NOTICE: All Activities Suspended until the quarantine is lifted.

 
Testing the imbedded URL – prior to FB posting.

 
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April 3, 2020
 
Hi CBC Family,
 

In two days, the world will be celebrating Palm Sunday … but in very different and creative ways. The church I served in the Chicago area sits in the middle of a circular drive. Their congregation will be driving around that circle waving palm branches. The pastors will be stationed around the circle to personally greet the congregants. That just made me smile. Jesus’ Church is doing some amazing things and showing it’s resiliency.

I’ll have a special reflection to begin our Palm Sunday service, before moving into a brief study of another timely command from Christ. It’s a command I can happily say our church is already obeying. We’ve been able to purchase and help in the distribution of 40 food boxes this week. We have another 40 on order and expect to pick them up tomorrow. Blessing on all of you who have given on line or stopped by with a gift in support of this aid to struggling Panamanians!

We’ll end our service on Sunday at the Lord’s Table. I’d like to invite you to have some bread and juice on hand … or crackers and wine. The elements have always varied from denomination to denomination … but it’s the observance, the remembrance that’s significant.

Although necessity will require us to pre-record the service, we can still observe Communion together. Sue and I will also be tuned into the service and take communion at the same time you do. Even though we’re temporarily scattered, let’s not forget that in Christ Jesus we are one. We’ll celebrate that unity this Sunday.
 

God bless you all,

Pastor Jon

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March 31, 2020
 
Hi CBC Family,

Yesterday was my birthday and I wanted to begin by thanking everyone for the reaching out. It meant more than ever. Four people from CBC stretched curfew, walked to my gate and sang Happy Birthday to me. That song has never sounded so good … or meant so much. God is showing me anew just how deeply we need interpersonal contact. I’m not suggesting you break the rules, but find some way to let another person see your face. In these days of isolation, be careful and creative, but find ways to connect.

Speaking of personal contact … here’s a chance to connect with me. My plan is to be at the church this week, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. If you’re able, take a short elevator ride and say “Hi.” Give me a prayer request, pick up a food package for someone in need or drop off a donation for that project. If you’re not able to come by in person, consider a brief video chat during those same hours. You can use WhatsApp (+507 6870-1488) or find me on FaceBook (Jon Wiziarde … I’m the only one). I want you to know I’m available. Please bear in mind that the curfew rules have been changing so quickly that it’s hard to even have a plan … so I’ll let you know week to week.

Please pray for Sue and I as we continue to minister. Last Sunday was a bit of an ordeal for us technically. We ended up recording the entire service four times before we felt it could be posted. We then endured an excruciating wait while the computer processed the file. By the time that was done we were so eager to get it to you that we posted without checking the video carefully. If you haven’t watched the FaceBook version you missed a good laugh. I guess God knew you all needed a little levity. Anyway, thank you for your patience … and we’ll do our best to deliver the service at 10:30 this next Sunday Morning.

You know what happened today? I was in the grocery store and I absentmindedly rubbed my nose. Are you familiar with the painting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch? Well that’s probably what I looked like. I wonder what the store employees would have thought if I’d run to the hand sanitizer and washed my face. I really had just a nanosecond of panic and then reason kicked in … actually it was faith. Reasonable faith. There are two things that I believe wholeheartedly that put my head right. I can sum them up with two verses:

Psalm 139:16 All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Romans 8:38–39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He knew I’d come into the world at 11:00 pm on March 30th, 1966 and he knows when I’ll take my last breath. He is sovereign over my life and death. Those things are in “His book.” Not only are those dates in His book … I’m in His book! By faith, I am “in Christ” and nothing on that scary list … nothing in all creation can get between me and God’s love. C-19 crawling up my nasal passage can’t ultimately harm me. If I perish from this world, my faith tells me that will mean “mortality being swallowed up by life.” 2 Corinthians 5:4

Be prudent … and trust God. Take precautions … but don’t fear.

