Messages from Pastor Nicholls
We are making every effort to re-open our building for services. We are planning on opening this Sunday, May 24th for services at 11am. There will be no Sunday School and no evening service. This Wednesday's Bible study will be online ONLY.
We are trying to get an accurate count of who is planning on attending. Due to limited space because of social distancing, we can only accommodate a limited number of people. If we have more people desiring to attend that our maximum allows, we may have to have two identical services.
We now have a link to a sign up sheet on the home page of our church website. If you are planning on attending this service, please sign up by using the link on our website. We need your name and the number of people in your family who are planning on being with us. We need you to do this no later than Friday afternoon at 5pm.
Please note: If you are uncomfortable with being in service at this time, for whatever reason, please feel free to stay home and be a part of our service online.
I am happy to report that our dear Sister Jill Hoff has updated our church website. Not only is it a new and better look, but it also contains updated information and pictures.
We now have a new feature that allows you access to past Wednesday evening Bible studies and church services. But best of all, it will allow you to view live streaming Bible studies and services without having to have a Facebook account! This will enable more of our church members to watch our services online as they are happening! I am so thankful for this new website! Thank you Sister Jill for putting this together.
There will be an in-house (in the church building) staff meeting this Sunday, May 17th at 12:30pm. The purpose of this meeting is to inform and to discuss the ways in which we plan to re-open our building for in person services. We encourage all staff members to attend this meeting in person. If you are unable to attend this meeting in person or if you feel unsafe about being in attendance, we will be live streaming it on our church Facebook page. The live stream will be for the staff members only which is a closed group (invitation only) on Facebook. Social distancing will be observed during this meeting. Also please note: We ask that no children be in attendance.
We’ve been making some updates to the building during this down time.
Some fun and welcoming new door graphics will greet you when you return!
We have been having online services now for six weeks. I know it has been a blessing to so many. It has also been a blessing to those of us who are in the sanctuary for each service.
Though we have been blessed being together online, we all look forward to the end of this safer at home policy in the near future. In the meantime, we must continue with the services being online.
That being said, I would like to remind us all of how we need to continue to be diligent in preparing our families to “be in church” while we are online. We humans can easily get into a routine and become lax in how we approach these services.
I would like to remind you of something I had posted shortly after we knew we would be having online services. I feel it is important that we get ready in body, mind and spirit for church each Sunday. We must be careful not to just have it become something that we just “listen to” as we do other things around the house, i.e. make breakfast, be involved in social media, play games, or be involved in other household chores. It’s important that we fully participate in our services. This is why I am listing once again some things for us to consider before attending church online.
Have the family get up at a reasonable time in the morning as you usually do to get ready for church.
Have the family dressed and ready to attend church (not just watch it).
Find a place where all can sit with the largest screen possible.
Have the family worship along with the Praise Singers.
Pay full attention to the preaching as you would if you were sitting in church.
Make sure all distractions are put away (cellphones & other devices).
Have a place nearby where you can an altar call. Our Praise singers will be singing during the altar service.
Treat this service just as you would if you were actually in attendance in the sanctuary.
What a pleasure it is for my wife and I and others to be able to provide for our church, online services. We pray they have been a blessing to you. Today, I want to speak to you about two different matters pertaining to the church.
1. Several people have approached me concerning parking lot services. I have thought about the same thing several times. At first, the authorities greatly discouraged us from proceeding with this idea. Lately, the Governor has put his approval for these types of services..
After considering this I have come to the following conclusion. First of all our parking lot is not conducive for holding such a service because of the configuration of parking lot (it is a split lot).
Secondly, we could bring our sound equipment outside, but because we are in a residential area, it may be something that our neighbors may not appreciate on a Sunday morning. Some may say that it does not matter what the neighbors think, which is true, however, we need to be a witness and not a source of contention to the very people we are trying to bring to the Lord.
Thirdly, we could continue to have services inside the building and you are more than welcome to gather in the parking lot and watch and listen to the service on your phones and tablets. Actually, you are already free to do so.
We must realize that even though we are able to have parking lot services, the following rules must be observed according to the law:
You can park in the lot.
Your car windows must be rolled up.
You cannot get out of your car.
You are not allowed to use the restrooms in the building.
These are the stipulations we have been given in order to have a parking lot service. As I have already stated: you are welcome to do so already!
2. We are looking to a time to have church in the sanctuary shortly after May 26, when the safer at home order expires. We have set a tentative date where we plan to open the church for services on May 31st. We need to have plans in place before returning to the sanctuary for services. we will not be having Sunday School right away, but will slowly head in that direction when the time has come where we feel free to do so again.
