Dear church family,
We on the staff are so grateful for you and pray for you, and we’re looking forward to sharing our Resurrection Day celebration with you: “The Lord is Risen!”
As the crisis situation settles in, many of us are dealing with a pretty deeply-seated anxiety. There are a lot of unknowns in the mid- and long-term future. That can be scary. I’d like to share two weapons that are helpful to me in overcoming anxiety, and the first is prayer. Please actively practice Philippians 4:6-7. First, tell God all about it, like a worried child on her Father’s lap, just let it all out and let Him sort it. You don’t have to hold back or hide feelings that seem “unworthy.” He could handle David’s wildly ranging emotions in the Psalms, and He can handle yours, too. Second, ask for what is on your heart. You don’t have to worry about whether it’s OK to ask for health, for patience, for a job – He’s a loving Father and wants to hear it. But don’t forget to ask for effective witness, personal transformation into the character of Christ, and God’s glory in all things. And then remember to give thanks – both for what He’s given and who He is. Whenever I’ve taken the time to for thanksgiving these days, I’ve simply been overwhelmed at how very blessed we are, in the physical and spiritual realm, and at how clearly His hand is at work right now. The promise, in times when it’s hard to figure out what’s going on and what’s going to happen down the road, is peace that is bigger than what we can figure out. And that supernatural peace will guard / protect / make secure your heart and mind in Christ.
The other weapon that helps me in the battle against anxiety is hope: Paul is able to describe his very severe and painful sufferings as “light and momentary” in comparison to the Glory that is ours, the unshakeable future set before us, the perfect triumph of the cross, and the reality of the resurrection which we celebrate this week.
Changes to on-line services
Our Easter celebration will be at 10:30a this Sunday, and we have a couple surprises planned that you won’t want to miss! You are welcome to join in. Thank you for your patience as we’ve worked through some streaming issues over the last few weeks. Since we have been using Facebook to host and basically redirecting church website traffic there, any time Facebook got too busy, we had problems, on top of some of our own technical troubles.
We are now hosting our own live stream on the church website, rather than depending on FB. You can still connect via FB if you like to be able to greet each other and leave comments, but if you are experiencing dropped frames and buffering issues, we really hope you can have a better experience by visiting live.caryalliance.org. Could you please join in prayer that this Sunday’s service, working with new technology, will be smooth and uninterrupted? And as you are out on walks or working in the yard, don’t forget to invite your neighbors!
As a reminder, the Alliance is hosting prayer services right now, and all of the Alliance will share in a Good Friday service tomorrow night. More info is here.
Connecting for Ministry
All of the pastors have been trying to help the family keep connected with on-line small groups, Bible studies, and fellowship. Please contact us if you would like to be involved in some way. But there may be other opportunities or needs that we haven’t thought of or aren’t aware of. Are we missing anything? Do you have a creative idea for connecting or reaching out? Please share with us. To put it one way, we don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks. Or to state it positively, we want to take advantage of every opportunity!
Serving each other and the community
Several people have asked if we happen to have any extra toilet paper or paper towels. We do! So we’ve set a table out under the awning and it will be there from 10-2 Monday – Friday, starting now. Please feel free to come by and pick up what you need. If those hours don’t work, call ahead – someone is often there from 9-5 taking care of the essential ministry and “minimum basic operations” of the church. We aren’t charging for this service, but there is a donation box there; and for those wondering about our expense, the church pays $.60 for a roll of toilet paper and $2 for a pack of paper towels.
Our diaper and food drive-thru is extended through next week, as several have asked about having time to order diapers on-line to be delivered to the church. Next Friday we’ll deliver the diapers to Hand of Hope, and we ask you to take your own bag of non-perishable goods to With Love From Jesus or Western Wake Crisis Ministry.
Don’t forget to share your prayer needs with the church family! You can do so on the CACnews or prayerrequest list by signing up here. We very much want to know about health, family, work or other issues. And all of the pastors and Elders are trying to connect with the church family by phone, so please call if you’d like.
We’ve had a number of people reach out, offering to help those in need. If you are in a high risk group, rather than go out, you can ask a church family member to bring you food, a prescription, or household needs, or to run other errands. Those who need help and those who would like to provide that help can link uphere. (Some have found that they can’t enter their names. You can also call the church office to get help.)
As you are helping others, please follow all the recommendations of the CDC. Leaving a box on the porch and having a chat from 6 feet away is perfectly fine under these circumstances. And remember that if you’re picking up a prescription, you will need the recipient’s name and date of birth, and you may be required to provide your ID to the pharmacist.
No disease, emotional distress, or physical calamity can be wider, longer, higher or deeper than the love of Christ. Today and every day, in whatever you experience, may you know that love ever more personally and intimately.