggling with finances
- For recent graduates who are transitioning to a new stage of life
- For the College, Youth, and Children’s Ministries
- For the flourishing of the new Diaconal Ministry
- For the world to seek God’s face and ask for forgiveness and healing
We encourage each of you to come to Living Water’s weekly Zoom prayer meeting on Thursday nights at 7pm!
See you all Sunday.