Christ Covenant Church Update (March 14)

Dear Christ Covenant Church Family,

We know that many of you have been asking good questions about our short-term plans as a church. Before we get to those specifics, let me share something I wrote on my blog yesterday afternoon, March 13.
If God is the creator of all things and truly almighty, then he must continue to be almighty over all that he has created. And if God is a Father, then surely he exercises his authority over his creation and creatures for the good of his beloved children. Providence is nothing more than a belief in “God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth” brought to bear on our present blessings and troubles and buoying our hope into the future.

You can look at providence through the lens of human autonomy and our idolatrous notions of freedom and see a mean God moving tornadoes and influenza like chess pieces in some kind of perverse divine play time. Or you can look at providence through the lens of Scripture and see a loving God counting the hairs on our heads and directing the sparrows in the sky so that we might live life unafraid.

“What else can we wish for ourselves,” Calvin wrote, “if not even one hair can fall from our head without his will?” There are no accidents in your life. Nothing has been left to chance. Every economic downturn, every novel virus, every oncology report has been sent to us from the God who sees all things, plans all things, and loves us more than we know.

As children of our heavenly Father, divine providence is always for us and never against us. Joseph’s imprisonment seemed pointless, but it makes sense now. Slavery in Egypt makes sense now. Killing the Messiah makes sense now. At some point in the future—whether near or far—the coronavirus will make sense. Whatever difficulty or unknown we may be facing today, it will make sense someday—if not in this life, then certainly in the next.

We all have moments where we fear the unknown. The fact of the matter is our worries may come true, but God will never be untrue to us. We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future. God will always lead us, always listen to us, and always love us in Christ.
                                                                                                   
While no one enjoys the uncertainty of these days, we still have every reason to rejoice in God, our heavenly Father. We have an opportunity in trying times to speak of the love of Christ and demonstrate our hope in Christ. For good gospel-centered resources on the coronavirus, I encourage you to check out the growing collection of articles—biblical, historical, and medical—posted at www.thegospelcoalition.org .

What’s Next for Christ Covenant?

As promised in our announcement about live streaming our morning and evening worship services on Sunday, March 15, here is information regarding changes we are making in cooperation with the NC Department of Health and Human Service’s most recent guidelines for church activities. Covenant Day School will communicate directly with school families about school-specific plans.

All scheduled campus events until March 30 have been canceled until further notice.   This means:
  • Morning and evening worship services will be live streamed using a link at www.christcovenant.org. Sunday School classes will not meet. The live-stream link and worship bulletin will be easy to find at christcovenant.org no later than 9 a.m., Sunday, March 15.
  • All regularly scheduled meetings including Bible Studies, Trail Life, American Heritage Girls, CHEA homeschool choir, support groups, department meetings, youth gatherings, and men’s and women’s ministries are canceled unless other special arrangements are made.
  • To the extent possible, staff members will work on campus or remotely. We will follow health department guidelines to minimize their exposure to virus risk. 
  • The campus is closed to visitors. The church office is open with restricted access. Telephone access is NOT affected.
  • Communicants class will be postponed.
  • The marriage conference on March 27-28 will be canceled.
  • Our participation at the PCA-wide youth retreat on March 27-29 will be rescheduled or canceled.
  • The farewell service and reception for Bernie and Pat Lawrence on March 29 will be rescheduled.
  • Trail Life barbeque sales and American Heritage Girls pound cake sales will be rescheduled.
  • Small group meetings may continue off campus and are subject to all recommendations and restrictions from the CDC and NC Department of Health and Human Services.
  • We encourage emails, phone calls, and virtual meetings (Zoom, Facebook Live, etc.) among individuals and small groups. 
  • One- off meetings may be approved by senior leadership on a case by case basis; specific inquiries may be addressed to senior staff members who will consult with the Executive Leadership Team as needed.

Our Ministry Priorities Are Unchanged. We will:
 
  • Preach the Gospel.
  • Pray for our congregation, our shepherding groups, and our families. We will continue to welcome prayer requests through prayer@christcovenant.org, the church office, shepherds, and pastors for staff and leadership prayer.
  • Care for the sick and hurting.
  • Support our elders and deacons as they stay in close contact with our members in need.

As you may know, our congregation gives sacrificially every Sunday, which blesses all the ministries of the church. Since we will miss worshiping together for three successive Sundays, we ask those who normally give physical checks and cash in the offering each Sunday to consider all alternative giving options which include eCheck, credit or debit card, the mobile giving app or mailing your offering. 

A Final Word

This crisis may seem unprecedented, but God’s people have always lived with uncertainty, and we have always been dependent upon God. Sometimes we are simply more mindful of both—more aware of our precarious position, but also more aware of our need for God. That’s a good thing.

We trust you will make every effort to attend to the means of grace with us on March 15, 22, and 29, even though we will be in our homes separately instead of in our church together. Perhaps, you can share the service link with other Christians who are unable to worship with their congregations. You may even look for open doors to invite friends and neighbors to “visit” us on these Sundays as well. I will preach from Mark 4:35-41 this Sunday morning, and Pastor Nathan will preach from Nehemiah 3 in the evening. The following two Sundays I plan on putting together a new four-part sermon series for morning and evening on March 22 and 29. Lord willing, we will be able to return to John’s Gospel for Holy Week.

Please continue to pray with us as we ask God to bless doctors, nurses, scientists, health workers, and our elected officials. Above all, let’s pray that God might use this occasion to deepen our commitment to him and to our neighbors, to lead people to Christ, and to manifest his glory in the world.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin