I was up throwing up all night (I and Alouicious) and am still lying here imploring God that everyone else will stay healthy. So, since I can't think to do anythhing, and am falling asleep every few minutes, here is an email Matt sent out to the Parish this morning.
Dear Good Shepherd,
Someone recently sent me the archives to our old website. On it I found the following Good Shepherd Update from August 2nd 2004.
This was the update I wrote shortly after a significant number of people decided to leave Good Shepherd, mostly due to the decision we took with regard to human sexuality but also because of the new focus on scripture. I mention 15 departures, but by the end of the year, it had risen to 30.
It is difficult to look back on that time. I remember my worry and fear. I remember how close we came (I thought) to not making it. It was a dark time.
But I pass it on as a lesson in God's grace, power and love for his people. He provided all that we needed and carried Good Shepherd through that time. Comparing this letter to our circumstances now evokes a deep sense of gratitude and thanksgiving and, I pray, will encourage us to more fully trust and obey the Lord our God who protects and provides for us beyond all that we can ask or imagine.
Here is the letter.
I remember Matt writing this letter and agonizing over it. It felt a little bit like Job, "though he slay me, yet will I praise him," and its a good example of the way we, as Christians, are called to take action in preaching the gospel in the midst of feeling anxious and worried. And now, I hope you all will take action and pray desperately that we don't all get it.