We will be mindful of distancing and implement such measures as: sanitizing door handles and other areas after each service. We will allow families to sit together with spacing between their group and another family group. We have enough room in our sanctuary for almost 700 people which means we have room to spread out.
We will continue to remind people who have health issues or people who just do not feel comfortable returning at this time that they can stay at home and continue to see our services online. We intend to observe guidelines to ensure a safe and healthy environment.
Many of our saints have contacted me and are asking to return to church as soon as we are allowed to do so.
Online service have been a blessing to so many. However, its not the same as being together to worship our Lord. I know we all look forward to being together once again.
God bless you, Pastor
I thank God for His great blessings! Even though we could not be together for Good Friday and Easter, what a blessing it was that we could still be together online.
We know the Lord is still touching lives as Eddie Beavers was baptized in Jesus Name at the end of the Good Friday service. Our services are reaching people far beyond our four walls and even far beyond our city.
I have been contacted by people in Belarus, Ukraine and even Norway who are now taking part in our services. As usual our God takes a bad situation and turns it into a blessing far beyond what we could have imagined. What a mighty God we serve.
My wife and I pray for all of you daily. We know the Lord is watching over all of us. We also know that in the near future we will be together again worshiping Him in our sanctuary! We so look forward to that time.
It is Good Friday. It is a day that we remember the price that was paid for our sins! It is a time for us to have communion and this evening at 7pm we will have our Good Friday service where we will also being having communion together via the internet!
Following this evening’s service, I will be baptizing Eddie Beavers in Jesus Name! In a world where most everything is stopped, God is not hindered! What a mighty God we serve! ~Pastor
4/7/2020 SCRIPTURES FOR HOLY WEEK
Sunday: Triumphal Entry: Mt. 21:1-11, Mk.11:1-11, Lu. 19:28-44, John 12:12-19
On the first day of the week Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling an ancient prophecy (Zec.9:9). The crowd welcomed Him with “Hosanna” and the words of Ps. 118:25-26, thus ascribing to Him a Messianic title as the agent of the Lord, the coming King of Israel.
Monday: Clearing of the Temple: Mt. 21:10-17, Mk. 11:15-18, Lu. 19:45-48
On this day He returned to the temple and found the court of the Gentiles full of traders and money changers making a large profit as they gave out Jewish coins in exchange for “pagan” money. Jesus drove them out and overturned their tables.
Tuesday: Day of Controversy and Parables: Mt. 21:23-24, Mk. 11:27-13:37, Lu. 20:1-21:36
In Jerusalem, Jesus evaded the traps set by the priests. On the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem, He taught in parables and warned the people against the Pharisees. He predicted the destruction of Herod’s great temple and told His disciples about future events, including His own return.
Wednesday: Not Mentioned in the Gospels
Thursday: Passover Last Supper: Mt. 26:17-30, Mk. 14:12-26, Lu. 22:7-23, John 13:1-30
In an upper room, Jesus prepared both Himself and His disciples for His death. He gave the Passover meal a new meaning. The loaf of bread and cup of wine instituted the “Lord’s Supper.” After singing a hymn they went to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed in agony, knowing what lay ahead for Him.
Friday - Crucifixion: Mt.27:1-66, Mk.15:1-47, Lu. 22:66-23:56, John 18:28-19:37
Following betrayal, arrest, desertion, false trials, denial, condemnation, beatings, and mockery, Jesus was required to carry His cross to “The Place of the Skull,” where He was crucified with two other prisoners.
Friday - In the Tomb: Mt. 27:57-61, Mk. 15:42-47, Lu. 23:50-56, John 19:38-42
Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb before 6:00 p.m. Friday night, when the Sabbath began and all work stopped, and His body lay in the tomb throughout the Sabbath.
Sunday: Resurrection: Mt. 28:1-13, Mk. 16:1-20, Lu. 24:1-49, John 20:1-31
Early in the morning, women went to the tomb and found that the stone closing the tomb’s entrance had been rolled back. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene in the garden, to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and later that day to all of the disciples except Thomas, who was not with them when Jesus came. His resurrection was established as a fact.
I want to share with you a portion of what Rev. David Bernard wrote on his news bulletin that he sent out to the ministers of UPCI. Brother Bernard is our General Superintendent, a minister and a lawyer. He is a very wise man. He put into words many of the same things that the Lord has spoken to me about. – Pastor.
