For over 2000 years, followers of Jesus have been called to face frightening times with faith, hope, and love. No matter how chaotic things get, Jesus is always at work and the Father can always be trusted. Christ knew this was coming and He’s working to deepen our communion with the Father, our care for one another, and our love for our city.
As the CDC recommends social distancing and to avoid any gathering of ten or more, we need to use wisdom and creativity to remain connected and to care for one another. In this situation, social distancing is actually an act of neighborly love. We want to inhibit the spread of the infection as much as possible and mitigate risk to those around us. Let’s protect the vulnerable among us and help make sure that our medical professionals are not overwhelmed with too many cases to handle.
There are concerns that arise in light of social distancing, however. While social distancing is a responsible thing for followers of Christ to practice, spiritual isolation is not. Spiritual isolation leads to despair, a lack of focus, and a lack of communion with the living God.
Our pastoral hope is that you will avoid spiritual isolation and have a deepened relationship with God and with one another. Here are some practical ways we will facilitate and lead into this hope:
First, we’re asking you to continue gathering on Sundays for a time of family worship. Since the resurrection, the Church has gathered on the first day of the week to celebrate and worship Jesus together. While we can’t all worship under one roof, we do ask that you set aside a specific time of worship under your own roof, using the resources we will provide on our Church at Home page here:
There you will find resources for families and groups and links to our live gatherings on Sundays. Those gatherings will be times of prayer, worship, with a sermon that focuses on faith, hope, and love in crazy times. Please share this resource with friends and neighbors who are looking for hope.
Second, we ask that you continue gathering in discipleship groups of three to four people for the confession of sin, prayer, repentance, and meditation on Scripture. Set a specific day and time each week to gather, whether in person, by phone, or video chat. We have resources and guides available for those gatherings. If you’re not currently in a discipleship group, reach out to your community group leader this week, and they will help you in that process.
Finally, please keep in mind the following:
If you are medically vulnerable, if you have a compromised immune system, if you’re over 65, we strongly encourage you to follow the latest CDC guidelines and opt for gathering virtually with your discipleship group instead of gathering with them in person.
If you’re sick, if you’re hurting, please engage your discipleship group, engage family worship on the weekend, and please contact us and leave a brief message about your situation at . Your message will be received by the pastors at your congregation, and they’ll be in touch with you by phone as soon as they are able. We will resource you. We will pray for you. We have deacons, pastors, and community leaders willing to get groceries and to pick up prescriptions.
Remember that Jesus is working—as He has always done—to deepen our relationship with the Father and with one another, and by His grace, we will see people come to faith.