Dear Hallows Church Family,
As the unfolding outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus introduces new challenges to society, we are forced to wrestle through questions regarding how best to love each other and our neighbors during this unique stretch of life. We desire to be both prudent and proactive as we plan for the days ahead. In every situation, we resist the urge to live by fear, choosing rather to live by faith. And so after much research, prayer, and dialogue, it is in faith that we are making the following adjustments to our weekly rhythms for the remainder of March.
#1 Sunday Worship Gatherings
For the remainder of March, we will not gather in person for the purpose of worship. Instead, we will providea video link to a gathering led by our elders, ministerial staff, and various volunteers. The video will direct you to worship in your homes as a smaller group of friends, and families. Although the gathering will be prerecorded, we hope that you can set aside the 10 a.m. hour for that purpose on each Sunday. It is comforting to know that our faith family will gather in spirit at that time all across our city.
You can access the worship gathering link each Sunday morning in March from our website’s home page. You are encouraged to distribute and share the video with anyone you desire.
On the website, you’ll also find a tab on the menu bar with instructions on how you may continue to worship through giving during this time.
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.
#2 Tonight’s Prayer Gathering (3/11/20)
Our final in-person gathering for the month of March will be tonight’s prayer gathering at our Fremont Expression from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The service will convene in Emmanuel Bible Church’s sanctuary so enter at 503 N 50th St. If you are able and healthy, please join us for a vital time of worship and prayer for our church and our city.
Please stay tuned as we are discussing ways we may continue to pray with each other through this time.
#3 Missional Communities
Missional Communities are encouraged to use wise discretion regarding when, where, and to what extent they shall gather. Pastor Bryant will be providing content and creative direction to MC leaders as they navigate these next few weeks.
Isolation is harmful to one’s soul. Let’s look for creative and intentional ways to nurture gospel-saturated relationships during this time. Make phone calls. Shoot text messages. Send emails. And, if possible, grab a quick coffee or take some walks with each other to catch up. Please make the effort to check-in and care for one another.
#4 Soul-Enriching Resources
- Psalms for this Season: Starting on Monday, March 16, I will be posting a series of devotions drawn from my morning meditations on various psalms. My hope is to help you experience the various ways in which God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble (Ps. 46:1). You will find these devotions posted on our blog each weekday morning.
- 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.
- Prayer Prompts: Each weekday at 7 p.m., we will post a prayer prompt on our social media channels (Facebook | Instagram). Once you see it, please pause for a moment and pray in the direction provided.
- The Gospel Clarity Podcast: We will release episodes designed to help us think through how we can best love each other and our neighbors during this time. You can find it on iTunes and Soundcloud.
#5 Continue to Exercise Caution
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 until you are fever-free for 48 hours.
#6 Personal Health
Please let us know if you become 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