A Divine Shift
After my wife and I spent some time in prayer and fasting, I feel impressed to communicate this message. We are rightly concerned about the current pandemic and its effects on the economy and on our churches. We are praying for healing, protection, and supply of needs. We are eagerly awaiting the time when we can have normal church services again. At the same time, I believe God is telling us not to fear but to move forward boldly in faith. Two years ago, when the General Board was earnestly discussing plans for revival and growth, the Lord spoke to us with spiritual gifts and told us to prepare for “a divine shift.” In response, here is what I wrote to our fellowship at that time: “Sometimes we make plans, but they don’t develop as we intend. Then God steps in with a better plan and shifts us into a new dimension.” It is happening now.
Whatever the source or cause of this pandemic, God is doing something special. I challenge each church to seek new and creative ways to reach its community. God is giving us miracles of healing. He is leading us to many people we have never reached, people who have never heard of us before. He is stirring saints to new commitments. He is opening new doors. I have received many encouraging testimonies. One amazing report I can share only generally because of its confidential nature. Some of our ministers have recently had an unprecedented opportunity to minister online in secure facilities in multiple locations, and great revival has begun.
I believe we should claim the following promise that was originally given to ancient Israel:
But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. . . . Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:1–2, 19)
The Church and the Law
I originally posted the following information on social media. Because of requests, I am including it in this newsletter with minor revisions.
As a matter of US law, the government has the right to enact measures for health and safety. Thus, churches must follow building, fire, and health codes. The government sometimes shuts down meetings, including church services, that violate these safety regulations. It can’t discriminate against churches, and it must use the least restrictive means possible to accomplish its valid purpose. An ordinance of general applicability, based on professional medical advice for the safety of the community, is presumptively constitutional. Some jurisdictions have commendably treated churches with special respect, but they are still asking churches to cooperate voluntarily. They have both the law and public opinion on their side when they do.
We shouldn’t attack anyone if they try to have church, but that doesn’t mean their actions are legal, wise, or divinely ordained. We shouldn’t rejoice if they suffer consequences, but the burden of civil disobedience is to accept consequences. The burden of not following medical advice is either to have superior medical knowledge or ask God to intervene. However, it is one thing to trust God for oneself; it is another thing to take the responsibility for the entire community, including vulnerable people.
For those who believe they must have large gatherings in order to please God, I suggest that they think more creatively. While I endorse large crowds and buildings (having built a congregation of up to 1,000 and started a building of 100,000 square feet), we can’t say this method is biblically required. This method is highly effective, and over the long term we want to resume it. But in times of crisis such as war, pandemic, persecution, and natural disaster, we can use other methods, even as the apostolic church did in times of persecution. In doing so, we aren’t violating God’s Word, becoming cowards, or acting in unbelief. We are operating outside our modern, traditional, Western box.
Finally, we are right to be concerned about religious liberty. Some might want to use this situation for a future precedent to limit church activity, but we will fight against that idea if it surfaces, and we will have the Constitution on our side. Right now, we aren’t facing religious persecution in this situation, and we shouldn’t characterize it as such. If we do, and then we lose the argument, that itself could become a negative precedent. We must be vigilant to protect our freedom, but we must choose our battles wisely.
My nephew, Andrew Grant reminded me of this song. I wanted you to also see it.
The marketplace is empty
No more traffic in the streets
All the builders’ tools are silent
No more time to harvest wheat
Busy housewives cease their labors
In the courtroom no debate
Work on earth is all suspended
As the King comes thro’ the gate
O the King is coming
The King is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding
And now His face I see
O the King is coming
The King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me
It seems pretty appropriate in our present situation.
GriefShare will go virtual this Monday evening beginning at 6:20 pm. Anyone interested please forward your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org – You can join using your phone or computer, iPads will not work. If you have any questions, please contact Neal Bennett.
Bro Bernard and the Apostolic Fellowship Summit, that is made up of the 7 largest Oneness Pentecostal organizations in the USA, are binding together for a special day of prayer on March 27, 2020.
I would like to encourage all of us to bind together in prayer on the 27th of March for our entire world.
The Wisconsin District UPC has declared Wednesday, March 25th a District-wide day of prayer and fasting. I am asking our church to be a part of this. With this pandemic continuing and with Wisconsin being in a “Stay at Home” order, we need to be fast and prayer for the following:
1) God’s protection upon people, by guarding them from contracting this virus, as well as strengthening those that may have already been compromised.
2) God’s blessing on businesses and employees that have been hit hard by orders to close or reduce their staffs.
3) God’s provision over the finances of our people, churches, and the district and that the Lord would help us to prosper financially so we may continue to do His work.
