July 23, 2020
WHERE WE’VE BEEN
Our immediate response to the COVID pandemic was to help where it was most needed:
- Some of our staff, elders, and church members were part of a team that helped our community plan for a field hospital if it would be needed. Our church was converted to a depot for medical donations.
- Staff and volunteers rose up to make and distribute hundreds of masks to long term care homes.
- Recognizing that people among and around us were dealing with grief and anxiety, staff and volunteers developed and delivered training to over one hundred people so that they are able to be a support.
- Leaders among us launched new in-depth discipleship opportunities.
We sought to serve because that’s who Jesus is: “He came not to be served but to serve and lay his life down.”
WHERE WE ARE
During all this time, Sunday morning worship has moved off-site into your homes. We’ve all been longing to get back together again, but announcing a date isn’t something we can do. We don’t know.
We have taken the approach that we’re not going to meet if it means putting anyone at unnecessary risk. When we can meet without masks, when we can sing, when we can welcome people the way we want to welcome them, we’ll return to Sunday morning worship at the site in Leaskdale. Until then, it’s at your house.
There are two major pieces to this:
1. How we care for each other.
2. How we care for our communities and world.
Caring for each other happens best when you’re actively involved in a home church. We used to call them small groups, but “home church” better communicates what we need and what we’re experiencing. Never before have we realized how important these gatherings are for our own souls, for each other, and for the purposes of our Lord Jesus. Please get into one. These are critical to the Kingdom.
How we care about the communities where we live matters just as much. We aren’t going to program this or coordinate this. This is going to be a ‘Holy Spirit and you’ moment. What does your community need? Who is in greatest need? What might our LORD be calling you to do? If there’s something to be learned about this from the Early Church it would be to begin by praying.
I miss all of you. I don’t want to delay our return back together for one more week than is necessary. But we are going to be as wise as we know how for our own people and for the people they will be in contact with after we’ve gathered together. We make these commitments to you, not based on fear or pressure, but out of love.
This much we know, Jesus loves the world. He didn’t put the world at risk. Instead he set aside His immediate comfort so that he could get what he really wanted, which was you and me and the world made right.
Thanks for being in this with me. Mostly thanks for loving Jesus through this. I love the stories I hear about you caring for each other and thinking of each other and going deeper in your faith.
Jesus does win in this.
Grace and Peace,