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!

This has clearly been the strangest and most upside down Holy Week in all my 22 years as a pastor!
 
As you know, this week will mark our fourth virtual worship experience. Believe it or not, there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into producing these experiences. Even though we have been filming our services for years, there is a big difference in recording a full room on Sunday and an empty room on Wednesday. It’s much harder to lead worship and preach to a camera than it is to real people. And sound and lighting are much harder too. It has been like we are building the bridge while we are walking on it. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate how our staff has come together for all of this, stretching and learning - always under stress - but with a great heart to serve every step of the way. And THANK YOU for all your support and encouragement too.

Pastor Kenneth and I filmed an important conversational walk through of the pivotal events of Maundy Thursday in Jesus’ last hours before the cross. That broadcast will air Thursday at 6 p.m. We hope you will take a few minutes and watch it with your family and then have a short conversation centered around those scenes.

We've also filmed our Easter Sunday service. As always, our virtual Easter worship service will air at 10:45 a.m. This Sunday we will have a time to share communion together virtually . We are telling you this now so that you will make preparations to join us. You can go and get special bread and grape juice, but you certainly don’t have to. Whatever you elect to use, even if it’s tortillas and iced tea, it will be sacred if your heart is using it in a worshipful way.

One other thing, each Sunday the number of people who participate in our worship services has been much greater than our average Sunday worship attendance. The first week we had 1383 separate clicks to watch either on Facebook or YouTube. On the second week we had even more, 1523. This last week, we were down, but still had 828 views. The only difference, as far as we can tell, was that this past week only 7 people shared the video during or after the service aired. The previous weeks we had 12-14 shares. This tells us that it really matters that you help us spread the word. So, we can’t encourage you enough to invite people to join you before worship and to share the service after it airs. It really makes a difference!

Finally, please pray. As I write this message, we know that five people in our church family have lost their jobs and two others have had their pay cut significantly. There are probably more, and we only expect this number and the needs to grow as time goes by. Pray for them and for the literally millions of others like them. Also, please pray for the spiritual receptivity of people right now. Pray that people far from God would be open to hear His voice and surrender to Him. And pray for those who know Him to grow in Him in powerful ways during this time. We have already heard some awesome stories of people responding to our KiX lessons and worship services who would have never seen us apart from this time. Pray that God would be glorified more and more!

Know that you are loved!
Pastor Jim
EASTER IS NOT CANCELLED - IT'S JUST ONLINE!
Help us spread the word that Easter isn't cancelled this year - it's just online! Who can you invite to experience God in a unique way this Easter Sunday, April 12? Invite your friends, family, and community to join us for Parkgate's online Easter experience.

In addition to her usual Sunday morning lessons, Pastor Chelsea has prepared some special Easter videos for our kids to enjoy Saturday during the time Eggstravaganza would usually take place. While these videos will be uploaded at the times listed below, you can enjoy them whenever is convenient - either on the Parkgate Online group or the KiX YouTube Channel.
  • Saturday, April 12:
  • 10 a.m. Toddler Easter Egg Story
  • 10:30 a.m. Early Elementary Easter Craft & Activity
  • 11 a.m. Upper Elementary Easter Jeopardy Show
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.
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.
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.
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!