Dear Hallows Church Family,
We hope and pray that each of you are doing well. Though these are unprecedented days, we know that our God and Savior has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. May the words from Psalm 16:7-9 be a source of encouragement for you at this time: “I will bless the Lord who counsels me—even at night when my thoughts trouble me. I always let the Lord guide me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my whole being rejoices; my body also rests securely.”
In love for one another and our neighbors, we will continue honoring directives given by our governing officials regarding social distancing and other practices. We appreciate your continued attentiveness as we continue adjusting our faith family’s weekly rhythms.
#1 Sunday Worship Gatherings
I hope you were encouraged as you were able to worship with us via the pre-recorded gathering this past Sunday. It was a joy to assemble those elements in partnership with all who helped us do so!
Moving forward, however, we will not be pre-recording our gatherings in the same way. Instead, we will be hosting our weekly worship gatherings via a YouTube live stream. You will be able to access the link that will take you to our virtual gathering from the homepage of our website. We will start our gathering at 10 am but please link in at least 10 minutes early. After doing so, please immediately subscribe to The Hallows Church’s YouTube channel
Of course, this is neither an ideal nor a preferable arrangement because there is no adequate replacement for how the Spirit moves among God’s gathered people. But, by God’s grace, we live in an era when technology can assist us in staying connected and growing together in Christ. Our hearts will be served well this season by taking advantage of every opportunity we have to lean into our Savior’s presence together each week.
We look forward to singing, praying, and studying the Scriptures together!
#2 Missional Communities
In light of the restrictions our city government implemented earlier this week, Pastor Bryant advised MC leaders to host MCs in a virtual format moving forward. Many tools and platforms are available to make that possible (e.g. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, GoToMeeting, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, etc.). Pastor Bryant is available to help get you started. Some MCs utilized a virtual format earlier this week and the feedback from doing so has been positive. It’s a great way to stay connected, speak truth into one another’s lives, and pray for one another. MCs are encouraged to meet in a virtual capacity each week until further notice.
#3 Soul-Enriching Resources
- Psalms for this Season: You can find these devotions posted on our blog and circulating through our social media channels each weekday morning. If these are an encouragement to you, consider sharing them by reposting or emailing others. People now more than possibly ever are asking big picture questions and looking for refuge and hope in this time of crisis. May the Lord give us each courage to share the reason for the hope that we have no matter the circumstances and through whatever means we have.
- Family Worship Guides: Pastor Mark will be providing a family worship guide each week for parents and caretakers to use in the discipleship of their children. Instructions will be provided to help you make the most of that opportunity. If you have not led a family worship time before, leverage this opportunity to learn how to do so and to cultivate a holy habit for you and your family. Again, Pastor Mark will be available to answer any questions or to provide any coaching that you might need. The first one is available on our Kids Ministry page under Resources.
- Prayer Prompts: Each weekday at 7 pm, we will post a prayer prompt on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram). Once received, please pause for a moment and pray in the direction provided. Below you will find the prayer prompts that have been circulated thus far.
- Pray for God to give our governing officials wisdom to make timely and effective decisions. Ask God to provide such wisdom not on the basis of their merits but on the basis of His grace.
- Pray for those the CDC considers to be high risk sufferers of COVID-19, including those over 60 years of age, have underlying conditions such as heart or lung disease, have weakened immune systems, or are pregnant. Pray for those considered to be low risk sufferers to show consideration and kindness by exercising caution designed to reduce spreading the virus.
- Please pray for our health care workers. Pray for God to preserve their health in the process of serving those in need. Pray for God to provide them with all the resources this pandemic requires.
- Please pray for those who are unsettled by various fears and anxieties related to the current crisis.
- Please pray for scientists to be able to find a cure and people’s pain to be relieved.
- The Gospel Clarity Podcast: Due to the new restrictions on movement within the city, we will not be recording episodes at this time.
#4 Continue to Exercise Caution
Again, the virus that causes Coronavirus 2019 Disease (“COVID-19”) is easily transmitted, especially in group settings, and it is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to protect the ability of public and private health care providers to handle the influx of new patients and safeguard public health and safety.
Please exercise caution and care for those in our church, your missional community, and the community at large, by not meeting together this week, but instead moving your MC’s meeting to a virtual format. We suggest you read and share this article from The Gospel Coalition with others in your circle of influence.
People who are at higher risk of illness may want to consider ways to lower their risk of infection by limiting contact with crowds, including those: 1) over 60 years of age, or 2) with underlying health conditions such as heart disease and lung disease, or 3) with weakened immune systems, or 4) pregnant. If you, or a family member, has a cough, fever, or other respiratory difficulties, we encourage you to refrain from participating in any church-related activities.
#5 Personal Health
Please let us know if you or someone you know becomes ill so we can pray for you and serve you in all the ways that we are able.
We continue to monitor the latest news and recommendations released by the CDC and governing officials.
We will keep you posted as we learn more or if any plans change. If you have questions or concerns please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pastor Andrew and the Elders