Coronavirus Update // M-Note 3.19.2020
It is hard to believe that just a week ago most of us were going about our normal lives. The arrival of the Coronavirus and the health and safety guidelines that come with trying to slow its spread have changed almost everything about our day-to-day.
Our mission at The Gathering is to invite new people to become deeply committed followers of Christ. Our vision is to create a Christian community that is compelling for new generations of people in St. Louis. We believe our city needs our church now more than ever. While our mission and vision remain constant, we have to change how we do it. We need to figure out new ways to be the church together. Staff and leaders have been hard at work to make sure we can still worship, learn in CoreGroups, give, serve and pray. I want to share how:
Worship: We have suspended all in-person, live worship services at all of our sites and are having online worship only through April 3. We are making slight changes to our online worship each week so that it includes incredible music, an inspiring message, and ways for us to interact together. Please continue to make Sunday worship a rhythm in your life as we worship together.
Worship online Sunday 9am,10:45am and 5pm on Facebook Live or gatheringnow.org/ondemand. The entire service will remain on The Gathering OnDemand for you to watch whenever, wherever throughout the week. Our pastors will be moderating the Facebook Live service so you’ll have a chance to say hi, ask questions, or share prayer needs.
CoreGroups: Meeting in CoreGroups is more important now than ever before. This is how we can stay connected and pray for each other. We now have a way for all CoreGroups (including students) to meet virtually through zoom. CoreGroup hosts will receive instructions today and we are always here to help you set it up. If you need to connect with a group, you can find the open CoreGroups here and if you have any other questions, just contact Melissa.
Giving: Your generosity, especially during times of adversity, is what allows us to offer hope, community, and the love of Christ to people. Many of you give online already but some of us love to give when we come to worship. Unfortunately, right now that isn’t possible. So I encourage you to automate your monthly or weekly giving online or through automatic bill pay. You can also give anytime online to support The Gathering. If you have questions or problems setting this up, contact Dave Dietrich. Make giving part of the way you stay engaged as it is so critical during this time.
Prayer and Care: We know that this is a season of great anxiety and hardship for many. We are here to help. Sign up for our Lent devotional to stay connected to God through scripture. You can submit your prayer requests online. We want to connect with you so if you want to talk to one of our pastors, email our care ministry.
Kids and Students: We are working on creative ways to stay engaged with kids and students. Like and follow Gathering Kids and Gathering Students on Instagram and Facebook. We will be sharing fun ways your child can continue to learn about and experience the love of God and we are working on a Sunday morning kids ministry experience so stay tuned.
Connect: If you are new to The Gathering or want to connect during this time of social distancing start right here. We are working on an online version of NEXT- a virtual event that will orient you to The Gathering and help you get connected. We’ll share details on social media and our website soon. I’m hosting it so I’d love to see you! If at any time you need to connect or talk with someone, you can contact our connections team here.
Serve: We are working with our Literacy Project partner schools to identify ways to serve kids in our city. Right now, the best way to help is through monetary and food donations to Operation Food Search, St. Louis Area Foodbank, or the SLPS Foundation so that we can support families who need meals. They also have a few opportunities to volunteer. Take this time to reach out to your neighbors, friends, CoreGroup members, and local businesses to see how you can best support one another. We may be physically distancing ourselves but let’s stay relationally connected to others. We are in this together!
I will be updating you weekly through this mNote as we continue to respond to any changes and adapt our ministries. Now is the time to download The Gathering App if you don’t have it. The app will be regularly updated and is the best place to connect with our church. Stay tuned to email and social media for more updates. You can also find the latest updates anytime on our website.
Gathering, this time is hard for all of us. But remember – we are in this together and God is with us. We will be shaped, tested, and ultimately strengthened by this time of adversity. My simple reminder for today – look for the good, pay attention to the daily gifts, and remember that right now God is at work in your life and our life together. My encouragement for today – please stay connected. We will get through this together, and we will be stronger because of it. I love and appreciate all of you.
p.s. If you need to talk to someone or have a question and don’t know who to contact, just email one of our site pastors or staff. We are still here to serve, connect and pray for you. I will see you all in worship on Sunday…virtually!