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APRIL 8, 2020
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MARCH 27, 2020
MARCH 20, 2020
MARCH 19, 2020
Dear Church family,
For now we live in a new normal. I typically work in and have meetings in coffee shops and restaurants 2-3 times per week and I go to the gym every day at 4:30. My life has been disrupted and I know yours has too. At 4:15 today, when I would normally be headed to the gym, I wandered around the house aimlessly wondering how I was going to get my workout in. I don’t like it! But I do trust the Lord. I also know that what I consider an inconvenience is laughable for some who are enduring serious trials as a result of this virus caused crisis.
Personally, I am using this time to establish some different rhythms and spiritual disciplines in my life. Instead of being frustrated (I’m not there yet), I am asking the Lord to cause me to hunger and thirst for more Him and less of me. I am excited to see what He produces in me, in you and in our church!
In all of this, I pray you are finding peace and refuge in our good, loving and sovereign King.
As more information comes out about COVID-19 there are three things that we know:
First, we know that:
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way..."
- Psalm 46:1
While there is much to fear with this virus, fear doesn't get the ultimate word: God is in control, and he loves us.
Second, we know that we are going to have to settle into a new rhythm for a while.
And thirdly, we are in this together friends.
In light of guidelines passed down from our governmental authorities, WCC will not host Sunday gatherings for the next eight weeks. Additionally, desiring to protect our church family, to minimize the risk to the communities in which we live and to lower the chance of overwhelming our medical community, we are canceling all WCC gatherings of any size until further notice. This pains us greatly, but we want to operate with love, preference, and responsibility as we navigate these unchartered waters together. We will continue to monitor the situation and if anything changes in regards to the WCC rhythms we will let you know.
Here is what you can expect in the coming weeks:
This weekend we will be starting a sermon series called, “He Reigns.” In God’s providence we planned this series before this crisis hit and we are excited to remind one another of the reality that the Kingdom we were created for and the Kingdom promised has arrived in King Jesus. We trust you will be encouraged.
Our plan is to record the sermon Saturday afternoon and post audio and video to www.windsorchurch.org Saturday night. We will also send you a post on Realm with a link to the audio and video, along with discussion questions.
This week, someone said: "We may be practicing social distancing, but that isn’t the same thing as spiritual isolation." We still need ways that we can pursue community and deep discipleship together. So, our strategy is to encourage you to meet together in Community Groups...virtually.
We have provided four Zoom accounts for WCC Community Group leaders to schedule virtual CG gatherings. My group did it this week and it was great! We were able to spend time in the Word together, encourage one another and pray. It’s super easy!
If you are not in a Community Group, one of the WCC pastors will be reaching out to see how you are doing and how we can pray for and serve you during this time.
Praying Together – Seven@7:00
As we are isolated from one another we would like to encourage each other to be united in prayer. We invite you and your family to pray alongside us for 7 families in the body each evening at 7:00 pm. We will send you the families to pray for Monday – Friday along with a couple of prayer requests.
Mission and Serving our community
As we devote ourselves to prayer, we want to look for creative ways to participate in God's mission during this time.
Many of you have contacted us to ask about ways you can step toward mission and serving our community. Right now, we think the best way you can do that is through your Community Groups, your neighborhood, or existing relationships you have in the community where you live. We're working to identify a few local partners we can begin pointing people to immediately, but even as we do that, step towards those whom you are in close proximity to...relationally and geographically. I've heard of groups walking their neighborhoods, contacting elderly members in their communities to buy groceries, and helping to meet the needs of those already facing the economic impact of this crisis.
If you would like to be involved in helping think and pray through local organizations to partner with and serve through, please contact us ASAP, as we will be organizing a team in the next few days.
Though we may not be gathering in person, the mission of our church continues through our groups and other ministries, the missionaries we support, and the church plants we partner with. In addition, your giving will help us care for and meet the needs of members of our body and people within our communities who are already facing economic hardships related to this virus. So, we invite and encourage you to continue giving sacrificially and cheerfully to the WCC General Fund. For those of you who are able, we invite you to give extra to the WCC Helping Hand Fund. This benevolence fund will help meet the needs of WCC families in the weeks and months to come and will be administrated by our Compassion Team. You can give to either these online funds here.
