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PASTORAL LETTER OF FEBRUARY, 2021

PSALM 147:15-19

15 He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel.

May this pastoral letter find you and your loved ones safe and healthy, and that you have no interruption of water, electricity, gas and Wi-Fi.

As a historic, unprecedented snowstorm hit Texas, as we watch the snow adrift silently outside the windows, we can take comfort in the fact that the Lord is still in control, as the Psalmist reminds God’s people. 

With the new President and Administration, the America we live in is facing some unprecedented changes as well.  Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, has on February 24 sent out an urgent prayer request.  The expected passing of the Equality Act by the House of Representatives, and subsequently by the Senate, is going to hurl a storm into our national life, especially sowing the whirlwind in the churches,  schools, and religious institutions of the land.  Please see attached Rev. Franklin Graham’s urgent prayer request in its entirety.  A Chinese translation by sister Karen Yin is also attached.

In the face of such overwhelming attack on Bible values and freedom of conscience, we seem to be so week and feeble.  Yet we would do well to remember Acts 12.  When the early church was under persecution, and the Apostle Peter was hopelessly marked for execution, the church did the only thing it was able to do: PRAY.  “So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church” (Acts 12:5).  Prayer alone tilted the balance!

Let us therefore get on our knees, and pray earnestly for the policies and moral climate of this land we call home.  May it truly live up to its motto: “In God We Trust.”

God bless America, land that I love,

Stand Beside her and guide her

Through the night with the light from above…  

With love & prayer in Christ,

Pastor Samuel Ling 

 

2021年2月教牧書信

詩篇147:15-19

15 他發命在地,他的話頒行最快。

16 他降雪如羊毛,撒霜如爐灰。

17 他擲下冰雹如碎渣,他發出寒冷誰能當得起呢?

18 他一出令,這些就都消化;他使風颳起,水便流動。

19 他將他的道指示雅各,將他的律例、典章指示以色列。

盼望讀到這封教牧書信的弟兄姊妹以及您們所愛的人能有平安和健康,願您不會遭受停水停電,沒有瓦斯,無法上網的困擾。

一場史無前例的暴風雪襲擊了德州。看著窗外的雪花無聲地飄落,我們知道上帝依然掌權,這就成為了我們的安慰,正如詩篇的作者所提醒我們的。

在新總統和政府就職之後,我們所生活的美國也面臨著前所未有的變化。富蘭克林·格雷厄姆

牧師,著名的佈道家Billy Graham的兒子,在二月二十四日發出了一封緊急代禱信。美國的參众兩院很有可能即將通過的《平權法案》會給我們的國家帶來嚴重的風暴,尤其是將在教會,學校,基督教機構中掀起一場旋風。請參閱在附件裡 富蘭克林·格雷厄姆牧師的緊急代禱信。施殷慧娟姊妹翻譯的中文版本也附在信裡。

在這樣猛烈地對聖經原則以及良心自由的攻擊面前,我們似乎是軟弱無力的。但是我們該記得使徒行傳12章的記載:早期教會處在逼迫當中,使徒彼得無助地面臨死刑,教會做了當時唯一能做的事情-禱告。“於是彼得被囚在監裡,教會卻為他切切地禱告神。”(徒 12:5)。僅僅憑著禱告就改變了局勢!

讓我們在神面前跪下,迫切地為我們稱之為家的土地禱告,為這裏的政策和人心的道德禱告。讓這地就像美國的座右銘所說的“我們信靠上帝”。

God bless America, land that I love, (願上帝保佑美國,我所熱愛的土地)

Stand Beside her and guide her (站在她身旁且帶領著她)

Through the night with the light from above… (讓從天上來的聖光引導她經過黑夜…)

 

帶著在基督裡的愛和祈禱,

凌頌恩牧師

 

We Cannot Remain Silent!

link to original article

The Equality Act is a dangerous threat to our nation.

I am writing to you about a very dangerous piece of legislation—the Equality Act. The Biden Administration has said they want to pass this within their first 100 days. I cannot say this more emphatically—for people, for businesses, and for ministries of faith, the Equality Act is a threat to life as we know it in our nation today. It’s a real game-changer.

