Littleton, Colorado … Coronavirus Covid-19 does not stop church life. In an eerily quiet and nearly-empty sanctuary, Littleton Adventist Church welcomed their new pastoral team on Sabbath morning, March 21.
Seventh-day Adventist churches throughout the Rocky Mountain Conference are closed in compliance with government decisions as the country and world are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, with Sabbath worship conducted via live streaming. But, life of the church continues, though with inconveniences.
Standing at a social distance, Ed Barnett, RMC president, who was the visiting preacher that day, offered a dedication prayer over new lead pastor Andy Nash, new associate pastor, Chris Morris, who will join the team July 1, and current associate pastor Alise Weber, who is hired locally.
In his sermon Pastor Barnett referenced Matthew 24 about the hope in the Second Coming of Jesus and signs of the times. “We can see this happening before our eyes,” Barnett said about the Covid–19. “Brothers and sisters, are we living in perilous times today…everything that He says that will happen at the last days is happening around us today.” He concluded, “Jesus is coming soon…we need to live faithful lives for Jesus at the end of times.”
“It’s definitely an unusual way to begin a pastoral assignment—not seeing anyone,” said Nash. “But I think for all pastors and churches right now, there’s almost an early-church feel to this—a longing to be together as a church family. I feel so blessed to be able to work with Alise and Chris in ministry together.”
Nash has been sharing a verse online: “Brothers and sisters, having been separated from each other for a short time in presence, not in heart, we endeavor more eagerly to see you face to face” (1 Thess 2:17).
Morris is currently a full-time middle school teacher at Mile High Academy, but says he’s truly excited about his return to pastoral ministry. Morris will lead the worship, youth, and visitation ministries at Littleton.
Weber has been children’s pastor at Littleton the past two years. “I have seen God’s hand and leading throughout the past year, and I feel so blessed to be working with both Pastors Andy Nash and Chris Morris,” she said. “In these unique circumstances, where we are required to be apart, I believe it is God’s timing that we join together now to creatively nurture our congregation. ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him’” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
“Great days lie ahead for the Littleton church,” commented Barnett. “They have a tremendous team of pastors. They are very gifted and dedicated,” he added.
—Jon Roberts, text and photo