Siblings in Christ,
I wanted to share the plan for tomorrow. Sadly, we will not gather for our normal 5pm worship service tomorrow. We have been asked by basically everyone, including our district, not to gather for worship in the near future. Even without being asked, the best way we can love our neighbors at this time is to limit our gatherings and avoid possibilities to spread Covid-19. So, although we have gathered every Sunday for just under 4 years despite same-day location changes, street mob violence, shoe-throwing incidents, pigeon bombs, leaky roofs, violent encounters, construction projects, musician shortages, and all sorts of other things, we will have to find a new way to worship this week.
Instead of gathering, I will record a sermon and post it on our website and social media pages. For those who are nearby, we will offer communion, prayer, and a written reflection “to go.” I will be at church from (at least) 4:30-6:30pm to share these things with those who pass through. I have no idea how this will go, but I’ve created a zoom meeting that you are very welcome to try to join at 5pm, to join for a virtual moment of togetherness. Here’s the link for that (you’ll have to download the “Zoom” app): https://zoom.us/j/934874698
We’ll also have food “to go” from Escondito First Church of the Nazarene.
While we won’t be able to meet in person, we will continue to live out our identity as the body of Christ by continuing to work together to offer food to hungry, vulnerable, and quarantined neighbors (let us know if this is you, or if you can help make deliveries!), and we will continue to check in and pray with one another over the phone. Justina has given most of us particular names and phone numbers to call every few days; let us know if you want us to assign you some fellow church folks to call, or if you want more of us to call you on a regular basis to check in. If you know someone on who is over 60 and on the street, let me know because we may be able to help them get indoors. And if you need to charge your phone, we’ll have a check-in phone charging station at various times throughout the week.
For these last four years, gathering with you every Sunday has been one of the cornerstones of my life, and it is really saddening that we will not be able to gather this week. Still, I am energized by the calling we have in Christ to be the church through times of crisis, and I am hopeful that somehow we will find ourselves producing fruit in new ways as we adjust to new global circumstances. I love you all, and although it might be a way off in the future, I look forward to being together again!
Grace and peace,