Shabbat March 21, 2020
Ministerial leaders throughout our country have been pressed and concerned about the decision whether to continue meetings during this unique time in our nation. We have talked with others, prayed, considered various viewpoints, and sought the Holy Spirit’s help for our precious community of faith. Our decision is to continue our Shabbat services including Hebrew Honey this weekend. Below are some significant points to consider in this decision.
• We do not view a congregation meeting as simply a social gathering. We are community public servants, Messiah’s public servants to others. Police, fire department, healthcare, etc., these continue in times of crisis. We believe that we are called to minister in times of crisis. Just like other public servants, who put themselves in potential harm’s way, especially during crisis, we recognize that we may be doing the same.
• We do not believe or want to convey that this is a better decision than those congregations that are choosing not to meet.
• If anyone has a need to visit healthcare during this time; (even if it is not related to the coronavirus), that visit can place them in a social setting that can be more susceptible to the transmission of the coronavirus. Some people may make decisions to put off some healthcare for this reason. We understand that some may decide not to attend Shabbat services for this reason. We honor and respect that decision. We encourage all our Sanctuary Messianic community to respect these types of decisions. There is no judgment or criticism for anyone and the choices that they make during this season.
• We believe that for those that are continuing to meet, it is important to communicate these types of decisions with other people with whom we may also have contact.
• We ask anyone attending Shabbat services to take extra care with handwashing and general hygiene concerns.
• Deb and I have prepared a personal ministry statement regarding this difficult time. Art and Deb Weiner – Response to Coronavirus
• If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
In His grace,
Art and Deb Weiner
Sanctuary Messianic Congregation
+ + +
God’s Grace is always greater than we think it is!
Art and Deb Weiner – Response to Coronavirus
Deb and I have been discussing, praying, reading, and reflecting on the current situation in our country.
Sickness and disease are not ultimately or solely a scientific phenomenon. Sin, sickness, and disease have plagued our world since Adam and Eve’s initial walking away from God. Jesus died for mankind’s sin including disease. We recognize that not all sickness and disease is healed here on earth before Jesus’ second coming. However, the ministry of the gospel does bring healing to the human race. Sometimes, that includes healing through the medical and scientific community, sometimes it happens outside or independently of the medical and scientific community. The gospel message is a ministry of reconciliation that stands on its own merits at all times. Both Art and Deb are servants of this gospel. (2 Corinthians 5:11-21)
Our calling is to minister to people, to be vessels of grace, hope, and love – regardless of the potential cost to ourselves or to our own lives. (Philippians 1:19-24)
The Community of Faith is a “public ministry” that is needed in this uncertain season. This does not mean that we utterly ignore wise hygiene or extra precautions in this time. Yet, we are willing to minister, meet, pray with, and worship with whomever so will. We will visit the sick and minister to the sick. We are not looking to jump off into a sea full of patients with coronavirus just to be bold. Yet we do not want to have the door of our lives closed to ministering to people during this season. (Proverbs 2:6, 3:5, 3:21 Matthew 25:36, James 5:14)
We are convinced that there is a battle between faith and fear. Our nation and the world currently seem characterized by fear. “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). Faith and fear are essentially opposites. We are choosing to live in the gift of faith that we have for this season. (Romans 12:3)
Other people who also live by faith may be taking a different approach. We honor and respect their faith and their choice in this difficult season. (2 Peter 2:17)
We are communicating this to those who know us, are family, are part of Sanctuary Messianic, Agape, or read the Smiling Maven. We believe it is important to state this, both for those that would appreciate and want the contact with us at this time, and for those who would want to avoid contact with us as we walk in this matter in this season.
We also recognize that some adjustments and reconsiderations may be needed as circumstances continue to develop.
In the magnificent grace of Messiah Y’shua,
Art and Deb Weiner
Be sure to sign up to receive Rabbi Art’s newsletter if you haven’t already. To sign up, please send an email to email@example.com from the email you’d like added, with the words REBBE ART’S EMAIL LIST in the subject line. Thank you!