YOUR GUIDE TO STAYING CONNECTED DURING COVID-19
Be sure to read the entirety of this email as new and pertinent information is shared in each week's edition.
Hello Parkgate!

Amid the current global situation, many of us likely find ourselves asking a simple question: “Why am I here?” Not in the, “Why do I exist?” way, rather the “Why am I stuck here?” way. We believe in a great and glorious God who has called us to do great things in His name. So, why are we stuck in our houses? Why can’t we go outside? Why are we so cut off from each other? These are good questions to ask. It’s our responsibility to try and find an answer, as best as we are able.

Looking at the whole of scripture, we can see story after story of people who found themselves in less than desirable circumstances. The Israelites found themselves in slavery and exile several times throughout the Old Testament.

Daniel was thrown into a den of lions for praying. Elijah was relentlessly pursued by Jezebel for preaching God’s Word. Pastor Jim is currently teaching on Paul’s letter to the Philippians, which Paul wrote from captivity. All these people found themselves in places that were difficult. Does this mean that God did not love them? Does this mean God did not care for them? No!

In Exodus 3:7-8, God tells Moses “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people … I have heard their cries of distress … So, I have come down to rescue them …” These are not the words of an uncaring, cruel God. Daniel was thrown in the lions’ den by jealous advisors, not by God. God protected Daniel from their cruel plans, keeping him safe from the lions through the night. Although Elijah had to flee from those who wanted him dead, in 2 Kings 2 we see God reward his life of service by taking him up into Heaven. When Paul is converted in Acts 9, the words of Christ tell us that Paul has been chosen to share the Gospel with the gentiles. That being the case, God would clearly use Paul no matter where he found himself.

All these examples point to the fact that finding yourself in a rough place in life does not mean that God does not care about you. In fact, God can and will use you during any and every circumstance, if you will place your life in His hands. Perhaps asking, “Why am I stuck here?” is the wrong question. Perhaps we should be asking, “How can God use me where I am right now?”

God chose the people of Israel to be His messengers to the world in the Old Testament. God chose Elijah to be a prophet to get the Israelites to repent and return to him. God used Daniel to show His power through Daniel’s faith to multiple Babylonian kings. God used Paul, from prison and house arrest, to deliver messages of hope that would resonate through the centuries. If God can use these people in the unique places they found themselves in, surely he can use us.

How can God use you right now? Perhaps He has called you to a place of isolation so that you might learn to depend upon Him like never before. Perhaps He has called you to a home with a family that you have not spent enough time connecting with, so that you might grow together in your relationships and learn to honor Him with them. Perhaps He has called you to be a loving neighbor to your literal neighbors, caring and providing for them in a way you have never done.

No matter what, God can use you regardless of where you find yourself. The whole of scripture resonates this truth. You may not always care for where God is calling you, but that is where we must learn to trust in Him and go where He is leading us. Speaking from experience, listening to God has yet to prove a disappointment. Listen to Him, trust in Him, and seek ways that He can use you where you are at right now. Do not ask, “Why me, God?” Instead, ask “How can God use me next?”

Looking for the next opportunity,
Pastor Andrew

OPERATION: STOCK THE SHELVES
Many families in our community are wrestling with food insecurity during this time of uncertainty and our local pantries have been depleted. Join us as we partner with the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce to collect non-perishables for both our food pantry and pantries around the area. We are specifically looking for items that folks can consume immediately and without additional ingredients - canned soups, Chef Boyardee, saltine crackers, peanut butter, and granola bars are all helpful options. As you shop this next week, would you consider adding a few of these items to your order? You can drop them off Wednesday, April 29 in the box outside the church office between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thank you in advance for your support!
ONLINE SERVICE: SUNDAY AT 10:45 A.M.
Here are three simple ways to access our online worship service, which will stream Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

  1. CHURCH WEBSITE: Visit www.parkgate.church/worship-services and click play on the video.
  2. YOUTUBE: Subscribe to our YouTube channel and be alerted when our service posts.
  3. FACEBOOK: Follow our Facebook page to join us in watching the service there or join the Parkgate Online group and watch there.

