If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to stay flexible. This week, as I'm sure you are aware, has brought another round of Health Department guidelines and another round of questions of the best way forward for us at Christ Church!
In light of this ever changing landscape, here are a couple of updates with regards to our life together. First, at our last Session meeting, we instituted a CoronaVirus Task Force (CVTF) to advise church leaders. You can listen to a podcast with Bryan Burke and Janelle Stutzman talking about the work of the CVTF. So far, the CVTF has fielded questions regarding in person worship, small groups, singing, nursery, and others. You can read a report from this team here.
As to worship, we asked the CVTF if our worship services remain safe in light of the current surge in COVID-19 cases. The answer they came back with was affirmative. In their words: "The safety measures we have put in place exceed those of any church with which we are familiar. We called the official church advisor of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) who once again expressed her appreciation for the efforts we have made to worship safely - we called her once before a few weeks ago - and felt we could continue to do so."
Having said that, we realize that many will be practicing caution during the next several weeks. Therefore, in addition to indoor onsite worship the parking lot worship remains an option, and we are beefing up our online offering. This week will be a return to the pre-recorded sermon and an option to attend a ZOOM worship service hosted by one of our pastors or pastoral interns (Sign up here).
In the midst of this all we have Thanksgiving. Writer Ann Voskamp captured the importance of giving thanks well: “We only enter into the full life (of faith) if our faith gives thanks. Because how else do we accept His free gift of salvation if not with thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our 'Yes!' to His grace.” It is easy to forget to give thanks. It is easy to grumble in the midst of inconveniences, annoyances, and genuine challenges to life. But the grace of thanksgiving will enable us to once again see the world through the Gospel lens and live the full life of faith that God invites us to.
To help us do this we will be hosting a ZOOM Thanksgiving eve service this Wednesday, November 25 at 6:30pm. Join in from the comfort of your home using a link that will be emailed November 25 to all who receive weekly emails, such as this one. Listen, share, and worship with your Christ Church family. For help preparing technologically for this, email Addison.
This week we will finish our study in these last chapters of Romans by looking at chapter 15:14-33. Here, once again, Paul puts his heart for Gospel expansion on display as he invites Christians everywhere to share in the work.