Issachar Community Update - June 3, 2020

Hey all!

Here is the current information as of June 3.

Worship Service: The elders have decided to postpone service reopening until June 13 due to the ruckus in the Midway area. You may not know that Llyod's Pharmacy, 1 block from the church, was burned down last Thursday evening. That is so sad since they've been in that location for 120 years. The good news is they are going to rebuild! In the interest of safety and assurance, the elders are going to reassess resuming services on a week by week basis according to the neighborhood situation.

As for the Governor's COVID-19 guidelines for churches (25% capacity, no singing) our meeting room is large enough for the entire congregation to worship together. We're aware that some in the high-risk category will prefer to wait longer before attending again and that's wise. So we have plenty of room.

As for the singing prohibition? Phooey! If you are concerned, we recommend you wear a mask just like a person would if they had a contagious flu bug.

The elders are encouraging personal responsibility in conjunction with the reasonable aspects of the Governor's, Knox's, and our community guidelines. We will be emailing the guidelines soon and will have them posted on our site and FB page.

(Posted previously) Our service order is listed on this website if you so desire to use it. Per usual, I will email the Sabbath readings and announcements and post my message by Friday evening. You can find it at the top of the list on our podcast teaching page.

Email updates: I send out a weekly email update to check in with y'all to see how you are doing. The Friday email has info, the Sabbath readings, and a link to the Sabbath message. If there is anything else you want me to include, please let me know!


Daniel class: Yup. Still shut down until Redeeming Love Church opens their building. The class is considering a move to Knox if needed. You will be notified in the same manner (email, website, FB).

Offerings: Thanks for continuing to support your community! For those of you wanting to give, there is a yellow "donate" button on this website. It's over there, to the right. Go up and then 👉. It takes you to a secure Paypal page designated for Issachar Community. You can also send in your offering or wait until we can gather together again. Thanks! 

Pastoral care: If you need assistance or help in any way, please contact our office (651-247-5350 or issachar.office@gmail.com) and let us know.

Please come to this main page for future updates and announcements. Thanks!

Let us know how far our we are reaching around the globe!

We would LOVE to get to know you! If you are listening to these messages in another state or another nation, PLEASE send us an email with:

1. Your first name.
2. Your city, state or your city, nation.
3. How you heard about Issachar Community.
4. How these messages have touched your life.

Our congregation wants to thank you and pray for you!

Issachar Community Update (April 22)

UPDATE (April 22):

Hey everyone!

I hope and pray y'all are doing well under Gov. Walz's "stay at home" executive order. This is supposed to be in effect until May 4th. In cooperation with the Minnesota government, Issachar Community is not holding community services at Knox for April 25 and May 2. What happens after that depends on any extension of the order that might come down between now and then.

The issue of Constitutionality has roared across social media and the news in the interim. Here is my personal opinion (and then I'll get to the updates...or you can skip this and go to the updates...):

We have a Constitutional right to worship as we see fit and a Constitutional right to assemble as we see fit. We also have civic responsibilities.

This is not a rights OR responsibilities issue.

Rights without responsibilities is selfish and can lead to lawlessness. It is a poor witness. 

Responsibilities without rights is despotism and tyranny. Our nation shed blood to end that and prevent it from happening again by recognizing our rights as God-given and not man-granted. Surrendering our God-given rights in blind deference to government is also a poor witness.

It is a rights AND responsibilities issue.

There is a powerful tension created as rights and responsibilities pull against each other and it intensifies during times of national concern and crisis. What shall we do?

The government - state or federal - is NOT clamping down on churches and taking away worshipers' rights EXCEPT in a few isolated cases. These are being addressed properly by the judicial system. Out federal government has issued guidelines and we're following them willingly which is not a surrender of rights and is the responsible thing to do.

The state of Minnesota is not clamping down on our rights either. However, the Governor's guidelines are more restrictive and fall under an executive order. There are voices that want testing, tracking, and ticketing of those they deem "violators." This, I fear, is where the rub may occur if the coronavirus situation and the restrictions caused by it doesn't improve.

I want to be clear. As Christians, we are not surrendering our right to worship in our chosen manner or our freedom to assemble. We are co-operating with civic authorities in a responsible manner to help slow the infection rate so hospitals don't become overwhelmed by serious cases. Thank God, about 80% of the cases are light to non-symptomatic. For the others, let's pray God kills off the virus. 

Let's be good witnesses by offering help to others, watching how we respond in these times, and making sure our convictions line up with God's word.

Okay, now to the...

UPDATE (4/22):

Worship Service: Under Minnesota guidelines, we will not hold services at Knox until May 9. This may change, so watch this page. Even when we can meet together, I ask those in high-risk categories to weigh whether they should attend or not. We have the equipment and capability to live stream, but it will be in a very rudimentary way. It may be best just to post the messages online after the service. We should also continue to observe reasonable behaviors that minimize the spread of ANY infectious diseases like colds or the flu. Duh, right?

Our service order is listed on this website if you so desire to use it. Per usual, I will email the Sabbath readings and announcements and will post my message by Friday evening. You can find it at the top of the list on our podcast teaching page.

Email updates: I send out a Monday morning email update to check in with y'all to see how you are doing. The Friday email has info, the Sabbath readings, and a link to the Sabbath message. If there is anything else you want me to include, please let me know!