We encourage you to share these links with your families and friends in an effort to help #bethelight.
WEEKLY SCHEDULE
We have created a new space to connect with you on Facebook via our Parkgate Online group. All online content for the church is now linked to this group. Our weekly streaming schedule is as follows:
  • Daily Encouragement: Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m.
  • Sunday Mornings:
  • 9 a.m. IMPACT Student Lesson (6th - 12th Grade)
  • 9:30 a.m. KiX Toddler Time (Age 2 & 3)
  • 10 a.m. KiX Worship Lesson (Age 4 - 5th Grade)
  • Wednesdays:
  • 10:30 a.m. Toddler Story Time (Age 2 & 3)
  • 6 p.m. IMPACT Student Lesson (6th - 12th Grade)
  • 7 p.m. Club KiX Live! (Age 4 - 5th Grade)

Pastor Andrew and Pastor Chelsea are arranging online Zoom gatherings for students and kids during this time. Please click their names to send them an email requesting further information.
GIVING DURING COVID-19
Remember, the church is often the place folks first turn to in times of crisis. While it looks different in this season, tremendous amounts of ministry are still taking place. Your ongoing financial support enables us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our community.

Here are three easy ways to give during this time:
  1. Give online. Click here for instructions.
  2. Give via text. Click here for instructions.
  3. Put your check in the mail. We have made arrangements to continue receiving mail. For those who choose to give via mail, you can be confident your gifts are being received securely.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNELS
We are posting our Sunday services, student videos, and children's videos on YouTube. Click the buttons below to be directed to our channels.
PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER DURING THIS TIME
We want you to know we consider it a privilege to pray for you. We have three ways we encourage you to request prayer during this time:
  1. EMAIL. We have set up a special account to receive prayer requests that you might not want broadcast at a wider level. Simply email prayer@parkgate.org and share your request. You can let us know if you prefer it remain confidential (within the staff level only) or if you'd like it shared publicly.
  2. FACEBOOK GROUP. Our Parkgate Prayer Page Facebook Group is a private group where you can request that members of our church community pray for you.
  3. PHONE. Call the church office and JD will take note of your request and pass it along.
ONGOING LOVE NOTES MINISTRY
We've been talking with our friends at the mayor's office and the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce about the best ways to love and support our city during this time. Join us in providing cards for doctors, nurses, first responders, and nursing home residents. Grab the family and follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Grab the WHOLE family and work together to draw pictures and write thank you notes our encouraging prayers to a doctor, a nurse, a first responder, or a nursing home resident.
  2. Make sure to include who you are and where you're from in the card. If you are a kid, write your age! Put the card in an envelope. Seal it with a gluestick or tape to avoid the spread of unnecessary germs.
  3. Label the envelope with who the card is for (a doctor, a friend in the nursing home, etc.). Then, make some more cards!
  4. Gather all your cards together and put them in a large envelope, then either (A) drop them off at the church Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the large box outside the office doors or (B) send them in the mail to Parkgate Love Notes Ministry • 3715 Preston Road • Pasadena, TX 77505.

Of course, we also encourage you to reach out to our own Parkgate family during this time as well. Download a copy of our April birthdays and anniversaries list here and send a card.
NEW UPDATES BELOW
After prayerful consideration and guidance from the CDC, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all on-site programming and activities until further notice. These kinds of decisions are never made lightly and we appreciate your love and prayerful support during this time. As a point of clarification, yes - this includes Sunday morning services.
 
Our office is also closed and our church staff is working remotely. The church phone line remains open and answered during our standard business hours, Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. We have made the necessary arrangements to forward the phone.

We do have staff in the office Wednesdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., to open the Food Pantry and prepare for Sunday streaming. While our staff is on site, we continue to encourage you to contact us via phone call, email, or text. If you stop by during this time, know that we will be unable to let you in the building and will interact with you at the door. This is just as strange for us as it is for you. Thank you for being gracious!