FROM THE SADDLE OF PASTOR E. DALE LEE
“Coping with Corona!”
As you know, we are going through a very unique time right now. I never imagined we would see something like this in our country. But the coronavirus is here, and like everybody else, we have to deal with it.
You hear so much on the news, and you don’t know what to believe. What we’re hearing this week is much worse than what we heard last week. The number of reported cases of the coronavirus in the United States increased fivefold in seven days, now reaching over 6,500 cases. There have been over 200,000 cases worldwide.
Some churches in our area did not have Sunday services last weekend. We chose to have ours as usual with the exception of asking folks not to hug or even shake hands. Now, we don’t have a choice about having our Sunday services.
On March 17, 2020, Orange County Judge John Gothia issued an “Emergency Order” REGARDING THE OCCUPANCY OF PREMISES THROUGHOUT ORANGE COUINTY, TEXAS, INCLUDING WITHIN ALL INCORPORATED MUNICI-PALITIES. This order says that “Events greater than 50 persons shall cease at all locations throughout Orange County.” Notice that it said “all” locations, meaning that churches are included, NOT exempted. This order will “extend for a duration of 30 days, and may be extended or amended as necessary.” Again, we have no choice but to follow this order. Similar practices are being followed across our country.
Obviously, the purpose of this order is to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As a church and as citizens of Orange County, we need to do everything we can to help accomplish this goal. The maximum number allowed at any event will be 50 persons, with only 10 being the recommended number. It’s possible that this order may later be amended to that lower number.
To be compliant with this order and for the safety of all of our members and guests, we are suspending all activities at the church until this order expires or changes. This includes all of our Round Pen Bible Studies. We have also canceled our April rodeo.
Unfortunately, the dates included in this “Emergency Order” will include Easter weekend. It’s hard to imagine not having an Easter Sunday celebration. However, unless this order changes, that will be the case. We need to pray diligently that we can resume our regular services by then!
Since we won’t be able to meet together on Sunday, we’re looking at other options. We’re looking now at recording the music and a message earlier in the week and putting it on our Facebook page. We will try to have that in place this week. Then you can watch it in your home on Sunday morning or at any time you choose.
I encourage you to maintain contact with each other by phone or social media during this time. There may be folks who need an encouraging word from you. Some may need help in pressing matters. As always, pray for each other, pray for our church and its pastor, and pray for our country, especially our leaders.
Even though we won’t be meeting at the church, our regular expenses will continue. Therefore, to make it possible for the giving of tithes and offerings, we are currently looking at setting up online contributions. We will let you know when that is ready. In the meantime and at all times, offerings may be mailed to the church office at:
Cowboy Church of Orange County
673 FM 1078
Orange, TX 77632
Remember that this is only a temporary situation. Hopefully, we can get back on our regular schedule very soon. I don’t believe God caused this pandemic to happen, but He obviously allowed it. Since He allowed it, He has a purpose in it. As believers in Christ, we need to look for opportunities to minister for Him in these uncertain times. Remember that God is still on the throne and in control. As I said in an email last week, as we go through this ordeal we need to:
(1) trust God; (2) don’t panic; (3) use caution; and (4) press on! If we do that, I think it will be for His glory and our benefit.
As you know, this is a very fluid situation. We will make changes as appropriate.
Please continue to remember and focus on these verses:
Isaiah 41:10: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.”
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”