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Answering God's Call During A Pandemic




2020 has not been a good year for many of us. COVID-19 has turned our world upside down.

Many of us have lost loved ones, and we with them when they passed. Many have lost their jobs due to stay at home orders closing states, putting a halt to income for millions of Americans and causing our country to spin into chaos.


I understand how difficult it is to stay home, lose employment, social distance, wear a mask out in public, and still wake up with faith and sanity every morning.


I did not know when I received the news, I was not remotely considered for the settled minister for Palm Lake, that God’s plan for my family and me, was already in motion.

I did not know our world would face a pandemic that would kill millions without mercy, paralyzing our society, and staying home to stay safe.


I did not know that all the years of knowledge and education would be required and fully utilized.


I was asked by many of what my plan would be for the future. I answered I didn’t know, but GOD does and would show it when it was time.


During prayer and discernment over what God’s plan for me would be, one night, God’s voice was loud and said, If you love me, Find My Lost Sheep and feed them!

I woke up that next morning with a mission, a vision, and a plan!






Lamb

“· Heb. kebes, a male lamb from the first to the third year. Offered daily at the morning and the evening sacrifice ( Exodus 29:38-42 ), on the Sabbath day ( Numbers 28:9 ), at the feast of the New Moon ( 28:11 ), of Trumpets ( 29:2 ), of Tabernacles (13-40), of Pentecost ( Leviticus 23:18-20 ), and the Passover ( Exodus 12:5 ), and on many other occasions ( 1 Chronicles 29:21; 2 Chr 29:21; Leviticus 9:3; 14:10-25 ).

· Heb. taleh, a young sucking lamb ( 1 Samuel 7:9; Isaiah 65:25 ). In the symbolical language of Scripture, the Lamb is the type of meekness and innocence ( Isaiah 11:6; 65:25; Luke 10:3; John 21:15 ).

The Lamb was a symbol of Christ ( Genesis 4:4; Exodus 12:3; 29:38; Isaiah 16:1; 53:7; John 1:36; Revelation 13:8 Christ is called the Lamb of God ( John 1:29 John 1:36 ), as the great sacrifice of which the former sacrifices were only types ( Numbers 6:12; Leviticus 14:12-17; Isaiah 53:7; 1 Corinthians 5:7 ).”[1]

As a farm girl, I always had a fascination with Sheep. My family raised Sheep for wool, food, and for pure enjoyment. I loved my Sheep, and one of my favorites was named Lamb Chop. For me, baby lambs are so much fun to be around and to watch. They love to run, and jump, and play and wrestle with one another.



However, sheep are also particularly good about not following directions, wandering off, and getting into sticky situations, needing to be rescued.


Sheep not only knows their Shepherd's voice, but they know their scent, character, and emotions just as the Shepherd knows each one of his flock by name.


The Shepherd knows their personality traits, habits (YES, SHEEP have habits too).

The Shepherd knows the favorite types of grass, grains. The sound of each Sheep's cry for help, their mother, or the call for their flock. The Shepherd knows when something is wrong, and when everything is okay and peaceful.


The Shepherd knows when the sheep are in trouble, and the Shepherd will fight, to the death, furiously even for ONE of his flock.


For years, I have used Sheep in my sermons, and with my congregations, as a visual aid. I bought my first Lamby.




Lamby was introduced as a visual aid during a Maundy Thursday Service to remind us


that Jesus Christ IS the Lamb of God, and He died for all the sins of the world.



Just as God is our Shepherd, providing and taking care of all of His Sheep, He sent his most precious Lamb to the earth, as a sacrifice for the wickedness of the rest of the flock that would not listen, wandered in different directions, and needed to be saved.



Pastor Jenn, where are you going with all of this?

I’ll tell you, my dear friend, God called me to Find His Lost Sheep, and so I am!

Kesh 'Oved is Hebrew for "The Lost Sheep."


Pastor Jenn, you’re doing this during a pandemic, you know this, right?


YES, I Do, what better time!


See, instead of sitting at home, fearing a pandemic, I trust in God to lead me through this whole process, and trust him.

Through prayer and discernment, and in-depth conversations with fellow clergy, mentors, coaches, family, and friends.