The House has already passed this legislation one time previously, so it will likely pass in the House again before moving on to the Senate. We need you to contact your congressmember and U.S. senators and ask them to vote NO. I also encourage you to let the White House know about your strong opposition to this bill. The progressive Left is zealous about this issue and will pull out all the stops to try to make it the law of the land.

• The Equality Act designates schools, churches, and healthcare organizations as “public accommodations.” With this, schools, churches, and hospitals could be forced to accept the government’s beliefs and mandates about sexual orientation and gender identity. That would be highly intrusive and incredibly far-reaching. It will threaten everyday speech where people can be fined or lose their jobs for using the wrong name or pronouns.

• The Equality Act will legislate that we allow boys in girls’ sports, boys in girls’ locker rooms, men in women’s shelters, and men in women’s prisons. It will force teachers and students to publicly pretend that a biological male is a female. Schools will be encouraged or mandated to instruct first, second, and third graders that they can choose to be a boy or a girl, or neither, or both, making biological sex (and science) a relic of the past.

• The Equality Act will use the force of law across all 50 states to strip Christian and other religious ministries of their right to hire people of shared faith to pursue a shared mission. Can you imagine a Christian organization being forced to hire people hostile to its deeply held beliefs who have no passion for its beliefs, teachings, and mission? That doesn’t work.

• The Equality Act will strip health professionals of their rights of conscience. It will force doctors and medical professionals who long to do no harm to engage in gender transition treatments such as hormone-blocking, cross-sex hormones, or surgery. It is obvious that a Catholic or faith-based hospital should not have to perform gender transition surgeries that go entirely against all they believe.

• The Equality Act will be a tool used by the government to deny or threaten accreditation to religious colleges and universities if they do not satisfy the demands of the secular Left to apply sexual orientation and gender identity to dorms, sports, places of privacy, and even teachings. The Act could be used as a weapon to threaten the availability of federal student loans and grants to students at certain disfavored religious schools.

These are just a few examples. Friends, this is a pivotal time for our nation. The impact of this legislation is immense. We must not remain silent and accept what we know is wrong.

People of faith need to PRAY. Churches need to recognize the significance of this and pray corporately, asking for God’s intervention and mercy to extend the religious freedoms we have been blessed with for so long.

We also must get to work now, in these fleeting days before the Equality Act comes up for a vote again. As individuals, churches, and organizations, we need to let our representatives in the U.S. House and Senate know how important this is to us, and that we are asking them to vote an emphatic NO to the Equality Act.

Sincerely,
Franklin Graham
President

signature


我們不能再保持沉默!

原文鏈接

《平權法案》是對我們國家的危險威脅。

我寫信給您,是為了一項非常危險的立法-《平權法案》。拜登政府曾表示,他們希望在(主政)前100天內通過此法案。我要強烈地表達 -- 對人,對企業和對宗教團體而言,《平權法案》對我們所熟知的國家生存構成威脅。這是真正遊戲規則的改變者。

眾議院之前已經通過了這項立法,因此很有可能在進入參議院之前再次在眾議院通過。我們需要您與您的國會議員和美國參議員聯繫,並請他們投票否決。我也鼓勵您讓白宮知道您強烈反對該法案。激進左派熱衷於這個問題,並將竭盡全力使之成為我們國家的法律。

•《平權法案》將學校,教堂和醫療機構指定為“公共場所”。這樣,學校,教堂和醫院可能被迫接受政府關於性取向和性別認同的信念和命令。那將是高度侵入性的,而且影響深遠。這將威脅到日常講話,人們可能會因使用錯誤的名字或代詞而被罰款或失去工作。

•《平權法案》將立法,規定我們允許男孩從事女孩的運動,男孩進入女孩的更衣室,男人在婦女庇護所中以及男人在婦女監獄中。它將迫使教師和學生公開假裝生物學上的男性是女性。將鼓勵或指令學校指導一年級,二年級和三年級的學生,他們可以選擇成為男孩還是女孩,或者兩者都不選,或兩者兼而有之,以使生物性別(和科學)成為過去的遺物。