Passover Sheni/2nd Passover (kinda like 2nd breakfast for all you Lord of the Rings fans) was scheduled for May 7th but the stay-at-home order expiration date is too close. I didn't want us to make big plans only to shut it down on short notice. Just being prudent. We're still planning on our Shavuot celebration at Tony Schmidt park on Lake Johanna in May. Watch this space and your emails for info.

Daniel class: Yup. Still shut down until Redeeming Love Church opens their building.

Offerings: For those of you wanting to give, there is a yellow "donate" button on this website. It's over there, to the right. Go up and then 👉. It takes you to a secure Paypal page designated for Issachar Community. You can also send in your offering or wait until we can gather together again. Thanks! 

Pastoral care: If you need assistance or help in any way, please contact our office (651-247-5350 or issachar.office@gmail.com) and let us know.

Please come to this main page for future updates and announcements. Thanks!
____________________________________________________________

Coronavirus guidelines for our congregation


Hey all,

Yeah, there’s fear out there. This now-recognized pandemic is growing in the U.S. We should be concerned, but not afraid. We certainly shouldn’t panic. God is our refuge and strength. Take a moment right now to read, pray and take to heart Psalm 91:

The Protection of the Most High
The one who lives under the protection of the Most High
dwells in the shadow of the Almighty
.
I will say concerning the Lord, who is my refuge and my fortress,
my God in whom I trust:
He himself will rescue you from the bird trap,
from the destructive plague.
He will cover you with his feathers;
you will take refuge under his wings.
His faithfulness will be a protective shield.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
the arrow that flies by day,
the plague that stalks in darkness,
or the pestilence that ravages at noon
.
Though a thousand fall at your side
and ten thousand at your right hand,
the pestilence will not reach you.
You will only see it with your eyes
and witness the punishment of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord—my refuge,
the Most High—your dwelling place,
10 no harm will come to you;
no plague will come near your tent.
11 For he will give his angels orders concerning you,
to protect you in all your ways.
12 They will support you with their hands
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone
.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the young lion and the serpent.
14 Because he has his heart set on me,
I will deliver him;
I will protect him because he knows my name.
15 When he calls out to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble.
I will rescue him and give him honor.
16 I will satisfy him with a long life
and show him my salvation.
So with the corona virus appearing in the Twin Cities metro last week and measures being taken in cities that have more affected by it, the elders and I have decided on the following:

1)   PLEASE take proper care of yourself – good sleep, proper hygiene, some stored food and water if prudent, meds filled and ready, cash on hand – you know, all the things you’ve been hearing on the news.

2)   If you are ill (bad cold, flu or otherwise) you have our blessing to miss the service. We want you to recuperate and mind the health of the rest of the congregation. We post the messages asap after the service (usually the front end of the following week.) As usual, if you have a need please let me or any of the elders (Jay2, Dan) know (email, call, text) and we will do what we can to help.

3)   During our services we will try to do the “social distancing” thing to a degree, i.e. no touching, make sure you wash your hands upon arrival. If you cough or sneeze, use the proper procedure. And if anyone “goofs up” don’t scold them. 😊

4)   If the corona virus becomes widespread in the metro area, it may be prudent to cancel services for a time. If so, then feel free to use this as an opportunity to have a home church by using our order of service attached to this email. It’s exactly what you go through every Saturday morning. All you have to do is insert the worship music of your choice (YouTube.com, Spotify, etc.), any reading from the Bible (Torah cycle, IC reading schedule, Bridges For Peace’s IGNITE reading program - https://www.ignitethetruth.com). I will pre-record the message from home and post it to our teachings site, http://issacharcommunity.podbean.com, by Friday evening for the next day.

5)   If more intense measures are required (quarantines), we will keep you in the loop as to changes. Again, PLEASE keep the office informed (call, text, email) is you have any need, especially if you are hospitalized.

Thanks!

Shalom,

The Elder Board

Issachar Community's Book of Daniel class @ Redeeming Love Church, White Bear, MN




Issachar Community Book of Daniel class
led by Pastor Jay Christianson

Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30pm
Redeeming Love Church, Maplewood, MN

This remarkable book covers a panorama of God's mercy and grace across millennia!

This class will run a minimum of 12 weeks depending on discussion. It will excite you and likely challenge some "traditional" evangelical beliefs about the End Times chain of events and characters. You'll learn some Israel history of the 400 years before Yeshua and be stoked when you see how God protects his people and controls empires!

If you want to attend, please let the Issachar Community office know (issachar.office@gmail.com). If you want printed notes (cost) or pdf files (no cost), include that in your email.

Class requirements: Read through the Book of Daniel in advance. Bring your Bible. Bring materials to take notes. Bring an inquisitive mind. Bring questions. Leave egos at home. 😁

Not required but of great benefit and highly recommended - Joel Richardson's books Mideast Beast and The Islamic AntiChrist. You can find them on Amazon. Please begin reading them before class. They will be important from Daniel 7 onward through the class.

Schedule (watch this space for changes if needed for weather or personal schedules!)


3/17 - class (ch. 8)
3/24 - class (ch. 9)
3/31 - NO CLASS
4/7 - NO CLASS
4/14 - class (ch. 10)
4/21 - class (ch. 10)
4/28 - class (ch. 11)
5/5 - class (ch. 12)
5/12 - possible class to finish up.