To the Congregation on the Occasion of Ordaining & Installing New Elders & Deacons

by Ruling Elder Steve Powell (originally delivered to the congregation at the 9:00 a.m. service on March 7, 2021)

My privilege today is to share some words of encouragement to you the congregation regarding this occasion. And I want to do this in the context of our purpose here at Spriggs Road.

Our purpose as a church is to glorify God by extending the kingdom of Jesus Christ over all individual lives through all areas of society and in all nations and cultures. To accomplish this, we (as a body) seek to work out the essential elements needed in Christian discipleship as they are summarized in acts 2:42. We seek to be continually growing in vital worship, in theological depth, in true fellowship, in bold evangelism and in deeds of compassion. 

Now with this purpose as a backdrop you should be very encouraged that the Lord has provided these men to help lead and coordinate all the supporting ministry activities of this congregation in those key areas. But notice I did not say these men will “do” all the supporting ministry activities for this congregation.  

This is important to understand since ministry is not a “spectator sport.” All of us have a role to play in advancing the people of God toward maturity in Christ and all have been gifted in some way for working collectively toward that goal.  So, in the final analysis, Christian ministry is designed to involve every member. And as leaders we need everyone to join with us in implementing and sustaining the vital ministries.

I want to give you some key words that involve action on your part.   I encourage you to listen and reflect on these words as you consider your relationship with us as elders and deacons and what your supporting role is here at Spriggs Road Presbyterian Church.  I have chosen to use the letters from our church name abbreviation SRPC to highlight those key words.   

The first group of action words begin with S:

Sharpen – Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. In Old Testament times, one iron blade was used to sharpen another blade until both became more effective tools. This is an important relational concept involving mutual accountability and strengthening. So, help us to build relationships that will sharpen all of us.

Support – Consider all the areas of ministry and the array of tasks involved in those areas and think about all the ways you can support the leadership team as well as each other.  And also take some time ask us about opportunities to serve.  We will be glad to give you feedback about opportunities. 

Serve – Think about how you have been gifted and how you might come alongside us in serving the body here. Then make a commitment. Remember, the Lord uses service as a key part of our sanctification process. 

Next are the action words beginning with R:

Reach out – be proactive and engage us, talk to us, text us, email us or whatever works best for you.

Recommend ideas and solutions in support of the ministry. Give us your perspectives and concerns.

Responsibility – take responsibility for being part of the solution.  The deacons always need help in their key ministry areas so be proactive and volunteer.

Next are the action words beginning with P:

Partner and Participate – join with us and many others in supporting our ministry activities.

Pray – please pray for us and our families.  This is so important to us.  We are not supermen.  We need your prayers and we value them.

And finally, are the action words beginning we C:

Connect – connect and communicate with us, not only to give us feedback, but to ask about us, to encourage us, and to share your requests with us.

Comfort and care – We, along with our families, will often need the caring and comforting support of others.  Recent examples.

Quick Summary Take some time to think and reflect on these words.   They are important.

  1. Sharpen
  2. Support
  3. Serve
  4. Reach out
  5. Recommend
  6. Take responsibility
  7. Partner and Participate
  8. Pray
  9. Connect
  10. Comfort and care

And in conclusion – on behalf of the elders and the deacons let me say that we are deeply thankful for all of you and for how you support us.

Announcement Regarding the Lord’s Supper

The following is a new announcement from Pastor Michael Mang for all to consider before coming to the Lord’s Table each Sunday. The following announcement will be provided in the bulletins which are available to download and print from the bulletins tab on this website. However, given its length it is provided here to give all sufficient opportunity to read and consider it ahead of time.


All are invited to the Lord’s Table who have been baptized, have publicly professed faith in (either before a congregation of the Lord’s Church or to a body of Elders in a church where the Gospel of Christ is embraced) and allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior from your sins, and are members of the visible Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you have not publicly professed faith in Christ Jesus – the eternal Son of God who took on human flesh, lived a perfect, sinless life, died on the cross for sins, rose bodily from the dead, and who is returning to this earth in power and glory – please refrain from partaking of the Lord’s Table

We invite you to respond to the Gospel by first understanding that you have sinned personally against the God who made you and have violated His good and right laws for you to follow.  God is holy and has every right to separate you from Himself and from all that is good and beautiful because of your freely chosen disobedience to Him.  But the really good news is that you can be restored to the God who made you because of what Christ Jesus has done on the cross as a perfect substitute and payment for the penalty that you owe and deserve.  Simply believing and trusting in what Jesus did for you means you will belong to the LORD God forever.  Abraham, the Biblical example of one who was restored to God by faith alone, trusted God’s promise and the LORD God credited it, that trust, to him as righteousness.  God has shown His love to the world, and to you, by giving His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not die and be separated from Him forever but rather have the life man was created to have in the presence of God, a life that never ends.

This means that you cannot DO anything to earn your place with God.  However, a true faith in Christ Jesus comes from a God-given desire that will produce behavior that does those things that are pleasing to Him.

Please seek out and contact one of our Pastors or Elders to talk more about your eternal future. You can find their contact information in this bulletin.  They will be glad to show you from Scripture, God’s Word, how you can have a relationship with God through Christ Jesus and have true peace and security with Him. 