We are people of faith and not of fear. Our God hears us when we call upon His Great Name.
God bless you, Pastor Nicholls
What a joy it was to be back in the sanctuary! I want to thank all those who helped to make it possible. Thanks to Andi and Jan in audio/visual for their hard work. Thank you Libbi and Josh and your family for your part in making this service possible. Thank you Joe, Grey and Stacy also for all you put into this service.
We will be having an online service this Wednesday, March 25, at 7pm. We will also have our Sunday service, March 29th at 11am online. We hope you will join us for those services.
We do not know how long this quarantine situation will last. We will take it week by week. Please keep checking this website for announcements and messages that I will be posting on a regular basis.
May the Lord continue to bless you! My wife and I prayers that this virus will not come upon any of us in this congregation.
Here are some suggestions for preparing our families to participate in church online.
1. Have the family get up at a reasonable time in the morning as you usually do to get ready for church.
2. Have the family dressed and ready to attend church (not just watch it).
3. Find a place where all can sit with the largest screen possible.
4. Have the family worship along with the Praise Singers.
5. Pay full attention to the preaching as you would if you were sitting in church.
6. Make sure all distractions are put away (cellphones & other devices).
7. Have a place nearby where you can an altar call. Our Praise singers will be singing during the altar service.
8. Treat this service just as you would if you were actually in attendance in the sanctuary.
I pray you are blessed, strengthened and encouraged by these services. Let’s all pray that we can be together again very soon and that this pandemic will end in the very near future.
I am happy to announce that our church will begin having live stream services starting this Sunday at 11am. For the time being it will be streamed through Facebook, but in the future we will be able to stream ourselves without having to go through Facebook. You can join us for service by using the following link. Please share this with others in our church. https://www.facebook.com/PentecostalAssemblyChurch/
When Martin Luther was dealing with The bubonic plague, he wrote these wise words that can help inform the way we approach things happening in our world right now:
“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me He will surely find me and I have done what He has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person I shall go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”
Luther’s Works; Vol. 43, pg. 132
I want to say once again how difficult it was for me to make the decision to not have church for the next 2 Wednesdays and the Sunday in between. It is not something I ever thought of doing. We were mandated by our government to do so. We are taught in the scriptures to obey civil authorities as long as it does not violate the Laws of God.
As of now, our church does not have the means to live stream. We are working on this and hope to be able to live stream a Bible study or a sermon very soon. Please be patient with us as we get this up and running. In the meantime let the church be the church and seek God in our homes as families and individuals.
My wife and I urge each family/individual to set up some kind of special prayer and fasting during this time of crisis. We are truly living in unparalleled times and we hope this precipitates the coming of our Lord.
We know that some of you have already instituted a plan for prayer and fasting and this is wonderful! We need to be in unity and solidarity. We know that our country and the whole world, are suffering with outbreaks of the Coronavirus. It is probably safe to say that all of us are facing lifestyle changes in one way or another. Below are some prayer points that you might want to consider.
Pray that the worldwide Body of Christ will rise to the occasion and be a shining light to people and societies that are filled with fear. Pray that, in the midst of the fear, people will get desperate and turn to God and Truth.
Pray for backsliders to return to the fold.
It would be a tool of the enemy that as our churches go to online services, people would get lazy spiritually. We must exhort one another to guard against this. This is the time when our own personal walk with God will prove its value. Pray that any lack of personal spirituality will diminish and that saints will draw closer to God than ever before.
It is vitally important that ALL of us to stay connected–one way or another. We are not just talking about a social connection that can breed idle talk, fear and false reports, but a spiritual connection. Pray and work towards staying connected on a spiritual level with everyone in your circle of influence. If we ever needed to “lift one another’s hands”, it is now.
My prayer is that there will be a massive harvest and that the rapture will then take place. In the meantime, may the church of the living God be all that it is meant to be–a beacon of light, hope and truth to a desperate world!
Please feel free to share any urgent needs that you may have. We can all draw strength from one another.
The Tomevs have left us as they need to get back to their homeland. Please pray for them. The Ukraine border is presently closed and we do not know when it will open again. The Tomevs will be spending their time with family that are living in Washington state until the borders open and they can return to Ukraine.
In respect for the guidelines that Governor Evers and President Trump issued today, and with care for all of you as our church family, the decision has been made to cancel services and activities at Pentecostal Assembly Church through March 25th. The situation will be reassessed at that time, and decisions made for how to move forward.
Our media team is working to live-stream services in the near future.