Earlier this week, we shared our plans to meet for worship this Sunday, however, we've now decided not to host the service in-person. This will be the case for the next two weeks, Sunday, March 15th and Sunday, March 22nd. Beyond that, we will continue to assess the situation week by week. Please stay tuned. I'm grateful for the insight and guidance of many pastor-friends, as well as quite a few medical professionals who are members of Redemption.
Even though we will not meet in person, we will plan to continue our series through the Gospel of Mark. A few of our members are currently working on a solution to share our services -- or at least, most aspects of a typical service -- online. I plan to share a specific plan later this evening (March 14) via Facebook, as well as our other platforms.
For now, my priority is just to get this information out -- we will not host services in-person for the next two weeks. But I do also want to say, just briefly, that canceling service is not a decision we should take lightly. Just last week, from Mark 14, we talked about the spiritual weight and significance of gathering together for worship, as God's covenant community, redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Worship is the first priority in our church's 3-part vision, because nothing is more important than God, and we were made to glorify him together. Not to mention, tomorrow will be the one-year anniversary of our very first public service.
The truth is, there are very few situations that should prevent us from meeting for worship ... but I think this is one of them. I plan to share more about why that is in the days and weeks ahead, as well as how we should navigate this season together as a church family.
For now, I'll simply say: This is a short-term solution, and streaming worship online is nowhere near a substitute for being together in person. It never will be. Ultimately, the decision not to meet comes down to loving our neighbor to the best of our ability given the cultural moment we're in right now.
Let's have grace for one another as we inevitably process this virus and it's many implications differently. Church, would this passage ring true of us right now...
1 Peter 1:22-25
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
Blessings, everyone! I hope to see all of you, together, as soon as possible.