If you have professed faith in Christ Jesus, have been baptized, and are a member of the Church, yet there is a distance between you and the LORD because of cherished and unrepentant sin and transgressions of God’s laws, we warn you to refrain from partaking the elements of the Lord’s Table today.  Scripture tells us that partaking of the Lord’s Table is a participation, a communion, in the body and blood of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16).  God’s people cannot partake of His holy Table while at the same time engaging in deliberate and conscious violations of His commands for us as His holy people.   If this is true with you, the LORD graciously promises that, if you confess and turn from whatever thinking or behavior that is contrary to His nature and His Word, He is faithful to forgive and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  Until you have confessed and turned from whatever this breach of faith might be, please refrain from partaking of the Lord’s Table.

This does not mean that as a professing follower of Christ you are required to be perfect and flawless before communing with Christ at His Table.  The Table is for you to be nourished and strengthened even more in your faith and love for Christ.  You may have worries and doubts that God loves or hears you because your faith is weak.  You may have sinned, confessed, and turned from it to the Lord before partaking, but still your heart condemns you.  When you come to the Lord’s Table, the Lord by faith assures you that you belong to Him, and He belongs to you. If, despite your sins and imperfections, you can truly say that the LORD is your Shepherd, that the name of Christ and His smile is the desire of your soul, then take the LORD at His word that you are ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven!

Come, and dine with your Lord and Savior.

Phases of Quarantine

I hope this ends sooner then we think, but in case this drags on for sometime I think some observations from the church in China might be useful for us. (This is the counselor side of your assistant pastor coming out)

The following is a list of phases that missionaries observed (you may have seen this) people go through over time in quarantine. It helps just to know so you think you’re not the crazy one feeling this way…as in “no temptation has seized you except what is common to man…” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Also so you can mention it without shame as well as ask for prayer.

Let’s continue to be in prayer for one another!

Here are are the phases as related to me by an unnamed missionary in China:

Phase 1: Anxiety – this is the time the family/individuals are most focused towards a common threat, the sole aim is to prep enough food and supplies to ensure the family’s physical needs are met with the uncertainty ahead. Fear is prevalent, and thus possibly more prone to violent and hostile behaviors based on survival instincts and concerns for families well-being.

Phase 2: Isolation – after awhile the reality of the quarantine, constant seclusion in residence and severed social networking hits hard with constant media dooms-day predictions, lack of information on what to do, etc. which causes stress and anxiety to escalate. Common issues we’ve observed are increases in anxiousness, conflicts/arguments, anger and/or violence.

Phase 3: Helplessness – uncertainly of when will it end makes people feel like life’s losing control. Continual fear of contagion, infection, illness and death cause stress and anxiety to increase exponentially. Shock, numbness, confusion, depression, grief, anger, and frustration results. For some they will be more prone to temptations of sinful behaviors and activities to escape, or an attempt to seemingly regain control in life. Great spiritual battles during this phase.

Phase 4: Hopelessness – with seemingly no end in sight individuals may start to act or think in extreme ways. Loss of faith in government, health institutions, and trust between peoples. More prone to conspiracy theories and believed to be treated unfairly (victim of unfairly distributed medical care and daily needs) and blame-shifting. Very prone to sins and temptations.

Not all people may go through all 4 phases, and some may even go forwards and backwards (phase 1 to 2 to 1 to 2 to 3 to 2 to 1). Reminder for us that at these tough times to keep a strong prayerful life, constant daily devotions with family members to minister to one another, and remind ourselves the Lordship of Christ and our daily reliance on Him and Him alone.

As the churches and Christian community prepping for the economical and physical effect the virus will have on us, let us not forget even when we are healthy physically one may not be healthy spiritually. Let us all pray and rely on Christ to carry our burdens through the storms ahead, and navigate us to the bright radiant sunshine of God’s glory.

Matteson Bowles, Assistant Pastor

Covid-19 Announcement

Since the threat of the Coronavirus has come near, your Session and Diaconate has been assessing the level of risk of exposure and how to respond.  Since the Session meeting on Monday night, much has transpired throughout our nation and our community regarding closures and postponement of public meetings.
After a lengthy meeting today, the Session has determined to cancel Sunday School and Worship for this Sunday, March 15.  We will reassess in the middle of next week to  determine whether to meet the following Lord’s Day and so on.
In addition, the Session has deemed it prudent to close the facility for all activities this coming week as well.   During this time a deep cleaning will be taking place to disinfect surfaces, toys, and materials that are commonly handled.
Even though the Session has determined that the level of risk right now is moderate, the action taken to cancel services for this Sunday should be viewed as an attempt to keep ahead of the curve of infections and reduce the possibility of contracting the virus by those most vulnerable in our congregation.  It has been brought to our attention that cases of infection now exist in Prince William County.  We are working to stay abreast of the latest information available from sources such as the WHO and CDC as well as community public health services.
The Session will be sending out a more comprehensive plan or response to this situation in the next few days or so, so please stand by.
We covet your prayers and your patience.
The LORD is sovereign and controls every aspect of this uncertain malady.  The psalmist encourages God’s people not to fear “the pestilence that stalks in darkness” (see Psalm 91:3,6, 10).   At the same time, we walk with prudence and wisdom in confronting issues such as this (see Proverbs 27:12).
Should there be any family in the congregation that contracts this virus and needs help, please let us know so that we can assist in prayer and in deed.
Please be in prayer for one another – and for your officers, the Elders and the Deacons, that we would be wise and discerning.  We care very deeply for all of you and desire your peace, safety, and well-being in body and in soul.
Pray the LORD use this circumstance at this particular time to soften hearts to receive the Gospel of grace to find the true living hope about which Peter writes.
May the LORD’s blessing be upon you all.
Michael Mang, Senior Pastor