Esther made her commitment and was used by God as the instrument to preserve His people.” (Esther 4:13-14)

We’ve seen these narratives repeated throughout Scripture.
We’ve seen it happen multiple times in history.
Now it is our time…

The Call Has Come
Here is the opportunity for us all to step forth boldly in unity as the Body of Christ and be utilized as instruments in God’s Hands to serve. It all starts by humbly loving others well.

We, as the Diaconate, want to convey the value of equipping others and helping them serve. To humbly boast in our weakness that we cannot do any of this alone (2 Cor 12:9-10) and that we need everyone’s contribution – no matter how insignificant it may seem.

This is not about finding resources for needs but an exhortation to live as Christ lived – through the parable of the Good Samaritan – and it forms the very basis of our ask. As we move forward let’s be aware, get involved, look out for how to help, and follow through in how we Abide in Christ and learn by His example (1 John 2:6). It’s about a Sacrificial Love and not merely being lukewarm (Rev. 3:15-17). It’s about abiding in Christ and how He will abide in us (John 15:4-5) as we wait upon the Lord, walk by faith, and engage in intentional action.

But what does that mean? Let’s keep it grounded Biblically, yet simple:
 We need your help to:
 Give and give sacrificially.
 Do and do it joyfully.
 Get and understand the value of being grateful.
 Let’s get started!

Agape Love – The Sacrificial Call for us to Live in Victory – through Christ alone. 
With limited resources our Diaconate is actively working to ensure that vulnerable people are identified so that care plans can be put into place. Your help is needed for this to become a body that is fully alive in Christ. For that reason, we have created the GRC Support Form, which enables the congregation to communicate. It helps keep track of those willing to give, those willing to do and those needing to get.

Serving Builds The Body
The success of our community relies on each of us coming together as a body where Christ is the head. Please note, we want to encourage the mutual care of members from within the GRC community first – whether through a church group or just friends. But if there are needs above their ability, then the GRC Support Form will help us to be informed so that we might oversee their care.

Communication Builds Relationship
The Diaconate has also started a new GRC ”closed group” community Facebook group. Get involved, share ideas, encourage one another and to stay informed about needs and resources within our community.

As Pastor Peter noted yesterday – stay in contact with others. It is a time to “one-another.”  Check on those who are isolated. PRAY for one another and for this time to be an opportune moment that God can use to spread the fame of the name of Jesus!

A Short Diaconal Update
Requests are coming in from our partners and changing daily. Others in the GRC community are looking for help.  The needs are going to grow but as we step out in faith – we know God will Provide.

Star of Hope Ministries (SOHM) in the past 48 hours were able to collect and distribute more than 7,300 meals to its network of churches and leaders all throughout Paterson.  Thanks to our GRC location, as well as prayers and support, SOHM has the strength and grace to accomplish these things in Jesus’ name. They are going to turn around and distribute again on Friday this week. Their needs are growing however. We are in initial discussions of how our warehouse area could be turned into a non-perishable food pantry as our partnership with SOHM and others continues to grow.

The Open Door is looking to help 27 students in any way possible for all those who have lost their jobs. We and those in Missions are looking for ways to help out.

Clara Lee, a doctor at GRC who is at ground zero at a mobile COVID-19 testing center is looking for donations of N95 respirators and surgical masks. There are not enough supplies in hospitals. Reach out to others in your neighborhood to help out. Anyone interested in submitting donations please contact her.

Our hearts are breaking at this time. They are big and our resources are limited. But we know our God is bigger than any of our issues. We pray that we would draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, for He who promised is faithful. Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds and not giving up meeting together, and encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb. 10:22-25)

This extra-ordinary season calls us to love our neighbors extraordinarily. We do so, because Jesus has been the Good Samaritan to us. May the Lord show us the opportunities to serve in this season so that we may fight this battle in a mighty way all for His Glory.

Humbled by His Continual Provision,

Werner Tretner

Werner Tretner is a member of GRC and serves on our Diaconate. He is also the Director of Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12 step program.