Saturday Night & Online Worship
by Rachel Billups, Senior Pastor
There is something bubbling up inside of me. It’s a bit of a paradox. On one hand I see the challenges of the world. Like my 15-year-old remarked the other day, “This world is so messed up!” On the other hand, I can see the hope-filled possibilities. As followers of Jesus, we are reminded that the light and love of Christ shine in the darkness! God’s presence is tangible everywhere, and I believe that God is inviting us into the deep waters of exploration. It’s why we are experimenting with new ways to reach people with Jesus’ love.
 
Starting Sunday, September 19, we will be engaging with a new online worship strategy. Online church is more than worship; it truly is about creating relationships. Online church means connecting people with Jesus and with one another. Our leadership team has made the decision to move to streaming worship live from the room on Sundays during our 9am and 10:30am Tipp City Campus worship celebrations. There’s been so many moments over the summer when something holy happened in the room; and unless you were in the room, you missed it! This is an encouragement for those in the area who cannot make it back to the Worship Center in this season, and it also offers a new way of intentionally engaging our online faith community wherever those folks may be. The online experience will still be introduced by an online host, who can also share online-specific information at the close of worship as helpful. The words we use and community connections shared during worship will be intentionally inclusive of both in-room and online worshipers. Again, we are in a season of exploration and experimentation. Bottom line, we are seeking engagement, whether you live within a few miles of our physical campuses or across the globe!

This move to live online worship will also free up our video team to capture more Jesus stories to inspire, convict and catapult us into our future together. I am sure there will be technology gremlins to overcome, so be graceful with the team as we make this transition.

But, Pastor Rachel, what about Saturday night worship? I am so glad you asked.

We’ve made the intentional choice to move away from Saturday night worship for some really great reasons:

  1. Sabbath—if God rested on the Sabbath day, perhaps we as a church also need a day of rest. This intentional choice not to go back to Saturday night worship has given our organization breathing room during an extremely challenging season of ministry.
  2. Staff Health and Retention—It’s been a challenge to keep staff members at times, particularly those with young families, because staff members worked both days that their spouses were typically off work and their kids out of school. This pattern of working both Saturdays and Sundays proved to be a strain on marriage and family relationships. Making the intentional decision to keep Saturday free of onsite responsibilities has fostered increasing health among our staff team and their families.
  3. Finances—We can’t afford to provide Saturday night worship in its past form. The pandemic has forced us to make reductions in our staff team. With fewer team members, we can provide less support for our numerous ministry opportunities. We had to prioritize. And, so we did.

We recognize that some folk can only worship on Saturday night because of their work, health or family situation. It is why we are developing a servant-supported Saturday night worship experience in the ARK, our original church building at the South Campus (down the street at 7685 S Co Rd 25A) starting Saturday, September 18 at 5pm. We have many up-and-coming leaders who want to develop their skills as preachers and worship leaders, and so this new Saturday night worship experience will be focused on training new leaders, building community and deploying people into future home hubs.

If Saturday night sounds like a perfect opportunity for you, please contact Pastor Sarah Hardin, shardin@ginghamsburg.org. She is recruiting people to serve and lead as hospitality hosts, set-up and tear-down team members and table leaders for facilitating discussion, as well as in any other roles that Saturday night might need. That means we will no longer offer Saturday night worship at 5pm for our online community, although the previous weekend’s message will be available for viewing on YouTube and at ginghamsburg.org/ondemand. This will give us the ability to develop a worshiping community without destroying our Sabbath.

Friends, you are the church, and it’s only together that we will be able to love Jesus and do something about it!

On mission with you,

Pastor Rachel

Rachel Billups
Senior Pastor
One More Thing...

The summer of 2018, Jon, our daughter Adeline and I traveled to New York City, where we were determined to visit the 9/11 Memorial. We were nearly a block away from the memorial when this silent reverence fell over us. “You feel that?” Addie asked. “It feels a little eerie.” And it did. Although beautifully constructed, the memorial is that space where 20 years ago, the unthinkable happened. Two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center Towers killing 2,763 and injuring thousands more. That same day brought an attack on the Pentagon and highlighted the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. This weekend, we remember the 2,996 people who died that horrific day.
 
Maybe like me you remember exactly where you were when you watched the second plane collide into the second tower. I was a junior in Decker Hall at Anderson University, attempting to make my way to class, when the image came across the television screen. All I could think to myself was, “The world will never be the same.” There was wisdom in that fear-ridden statement. Our world has changed over the last 20 years. And I imagine your life has changed, too. Today, my mind and thoughts cannot help but move toward the families immediately affected and the first responders, the firefighters, EMTs and police officers, who were on the ground, desperate to help. There’s a deep grief in me as I reflect over the 20 years of war on terror ignited by 9/11. There have been many brave servicemen and servicewomen, some of whom didn’t make it home alive. Others were deeply wounded physically or emotionally, forever carrying the scars of battle. Then there were the people, the regions, the countries left with the residue of 20 years of war. It reminds me of the prayers of the Psalmist David, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2 NIV).

David was brutally honest with God. We call these prayers, “psalms of lament.” These prayers provide the space for us to grieve, to be angry, to name what is already stirring in our hearts and mind. Most of the time we experience a grab bag of emotions as we swim in the reality of a world that is God’s kingdom come, and yet not fully come. How long, God, do we have to wait to experience light, love and full reconciliation? Come on, God! The pain and anger are real, and they’re in our hearts and heads. And yet David did not stop there. Most psalms of lament finish in the place of trust. Even when emotions are heavy, even when the world seems messed up, even when we don’t have answers, our God is worthy of trust. “But I trust in your unfailing love” (Psalm 13:5a NIV). God, we trust you.

On this 20th anniversary of 9/11, let us put our trust in God. Let us not add to the noise but rather be tangible demonstrations of love: loving our neighbors regardless; praying for our servicemen, servicewomen and first responders; showing signs of gratitude for those who have sacrificed a father, mother, son or daughter; and remembering that we must do what we can do to drive out the hate in our world. As the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remind us: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” In the moments this weekend when darkness and hate creep into our heads and hearts, let us be reminded that light and love are the real solutions to the world’s growing problems. Love regardless.
 
Pastor Rachel
By the Numbers...
  • Offering this week was $45,408 from 245 individual or family givers.  
  • In-person worship was attended by 477 individuals across both locations.
  • Online worship was streamed over the weekend by 1,356 unique devices on three platforms (YouTube, Facebook and ginghamsburg.church).

This Weekend at Ginghamsburg!
Our world is handing us heartbreak faster than we know what to do about it – yet we share this deep desire to make a difference, to lean into the challenges with love. Here’s an idea: rather than trying to fix it all, what if we simply expose the one light we’ve each been given to shine? Welcome to Big Serve Day. This Sunday @ 10:30am we’ll gather to worship then spread out to reach out to our neighbors though tangible acts of kindness. Don’t miss your best opportunity to put feet to faith and love regardless! NOTE: There is NO 9am worship at Tipp City this Sunday.
 
Unable to make it in person? Worship with us @ ginghamsburg.church anytime.
Fort McKinley In-Person Worship Time:
Sunday: 10:30am

Tipp City In-Person Worship Times:
Sunday: 9, 10:30am
Ginghamsburg Online Worship Times
Saturday: 5pm
Sunday: 9, 10:30am
YouTube 5pm Saturday, on demand after