Church family, yesterday I sent an email to the mayor and director of Springfield/Greene County Health Department as a note of encouragement that we will be praying for them in our Drive-Thru Prayer Service. I did not foresee that this would eventuate in a call from the city asking us not to have the service because of the Shelter in Place order currently in Springfield.

Even though we explained that we are not gathering in groups larger than those in our cars and that no one will be getting out of their vehicle, nor staying in one spot for more than a timed 30 seconds, the person who delivered the message (who was very kind and gracious) assured me that she was just delivering the message, but I could escalate up the chain to get to a decision maker.

That led me to speak with Springfield City Manager Jason Gage, who was very kind, engaging and reasonable. We had a great conversation. He understood exactly what we are doing, acknowledged the explicit allowance in the Governor’s order, and understood that what we are doing would be far safer than what will happen in Sam’s Club parking lot during the hour and a half time frame. He acknowledged a desire to help and for a little time to research if he could give us an allowance to the order.

This all happened between 8:30 & 9:40 this morning. He understood our prayer time was today and called me back shortly after 10:00 with the news that he could not find a way within the order to grant us this allowance. He acknowledged the imperfection of the order and his regret. I believe Mr Gage was completely honest and honorable in his dealings with me and with our church. So…

Because we want to maintain our testimony in our city and with our city leaders during this time, our Good Friday prayer service has been moved online and can be watched on our livestream from and Facebook Live.

While we are disappointed in this bump in the road, we know that this does not hinder us from taking our requests to God in prayer. Two verses written back to back by the Apostle Paul are resonating in my soul about this situation: 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 “Pray without ceasing. (18) In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Join us in prayer today between 11:30 and 1:00.

Pastor Dennis Jennings