 

God Bless you all,

Pastor Jon

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March 26, 2020
 

Hi Church Family,

I pray this finds you well and not too stir crazy.  It looks like we might have a couple of more weeks of restricted movement. So, what’s ahead for CBC? Let me start with a thought from God’s Word. Hebrews 10:23-25 states …

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Let us … not giving up meeting together! How do we manage to obey that command when the government says stay home? First of all, the original audience hadn’t been quarantined; they were choosing to stay away from church because of persecution. That’s why the author of Hebrews begins by saying … “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess.” In other words, “Don’t abandon your faith.” That’s also why the command to “meet” is sandwiched between encouragements to be encouragers. Believers were frightened and losing focus. They needed to press into their faith, find ways to connect and help one another stay true to Christ and true to their mission. It was a different context then what we’re facing, but still a good word for us in these days.

We can’t meet as a group, but don’t take a vacation from being the church. We have resources for encouraging one another like Christians have never had. Use the phone that’s glued to your hand to reach out and encourage your bothers and sisters in Christ. News and humorous videos will be there later.

And … don’t take vacation from worship. That’s going to be a bit trickier, but you can do it. With current restrictions, Sue and I are not allowed out at the same time. We’re also not able to be out during our normal Sunday worship time. Oh no, what can be done! Thankfully we anticipated this possibility and are setting up a small studio at home. So at 10:30 am this Sunday you’ll be able to tune into to a homegrown time of worship and teaching. It will be a lot more relaxed, but it still gives us a chance to keep some sense of normalcy. Let us not give up meeting together—even if it’s digitally.

Let’ me spur you on toward love and good deeds. The opportunities are going to be great. I’ve been working with John Sawkins and his group Coronado Response Teams to come up with a way to help Panamanians economically stressed by the current quarantine. It looks like we’ll have the effort organized and announced in the next couple of days. Issues surrounding contact between people and foodstuffs have us leaning toward asking for monetary donations that would be converted to care packages. Vetted local Panamanian churches will be distributing most of the aid that we collect. Keep us in your prayers as we hammer out the remaining details.

Sue and I are doing fine … but missing your fellowship. We’re praying for you all. God bless you with good health and great peace.

 

With Love,

 

Pastor Jon and Sue
 
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March 18, 2020
 
Hi CBC family,
 
I pray that each of you is healthy and finding peace in Jesus during these unusual days.
 
The Elders have decided to cancel all public church meetings for the next two weeks. This includes Bible Study today, Wednesday, February 18.
Sunday worship will be held via Facebook Live at the regular time (10:30 am). The service will also be available on YouTube. We’re asking everyone not directly responsible for some aspect of the service to remain at home. We’ll be reaching out with more info on how you can connect.
 
We arrived at our decision with prayer and the best information we could obtain.
 
We’re endeavoring to love all of you by taking responsible action that supports to the desire of Panama’s government to protect all residing in this country.
 
Please be in prayer and ‘do (practical) good to all people as you have opportunity, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.’ Galatians 6:10
 
On behalf of the Elders,
Pastor Jon
 
 
 
WHO WE ARE:
We are a non-denominational English language/English speaking church in Coronado, Panama; serving the mountain and beach communities west of Panama City. Being non-denominational does not mean that we stand for nothing! Rather we have chosen to focus upon following God’s Word rather than concerning ourselves with denominational labels. Our people come from many church backgrounds, but we are all united in lifting up Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)
 
We believe that some issues are clearly central to our faith and cannot be compromised: Jesus is God in the flesh, the absolute truth of scripture, and salvation only through Jesus. We believe that there are many other issues of faith and practice where God’s Word provides room for various opinions (for more information, please see our Statement of Faith on this website).
 
Our gathering is comprised primarily of English speaking Americans, Canadians, and Panamanians. However, as we seek to follow Jesus’ commission to go into all the world and make disciples we want to make a difference in the local Spanish speaking community in the name of Jesus. We partner with the ANA Panama Homes for Children and Word of Life Camp as they minister to the Panamanian community.
 
We hope this site introduces you to a bit of the excitement we enjoy at seeing what God is doing through CBC. You will also find sermons and the Pastor’s Corner which we pray will bless you in the name of Jesus. Please contact us if you have any questions and join us on Sunday mornings. May God richly bless you!