Dear EM family,
Greetings!! I pray that this email finds you well — a newsletter from Pastor Nathan Willems.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Peace to you! So much has happened since my last letter! Not only have we been dealing with figuring out how to re-gather during COVID-19, but we also have had the country rocked by protests against police brutality and gatherings urging people to recognize that Black Lives Matter. The problems that are behind each of these issues don’t have ready solutions. But like most people, you’ve been working to deal with the issues related to COVID-19, because you care. Can it be said that you are working to deal with issues related to racism, injustice, or bias, because you care?
I know that, in my own heart, I have seen my biases and seen the need to care about people who matter. For example, do I look at the recent rioting and looting and say, “It’s horrible that a black person was murdered, but the rioting and looting have to stop.” Or do I say, “It’s horrible that rioting and looting happened, but the murder of black men and women has to stop.” When I say the first without thinking to say the second, I see my ignorant privilege and ask God to change my heart. Property can be replaced; humans made in his image cannot be replaced.
Maybe you don’t know where to start in caring for people who are not like you. The first step is to look to our Lord and imitate his care. Brothers and sisters, we must care for people who are not like us. It’s easy to love those who love us. Jesus says that even tax collectors do that (Matt. 5:46). Instead, we are called to show the kind of love that welcomes sinners; that forgives offenders; that reconciles enemies; that even lays down one’s life and preferences for the benefit of others. We can do these things in dependence on God because God has done these things for us. He has welcomed us into his family (1 John 3:1); forgiven those who have offended him (Luke 23:34); reconciled us while we were his enemies (Rom. 5:8; 2 Cor. 5:18); and laid down his life for our benefit (Mark 10:45). We are called to show a love that cares about people who are not like us. We can do this because we follow our God who cares about us – people who are not like him.
The second step you can take is to see what the problem really is. Racism isn’t “their” issue, it’s our issue. This is not to say that we are all racist. To be clear, the problem is that we are all sinners. But if we don’t see sin as the problem behind racism, we won’t take steps to work against racism. The problem isn’t solved by pointing out that it is someone else’s problem. I raise this issue because just as we all are playing our part in the fight against COVID-19, we all can play a part in correcting the injustices against people of color.
Another step you can take is to pray. Pray the psalms of lament on behalf of those who are suffering at the hands of injustice. Pray the psalms of confidence knowing that even in the face of suffering and fear, our God knows and cares. Pray and ask God to search your heart to see where, if at all, you have been part of the problem rather than part of the solution. If so, repent! Cry out to the Lord in your distress, or expressing the distress of others, and trust God to do his work.
But don’t stop at praying! Take time to listen, learn, and understand. This is not easy work. It will take time, genuine relationships, and intentionality. But if we are to care for people who are not like us, we must start somewhere. Look to our Lord and the strength he provides. Recognize the problem, see it in your own heart. Pray for and with those who are suffering. Then listen, learn and understand others who are made in God’s image so that God may work in and through them to show you more of who He is, for his glory alone.
In Christ, your servant, Soli Deo Gloria
Pastor Nathan Willems
- Friday Night’s Bible Study is ON. We will continue to study the book of Romans. You may dial in or login via your phone or personal computer:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 685 376 249
Dial-in from your phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 685 376 249
- This Sunday, Elder Raymond Xie will be sharing God’s word with us:
- Sunday bulletin: http://cbcgl.org/ministries/english-ministry/em-weekly-bulletin/
- E.M. Sunday School
Topic: CBCGL EM Sunday Class “52 Major Stories of the Bible” (9:45 am – 11:00 am):
Join Zoom Meeting (Note the different link)
Meeting ID: 491 248 585
Dial-in from your phone: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 491 248 585
YAs Sunday School (via Microsoft Teams)
Y.A.s Sunday School signup sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1H0oSS1kpU8JUZAv0JcmivEIzR-tvDtihkrEtBLE8tJo/edit?usp=sharing
- Returning to church plan is tentatively laid out as follows:
The moving of this plan depends on the reopening guideline from the Massachusetts governor office.
- Ladies Fellowship Gathering Tomorrow:
June 20, 2020 (Saturday @ 2 pm) –
Title: “Living A Truly Fulfilled Life!”
Speaker: Mrs. Priscilla Lee
· How can you and I live a positive, productive, and fruitful life in this crazy, senseless world?
· What are the meaning and purpose for living each day?
· Why is it that some of us feel unsettled and restless even when things are going fine?
· How can I live a truly fulfilled life for the rest of my time on this earth?
Zoom link to join:
Meeting ID: 829 0337 8657
Join by phone: +1 6465588656
- Chinese QR Code for 2020-2021 Registration form:
- All other announcement items can be found here.
- Wednesday night prayer meeting (7:45 pm – 9:15 pm)
Meeting ID: 758 587 937
Join by phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 853 5784 7170
- If you have not had a chance to look at our prayer list, please do! There are many answered prayers and many more that require our intercession. Here is the prayer list. You may also enter yours: