It is not without many prayers, difficult conversations, and weary hearts that I inform you that the Pastor/Elders here at Christ Community have made the decision to suspend Gatherings beginning this Sunday, March 15th.
Earlier in the week, we wrote letting you know that we would continue to meet while taking precautions as well as continuing to monitor new information. Each of our Pastor/Elders serve in a variety of roles outside the church that allow us to receive additional information that helps us make decisions in times like these.
Friday around noon, the Pastor/Elders reconvened and decided that the greatest grace we could extend to our church family and our community was to suspend Gatherings here at Christ Community. This in no way diminishes our love for God and in many ways it helps us to love people well.
At the same time, we recognize and yearn to be in direct community with one another—to be together, to sing, to pray, to share in communion. All of those and more are vital to our growth in the faith. I’m already looking forward to the return of those activities!
Through the end of March, we will suspend any formal gatherings inside our Governor’s Square building. Our staff and elders are working diligently to provide an online experience that will not only give you confidence in your own faith journey, but encourage and challenge you to cultivate biblical community in new ways. We’re working to be able to go live this Sunday morning at 10 on our Facebook page as well as at loveshelbyville.online.church. In addition, we are working on a plan to remain in personal contact with as many of you as we can throughout this time, so please be encouraged to reach out to a staff member or Pastor/Elder to make them aware of how they might support and pray for you.
We need not be focused on ourselves at times like this, but rather setting our eyes back to where they’ve always been—OUTSIDE. We must set our eyes to our neighbors who need extra supplies, those age 60 and above who need a phone call while in isolation, and those who have and will have the virus and need our prayers.
Many churches have mentioned the need for continued giving. While we are no different in needing giving to continue to maintain our operational needs, we also want to prioritize the mission. In addition to our regular mission giving of over 20% of our budget, 10% of everything given in the month of March will go directly to meeting needs created by this pandemic. You can find instructions for giving at loveshelbyville.com/give.
We also want to be praying together. By contacting one of our leaders or filling out the form at loveshelbyville.com/pray, we can be praying together. In addition, you can engage in a private prayer chat with our staff leaders during our live streams at loveshelbyville.online.church.
We can’t overstate that in times like this, we as believers must work against being driven by fear, and must continue to live out of love. As one pastor recently said, “Our first mission is to share the message of Christ regardless of our ability to meet as a group.” Christ Community, over the next couple weeks, we can learn to love God, love people, and love community in ways we never have before. So let’s lean in, and keep going outside with Jesus.