In light of the growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19, we have been in consultation with our district leaders and in conversation with local church pastors to seek a wise way forward as we prepare for the days ahead. We are mindful that this is only the beginning of a public health crisis, and no less an economic crisis, that will inevitably require changes (or rather a series of changes) in our social engagement for many months to come.
To that end, we have made the following decisions in response to the most recent guidelines and current restrictions on gatherings.
All Crossroads Gatherings Cancelled
- In response to new restrictions on gatherings of more than 50 people, as well as new guidelines calling Americans to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, we are canceling all gatherings until further notice.
- We will provide weekly teaching online (e.g. live stream, social media) for the duration of the restrictions on gatherings. Please check our website and Facebook page for access to content. As always, our sermons will be available online and through podcasts.
- While Crossroads will not organize or host any ministry gatherings, we encourage you to be the church and community that you are, because gathering in small ways (<10 people) is no less significant than gathering on Sundays. Jesus will continue to build his church through the meals and prayers and moments that we share together in our homes in the days to come (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:42–47).
- We are encouraging people at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 to strongly consider limiting your participation in small gatherings (<10 people) in homes. Please do not attend any size of gatherings if you or anyone you have been in physical contact with in the past two weeks have concerning symptoms.
Giving: By Mail & Online
- You can continue to give your tithes and offerings by either of the following methods:
- BY MAIL: send a paper check to the church office at 7555 Old Military Road NE, Bremerton, WA, 98311. Please indicate further instructions in the memo line (e.g., designated giving).
- ONLINE: Click here to be directed to our secure giving portal. For further instructions about giving online (e.g., designated giving) click here.
Wonders of Learning Preschool Closed For Remainder Of School Year
- [New as of 4/6] In compliance with Governor Inslee’s extension of the “Stay at home and stay safe” initiative, Wonders of Learning Preschool will be closed through the end of the school year. Further information can be found on the Wonders Of Learning Website.
The King Is On His Throne, Still
Finally, and most importantly, as we move through this season of uncertainty, remember this: Jesus Christ is seated—still seated—on his throne. He has not been caught off guard or knocked off balance, his hands are not tied and his plans have not changed, he is not running around anxious nor has he been quarantined from us. He is still, he is certain, he is seated. Indeed, he is “seated…in heavenly places, far above every rule and authority and power and dominion…[with] all things under his feet” (Eph. 1:21-22).
And the good news today—still today—beloved of God, amidst all this bad news, is that you have been “raised up and seated with him in heavenly places” (Eph. 2:6). That means, whatever has happened and whatever will happen cannot escape God’s sovereign purpose to work all things that do happen together for your good and his glory (Rom. 8:28). So rest in that, rest in Him, and take your seat.
“Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
‘Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!’
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Last Sunday (3/29), we announced our Benevolent Initiative, which began by designating last week’s offering to the Benevolent Fund. The staff met with the Benevolent Team on Tuesday to discuss how we could use the money to help:
- meet needs within our church and the community at large
- mobilize our church to serve one another and our neighbors
Corresponding to these goals, we have created two forms, accessed through the links below: (1) Get Help, (2) Give Help. Respectively, you can find forms that have been designed to streamline the process receiving assistance and providing services during this time.
If you and your family’s income or ability to meet your basic needs have been significantly affected by COVID-19, we would love to serve and support you in the days ahead. And if not, we would love to give you the opportunity to join in helping serve and support those who need it!
“Those who are strong have an obligation to help those who are weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us, therefore, serve our neighbors for their good, to build them up” (Rom. 15:1-2).
In this together,
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 email@example.com 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,
May 29 – Turn
May 28 – Judge
May 27 – Pleading
May 26 – Refuge
May 25 (Memorial Day) – Remembering What to Hope For
May 22 – Confessions of a Former Pacifist(?)
May 21 – Continually
May 20 – Nearness
May 19 – Declare
May 18 – A Good and Faithful Shepherd
May 15 – Why Melchizedek Matters (on the Weekdays As Well)
May 14 – Satisfied
May 13 – Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
May 12 – Battles
Due to technical difficulties, the video for today did not record. Thanks to those who joined us live, and we hope you’ll be back with us again tomorrow!
May 11 – Ending Well
May 8 – Undivided
May 7 – Spoke
May 6 – A Different Spirit
May 5 – Responding to the Gift Giver
May 4 – Great
May 1 – Flammable
April 30 – Wagons
April 29 – Ready, Set, Bless
April 28 – A Time for Silence and a Time to Speak
April 27 – Confession
April 24 – Nearness
April 23 – Gift
April 22 – Remember
April 21 – Forgiveness
April 20 – Refuge
April 17 – Beauty
April 16 – Wait
April 15 – Abide
April 14 – Providence
April 13 – Life
April 10 – Broke
April 9 – Good
April 8 – Atonement
April 7 – Words
April 6 – Enemies
April 3 – Refuge
April 2 – Ponder
April 1 – Planted
March 31 – Pleasing
March 30 – Contagious
March 27 – Worship
March 26 – Listen
March 25 – Love
March 24 – Rest
March 23 – Time
Here are the five ways Crossroads will continue to function together as one Body in one Spirit under one Name:
- live worship — 9:30 AM right here every Sunday!
- be sure to tune in around 9:20 to make sure you’ve got your video/audio/internet (etc.) kinks worked out!
- Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!
2 PRAY TOGETHER
- daily prayer — 9:30 AM pray the Lord’s Prayer wherever you are at!
- live weekday devotionals — 9:30 AM right here every weekday!
- scriptures from the Open Word Bible-Reading Plan
- tithes & offerings — give online or by mail for worship and missional efforts.
5 SERVE TOGETHER
- The Benevolent Initiative — if you and your family’s income or ability to meet your basic needs have been significantly affected by COVID-19, we would love to serve and support you in the days ahead. And if not, we would love to give you the opportunity to join in helping serve and support those who need it!
- Our Ministry Partners — a few of our local ministry partners are asking for help during this time of increased need. You can find ways to serve by going directly to their volunteer pages or by dropping items at the church: