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Frontline Church Update - 04/03/2020
Frontline Church Update - 03/17/2020
For over 2000 years, followers of Jesus have been called to face frightening times with faith, hope, and love. No matter how chaotic things get, Jesus is always at work and the Father can always be trusted. Christ knew this was coming and He’s working to deepen our communion with the Father, our care for one another, and our love for our city.
As the CDC recommends social distancing and to avoid any gathering of ten or more, we need to use wisdom and creativity to remain connected and to care for one another. In this situation, social distancing is actually an act of neighborly love. We want to inhibit the spread of the infection as much as possible and mitigate risk to those around us. Let’s protect the vulnerable among us and help make sure that our medical professionals are not overwhelmed with too many cases to handle.
There are concerns that arise in light of social distancing, however. While social distancing is a responsible thing for followers of Christ to practice, spiritual isolation is not. Spiritual isolation leads to despair, a lack of focus, and a lack of communion with the living God.
Our pastoral hope is that you will avoid spiritual isolation and have a deepened relationship with God and with one another. Here are some practical ways we will facilitate and lead into this hope:
First, we’re asking you to continue gathering on Sundays for a time of family worship. Since the resurrection, the Church has gathered on the first day of the week to celebrate and worship Jesus together. While we can’t all worship under one roof, we do ask that you set aside a specific time of worship under your own roof, using the videos and guides we will provide at frontlinechurch.com/family-worship. Those family worship services will be guided times of prayer, confession, and worship, with a sermon that focuses on faith, hope, and love in crazy times. Please share this resource with friends and neighbors who are looking for hope.
Second, we ask that you continue gathering in discipleship groups of three to four people for the confession of sin, prayer, repentance, and meditation on Scripture. Set a specific day and time each week to gather, whether in person, by phone, or video chat. We have resources and guides available for those gatherings at frontlinechurch.com/discipleship. If you’re not currently in a discipleship group, reach out to your community group leader this week, and they will help you in that process.
Finally, please keep in mind the following:
If you are medically vulnerable, if you have a compromised immune system, if you’re over 65, we strongly encourage you to follow the latest CDC guidelines and opt for gathering virtually with your discipleship group instead of gathering with them in person.
If you’re sick, if you’re hurting, please engage your discipleship group, engage family worship on the weekend, and please contact us and leave a brief message about your situation at frontlinechurch.com/info. Your message will be received by the pastors at your congregation, and they’ll be in touch with you by phone as soon as they are able. We will resource you. We will pray for you. We have deacons, pastors, and community leaders willing to get groceries and to pick up prescriptions.
Remember that Jesus is working—as He has always done—to deepen our relationship with the Father and with one another, and by His grace, we will see people come to faith.
Frontline Church Update - 03/14/2020
News continues to develop regarding the spread of Coronavirus. The elders from all five congregations gathered this morning for a time of prayer, worship, and conversation. After this time of prayer, receiving guidance from medical professionals, and seeking wisdom from the words found in Scripture, we are developing plans on how to proceed this weekend.
First, remember that we have a responsibility to Jesus. He is the head of the church and we follow, obey, and love him. Our job is to reflect his love and his peace to the world.
Second, we have a responsibility to one another. We are the body of Christ and we’re called to love and care for one another and to lay down our rights and privileges in the upbuilding of one another.
Third, we have an outward responsibility to our neighbors and our city. We’re called to be in the city and for the city. We must be a community of faith, welcoming those who are looking for hope. Simultaneously, we have a responsibility to help and protect the vulnerable among us.
For the many in our church community who are young and healthy, the risks posed may allow them to recover in short order, but the vulnerable among us—those with compromised immune systems, with serious medical conditions, the elderly, and those experiencing homelessness—are at much greater risk.
Romans 15 says, “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.” Our calling to Jesus has become more clear: it is to care for our church members, neighbors, and those in our city.
Our responsibilities must inform our decisions. In light of this, we have decided not to have large gatherings at our congregations this Sunday. We are asking for you to gather with community groups, friends, neighbors, and your families for a time of worship. We will have a liturgy posted online and the video sermon available there at 10:00 am for you to use in your homes for family worship to pray and respond to the good news of Jesus.
Not gathering in our buildings this week may seem like a premature measure. However, we have learned that during uncertain times, measures like this ought to be taken sooner than we believe them to be necessary if they are going to make a difference.
Please know that we will take this one week at a time and will communicate all information on our website, via our Happenings email, and on social media. We will have an update early next week and throughout the upcoming weeks on what we will do through Community Groups and Hubs to gather and to scatter. We will continue updates on this page of our website.
Receive and Offer Care
For those who are sick, we encourage you to recover at home and to contact us immediately so that we can pray for you and provide pastoral care to you and your family. If you are well in body, lean into your communities and learn how you can serve your neighbors—maybe that means picking up and delivering groceries or medications to the most vulnerable among you. In addition, serving others through prayer and faith is something we can all do. Put your energy toward reducing fear in others and increasing their faith in God through Christ instead.
We love you and are praying for you. Thank you for practicing your peace in anxious times, thanks for following Jesus, and thanks for being the church that wants to be on the front line of ministry both on Sundays and between Sundays.