RYAN’S RAMBLINGS

Weekly Vlog

Weekly Blog

Vote today, love always

Today millions of Americans will exercise their right to vote. Over the past few months we have listened to rhetoric, debates, and political ads telling us who should lead us for the next four years. We have shared our thoughts on who should lead and at times may have even argued with those who believe differently than we do. If nothing else has become evident during this time,


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Never Forget

Today is a day of remembrance. If we are old enough, we can all remember where we were on the morning of September 11, 2001. During my junior year of college, I woke up that morning just like any other morning. I turned on the TV before heading to class and saw the news.


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Heart of Mesa Reopen Plan

As I mentioned this morning, we will plan to reopen activities at church in three phases. The following is a summary of the three phases.

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Return to campus survey

I pray everyone is staying safe. I know times have been tough and we all long to be with each other again. We are starting the planning process

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Good Friday

Today followers of Christ around the globe celebrate Good Friday. This is a much different Good Friday than any in recent times. Today


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Maundy Thursday Devotion

Maundy Thursday devotion

The summer of 2000, I spent the summer as an intern with my youth pastor serving in the youth ministry at his church in Maryland. I was excited about seeing my mentor for a whole summer especially after he accepted God’s call to move to Maryland just before my Senior year of high school.


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Holy Week 2020

The past three weeks have been the most unique time of ministry that I have ever experienced. I have been forced to find new ways to do ministry that I never thought I would be doing.


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Update on Church Services

We continue to live in a time of uncertainty. Starting tonight, Arizona will be under a “Stay home, Stay healthy, Stay connected” initiative. This initiative, which will run through April 30, encourages all citizens to limit their time outside of their homes. In light of this new initiative, we will continue to live-stream worship services through the end of April. We will continue to not meet on campus during this time to help do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

These past few weeks have been difficult for me as a pastor as I miss seeing each one of you and talking with you in person. Know that even in this time where we are not gathering together, I am still praying for all of you. Even though we are not meeting on Sunday mornings for worship, I encourage everyone to do our very best to stay connected. I encourage small groups to continue to meet as they determine to do so. I know some groups have moved their small group meetings online. With technology today, we have the ability to be in separate places and still be able to communicate with each other and even be able to see each other’s faces! I encourage us all to find ways to do so. If you are interested, you can join us for the following online:

Wednesday morning @ 9:30am – Discovery Group led by Pastor Ryan via Zoom (details on www.heartofmesa.org)

Thursday night @ 7:00pm – Discovery Group led by Pastor Ryan via Zoom (details on www.heartofmesa.org) 

Friday night @ 7:00pm – Celebrate Recovery (CR) via HoM Celebrate Recovery page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HoM-Celebrate-Recovery-179065372144938/)

Sunday morning @ 10:55 – Sunday morning worship via the church’s website (www.heartofmesa.com/livestream) or Heart of Mesa Facebook page (www.facebook.com/heartofmesa/)

Also, starting this Sunday, I will be preaching a 4 week series entitled “Seeing Jesus Through the Uncertainty.” Along with this series, I will be putting a weekly download for an interactive family devotion provided by NAMB that will coincide with the series that I will be preaching.

As we continue to not meet together physically, I will plan updating everyone each week with the latest happenings in the church. 

 

Pressing on Towards Heaven,

Pastor Ryan



Finding Ways to Come Together

March 24, 2020

Church Family,

These are different times we are living in to say the least. I want to encourage you as best as I can during these days.

First, I want to encourage us to be unified as a body of Christ.


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Ministry During COVID-19

The past few weeks have been a trying time in both life and ministry. WIth the growing fear of COVID-19 virus, we have all had to adjust to a “new normal.” Nothing about this has been easy. I want to share some encouragement in light of what is happening around us. Paul writes to the church in Ephesus:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1–2)

As followers of Christ, we are called to imitate God’s love to those around us. The world has drastically changed. While I personally am not fearful of what is happening and fully trust that God is in control, there are millions of people who are currently living in fear. I believe that meeting last Sunday together was our act of faith showing that we fully believe that God is in control. I believe that we are called to not live in fear of what is happening around us. We serve a God that is above all things including COVID-19. That being said, I also believe that we need to be mindful of what is going on around us. People are living in fear. I believe that most of the fear is centered on the fact that food, toilet paper, etc. are disappearing from shelves at grocery stores. While we should not be living in fear, I also believe that we should also respect earthly authorities. The recommendations from ADHS and the federal government have been put in place to help protect us from further outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. I believe that we should heed their warnings not because of fear but because God has ordained these leaders. 

But now is the time we as a church need to show love for our fellow man. I believe that loving our fellow man means we do our very best to ensure the health and safety of our families, friends, and neighbors. Yesterday afternoon (March 17) the Arizona Department of Health Services made the recommendation for all mass gatherings of 10 or more people to be cancelled or postponed. I believe that we should respect those that God has placed in authority over us and follow their guidelines as best as we can. By doing so, I believe that we show our community that we care for them. That does not mean we simply hide away in our homes and stop ministering to others! It does mean that ministry for the coming weeks may look very different.

In light of the updated ADHS recommendations, I propose the following for us as a church for the next two weeks:

  • The following ministries will be cancelled until further notice:
      • Church in the Park, Tuesday Night Youth Group, Adult Choir, and Tuesday morning Women’s Bible Study have all been cancelled for the time being.
  • The following ministries will continue as is or with some changes:
      • Celebrate Recovery (via livestreaming), Aspen Ridge, REACH Groups, Monday night Bible Study, and Saturday Prayer will continue.
  • I encourage all small group Bible studies to meet both on campus and off campus as each group determines to continue meeting. These groups are the life blood for fellowship, accountability, and spiritual growth of our members. I will work on finding a study that the entire church can go through together over this time to foster unity.
  • Families of children will receive options for ministry to their children. Sylvia is working on gathering copies of the Bible studies for the next two of weeks. These lessons will be mailed/emailed to families. We will also offer families an online Bible study that Lifeway is providing churches for free.
  • Sunday morning worship services will be canceled for the next two weeks. We will livestream the 10:55am service with the Praise Team leading music and myself preaching. It will be to an empty sanctuary. It will be available at watch live or throughout the rest of the day on our church’s website and church app.
  • Deacons be available on Sunday morning for prayer with any of our members that choose to come to the campus for prayer. We will have rooms set up where people can come to pray. I would like to have deacons throughout our campus in various classrooms to pray to ensure any group that prays is under the recommended 10 people.
  • We will be strongly encouraging everyone to give online. For those that are not comfortable giving online, we will ask them to mail in their tithes/offerings. The office will be open on Mondays and Tuesdays each week to ensure operations continue to run but will close for the remainder of the week until the recommendations are lifted.

Our hope is that the recommended social distancing will be over before Palm Sunday (April 5). I will plan on addressing the church the week leading up to Palm Sunday to inform what ongoing plans will be moving forward.

The decision to implement these changes to what we normally was a difficult one in which I have struggled with for the past week. I have spent much time in prayer, communication with other pastors and church leaders, and agonizing over how our church should respond. This I know for sure — God is still on His throne and is in control of everything that is happening! Join with me as we seek to minister in different ways carrying the gospel to those around us. Let’s show the world we love them and care for them!