November 24, 2020

Dear WCC Family,

Online church only, Sunday, November 29 (and four things you can do about it).

Monday afternoon, our staff and elders were made aware of several families in our congregation that were quarantined, exposed to Coronavirus, and tested positive for the coronavirus. The elders felt our most prudent action for this weekend was to continue in online worship. Right now, the elders are deciding about in-person worship on a week to week basis. We will know about Sunday, December 6 the week before, and we'll communicate that decision as soon as possible.

There are a couple of ways that you can be proactive to help our church make it through these difficult decisions:

1: Pray. The first thing we can do is pray for our elders. Please pray for our elders to have Holy Spirit inspired wisdom.

Our elders desire to have everyone back in the facility, in classrooms, and in each others' homes for in-person worship, fellowship, teaching, and prayer AND they want our congregation not to hurt each other by spreading the coronavirus. So our elders need your prayers. The first way to help everyone in our congregation would be to set aside a day each week to specifically pray for our elders to shepherd your spiritual growth in corporate worship, oversee the affairs of our congregation, and to work with wisdom, love, and grace.

This is a great time to join in with the instructions and prayer requests from the author of Hebrews: "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon." Hebrews 13:15-19

2: Pray. (I know this looks like number 1, but this prayer is different) Pray for both the physical and spiritual health of our church members.

This would be a great time to join with the prayers of the Apostle John: "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." 3 John 1:2

This past month we had more reports of coronavirus exposure and infection among our church members than we have had since March. And the past two weeks we have had the spike in our congregation that we are hearing about on the news. As we praised God for the return of one of our church members home from a hospitalization due to Covid, we had another member admitted to the hospital with breathing problems due to Covid. Half of the scheduled worship team for this weekend is quarantined, multiple families that attend in-person worship have a member of their family quarantined and we have several sick with flu symptoms. Please pray for the physical health of our congregation and our families and our community.

And pray for the spiritual health of our congregation, too. Isolation can lead to both loneliness and depression even among the most healthy individuals. Being isolated from our church family can have the same effect spiritually. Having our routine thrown off can even cause us to spiral downward emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Let's use our time wisely and pray for one another. This may be the best use of our time to carry one another's spiritual burdens.

3: Gather together online to worship. You can do this in a couple of different ways. One, join our online worship on Facebook, Youtube, or our webpage. You can join in before worship begins with our Zoom pre-worship prayer time, you can join online during worship, and you can join after with our post-worship discussion. Follow this link to join online worship this way for either the 9:30 am or the 11:00 am worship hour: https://bit.ly/SundayZoom11-29 The discussion time we had following the worship last week was encouraging and instructive. It almost felt like I was at an in-person small group.

Two, you can also meet with another family in their home or your own and worship together as you join worship online. The "kids" call this a "watch party." We cannot all meet together in the same facility this weekend, but we can meet with another family to worship together. Be safe as you meet in someone else's home. You may want to wear a mask and remember to wash your hands before you share communion together.

Three, join Cheryl for KidCity class on Facebook at 3:30 pm. I have joined the last two weeks and I have been encouraged and loved seeing how the kids are staying involved and continuing to learn Scripture even though we are having online classes.

4: Last, but not least, give a church member a call and check in on them. Call someone and then offer to pray with them over the phone. See if they have any needs you might be able to meet: take them groceries, listen to their concerns, pray with them, etc. Just a simple phone call to check on someone can be just the encouragement they need to make it through another week of isolation.

Just because we are not all meeting together in one place doesn't mean there is no church this weekend. Serving one another in prayer and through a phone call, joining together with another family to worship together, and learning the ways of Christ online are all legitimate ways to stay active as the church.

I join together with the author of Hebrews when I say, I pray that we may be together (in-person) again, soon (Hebrews 13:19).

Dale