At One Hope, we are still holding to faith over fear in the midst of the ever-changing situation with the Coronavirus. We also want to pray that God would bring healing across the globe and ultimately an end to this pandemic.
As leaders, we have been praying for wisdom, monitoring reliable news sources, reading articles from gospel-minded writers, and watching what other churches are doing to learn what next steps we should take.
At this time, we have decided not to meet at the YMCA the next two Sundays, March 15 and March 22nd, but are looking into digital and streaming options. This also means the baptism scheduled for tomorrow will be rescheduled. The Partnership Class beginning tomorrow at the office will proceed as scheduled although we will livestream it for those who cannot make it in person.
This is for a few reasons.
- Help contain the unknown extent of the virus. We want to join with the people, organizations, and leaders around us to reduce or even stop the spread of the virus. With many other companies, organizations, schools, and churches already making this decision, it seems wise for us to be part of the same solution.
- We can utilize technology to still be the church. We believe the church isn’t an event on a calendar. We are the people of God meant to shine light into dark places and the mission field is more active with opportunities than just exist on Sunday. Because we live in the digital age, we can still provide worship, teaching and leadership even if we can’t physically meet in the same place.
- Looking forward beyond Coronavirus. We believe strongly that there is nothing like the gathering of believers for collective fellowship and Bible-centered worship. Taking some steps to utilize streaming technology will strengthen our church in the long run and not take away from this truth.
Here’s how we are moving forward to redirect our efforts as the church in a world of small gatherings and self-quarantines:
- Live-streaming: We will be live-streaming tomorrow at 10am on Facebook and possibly YouTube + our website. We are working diligently to make this the best that it can be in a short period of time. We encourage you to make time to engage with us as this will be an interactive opportunity.We will be further improving / working on our livestream options even beyond the Sunday rhythm in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned for more information as we have it.
- At-Home Resources: In addition to live options, we are working on resources for at-home engagement in worship and teaching for use in your own time. We hope to have these ready as soon as possible on our website.
- Communications Improvements: We are working on better communications clarity and regular updates will come via our social accounts, website, email, and text.
- Meeting digitally. If you decide not to meet as a Community Group we recommend Google Meet or Zoom for hosting small group meetups online. These can be surprisingly easy and highly effective tools to preserve many of the qualities of true community.
- Worship personally. We have playlists for Spotify and Apple Music that we update each week with songs planned for Sunday. We will continue publishing these so you can engage throughout the week.
- You can still serve. We need volunteers to serve in new ways. This digital shift isn’t a reaction to COVID-19. We’ve had this on our radar for growth and it’s been moved up in priority. If you want to help us do this with excellence and help us continue reaching new people, please consider volunteering and fill out this special form.
- You can still give. Lastly, we still believe God has big plans for the rest of 2020. Because of this, we still want to encourage you to remain faithful and diligent in giving financially to the mission of our church. Online giving is available here.
Thank you for taking time to read this and other updates. There is a lot of information we are all taking in and so we desire to give open, honest, thorough news whenever we have it.
Remember today and always: you are the church. You can’t be canceled, closed down, or quieted. You are salt and light to a world that is in great need. Share the hope of Jesus in your interactions, in your social posts, in your neighborhoods. Let’s stand together in confidence that God is using this all for His glory and our good.
The Pastors and Elders of One Hope Church
Justin, Mike, Walt, Scott, Kary, and John