March 13, 2020
Dear ECC Friends,

These are strange times! There is a lot of anxiety in the world right now, and much uncertainty when we consider all the potential challenges to our way of life as we deal with COVID-19. With this email and in other ways in the days to come, I hope we can mitigate some of the anxiety you may be feeling.

In my previous email, I stated that we would be cancelling all public activities. I apologize if it wasn't a clear as I intended. So, more clearly, all events , including worship, Sunday School, Kids Out Loud, youth group, Community Gatherings, Bible Studies, commission meetings--on campus gatherings of any kind--are cancelled until further notice .

While it is true that some of our activities fit within the restrictions set up by the county, those restrictions may change any day and it is simply more clear to extend this to all activities. We feel that this is the most appropriate response at this time. It is also one way we can love God by loving our neighbors: we choose not to meet together in order to slow down and flatten the spread of the virus for the sake of others, as well as for our own sake . For those of you who are interested, the article linked here does an excellent job of showing us why all of these precautions are important at this time.

In the meantime, in order to encourage you in your walk with God and to find a way to continue in worship and spiritual growth as a community, we will offer a live-streamed worship service each Sunday at 10:30am, via Facebook . The video of that service will then be made available for later viewing on our web site, ecclife.net.

We also want to offer you some tools to help you stay connected and grow in your faith. So, if you aren't already a part of our Facebook private group. Click here to become a member of that group. If you want access to video teaching resources for Bible studies or topical studies from a biblical point of view, you can join RightNow Media, a service to which ECC has subscribed. Click here to get a free login.

We also invite you to reach out those of us who are on staff if you need something--a word of encouragement, a prayer, a little more connection, or something more tangible beyond all of that. We are still at work and we continue to desire to serve you and care for you in these strange and uncertain days. Call us, email us, or stop by. I've put our cell phone numbers at the bottom of this email.

I would be remiss if I didn't add that, while we will not be meeting publicly, the church budget and church work goes on--and will go on once we get past the critical point in this crisis. That means we need you to continue to give as often as you normally do. We can't take up an offering, but we can direct you in how to give online. Please consider doing so in the weeks to come by following this link . If giving online is not something you want to pursue right now, you can swing by the office and drop off a check, or you can mail it in. Our office staff, pastors, and directors are all still working as we try to understand how best to be the church in the current reality.

Finally, it's important to ask how you can minister to one another and to your neighbors. Who in your neighborhood or apartment complex might need a phone call or a visit? How can you serve them? How can you offer to pray for them? Are there any who need a meal? In what ways might you and I become witnesses of the peace of Christ amid the anxiety and fear? Remember, social distancing is not the same thing as isolation. We need one another.

Furthermore, while these restrictions are a challenge for us, they are even more difficult for many of those with whom we work in the Miller/Bauer neighborhood, some of the more vulnerable members of our community. Please keep the families and children there in your prayers, and pray that we will hear the Spirit's leading if there are other ways we can minister with those families in their time of need.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. In the coming weeks I will continue to send out emails and texts to encourage you and, where possible, to offer more resources for growth, connection, and encouragement.

We who follow Jesus, who make up his Church, are always on call, always on mission, and we have hope to offer our neighbors, our families, and anyone with whom we come in contact. My prayer is that we each find the courage to do so and that we become more aware of the Spirit of God at work in us and in our world.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Stacey Littlefield (765.337.7403)
Pastor Kurt Kincanon (765.427.3404)
Pastor Jorden Meyers (231.557.3584)

PS. To watch a brief video from me on the content in this eletter, it's on our home page at ecclife.net .
Evangelical Covenant Church | ecclife.net