Dear Crossroads Family,
I’m writing to inform you of our plans for moving forward while we are under Shelter-in-Place orders and to direct you to our new weekly communication designed to help keep you up to date of our plans from week to week.
1. Sunday Livestream Services Will Continue As I indicated in the initial response to the COVID-19 restrictions, we have every intention to remain in compliance with the counsel and mandates of our local experts and state authorities. The question as to whether we would be able to continue to broadcast worship services from our facilities, therefore, depended on whether such authorities regard worship as an “essential” activity for the health of our society. I was encouraged to discover that they indeed do. In response to an inquiry on the matter from a local pastor to Senator John Braun, the following response was sent from his office:
Thank you so much for what you do. I checked with the Governor’s office, and Clergy are included in essential business for video recording and streaming, but it should be limited to only the necessary staff to record and distribute. Hopefully, that will allow you to get your message to the people of your church – I know they depend on you so much!
Accordingly, our team will continue to livestream Sunday services so we keep gathering as one church in many neighborhoods throughout Kitsap County! Having said that, we will be scaling down our music and tech teams to the bare minimum until the Shelter-in-Place orders are relaxed (for further discussion the matter, see Christianity Today’s recent publication, “Can You Livestream from Church During a Lockdown?”). We will also continue to livestream our Open Word Online weekday devotionals at 9:30 AM Mon-Fri on our YouTube channel.
2. New Weekly Communication: “This Week at Crossroads”
Given the fluid nature of this season, we will be sending out an email every Saturday to communicate our plans for upcoming week (subject line: “This Week at Crossroads”). This weekly communication will replace our newsletter (“Neighborhood News”) until we are able to reconvene our regular public gatherings and events. Included will be a link to the livestream service for the following day (since each livestream video requires a new link), a link to that Sunday’s material and video for the children’s ministry curriculum, as well as up-to-date instructions on ways to stay engaged during this time. To receive these emails, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Keep Me Updated.”
3. Three Places to Find Daily Links & Updates Online
A Final Word for the Season
That’s it for the update. I wanted to share with you a quick word about this season we’re in. In our staff meeting this week we were talking about how much we missed seeing everyone and began talking about how sweet that first day back together in one place for worship will be. Personally, God has been showing me just how rich a treasure we have in one another and altogether in Jesus, and also how much and how often I have taken this treasure for granted. I hate that it has taken the threat of many of my so-called “treasures” being taken away to see clearly what truly is of great value in my life.
I don’t suppose any of us planned to give this much up for Lent, but perhaps through this whole ordeal we’ll be able to learn the lessons of Lent at the deepest level. Whatever else Lent is about, at its heart it is about awakening the desires of the Spirit in us, which inevitably requires limiting all kinds of other desires (cf. Gal. 5), which tend to keep us noisy and distracted and in effect keep the Spirit in us silenced. It may just be me, but the deeper we are forced into this season of increased limitations the more it seems like the Church at large is beginning to awaken from a long slumber. Perhaps God has sounded an alarm clock—perhaps God is using this pandemic to restore the heart of this world, beginning with his Body, beginning with me. If so, so be it.
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.
We love you guys, we miss you, and we’re praying for you daily.
In this together,