Our (New) Life Together During COVID-19
We find ourselves in increasingly strange times. I (Luke) wouldn't have dreamed I'd be writing this email even two weeks ago. As you all know, public life has now been closed down or severely limited in almost every arena. Given the severity our current circumstances and our need to keep appropriate social distance, we're cancelling at least the next three Sunday services and all mid-week meetings of the church through April 9. We are leaving the door open to return to church for Easter weekend, but we consider it highly unlikely. In fact, it appears that it may be necessary to cancel all physical meetings in the coming months.
While we would wish for different circumstances, we rejoice that we do have access to technology that will help bridge the gap as we look forward to joining together again in the future. So, what will life in the church look like in the coming weeks?
- Sunday Worship "Virtual Gatherings" via "Zoom" (Sundays, 10:30am)
We're going to "meet" at 10:30am on Sundays to read Scripture together, pray, and hear a short talk from the Bible. This "virtual meeting" will replicate some of what we typically do on Sunday mornings, but it really can't replace the physically gathered church. We'd ask you to really make it a priority to join us for that brief meeting. We'll give more info tomorrow on how to join us on "Zoom." For now, feel free to follow this link and download the app.
- Mid-Week Prayer Meetings via "Zoom" (Thursdays, 7pm)
Rich Fulton is going to lead a prayer meeting every Thursday (beginning tomorrow) at 7pm. This "gathering" will be an informal time of sharing prayer requests and praying together. It will also serve as a great opportunity to check-up with your fellow members during this time of isolation.
- Weekly Pastoral Letters or Videos
Twice each week, I along with someone else will be sending a letter or video out to the church that attempts to answer a relevant question or walk through a portion of Scripture. The first letter in this series is just below this notice: "Making Sense of a Pandemic". So, please, keep on reading!
- The Members of the Church Meaningfully Engaging One Another (24/7)
I want us to remember that the bread and butter of Godspeed's response to COVID-19 is not the centralized ministry of the church, but the organic ministry of the church members. Church leaders exist to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:11-12). How can we best dochurch in this season of "social distancing"? Call and text each other to check-in on needs. If you don't know where to begin, start with your home group? If you don't have a home group, call through the membership directory. Set-up a weekly Skype or Zoom Bible Study. Send an email to encourage another brother or sister. Meet practical needs in a safe and appropriate way. Start doing family worship. Look for ways to thoughtfully engage your neighbors.
You can also read Making Sense of a Pandemic from Luke.