We are living in a strange and difficult time. As such, churches across the world are having to adjust and think through how to continue to be the church in such a time. We clearly need to make some changes, but that doesn’t mean we hit pause on our membership in the body of Christ and all the blessings and responsibilities that entails. God willing, here is how we will proceed for at least the next two weeks:
- We will be doing online-only services for the next two weeks (22nd and 29th). With the current restrictions given by our governor, and out of love for our neighbors, we need to limit physical gatherings and face-to-face contact as much as possible. While we would not be going against the “letter” of the law in gathering, we would be going against its “spirit.” Instead of gathering physically, we will stream services live on Sundays at 10:30. Streaming live, rather than pre-recording something, retains a bit of the “togetherness.” I encourage you to set aside this time to gather in your homes, in spirit with your church family. You can access the live stream through either our Facebook page or our Youtube channel (great for watching on smart TV’s). You do not need a Facebook or Youtube/Google account. However, if you do have an account, be sure to subscribe or “like” so you can find them easier. Everything you need–lyrics, Bible verses, and confession–will all appear on the same screen.
- As your pastor, I am called to shepherd the flock that God has brought together at Roots Church, with the primary responsibilities of teaching God’s word, applying God’s word at the individual level, and laboring in prayer. This call does not change in such a situation, though it requires some creativity. While face-to-face meetings are discouraged, we can still utilize our phones, Facetime, text, and email. And we can still pray! I will do my best to reach out to each of you, and see how you are doing, how God is working, and how I can be praying. I encourage you to be doing this to one another as well. I am also planning, God willing, on doing a weekly devotional using either video or blog.
- I’ve said it a few times, but be in tune with the needs of those in our church. There may be some significant needs to address in our body in the coming weeks, whether health-wise, mobility-wise, or financial. If you have a need (food from the store, need for temporary work, financial assistance, etc.), please don’t hesitate to let me know.
- There are still ways to tithe to the church during this time. One is by mailing a tithe to Roots Church, P.O. Box 1341, Stanwood, WA, 98292. You can also set up bill pay through your bank to this address. Another is through online giving. We have resisted setting up online giving for a couple of reasons: 1) Giving tithes during the worship service reinforces the idea that this is part of our worship (and not just paying a bill) 2) Online giving adds an extra expense (around a 3% processing fee). That being said, there are some benefits to it, and in a time like this is seems wise to have it as an option. You can check out this option here.
- If you find that you have some extra time on your hands, I am, as you likely know, always happy to recommend or hand out books. We’ve got a growing library here at the church if you’d like to check one (or five) out. I’m also happy to send an Amazon link for a good book. Let me know!
My prayer regarding this time in the life of our church is this: 1) That we would grow in our appreciation for the benefits and joys of gathering regularly, in person, for worship, and 2) That many in our community who have dismissed God and the church will be drawn to seek after him, would turn to local churches, and we would see great gospel fruit.