Even more, through sincere prayer and meditation with God. Listening, hearing His voice in some of the strangest of ways, and some of the most surprising.

He has Called, I have answered.


Through the voice of some truly remarkable people in my life, and with their prayers, encouragement, and support, Kesh ‘Oved Faith Ministries was born.


Kesh 'Oved Faith Ministries started as Pastor Jenn Moreno Ministries. I wasn’t sure where God wanted us to go, but I knew I was supposed to use all the experiences in technology and social media management skills I have to make this happen.


Some of the questions I have had include:


What does Kesh ‘Oved mean? It’s Hebrew for The Lost Sheep.





Where are you meeting? Given the pandemic and the need for social distancing, as well as not having a brick and mortar building to fit in, the logical and most practical choice is online. Plus, this is part of the vision God gave me a long time ago. Why limit the church to a single location when we can be nationwide through the tools of technology?



How will you grow? That is where we all come to work together. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all part of the flock. It is our job as Sheep to help lead other Sheep to a place of safety, rest, and help them hear the Shepherds voice. We use this old idea of Evangelism to make it happen! YES, I SAID IT! Evangelism! Using technology, we can stay connected with our loved ones worldwide, so why not evangelize too? It works just as effectively, if not better than knocking on our neighbor's doors, inviting them to church, and the fellowship meal after worship.


As we grow, our online congregation will grow as well.



Are you limiting membership? No, we are open to everyone who believes Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and their Savior. Anyone is welcome to into our

flock, regardless of where they live, or how far away they physically are. As we merge membership and missional model church ideas, our vision is to bring people together and to use their spiritual gifts as God has provided them. Membership will help us keep track of everyone for audit and giving purposes and does not need to be a formal public profession unless the Spirit leads one.


Membership is not necessary to be a part of the teams where their gifts are welcome and where they are willing to give their time, talent, and gifts.



Are you affiliated with a denomination? We are in the New Church Plant Start process with the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. With the blessing of many clergy members and others, we are submitting our official proposal to be officially affiliated and adopted.




Why the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, and not just Nondenominational? I am a faithful minister and member of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. As a minister for this denomination, I know this is where God has called me to serve, and where God has called me to start our congregation. I will not entertain where God has not me to be.



What about Stewardship? We all know congregations and churches rely on the patronage of their members, and those that feel led to give. Stewardship is essential in any venture one or organization is involved with.



I have already taken measures to establish the necessary information to prepare us for this step; however, as the minister, I do not need that responsibility. That’s where I require a member of the team.




Why should someone consider being apart of Kesh ‘Oved Faith Ministries? We are all called to a specific purpose in life. We are lost Sheep everywhere, and we are looking to be fed. God’s call on our lives is clear. When He calls, we may not hear Him, OR choose to ignore Him, just as sometimes sheep often ignore the call of the Shepherd because the grass is just too good to stop eating. However, God will come and nudge along and take us to where He wants us.


I know this feeling all too well. I understand the inner conflict with oneself, wondering where to belong, and the right things with their life.


I promise you God will NEVER lead any of us in the wrong direction! God provides everything we need in our lives to be who He has called us to be. Like Sheep, it's our nature to listen for that voice, that call from our Shepherd.



If you hear that call through Kesh 'Oved, I would like to invite you to take that leap of faith and just do it! After all, what better time to answer God’s call than during a pandemic!

I have received the blessing to move forward with this process, and I will be attending the Christian Church Disciples of Christ Leadership Academy from September 28 – October 2, virtually!


I would like to invite those that are also hearing the Shepherds call to join the flock and team to join me through this journey!


As SHEEP, I want to remind you that we may get distracted along the way, we are

mere Sheep, and we may wander around, but Our Shepherd is here with us! Guiding us and protecting us.


Is God calling you to join us? Is God calling you to give of your time, talents, and gifts? Maybe God is putting us on your heart to pray for us.


NO matter what the call is, The Shepherd is calling… How will YOU answer?


















I love you all!

Blessings and Socially distant Hugs!

Love,

Pastor Jenn M. Moreno

Senior Pastor

Kesh ‘Oved Faith Ministries


[1] Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Lamb." "Easton's Bible Dictionary



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