I want to pause for a moment and encourage you. These are crazy, difficult days and yet you continue to amaze me with the ways you show your love for Jesus and for one another.
I give thanks that although our church building has been closed for a time to exercise loving caution during this pandemic, our church has never actually closed. We have always been “open.” It has certainly looked different and felt unfamiliar but there is no question the gospel has been preached, we have continued to worship Jesus and study the Word, and we have persisted in prayer. We have expanded our small groups, reached out to care for people in need, built bridges with our community, and linked arms with our partners around the world.
It seems like we are in an in-between time with some things reopening in adapted ways, other things remaining closed, and everyone feeling very differently about the situation and how it should be handled. My prayer is that we would lean into the tension of this moment, seeking the Lord’s face and asking Him to refine the heart of our church. I sense that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to strip away the chaff and get to the core of what it means to authentically
the church, not just be
I know we are all longing to be together for church services again. While we don’t have a date set for an official “reopening" of our services, we are monitoring the situation closely and prayerfully planning and preparing for when the time comes. We want to resume our on-campus services in a way that honors Jesus, cares for our whole church family, and shows love to our local community. As you can imagine, there are many logistics involved for a church our size to do this well.
In the meantime, if you are longing to worship in person, I urge you to come to our
outdoor Gatherings on Sunday mornings
at 9am! With
worship, teaching and prayer
, they feel very much like a church service, just outside with masks. You don’t need to sign up. Just come and sit in a chair provided on the piazza or bring your own chair or blanket if you’d prefer to sit on the lawn. Even with social distancing and masks, it is powerful to worship and pray together in person. We are able to accommodate more people with these outdoor gatherings than we would be able to accommodate indoors (even using multiple rooms on our campus) so we will continue with outdoor gatherings until we can safely hold a much larger number of people in our sanctuary and chapel.
This is an unfamiliar situation for all of us. Thank you for your patience and kindness as we walk this unknown road together. We all feel differently about the best ways to emerge from this pandemic and it’s ok if we disagree. But as followers of Christ, even in disagreement we must lean in with love and grace. My heart is stirred by this passage in Philippians 2:1-4:
"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Let’s continue to believe the best in one another and be on our knees seeking the Lord.