Pastoral Letter on Family Worship
Brothers and Sisters of All Saints,
We are writing you today to let you know about a new emphasis in our ministry at All Saints. Beginning Sunday, April 19, 2020, we will be very intentionally encouraging you and equipping you to engage in regular family worship. Of course, this has always been a stated value of our congregation, but we must confess that we have permitted ourselves to focus on other aspects of ministry and have not taken the needed steps in order to actively make this value a reality. In recent weeks, we have spent much uninterrupted time with our families as we wait out this pandemic quarantine. God has been gracious during this time to bring this oversight to our attention and impress upon us the importance of correcting it.
Even as we call everyone to this joyful duty, we recognize the variety of circumstances from which we are calling you. Some of you have this practice well-established in your home already. Others have never done this before or seen it modeled. Some are single; others married. Some have children in the home, and others do not. Some have small children with a lot of energy. God, in his wisdom, has called all of us to this work. And in his abundant grace and mercy and love toward us, he blesses us in this work as well. So, we are aware of the challenges that many of us will face in this endeavor, and we stand ready to help you in every way we can.
Family worship can really be quite simple, and we will begin as simply as we can. We are calling upon each family to take about 10 minutes each day to pray and read the Scriptures together. We are even providing prayers and Scripture readings for you to use as you begin this journey. There is no expectation of a study being prepared or a devotion being offered. You can even come to us with the difficult questions that may be asked by members of your family.
In the coming days, we will provide many rich resources to help you in this practice. We have created a page on our website where all of these resources will be available to you. You can find it under the “Worship” menu near the top of the homepage.
We are fully aware that this will involve shifting priorities in your home and family. We are sympathetic to the difficulties these changes pose. However, we are not apologetic about asking you to come alongside us in this important duty. We believe that such a reorientation will be good for our families. Any time we change our priorities and reorient the use of our time in order to pursue relationship with our Creator and Redeemer, it is worth the effort.
It is our great desire that, through this initiative, we will successfully encourage and equip our members to regularly pause each day to pray together and read God’s Word. That is our goal. We do not wish to drive you to it as a mere obligation. Guilt and shame are not effective tools for sanctification. We hope to call you to it by putting on display all the rich blessings that are ours in this obedience.
So, be patient with us in the days to come. Trust that we are calling you to that which God has instructed us and which he promises to bless. There will be some hard days and some disappointments, but those are sometimes the days we grow the most. There will also be many reasons to celebrate. We look forward to hearing those stories and growing with you in the months and years to come.
The Session of All Saints Presbyterian Church
April 17, 2020