Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Community Pastoral Care Network

The Community Pastoral Care Network was born out of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is an effort to identify the at-risk individuals in the areas where we minister and connect them to the resources they need in order to shelter in place. We utilize our missionaries on the ground and our virtual volunteer network to contact these individuals, identify their needs, and do our best to care for them.

What we have realized at this point is that we started too late. We are behind the curve. Identifying the at-risk during lockdown is less than ideal. Getting the word out has been difficult. As needs rise exponentially it becomes more difficult to find resources and to locate the at-risk.

Now that our eyes have been opened to this hole in the fabric of society we intend to address it. We are looking for concerned Christians that desire to provide care to their community. Our desire is to come alongside them and help them to implement what we have learned and set up a network in their community. If this describes you then contact us today to discuss the possibilities. 636-544-2151

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Virtual Volunteers

It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. When it looked like the country was heading toward lockdown I began to think about how that would affect our elderly and at risk neighbors. We knew that many of them had very little income or support network. Some relied upon public transportation. What was heading our way would be very difficult on many of them. How could we respond?

We met with Alderman Brandon Bosley, Committeewoman Lucinda Frazier, and Linda Primer to discuss some ways we could help. We had staff on the ground but connecting with the at risk was the hard part. Going door to door was out of the question. The solution that was birthed out of this necessity was the concept of virtual volunteers.

The Alderman provided us with a phone list and we recruited people to work from home calling the at-risk in our neighborhood. We have now called about 1200 phone numbers. We are providing care to many as they shelter in place. Our missionaries on the ground are delivering groceries and doing minor emergency repairs like fixing roof leaks.

As the pandemic moves along and people struggle to embrace a new normal, we too are looking at how things get done. We are currently brainstorming other ways to volunteer virtually. Much of the country has ground to a halt but the needs of people have only increased. Use the link below to sign up as a virtual volunteer and help us meet needs during this trying time.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Virtual Discipleship Small Groups Vision

written by Dr. Terry Goodwin, executive director of Sun Ministries.

America is in a crisis of biblical proportions. People are alone, isolated, scared and losing hope. The places they once turned to in times like these are closed. Some turned to bars, entertainment venues, sports, and others to churches. Many of life’s distractions are gone but so are the spiritual support structures that many Americans relied on for the functioning of their faith. Churches, ministries, support groups and other programs are not functioning or are at very reduced capacities. Many Christians are finding it difficult to minister under these conditions.

Our vision has not changed but the world has changed around us. We are still dedicated to launching apostolic movements of disciple multiplication that reach the whole world. As a result of the pandemic we have launched a new way to train and connect Christians to the mission of God. The goal of Virtual Discipleship Small Groups is to continue to equip people and multiply disciples during this pandemic.

Our groups meet virtually and are organized virtually. Our tools are made available digitally, free of charge. Sun Ministries is organizing and launching this movement. It is what we see God doing at this time. Our role in it fulfills our vision. We come alongside others to empower and release ministry.

Each group is designed to meet for 12 weeks and cover the very basic disciple multiplication tools that have been developed by Sun Ministries on the mission field over the last 14 years. These are proven basic tools of disciple multiplication. Our hope is that many will start more groups and repeat the 12 week training with others. We have a window of opportunity to raise up and train a large number of people during this time. If we focus and succeed we may change the course of Christianity in America for years to come. We are laying a foundation for revival to come after the virus has left us.

Watch this short video to hear the vision explained.

You can participate by joining a group or hosting a group. Group Hosts can be trained to become Group Teachers that will offer teaching support for other groups.  There are many groups and times available to choose from. More are being added all the time. If you don’t find one that works for your schedule or if you want to host a group just email us and we will work out the details.

Download our APP on your smartphone or tablet. It is the best place to access all the tools in one location. Once downloaded you can go to settings and turn on Push Notifications to stay up to date on what is happening.

Click Here to Download the App!

Go to our Facebook page to Like and Follow us. Groups will appear as an event on our Facebook page. You may register for any event that is still available or email us to request a group at a different time or day.

