A Message from Pastor Sherman J. Fort

August 1, 2020


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

Brothers and Sisters, I want to begin with a personal update regarding the upcoming marriage of Pastor Fort and Sis. Tiffani Davis.  The date has not changed but because of the global COVID crisis the location has.  The new location has not been determined.  It will be an intimate, safe and secure ceremony.  We will follow this with a time of celebration as soon as it is safe to do so.

TWC FACILITY COVID READINESS UPDATE:  Several new, non-contact, temperature check devices have been acquired.  These will be utilized prior to entering the church facility.  Thank you, Trustee/Deacon Bill Warren, for your help with this.
  • All new, touchless hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the church facility.  This includes restrooms, children’s rooms and the church office space. 
  • Signs that communicate our commitment to safety as well as the personal responsibility of every person entering the church facility will be posted in the next several days. 
  • Both in-house and specific, professional cleaning of the church directly connected to the COVID virus will continue.  This will continue once we return to in-person worship until the pandemic is over. 

COMMUNION:  Communion is part of the first Sunday, online worship service.  I am asking everyone to commune together each First Sunday via one of our live stream formats to include- our YouTube, Live Stream and Facebook Live outlets.  If you need the elements (bread and juice) for Communion you may pick those up at the church office Monday through Thursday from 9:00am to 2:00pm or Sunday morning by driving to the church and meeting one of our Deacons in the parking lot between 7:30am and 10:30am Sunday morning.  They will safely hand the elements to you.

SENIOR SAINTS!  Do you need a tablet to help view and interact with your church family?  If you are unable to participate in our Sunday morning online worship and all other activities Monday through Saturday because you do not have the necessary devise, please contact the church office today.  We are committed to providing both a tablet and training on how to use it to you.

OUR CURRENT WEEKLY ONLINE/VIRTUAL SCHEDULE INCLUDES:  Sunday:  Worship at 8:00am and 10:30am.  Sunday School classes from 9:30am to 10:20am via Zoom.  Monday musings from Pastor Fort.  Associate ministers teaching training with Pastor Fort and Tuesday evening bible study with Rev. Kevin Swindle or one of our associate ministers.  Wednesday workout with Dr. Ayo & Natasha Osho.  Thursday throwback of a classic worship service aired online.  Food Friday, the preparation of a healthy meal with Dr. Danielle Gilliam and a children and youth highlight with Sis. Rosanna Taylor and Rev. Pierre Singfield.  For more information on times and to view past events visit our church website at:  www.wearethewordchurch.com.  Click the MEDIA button and select what you want to view.  You may also visit the church Facebook, YouTube, Church App and TWC Podcast to listen to messages as well.

UTILIZING ZOOM AT TWC.  In order to assist Pastor Fort, bible teachers and ministry leaders with connecting with you via Zoom in a safe and secure way we have contracted with Zoom to provide a number of secure, customizable and secure Zoom meeting rooms. This purchase removes the need for leaders to use their personal Zoom pages and the monthly coast associated with that.  It also helps us in many other ways as well.  Training on this for leaders in need will take place in the next several days.

OUR FIRST LIVE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE!  Saturday, August 22, from 8:30am to 10:30am SJF Ministries and TWC will host our first Live, Virtual Conference.  This Developing Dedicated Disciple Makers Conference will include plenary and break-out sessions.  Guest and in-house facilitators/panelists for this conference include but are not limited to Pastor Fort, Rev. Mayon Neal, Rev. Dr. Fredrick L. Fairley Sr., Pastor Milton Pleasant and Rev. Edmond Brown III.  I am asking every ministry leader, Sunday School and bible teacher, associate minister and church member to register for this conference.  Registration information coming soon.

CHURCH BEAUTIFICATION, MAINTENANCE AND UPDATES:  During the COVID crisis Pastor Fort and our trustee team are taking this time to complete necessary facility maintenance needs as well as some very exciting improvements and additions to our church facility.  All of this is being done as first, good stewards of God’s house and second in preparation for our soon return to in-person corporate worship and ministry at The Word Church.  We can’t wait to get it all done and welcome all of our family back!

A WORD ON CHURCH FINANCES:  Our giving while consistent has fluctuated since the beginning of COVID 19.  While we began very well there has been a recent drop in giving of late.  Unfortunately we experience a drop of some sort each summer as members travel and vacation avoiding the summer heat in metropolitan Phoenix each year.  As pastor, I first want to say “THANK YOU” for giving to the work of The LORD at TWC.  Next, I am asking every individual and every family to continue or begin if you have not already to give through TWC on a regular basis.

By the grace of God and your generosity during this pandemic we have been able to assist members of our congregation during times of need, to help our native brothers and sisters at the Navajo Nation via the water project and feed the homeless in metropolitan Phoenix via the Phoenix Rescue Mission.  Our annual Baby Bottle campaign which supports infants and children in foster care is coming.  We will also continue to support the faculty, staff and students of Lindbergh Elementary School as well.  

PASTOR ANNIVERSARY:  As pastor I am excited to announce that the pastor anniversary will take place this year.  While pastor appreciation/anniversary has not happened recently it will this year.  In the midst of COVID we will have the Pastor Anniversary celebration.  The dates for this celebration are Sunday, September 20th and Sunday September 27th 2020.  The celebration will include guest preachers and more.  My prayer is that you will join me in thanking God for 30 plus years as pastor and people serving our good and gracious God together.  If you desire to serve on the pastor anniversary committee contact me, Trustee Vernon Ennels Jr. and the members of our trustee team.  
Now, may the grace of our God continue to bless and keep each of you is my prayer.

Agape,  Pastor Sherman J. Fort, Senior Pastor
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