Coronavirus Update // M-Note 3.12.2020
We are all getting flooded with messaging surrounding COVID-19, and here at The Gathering we are committed to being a source of calm and hope during these anxious times. Due to the current public health concerns, we have decided to change our Easter plans. We will shift from our large scale, Easter gathering at the Chaifetz Arena to Easter worship that will happen at our sites during normal times. We will also live stream worship that morning on FB and our website. This decision was difficult and disappointing, but I believe it is the right one. While we don’t want to operate out of a place of fear, we want to take the necessary measures to keep everyone as healthy as possible and to care for one another.
As news and recommendations develop, we will make adjustments to worship gatherings, beginning this Sunday. This weekend we plan to have worship and you will notice some visible changes. We will not hold hands during the Lord’s Prayer and we will not practice communion, instead replacing that time with prayers and reflection. There also will be no coffee/tea/food served (I know, probably the biggest sacrifice). We will adjust these practices as recommendations from health officials change.
While COVID-19 is impacting our day to day lives in real and significant ways, there are many things you can do to remain engaged at The Gathering either through our website or our app:
-Download The Gathering App. This tool is specifically designed to help you engage in our Five Shared Practices anywhere and anytime.
-Worship weekly, either in person, or via live streaming of our 9am and 10:45am McCausland worship services on Facebook or our website. After Sunday morning, anyone can access a recording of our service anytime OnDemand through the app or on our website. So, you will always have the option to worship remotely.
-Pray for the ceasing of the spread of the coronavirus, for people who are victims of the virus, and for your neighbors who may feel lonely, isolated, and fearful. If you need prayer, you can submit a prayer request on our app or website in the Prayer & Care section.
-Gather in your CoreGroups and commit personally to daily study, reading of scripture, and prayer. If you aren’t following our Lenten Devotional, start now! (also on the app and website in the CoreGroups section).
-Practice generosity. Help others in need. Share what you have. And continue to give to The Gathering online — you guessed it, on the app or the website in the Give section.
While times like this can be scary and uncertain, they remind us of our connection to one another and provide an opportunity to demonstrate our faith in God. Take care of yourself and your family, but also resist the urge toward self-centeredness. This is a time when God calls those who are able to care for and minister to the people around us. We rely on scripture to guide and comfort us. Today, I am reflecting on the words of Paul, words that were written for times like this:
Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4.4-7)
I pray that this can be my way of life, and it is my prayer for all of you. Be well and I will see you this weekend, in person or online!