Staying on touch
Our primary source of communication will continue to be on Realm. Additionally, you can find weekly sermons, training, discussions and information on the WCC website, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
In addition, we’re eager to create numerous touch points with you throughout this season. The WCC pastors and staff have plans to host online training and discussions throughout the next several months, with topics ranging from “What is God doing in the midst of this crisis?” to interviews with men and women in our community about how they are leading their groups, neighbors, or families through this time.
If you have questions, let us know! Our staff and Elders are praying for you, and are eager to see God move in new ways.
Resting in His good and sovereign reign!
On behalf of the pastors
MARCH 12, 2020
In light of the COVID-19 virus, I wanted to update you on the status of our Sunday gatherings and encourage you with the reminder of the hope that we have in Christ.
As you know, the COVID-19 virus is having a significant impact on our culture and the world at large and many in our community are wrestling with how to respond to the uncertainty of what we currently know about this virus. As pastors, we have been seeking the Lord in how to best serve our church family and our community.
Information is rapidly changing and we are trying our best to stay up with accurate information provided to us by local health care providers and city leaders and taking our cues from city officials. Even though there has not been a governmental mandate to cancel our church services, we have decided to be proactive with the information that we have been given and have made the decision to cancel all church services for the next two Sundays (March 15 & 22). This has been a difficult decision to make, which has not been made out of fear or hype but with the honest desire to serve and love others. (Phil. 2:3-4 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”) We believe passionately about the importance of God’s people gathering together (Heb. 10:24-25). However, we felt it would be both unloving and irresponsible to continue our corporate gatherings where there is a greater risk of being exposed to the virus. We not only want to protect our church family, but we also want to minimize the risk to the communities we live in and play our part in lowering the chance of overwhelming our hospital system in the coming weeks.
Our sincere hope is that we are being appropriately cautious and proactive. However, we believe there are benefits in prudence to those who are in the high-risk category or are in close proximity to high-risk individuals. We also feel the nature of our gathering space and the number of people we have in each service requires an extra level of caution.
We will be providing Sunday sermons and other online resources to encourage and build you up while we are unable to meet corporately together. We will communicate primarily on Realm, but will try to post on Facebook and Instagram as well. If you choose to gather in small groups, we would encourage using extra wisdom in your meeting together. If you are in a high-risk demographic or have close contact with those in a high-risk category, please use caution in any contact with others. And please, if anyone has any symptoms, consider others by not gathering until you are confident that you don’t have the COVID-19 virus.
Doing your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is an important way that we can love our neighbors and seek the welfare of our city. The Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and John Hopkins University are three sites that I have found helpful information. If you haven’t already, please examine their recommendations and follow the steps recommended.
Here is an encouraging and helpful article from the Gospel Coalition: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/…/christians-anxious-co…/
Let me encourage you further with the following:
1 - Be in prayer for all of those that are impacted by this outbreak—not only for those who are ill, but for all of the health-care workers and others who are on the “front lines” of serving people with this illness.
2 - Remember in whom our trust should reside. Psalm 146 tells us not to “trust in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation,” but that blessing comes to those “whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” The Christian life can be characterized by walking in faith, hope, and love. We can walk confidently in faith knowing that nothing in the future can separate us from the love of God. We have a certain hope that God will use every circumstance for our good and for his glory. And we have the responsibility to love our neighbors well in the midst of this. Our posture as those who have been brought into relationship with the God of the universe can be a clear opportunity for the gospel to go forward. I might write more about this in the days to come.
3 - Pray and look for opportunities to serve and “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). It’s in times like this that those without hope realize they don’t have hope. This is a time for the body of Christ to shine!
We will post Sunday’s sermon and discussion questions on Saturday or Sunday and will keep you posted over the next week.
I know I speak for the other pastors when I say you are greatly loved, valued and prayed for. God is on His throne working His goodwill and purpose in each of our lives...let’s keep our eyes fixed on Him the author and perfecter of our faith!
Grace and Peace
On behalf of the pastors
PS – I thought these were helpful thoughts from Kevin DeYoung:
"Things Christians should not do in a pandemic:
- Tell everyone it’s too late!
- Tell everyone it’s not a big deal!
- Act like experts.
- Make everything about politics.
Things Christians can do:
- Trust God.
- Show compassion.
- Give thanks in all circumstances."