All posts in “COVID-19”

Trusting God when ‘why’ goes unanswered

by Pastor Chuck Rife | 3-minute read

 

COVID-19 continues to run its course and affect each of our lives. No one is excluded. I know many in our church family, especially our elderly, are sheltered in place and feeling cut off from life, family and friends. Our tendency in such times is to become downcast, negative and to blame God. We don’t like being placed in situations we can’t control.

And yet, unknown difficulties have always come into the lives of people. God has often been blamed and questioned “why.” Martha and Mary’s lives were thrown into a tizzy with the death of their brother, Lazarus. Human nature wants to find someone to blame, and they found Jesus to be the culprit in their brother’s death. Why? Read More

And now a Word from our sponsor

by Jim Killam | 4-minute read

 

Uncertainty, dread and anger soak our culture this summer. Let’s take a break. Here are a few Scripture passages, some thoughts from various writers, and some peaceful photos of God’s creation to help counteract all of that.
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Aliens, seafaring monks and trust

by Jim Killam | 6-minute read

 

The 1997 sci-fi film Contact, based on the book by Carl Sagan, made an unusually good attempt to reconcile science and faith. Both share a search for truth and “a thirst for wonder” that sometimes neither wants to acknowledge about the other.

Sagan himself was deeply agnostic, saying he could find no scientific evidence for belief in God. Yet in Contact he searched for common ground — and found some. Sure, from a Christian point of view we could poke some holes, but when a scientist’s novel and then a major Hollywood offering help their audiences think hard about faith, I’d call that a cultural win.

The film is a generation old, but I’ve been thinking about it during COVID-19. We all feel an alarming lack of control. No one knows what our society will look like in a month, let alone a year or two. Will we be locked down again? Can our economy withstand more? When is a vaccine coming? Read More

Q&R with Pastor Luke: June 2020

by Jim Killam | 10-minute read

 

In this “everything but the kitchen sink” interview, Lead Pastor Luke Uran talks about adjusting to a unique season, the Ten Commandments sermon series, the national conversation on race, COVID-19 and gathering again for worship.

 

First, how are you?

I’m hanging in there. It’s been a whirlwind, going back to the beginning of the coronavirus and now obviously with the racial tension and divide that our country is facing. I think it has definitely affected everyone in one way or another. There is a heaviness to these days. It’s still taking some adjusting. Read More

Graduation during COVID-19

Our high-school students’ lives have been scrambled by COVID-19. Meredith Domanico, Director of Student Ministries, talks with two new graduates about what they miss, what God has been teaching them … and what they hope for when society re-opens.

Participants:
Meredith Domanico (facilitator), Director of Student Ministries
Sierra Heckler, homeschool graduate
Kenaniah Kelley, GED graduate

Music:
Summer Eyes by Airplanes (Musicbed license)

Opinions expressed are the individuals’ own, and do not necessarily represent First Free Rockford, Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA).

 

 

On praise: a prayer devotional

Each of the past seven Wednesdays, our church family has been setting aside time to fast and pray. Even as uncertainty continues, Pastor Luke and Jessi Uran use this week’s short video to suggest a three-point plan for moving forward with confidence.

Life at home during COVID-19

Our three pastors and their wives “gathered” this week for a wide-ranging Zoom conversation. Topics include toilet paper, bad outfits, scary kids’ movies … and encouraging words for our church family.

On hurt and pain: a prayer devotional

Each Wednesday during this unusual season, our church family is setting aside time to fast and pray. In this week’s accompanying video message, Steve and Bev Ralph talk about learning to pray — and to trust God — in the midst of hurt and pain.

Caring for our elderly

by Jim Killam | 5-minute read

 

A multigenerational church like First Free Rockford faces a particular opportunity during COVID-19: caring for our elderly and most vulnerable.

Chuck Rife, Pastor of Caring Ministries, keeps a list of more than 100 people who receive visits in their homes, long-term care centers or hospital rooms. Normally, those visits come in person from Chuck and his wife, Ruth, the deaconesses, and a small group of guys who visit elderly men. During the stay-at-home order, visits have been limited to phone calls and letters.

As with the rest of the population, some people are struggling while others are doing OK.

“You get all kinds of responses,” Chuck says. “One lady (in a nursing home) said, ‘I feel like an animal in a cage.’ The room is just so small. It becomes very claustrophobic. But then another lady I talked to said, ‘I love it. I can finish writing my book that I’ve been working on for 25 years.’ She’s in her 90s.” Read More

On life in the Holy Spirit: a prayer devotional

This week, for our Wednesday time of fasting and prayer, we are focusing on life in the Holy Spirit. As we learn to listen and recognize his voice, he becomes intimately involved in our everyday lives. In this short video message, Paul and Diane Geddes talk about some of the practical results this can bring.