March 17, 2020
Subject: An Update About Our Response to COVID-19
I am amazed at the resilience and flexibility of our community. This Sunday night was a wonderful demonstration. If you missed our Sunday meeting, you can still watch it here. Our live chat was lively, but people still had an experience of the holy. We were looking to connect, and this dreaded plague didn’t stand between us. We connected. We did it online. My own cynicism about the intimacy of a meaningful online Sunday meeting was shattered by the warmth of our community and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Our final numbers are still coming in, but we actually grew in terms of regular attenders on Sunday, including old and new friends.
We intend to preserve and even expand our community through this quarantine, but for now, the pastors are asking for all of our meetings to go online—cell meetings, team meetings, and Gifts for Growing offerings. We are cancelling meetings and events that can’t go online, unfortunately, like the women’s retreat. It will be an adjustment, but your leaders will orient you, using the technology we have at hand. Last night, our Leadership Team met online using video software. Many of our cells are meeting that way tonight.
We expect this quarantine to last until at least Easter, and so we expect our Holy Week observances, and yes, our beloved Sunrise Worship to be moved online in some way. Our Sunday meetings will stay online as well (so far 5 p.m. on Sundays). The risk is too great, and we want to love our neighbors and the least among us as well as we can.
Let’s seize this as an opportunity to connect in new ways. Our leaders are inventing things now, and you will hear more and more about them as they develop. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and for courage and safety for all.
Rachel, Ben, Julie, Jonny