Can I just encourage you to take the time to read this through? I think you’ll find some important information in it.
It’s amazing to think how many things have changed in just a week. And the changes have come quickly, it seems. Every day we seem to wake up to a new reality. I know that takes a toll on all of us. As I’ve said repeatedly, this is a time to be very intentional about reaching out to one another via the means that we have available to us. It’s a time to reach out just to let people know that we care and to check on one another.
There’s a line from the Apostle Paul with which I relate. In 1 Corinthians 11, he’s talking about all the perils he’s faced—shipwreck, imprisonment, beating—then in verse 28, he says this, “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” On top of all of the dangers he’s faced, Paul says, he is concerned for those who are under his care. Like I say, I relate to this.
So last Tuesday night as I went to bed, it was pretty clear that we were going to call off services and meetings by the next morning. My mind clearly could not let it go, because I woke up very early Wednesday morning and that was my first thought. When it was clear I wasn’t going back to sleep, I began to try to think about what we could do. I got up and put together some ideas before I met with our Board Chair, Steve Eickhorst on Wednesday. What I put together is the basic outline of what we are doing right now. I’m sharing this just to give you some background. Since coming up with this plan, it’s been a scramble to put together the means and the skills to pull it off. And now, since the governor’s orders on Friday, Terri and I are trying to accomplish it mostly from home. I would ask you to be patient. I recognize there are other things you’d like to do, and there are cool things that other churches do. This is uncharted territory for all of us and we are all try to do our best.
Here’s the outline of the plan. Here’s my plea to you: Please take the time to use these resources—read these messages, because this is the way we are going to keep you updated.
First, we are continuing to send out this email like we do every Monday—the E-Gram. We will continue to update prayer concerns and announcements.
Secondly, Terri and I have launched a new publication on Thursdays for the time being which we are calling the E-Bulletin. I’m recording my regular sermons by Thursday morning now, so that you can listen to it online. The E-Bulletin will contain updated announcements, prayer requests, and a new section called “Fellowship Time.” This is a space for you to send out a short greeting, or word of encouragement, or bit of news to the other members of the congregation. We need updates to prayer list and these messages by Thursday morning. If you did not receive the E-Bulletin last week and would like to, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thirdly, I am live streaming a short prayer service on Sunday mornings at 10:10 am. This is available via the NDMC Facebook page. It will also be available after it has streamed.
Is all of this perfect? No, but I am trying to use resources that we already have available and that many people have a certain familiarity with. In addition to all of this, I am trying to make more phone calls, texts, and social media connections that normal because of our isolation and separation from one another.
I will continue to say, let’s think about how to truly live as the Church in this unprecedented and difficult time.
Have patience. Practice kindness. Look for ways to show love an support.