Sunday Service (3/15) Cancelled

AaronUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Over the course of the last 24-48 hours as more information has come out we have decided that it would be best to cancel our services for this coming Sunday (and most likely more Sundays to come) as well as our Habits of Grace Seminar.   We hope and desire that this decision is not motivated by fear but by wisdom and love for neighbor.  Below is a letter written by one of our members (who is a lung doctor) that I thought was incredibly helpful and insightful.  Please take time to read through it.  

We are working through a plan for this Sunday in that we still believe that it is the Lord’s Day and still a day to set aside for worship.  The hope is by Saturday night to send you a guide to have a time of worship at your home which will include a recorded message, a prayer guide, and songs.  We also are asking the church to take Sunday to fast and pray.  I attached HERE a blog by David Mathis that gives information on fasting, if that is a spiritual discipline that you are not familiar with.    I also attached HERE a little blog that I wrote on family worship that will give you an idea on what we are aiming for on Sunday. 

 If you are willing to host people this Sunday or are desiring to find others to worship with please let me know.   We also are looking for some help organizing how we might be able to meet through video conference calls for those who might be sick and will have to take more extreme measures of quarantine.

 Please let me know what questions or concerns you have.  Please also take time to pray for our church, for decisions we might be making as a church, and for decisions our government leaders might be making for our country.  

May God use this time to cause us to trust in him more and to use his people (including us) to passionately and boldly share his gospel of peace to all of those around us!  

With Love, 

Pastor Aaron


From Dr Jay Tuck:

Greetings in the Name of our Sovereign Lord – 


Pandemics are not new for mankind. But for most of us they’re things that happen in other places and in other times that haven’t affected us personally. The current COVID-19 virus pandemic is different. It appears to be a worldwide phenomenon that is directly threatening the health and sometimes the lives of many. And it’s indirectly affecting the normal patterns of life of most. Our congregation is no different. The pastors and deacons of Red Village church have been working with medical professionals in our congregation on some practical advice and policies to share with our people.


General
Use common sense preventative measures. Vigorous, frequent handwashing is an effective measure to prevent the spread of viruses. 
Coughing and sneezing is often unavoidable. Make sure you’re doing it in a way that minimizes the spread of your respiratory secretions.
Minimize attendance and group events (more on this below). It’s possible to be infected with COVID-19 without ever getting sick. And, like most viral illnesses, COVID-19 spreads from infected people before they get sick. 
“Flatten the curve.” It’s probable that a lot of people are going to get sick from this virus. One of the most important things we can do collectively is to keep that rate of infection low, so our healthcare systems don’t become overwhelmed. We have the capability of taking care of a lot of critically ill patients, but there’s a limit to that number. This article explains this principle in detail (warning: there’s math).
Do not expose your neighbors to your illness. If you are showing signs of infection (including fevers, chills, sweats, runny nose, etc.) you should avoid unnecessary gatherings of people. 


Gathering Together
Christians should treasure gathering as a body. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23–25). There are, and have been, Christians who risk their lives to meet together under threat of persecution. On the other hand, few would advocate that we should meet during a natural disaster (like an earthquake or a tornado). A pandemic, if severe enough, is more like a natural disaster. One of our challenges is that we don’t know how severe it’s going to be. Because we don’t know, and because meetings of large groups of people may be making this pandemic worse.


For now, we aren’t discouraging our small group Villages from meeting together. Gatherings of small groups aren’t as much of a threat as large groups for spreading infections. But we’re also not requiring our Village leaders to keep their meetings going. If you do meet, make sure to show courtesy to one another using the general principles outlined above.


Other Things to Keep in Mind
Not everyone can afford to self-quarantine or practice “social distancing.” Economic pressure often makes this impractical. Please keep your eye out for people who may need help with practical matters (like money, help running errands, childcare, etc.).
If you need help or you know someone who does, your pastors and deacons are a resource for you.
God saved us “to love kindness” (Micah 6:8) and to be “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).
God works all things for our good, so we shouldn’t fear trials (Romans 8:28).
To die is gain, so we shouldn’t fear death (Philipians 1:21-23).
God takes care of birds and lilies, he’ll take care of us (Matthew 6:25-31).


Links:
The CDC
UWHealth Covid-19 Info
Madison and Dane County Public Health
How DC Churches Responded When the Government Banned Public Gatherings During the Spanish Flu 1918

July 19th service to be outdoors at 9am

Aaron DeckerUncategorizedLeave a Comment

We’ll be following the inclement weather plan, overflow plan, and procedures documented in the June 14th service plan.

However, the service will start at 9am.

The plan for the service is as following:

  • Service Starts at 9am.
  • We won’t be serving food.
  • There will also not be childcare provided.
  • Call to Worship
  • Congregational Prayer
  • Sermon delivered live. A pre-recorded version of the same sermon will be available as it has been in prior weeks.
  • Lord’s Supper. The offering basket will be available as it typically is.
  • Song #1: TBD
  • Song #2: TBD
  • Doxology

July 12th service to be outdoors at 9am

Aaron DeckerUncategorizedLeave a Comment

We’ll be following the inclement weather plan, overflow plan, and procedures documented in the June 14th service plan.

However, the service will start at 9am.

9am

9am

9am

The plan for the service is as following:

  • Service Starts at 9am.
  • We won’t be serving food.
  • There will also not be childcare provided.
  • Call to Worship
  • Congregational Prayer
  • Sermon delivered live. A pre-recorded version of the same sermon will be available as it has been in prior weeks.
  • Lord’s Supper. The offering basket will be available as it typically is.
  • Song #1: It Is Well
  • Song #2: Holy Holy Holy
  • Doxology

It is Well

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul!

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul!

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll.
the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend.
Even so, it is well with my soul!

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Writer: Horatio G. Spafford
Music: Philip P. Bliss
1873

Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee
Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Writer: Reginald Heber
Music: John B. Dykes
1826

July 5th Service to be outdoors at 10am

Aaron DeckerUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Quick note about the 10am time: last Sunday there was a quick show of hands for who would prefer 9am as a service time due to the increased shade and the lower temperatures. About 85% of people present preferred the 9am time. However, when I was talking with people later it became clear that a non-trivial number weren’t there for the show of hands and thus might not expect to need to look online to confirm the service time. Thus, my plan is to do this Sunday at 10am and the following Sunday, July 12th at 9am. This will give an opportunity to announce the time change in-person.

We’ll be following the inclement weather plan, overflow plan, and procedures documented in the June 14th service plan.

The plan for the service is as following:

  • Service Starts at 10am.
  • We won’t be serving food.
  • There will also not be childcare provided.
  • Call to Worship
  • Congregational Prayer
  • Sermon delivered live. A pre-recorded version of the same sermon will be available as it has been in prior weeks.
  • Lord’s Supper. The offering basket will be available as it typically is.
  • Song #1: How Firm a Foundation
  • Song #2: Behold Our God
  • Doxology

June 28th service scheduled to be outdoors

Aaron DeckerUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Thursday 6/25 update: weather conditions are looking favorable so we will be meeting outdoors.

As of Monday 6/22 there’s a non-trivial chance of having precipitation during the setup and service time this coming Sunday, June 28th. This means that the service will likely be indoors. This post will be updated by Friday, June 26th at 6pm with a final determination on whether the service will be indoors or outdoors.

In either case, we’ll be following the inclement weather plan, overflow plan, and procedures documented in the June 14th service plan.

The plan for the service is as following:

  • Service Starts at 10am.
  • We won’t be serving food.
  • There will also not be childcare provided.
  • Call to Worship
  • Congregational Prayer
  • Sermon delivered live. A pre-recorded version of the same sermon will be available as it has been in prior weeks.
  • Lord’s Supper. The offering basket will be available as it typically is.
  • Song #1: His Mercy Is More
  • Song #2: I Will Glory In My Redeemer
  • Doxology

His Mercy is More
What love could remember no wrongs we have done
Omniscient, all knowing, He counts not their sum
Thrown into a sea without bottom or shore
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more


Praise the Lord, His mercy is more
Stronger than darkness, new every morn
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more