•《平權法案》將利用遍布所有50個州的法律力量,來剝奪基督教和其他宗教團體僱用具有共同信仰的人從事共同使命的權利。您能想像一個基督教組織被迫僱用對其根深蒂固的信仰懷有敵意的人,他們對該信仰,教義和使命沒有熱情嗎?那是行不通的 。

•《平權法案》將剝奪衛生專業人員的良心權利。它將迫使長期潔身自愛的醫生和醫療專業人員去從事諸如激素阻斷,性交激素或手術之類的性別奘變的過渡治療。顯然的,天主教或宗教團體醫院應該不必進行完全違背他們所相信的性別轉變手術。

•《平權法案》將成為政府用來作為拒絕或威脅對宗教學院和大學進行認證的工具,如果它們不能滿足世俗左派對宿舍,運動,隱私場所和乃至教導等各方面對性取向和性別認同的要求。該法案可以用作威脅某些聯邦宗教學校學生獲得聯邦學生貸款和助學金的武器。

這些只是幾個例子。朋友,這是我們國家的關鍵時刻。這項立法的影響是巨大的。我們決不能保持沉默,來接受我們知道是錯誤的事情。

有信仰的人需要祈禱。教會需要認識到此法案的重要性,並集體祈禱,懇求上帝的干預和憐憫,以延長我們長期以來一直享有的宗教自由。

在這極短的時日裡,直到《平權法案》再次票投前,我們還必須開始工作。作為個人,教會和組織,我們需要讓我們的美國眾議院和參議院的代表知道這對我們有多重要,我們要求他們投票否決《平權法案》。

真摯地,

富蘭克林·格雷厄姆 (施殷慧娟姊妹翻譯)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes generally available in Texas, I know that many of us are interested in getting vaccinated.  Currently the Moderna vaccine is available to those who are 65 years old and above, and people who have preexisting health conditions (see Texas.gov information).  Brothers Lanshu Wong and Jeffrey Yan have kindly provided the attached map of providers who have received the Moderna vaccine.  You will need to call the individual providers to obtain further information if you are interested.

I have personally received the Moderna vaccine on Dec 29 at a MD‘s office in Plano.  The discernible side effect so far has been minimal.  It is milder than the side effects I got from the yearly flu shots.  I am looking forward to receiving the 2nd shot when notified.

May the Lord bless us all with a healthy and safe New Year.

 

With peace and blessing in Christ,
Pastor Samuel Ling and The Pastoral Staff

 

親愛的主內弟兄姊妹,

隨著新冠疫苗在德州的普及,我知道我們當中許多人都有興趣接種疫苗。目前,Moderna疫苗適用于65歲以上人群,以及基礎病史的人群(詳情見Texas.gov政府信息)。王蘭樞弟兄和甄肇麟弟兄好心地提供了以下已接到Moderna疫苗的診所地圖。如果您感興趣,請致電個別診所獲取進一步的信息。

我本人於1229日在Plano的一家診所接種了Moderna疫苗。到目前為止副作用很小,症狀比我每年注射的流感疫苗的副作用要輕。我期待收到注射第二次疫苗的通知。

願主保守我們擁有一個健康、平安的新年。

 

敬祝主內平安蒙福,
凌頌恩牧師及教牧同工

 

Map 地圖:
https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=91ac7fb5e5fd47e7ada4acfe4a05920a

General information 基本信息:

COVID-19 Vaccine Information (texas.gov)


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*Action to be taken when church is able to meet health and facility protocols

*當教會能夠達到健康和設施(清潔消毒)標準時所采取的措施

**At-risk population are those who are 65 or older, especially those with chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; chronic heart disease; severe obesity; diabetes; chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis; liver disease; or weakened immune system

**高風險人群指65嵗或以上的年長者,尤其是有慢性肺部疾病;中度至重度哮喘;慢性心臟病;重度肥胖;糖尿病;慢性腎病並接受透析;肝病;或免疫系統較弱者

Additional Information and Resources

額外信息和資源