We are fully opening from June (PD257)

A member of New Life asked me if I wanted to join him and his house church members to do the Spartan Race in Austin. Thinking that I am in great shape, I confidently said, “Sure, I am in!”

The race will be on Saturday, May 15. I have about 50 days to train and prepare myself for the race. This past Thursday, I ran 3.3 miles and I nearly died! What happened? In the past, I ran and finished both half and full marathon! I have also been doing T25 occasionally during the pandemic to keep me in shape. And I do it pretty well, especially compared to the rest of the staff members! 🙂 But running outside for the first time in a while with my body being 6-7 pounds heavier than a year ago was a different story.

I would like to run side by side with younger members of New Life during the race. However, at this point, I do not have the luxury to think about being able to do that. Instead, I need to focus on just being able to finish the race. If I collapse during the race and need to be carried on a stretcher, then I will be a liability to everyone. I must train hard for the next 50 days so that I can finish the race. This is going to be a race against my own self.

In order to train and prepare myself for the race, I will have to do things that I do not want to do so that I can experience what I want to experience during the race. I do not want to train, run and sweat to a point where I feel the pain. I do not want to control my diet. But these I must do because I want to finish the race joyfully and gloriously with a big smile on my face.

Now, it has been more than a year since we have begun livestream Sunday corporate worship service due to the pandemic. From June, however, we will fully open New Life from NLK to adults.

We know more about COVID-19 than we knew a year ago. Due to this nation’s current partisan politics, one party deflated and the other inflated the COVID-19 cases. However, the accurate number must be somewhere in the middle. Vaccines are widely available now. Restaurants are fully open.

Last Sunday, I heard the voice of God through a shepherd’s wife who gave her testimony during the second worship:

“We came to believe that if we were risking COVID-19 by going to the grocery store, work, or school for the kids, church and HC should be one of the first activities we re-introduce back into our lives instead of the last.”

Therefore, in April, we will increase the capacity to 150 for both worship services, in May to 200 and then in June, we will be fully open unless things get increasingly worse. And naturally, we will have our NLK and youth open accordingly as well. Pastor Mia and Pastor Jabez will send out more detail information in regards to their ministries to all the parents.

In June, I will expect 100% in-person attendance to our Sunday corporate worship service from all New Life members. Of course, you may miss a worship service for very valid reasons as follows:

  • You are infected with or have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • You are out of town. (I implore you to find and worship at a Bible-believing local church wherever you may be while traveling.)
  • Your doctor told you that you MUST stay home.
  • You are in a profession that requires you to work on Sundays such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, etc.
  • You are dying on your deathbed.

Just like I am physically out of shape right now to participate in the Spartan Race and must train for it, almost all of us are spiritually out of shape right now due to the pandemic and we must rigorously train ourselves to get back into shape. Therefore, we will all show up to Sunday corporate worship service from June to exercise together to get back into our spiritual shape.

When you signed up to become a member of New Life, you promised you would follow your leaders. Therefore, I trust that all of you will follow me well on this as you have always done in the past.

By the way, I had dinner at Taste of Texas with a New Life family on Wednesday. And it was fully open with lots of people with no social distancing! New Life surely must do better than Taste of Texas! 🙂

Your pastor,

Pastor Eric

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