What patience would wait as we constantly roam
What Father, so tender, is calling us home
He welcomes the weakest, the vilest, the poor
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more


Praise the Lord, His mercy is more
Stronger than darkness, new every morn
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more


What riches of kindness He lavished on us
His blood was the payment, His life was the cost
We stood ‘neath a debt we could never afford
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more


Praise the Lord, His mercy is more
Stronger than darkness, new every morn
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

Writen by Matt Boswell, Matt Papa
© 2016 Love Your Enemies Publishing, Dayspring Publishing, LLC
(A Division of Word Music Group, Inc.)
CCLI #11478857

I Will Glory in My Redeemer

I will glory in my Redeemer
Whose priceless blood has ransomed me
Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails
And hung Him on that judgment tree

I will glory in my Redeemer
Who crushed the power of sin and death
My only Savior before the holy Judge
The Lamb who is my righteousness
The Lamb who is my righteousness

I will glory in my Redeemer
My life He bought, my love He owns
I have no longings for another
I’m satisfied in Him alone

I will glory in my Redeemer
His faithfulness my standing place
Though foes are mighty and rush upon me
My feet are firm, held by His grace
My feet are firm, held by His grace

I will glory in my Redeemer
Who carries me on eagles’ wings
He crowns my life with loving kindness
His triumph song I’ll ever sing

I will glory in my Redeemer
Who waits for me at gates of gold
And when He calls me, it will be paradise
His face forever to behold
His face forever to behold

Writer: Steve Cook
© Sovereign Grace Worship

CCLI #11478857

Quick Tips for Financial Preparedness

Aaron DeckerUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Making ends meet can be a challenge, especially when unexpected events like global recessions and pandemics happen. Yet, far from being uncommon, these unexpected downturns happen every few years. Sometimes it’s something personal like a health problem or unexpected career change. Other times, it’s a national event like the 2000’s dot-com bust, 9/11, the 2008 recession, or the most recent downturn.

Here’s a couple quick tips to help prepare for the unexpected:

Know what you’re spending and what you’re making

It’s important to have some system to record income and expenses. There’s a lot of different options out there; the important thing is to pick one and actually use it.

If you don’t have a system already, consider using my one-page planning spreadsheet to track expenses and budget for the future.

Spend Deliberately

Focus on minimizing structural, recurring charges. Often financial tips will focus on reducing small consumer purchases. However, many Christians already live fairly frugally, requiring larger lifestyle choices to reduce spending if necessary.

Rent: Rent (or a mortgage) is one of the largest recurring monthly expenses. While not a choice you want to make on a whim, moving to a neighborhood where rent is cheaper or property values are lower may be the most meaningful financial choice that you make.

For example, I used to rent a studio apartment on the west side. This cost about $1,100/month. I then moved to the Allied neighborhood with a friend and rented a 2-bedroom apartment for $850/month. Besides the intangible benefits of friendship, the move also saves me $8,100 annually. That’s around $40,000 over a 5-year period.

Health Insurance: When I left my previous employer I had the option of continuing with my current health insurance at around $350/month. Based on my health and lifestyle, it made more sense for me to go with a less expensive Christian health-cost-sharing program like CHMinistries, which costs me around $123/month. This works out to a difference of $1500 annually and has the added benefit of my money not helping to fund people getting immoral procedures done.

Invest Deliberately

I recommend dividing up money between three categories:

  1. Liquid assets: these are things like savings accounts, CDs, and treasury bonds that can be cashed out relatively easy and carry low risk. You need enough of your money stored here to get you through rough periods. However, due to the Fed’s rather loose policies interest rates are low and money in these assets won’t earn much.
  2. High-earning assets: stock market index funds can earn a much higher returns but come with risk. One strategy is to save up about a year’s worth of expenses and put the rest of savings into stocks.
  3. Assets that return non-financial benefits: this would include your local church and other organizations like a church-associated school. Putting money here isn’t an “investment” in the traditional monetary sense but does serve to build up God’s Kingdom in the community around you. Having a large nest egg isn’t very useful if the community around you has descended into wickedness.