A Message from Pastor Sherman J. Fort

Sunday, June 14, 2020


Greetings in the saving and all sufficient name of God our Father, our living LORD and Savior Jesus Christ and God The Holy Spirit.  I pray this letter finds you and yours prospering and in good health, even as your soul prospers.

Brothers and Sisters, first I want to thank our God for you.  Know that you are loved, prayed for and thought of today by your pastor. 

Our desire as pastor and people is to learn God's Word, love God's Word and live God's Word.  Because of your continued giving and generous financial contributions we have been blessed to emphasize the living of God’s Word as we assist families in our church with essential needs as well as those who have lost loved ones during their time of bereavement.  Thank you for giving.

Next, I want to thank everyone who prayed for and participated in our Navajo Nation water project during the COVID-19 crisis.  Literally within minutes of our Facebook live video recorded Thursday, June 14th announcing and requesting members and friends to bring water for our Navajo Nation water project you began bringing it.  The first to arrive was Sis. Shelby Baker, soon followed by many, many more. 

In approximately 10 days you gave more than 220 cases of water totaling over seven thousand bottles of water.  The water will be transported to the Navajo Nation within 48 hours of the writing of this letter.  Thank you.  

In addition to the water project we have also been blessed in our desire to help feed the homeless in metropolitan Phoenix and the city of Mesa during COVID-19 through a partnership with the Phoenix Rescue Mission and their “Hope Coach”.  Our contribution of $1,000.00 helps to feed the homeless through a mobile service that meets the homeless where they are and gives food and water.   

Additional projects we are working on include:  1.  Reviving our community garden project at the church.  2.  Participating again with ABCS (Arizona Baptist Children’s Services) in our annual Baby Bottle Campaign.  This is a ministry that sees to the needs of infants and children in foster care and beyond.  3.  Encouraging the faculty, staff and students at Lindberg Elementary School by encouraging certified and non-certified faculty and staff and supporting students in keeping with direction from the Principal.  

With respect to opening once again for in-person worship we have heard from people at the international, national, state and city levels.  That said, as followers of Christ we are looking for news from another network.  And that  network is heaven … we want to hear from God.  
Please note the following list of things we will observe upon return to in-person worship.  Note, this list is not exhaustive.  Changes to the list will be made as information becomes available and we follow The LORD’s lead in prayer.  That said please note the following:

  • We will open as Pastor Fort is led by The Holy Spirit.
  • I and our leadership team will pray, meet and seek to receive wise counsel on the matter from knowledgeable, qualified professionals connected to COVID-19.
  • Everyone is asked to read and observe the signs placed at the entry (west facing) side of the church prior to entering the church building.
  • We will continue to practice social distancing and safety rules at the church.
  • At the writing of this letter we currently have touchless toilets and faucets in the lobby restrooms, multiple hand sanitizers in the lobby, children’s rooms and administration offices. 
  • In the next several days we will be installing touchless hand sanitizers in the children’s rooms, administration office and restrooms.  
  • Hand sanitizers will also be added to the restroom behind the stage, the youth room and warming kitchen.  
  • Gloves in various sizes are provided at the front door.
  • Everyone is asked to wear provide and wear their mask in the church.  Note:  TWC custom masks shown on facebook are available for individual purchase online by visiting:  www.reetees.com, scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and select they color and style of your choice.  Beautiful, custom masks are also available from a local source.  Connection to that resource is available by contacting Dr. Dawn Schwary via Sis. Barrow at the church office or by contacting Dr. Dawn directly.  
  • No home-going celebration, repast services or church-wide community events will be held at the church until a vaccine for COVID-19 is in place or it is safe to do so.  The church will however do our best to support and help bereaving families with any and all funeral and repast services. 
  • Unless otherwise noted children’s church, children and youth Sunday School will not be in effect upon our initial return to in-person worship.  Reasons for this include but are not limited to prioritizing the safety and security of our children in the three children’s rooms and youth (Koinonia room).  
  • Upon our initial return to in-person worship the Grace and Mercy rooms will be available to parents to see to their children on a single family or small approved small group setting.  
  • The Hope room will be available to nursing mothers.  The Hope room already equipped with privacy glass (or one-way glass for nursing mom’s when the light is turned on) and a speaker with wall mounted volume control that allow mom’s to watch and listen to worship.  The Hope room will also be equipped with comfortable chairs for mom’s to sit in and see to their children.  

Church family, during the COVID-19 season we are committed to providing worship, bible studies, training and more by way of social media.  

The following is a current list of Spiritual growth and development opportunities available at TWC throughout the week:  

  • Sunday morning worship at 8:00am and 10:30am via the church website, YouTube and Facebook page.  
  • Sunday School classes, 9:30am to 10:20am via Zoom.
  • Monday musings from Pastor Fort currently provided on the church Facebook.  
  • Tuesday evening bible study via Zoom and/or the church website, Facebook and YouTube page.
  • Wednesday workout website from Dr. Danielle Gilliam and the health ministry with Dr. Ayo & Dr. Natasha Osho on the church website, Facebook and YouTube page.
  • Throwback Thursday.  Each Thursday a worship service from the past is selected and re-broadcast on the church website, Facebook and YouTube page.
  • Food Friday:  Each Friday evening a healthy cooking show is available from Dr. Danielle Gilliam and the health ministry.  
  • Saturday:  Rosanna Taylor and the children and youth ministry present online lessons for our children and youth on the church website, Facebook and YouTube page.  

Remember, all of our previous events can be viewed at any time on the church website.  Go to the church website at:  www.wearethewordchurch.com, click the Media button and select the video you want to watch.  

Additional things to remember include:  Giving.  Your tithe, offering, mission and sacrificial gifts of any kind can be given via online via our secure website, Givelify, text to give, via U.S. mail by mailing your gift directly to The Word Church at 931 S. Stapley Dr., Mesa, AZ. 85204, or in
person by dropping your gift off at the church Monday through Thursday from 9:00am to 2:00pm Monday through Thursday.  

You can communicate directly with Pastor Fort, executive pastor Rev. Mayon Neal and church leaders by email.  Simply go to the church website, click the “About” button at the top of the page, click “Leaders”, find the leader you wish to contact and email them at the email address provided.  

You can also connect by phone by way of personal phone or calling Deacon Francine Barrow in the church office at:  (480) 835-6320.  Be sure to leave a voicemail if we are unavailable.  

The secure church app is another way to stay in touch.  If you have not done so already download the The Word Church App on your android, IOS or other device.  Then check the church app for notifications, updates on what’s going on at TWC or to connect with one another via our secure Messaging App available exclusively through our Church App.

In the coming weeks look for updates to our church website to include rotating pages with current and upcoming events and Pastor Fort’s Blog page with news, notes and more from Pastor.  

Finally, let’s pray for one another, our world and all humanity.  Share your thoughts, ideas, suggestions and recommendations for ways we can serve God by serving others.  

Pastor Sherman J. Fort
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