It’s our prayer that you are doing well as we continue to see the world around us change on an daily basis. The most recent restrictions issued by the CDC and reinforced through the local, state and federal guidelines are very discouraging in many ways. In the Christian life we live in a tension between being in the world but not of it, of obeying God yet honoring the governmental powers he has placed over us (Romans 13:1). The recent guidelines that now limit gatherings to no more than 10 people has been applied to religious organizations. This is frustrating for us all, but the church has never been contained by a building. Throughout history Christianity has shown that God has given his people a resiliency of faith to thrive even when there are limitations placed upon them by rulers. While we had made detailed plans to try to meet on Sunday for worship, the new guidelines have caused us to step back from that plan and move to an online service starting this Sunday.
All of the current services and groups that have met at the church will be canceled for the foreseeable future. This is not done lightly and has been accompanied by much prayer. We feel that these adjustments will be in keeping with the governmental guidelines as well as keep our members safe.
Here are some of the details we are instituting:
Sunday morning worship services will be streaming live on Facebook at the church’s Facebook page. You can find us at 10:15 am at https://www.facebook.com/gatewaychristianchurch/
This service will include the elements that make up our normal service. Worship in song, prayer, communion, a message from God’s Word, and an offering time. The prayer time will not be specific since we are in such a public environment and don’t want to share what would be inappropriate. We will have time for communion, but we invite you to secure the elements for the celebration of the Lord’s supper and join with our church in our time of remembrance. (More ideas will be lower in this email.
You may still share prayer requests and praises through the church website – https://www.gatewaychristian.church There are links there that will allow you to send prayer concerns. We plan on sending out, via email, a prayer list every Friday so you can be praying for one another during this time.
We have also created multiple ways through which you can continue to give to the Lord through the church. You can work through your bank and create a bill pay gift that the bank will insure we will receive. (Check with your bank for how that can be done.) Mailing the check is fine and we have built multiple ways that you can securely give through the church website by debit card, credit card, or electronic check. You will also find instructions on how to give through texting on your phone.
We will be reducing the hours that the church office will be open. Details of this will be worked out soon with specifics shared as soon as possible.
I know that these changes are uncomfortable and not what we want, but God can use this time to allow us to draw close to him in ways we may not understand at this time. Let me encourage you to stay in touch with your church family. If God lays someone on your heart, take time to pray for them and consider giving them a call to encourage them and check on them. That prompting by God may come at a time they need the encouragement. Our church leadership will be checking in on you as well. We want to make sure you are doing okay. If there is a need, we want to help one another. If you are unable to get out and need groceries we will try to work out ways that someone from the church can help you. If you would be willing to be one of those who would help others, let us know here at the church.
The church has never been the building and never truly needed one to be the church. This is a time that the church can be the church and let the world see that we live with a hope, love, and purpose.
Our prayers are with you,
Communion – Traditional and biblically, the elements used have allows been unleavened bread and the juice from grapes. The easiest way to fulfill this tradition is to use crackers and grape juice. If those are unavailable to you, God will understand if you maintain the purpose and reason but have to use differing objects temporarily.