Sometimes I find my own unbelief embarrassing. Take the current crisis, for instance. Last Thursday when I received the email from the school district informing us that they were basically shutting us down, it felt like the bottom was falling out. I felt myself reverting back to the inadequate views of the gospel I had as a young Christian. I didn't feel loved by God. I felt abandoned. Then I was reminded of the gospel and that if we believe it to be true, that is evidence that God is smiling down upon us.
That same evening last week, I met with the elders and we decided to continue to offer a service in our home for the church to gather. (I'll be writing a separate article on how not to judge each other for our different choices during the pandemic.)
On Sunday morning, about 50% of Center Church gathered in our home and it was incredibly encouraging. One thing we discovered was that a multi-purpose room at a local elementary school doesn't have the best acoustics for worship. If the primary instrument that should be heard during congregational worship are the voices of Christians, that was certainly the case Sunday morning. The voices of the congregation shined above everything else. Rich and Eden did a great job leading worship, allowing the voices of the congregation to sing out in a way that encouraged everyone there.
But not only was the worship encouraging, so was the giving. Back in December, when we had the Month of Giving in the attempt to build up a three month financial reserve regarding expenses, one thing we never considered was that a three month reserve could be beneficial in a time of crisis. We didn't quite reach our three month reserve in December, but if giving continues the way it did yesterday then at the end of this crisis we might actually reach our goal rather than have all our funds deplete by the crisis. Again, I was so encouraged by the generosity yesterday!
Those who are willing and able will continue to gather together on Sunday mornings at our home @ 9:30 a.m.
We encourage others to join us Sunday mornings on Facebook where we will continue the live-streaming of the service. (We think we've figured out the glitch yesterday -- plugging the camera in so the battery doesn't die! I know. We're brilliant.)
And anyone who would like to join me this Wednesday evening on Facebook at 7:00 p.m., I'll be live-streaming the same message from Sunday as a test run to make sure there are no more glitches. So, join me at 7:00 p.m. this Wednesday on Facebook for a live-stream of yesterday's message.
Finally, we would encourage those of you who are unable to attend on Sundays to gather with another family or couple from the church and watch the live-stream together. (Small enough groups can keep the six-foot distance between each other.) We want to make sure we all stay connected, because there is a cost to social distancing.
If you know anyone who might be vulnerable to social isolation during this pandemic, this is our time as Christians to "sincerely love one another from the heart" by visiting them.
Let's make sure the body of Christ at Center Church stays the body of Christ during this pandemic. We want the body to stay intact. We don't want to come together at the end of this crisis and find an eye and an ear missing. We want all the parts to remain together.
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