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Beijing Shouwang Church Official Announcement on May 8th Outdoor Worship Service

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

imageBeijing Shouwang Church Announcement on May 8th Outdoor Worship Service
Dear brothers and sisters:
Peace in the Lord! On May 8th, Shouwang had her fifth Sunday outdoor worship service. The congregation was given Sunday Order of Worship program and sermon on Friday. Since the spiritual warfare is not over yet, it is hard for the congregation to worship together. However, we prepared our hearts with hope to worship and seek our Lord. 

May 8th, Beijing was cloudy to overcast with afternoon rain. Since more and more believers were detained at home and were not able to go out, only a few dozen people arrived at the planned location. Some small groups had Sunday service nearby. Some believers upon entering the planned location were taken away by plainclothes police waiting there. As far as we know, fifteen believers were taken away, including a sister from Beijing Xinshu Church and an elder sister in her seventies. They were then sent to different local police stations. Different from what happened in the past, two sisters were taken to police stations directly near their home in the morning.  Three believers were threatened with the possibility of sending them back to their hometown. Till the evening of May 8th, eleven believers were released (including the elderly believers). However, one brother is still detained at the police station till now. Shouwang made arrangements and sent believers to visit this brother at Dongsheng police station, supporting him with encouragements and necessities.
Our outdoor worship service has lasted for five weeks. Although there were many regrets since we could not worship together as usual during this particular period of time, we have so many things to be thankful for. We are thankful to God that he stirs brothers and sisters’ hearts, so that they, despite the risk of being arrested, fired, forced to move out of their rented places are determined to join the outdoor worship service at any cost. Their determination and their action is a special testimony of Christ’s church in this time; and we believe it is pleasing to our Lord and will be remembered by him. We are thankful to God for each believer who has visited those were detained at police stations, supporting believers in detention with food, clothes and encouragements in Christ’s love.  They witnessed how members in Christ’s body are connected with each other in love. We are thankful to God for those co-workers and believers, who do not agree on having outdoor service, yet forbear us with patience.  During this particular period of time, they have been very patient with us as we insist on having outdoor service. To be honest, the pressure they have been bearing is no less than the pressure of those co-workers who were imprisoned at home. And they actually have taken on a lot of pastoral work during this time. We want to especially thank God for their patience, tolerance and love. We are thankful for those small group leaders who have taken on pastoral work, for those believers who actively take on a lot of caring work, for each believer who have been praying and fasting for the church, and for those ministry departments and ministry teams who run each ministry in order! With fervent prayers, we hope that our Lord will make a way for his church, so that the previous order (or even a better one) of worship, pastoral work and ministry will be restored—and we trust that it is the prayer we all are praying.
We want to especially express our gratitude to churches in Beijing and in other places. During this difficult time, you offer your fervent prayers for us before the Lord. Even some churches have offered financial aid for believers who lost their job and living places for joining the outdoor service. We are greatly comforted, supported and encouraged by God through you as a member in the body of Christ. Whether Shouwang Church should have outdoor service or not may have caused debates or even tension in some churches, which is not what we want to see. Whether we agree with this decision or not, we hope that we can put aside theological arguments during this period of spiritual warfare; not to judge and condemn, but to respect, accept and bear each other’s burden with love, for we are members of Christ’s body.
May peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the mercy and love of God the Father, and the moving and the unifying work of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, be with each brother and sister of Shouwang Church and all the churches who remember Shouwang Church in prayers, from this time on and forevermore! Amen.
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?  The bread we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Corinthians 10: 16-17)
Beijing Shouwang Church
05/09/2011
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