MARCH 14

Good afternoon, GraceWay.

As we learned yesterday, because of COVID19 and new state regulations, Donegan Elementary School will not be available for Sunday gatherings until at least April. Nevertheless, staying connected to the body of Christ for that amount of time is still a high priority, and our commitment. So here are our options:

  • For as long as healthcare professionals discourage large group gatherings, we will either distribute home-based worship guides to facilitate worship at home, or we will livestream a specially designed service that will allow us all to continue our teaching series and remain up-to-date on GraceWay body life, or we will equip ST Group Leaders to gather their groups for worship. We will not fail to supply you with the opportunity for corporate connection and an outlet for worship no matter how long this phenomenon lasts.
  • Once large group gatherings are wise, we will discern between either meeting with ABC or LVG, or meeting at an alternate location or even somewhere outside. From our earliest years, we have always been a mobile church of sorts, so we will certainly get the job done.

Now as much as corporate gatherings and broad connectedness are important, we also find ourselves thankful in a moment like this that God has led us to be a church of small groups. Because of this, we cannot encourage you strongly enough to lean hard on your groups for support and encouragement as we journey through these next few weeks. With good discernment, many of you may determine that meeting with your group is possible, and you may find that there are extra pockets of time for you to gather. If you can gather more often than usual, do it! Put a high priority on connecting with and loving each other through times like this. Now if you cannot meet with your whole group, perhaps this would be a good time to share dinner with just one other family while we all try to figure out what to do with this weird extra energy (in ourselves and our kids).

Of course, in all of this, if you should you become ill or if you are immune-compromised, please do not try to meet or gather with others. We want everyone to be wise and stay safe!

Concerning Giving
It’s important to remain consistent with our worship through giving. Over the next few weeks, you can mail your GraceWay offerings to our church address: 72 Kiernan Ave. Hellertown, PA 18055.

Stay Connected
Check your email. Look for texts. Log in to FaceBook. And participate! Be part of this journey. The evil one wants us to feel isolated, autonomous, or discouraged. He wants to derail our spiritual lives through this… and he wants to take us off mission. But God’s plan – the church – must fight against that. Be sure to do your part to resist the temptation to go radio-silent and isolate. We have the opportunity to see gospel truth reverberate throughout our homes, communities, groups, and even the world! So stay faithful! In every challenging situation, we can be sure that God is accomplishing something good and new!

Consider the Unique Moment
Over the past few days I’ve found myself saying often that I’ve never seen anything like this. Everything feels a little strange. It’s kinda like a big snow storm has hit, except we know that it’ll be two weeks before anything is remotely back to normal… Oh, and then there’s the serious health concerns that caused it. Health concerns. Frozen schedules. Two weeks of going to work, home, and the grocery store… and that’s about it. And on top of that, kids are off of school. How will we contain this extra energy? How will we manage emotionally if, for some reason, home is a hard place to be? How will we do financially if markets continue to fluctuate? What will we do if one of us contracts this virus? On and on we could go with questions that invite worry or fear. But in the face of that worry and fear, we must remember that while the whole world is talking about this, God has something to say about it that is life-changing and life-giving. How can we care for people – souls – faced with inconvenience, uncertainty, and fear? Let’s serve the stranded. Let’s protect the vulnerable. Let’s check in on our neighbors. Let’s maintain a big-picture perspective. Let’s show our kids, our friends, our families, our neighbors, and our coworkers that our faith is ultimately in the God who made us and who sustains us. This is a time for us to slow down, be still, and know that God is God… and He is Good. And it may be time to invite others into that same knowledge. Don’t miss your opportunities!

Here are three articles that may help you build a Christian perspective on this unique moment. Each one is specific to the coronavirus outbreak:

We are praying for you –  for your safety and for your spiritual growth and impact over these weeks. Stay engaged in God’s Word, work to connect to God’s people, and look for opportunities to show and share the love of Christ! “Buy up the time!”

-Pastor Jim, for the elders