Sun Ministries Facebook

I am hoping you will join this movement of God. I look forward to working with you. If you have any questions please contact me. We are here to help.
Dr. Terry M. Goodwin
Founder and Executive Director
Sun Ministries, Inc.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Passover - A Celebration for this Time

The coronavirus pandemic has stopped life as usual for millions of people across the globe. Stay-at-home orders are in place, schools and businesses are closed, and everyone has to stay at least 6 ft. apart. As of today (4/4/2020) there have been more than 60,000 casualties. Seems like the "new normal" changes every two days, and no one knows what the next few weeks, months, or even years will look like. The economy has been rocked, and everyone has to find new solutions to things we took for granted just 4 weeks ago.

It feels a bit like living in an occupied country. Maybe there aren't soldiers posted on the street corners (at least not in America right now), but there's a risk to every daily activity. Sure, you're free to go to the store, but not REALLY free. Our entertainment destinations are all closed. Even our cultural and religious institutions have been taken away.

Church buildings have been closed. The main form of faith expression for many American Christians has been removed from them. We can no longer legally gather. Obviously, this is still a far cry from "closed countries" that have persecuted Christians, but it gives us Americans a small taste of what our brothers and sisters have experienced through the centuries.

Jesus was born into an occupied country. It's where He lived and died. The Romans scrutinized their every move, and there was a presence of threat in the air. Sure, they were free to live their lives, but not really free. Even the most devoted to the religious system proclaimed their ultimate devotion to Caesar when confronted (John 19:15).

Easter is arriving very soon, and for almost every American Christian, they cannot rely on their traditional ways of celebration. No big family meals, no easter egg hunts, no passion plays or Easter musicals, no packed pews. We may even have trouble finding the kinds of food we like. Families will be locked in their homes, maybe sharing a meal and some Scripture with whomever is there, and likely with a weight of uncertainty hanging while they try to celebrate the Resurrection.

The meaning of Easter is certainly the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Our hope is in the power and promise of Jesus' death and resurrection, forgiving our sins and granting us the Holy Spirit, regaining our communion with God. It's the ultimate expression of God's victory over sin and death. However, this season is resembling a much more ancient festival that God gave to His people, when they were locked inside surrounded by death. The festival of Passover.

For many Christians, Passover is something maybe mentioned around Easter, but few of the symbols or even story make it to our celebrations. But this seems like a good year to start. Passover is a very symbolic, yet simple, meal. It is somber and meditative, but celebratory by nature, praising God for his power and faithfulness to save His people. It is a reminder that we have been saved from death and slavery by a mighty God, not for our own sakes, but for His purpose - to go out and be His priests in the midst of a broken world, proclaiming the Good News that the Kingdom is here, that love of neighbor and enemy is the new law, and death is no longer in charge.

The Keener family, from outside Tulsa, OK, has been celebrating Passover for years, and agreed to make some helpful videos to guide your family (or quarantine partners) in observing this festival and remember our Lord and why He saved us.

You can click this link to download a PDF of instructions, and watch the videos below.

Passover Instructions

Part 1 - Travis Keener describes Passover

Part 2 - Travis and his wife Jennifer explain how to prepare for Passover

Part 3 - The Keener family show you how to celebrate a simple Passover at home.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Chain Church

Written by Jessica Sanford, a Sun Ministries missionary.

Think about the Church like a chain.

One single link is still technically chain, but it cannot accomplish its intended purpose.

A bucket of unjoined links is useless.

Multiple links held together by one link doesn’t do what a chain is supposed to do. It makes the links easier to find and maintain, but it doesn’t do what it was made to do.

When you join multiple links together in the shape it was made for? That’s when you have purpose.

Homothumodon is a Greek word used in the New Testament to describe the community of the early Church. If you break it down, it literally means “to rush along in unison.” The Church has a purpose, and it achieves that purpose by way of homothumodon.

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47)

Community (homothumodon) is built on the unity of shared purpose.

Without homothumodon:
-Accountability from leadership can feel like legalism.
-Our version of community will serve only our own pleasures.
-The Church is not mobilized in Her true purpose.

Homothumodon in the Church is built by responsibilities being fulfilled. The corporate responsibility is braced and bolstered by the individual responsibilities.

Corporate Responsibilities
Prayer (Matthew 18:19-20)
Meeting needs (Acts 2:45)
Fellowship (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Devotion to apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42)

Individual Responsibilities
Forgiveness (Colossians 3:13)
Love (John 13:34-35)
Patience (Ephesians 4:2-3)
Confession (James 5:16)

When we all fulfill our own responsibilities, the Church is able to rush along in unison as God intended.