Greetings Church family!
In desperate circumstances David asked “When the foundations are shaken, what can the righteous do?” And the answer came: “The Lord is in His holy temple. The Lord is on His heavenly throne.” He’s still God, Jesus still saves, and the Church is still His bride and His ambassador. Let’s keep loving Him and reaching people!
(Throughout this e-mail, where you see text in blue, you can hold down your “ctrl” button and click with your mouse to be connected to a web page)
So many joined into our livestreamed service last Sunday! It was a blessing to worship together. Thanks for your comments, encouragement, and suggestions. We’re working to smooth out some of the wrinkles so that this next Sunday’s service has fewer distractions. Remember, you can find the service at 10:30 am either under “videos” on the Cary Alliance Facebook page, or on the church website, by clicking the livestream button on the home page. If you “follow” Cary Alliance on Facebook, you’ll get a notification when the broadcast starts and will simply be able to click on that, rather than hunting around. And if for some reason we get disconnected, it will take a few minutes to restart things, and you’ll need to refresh (or restart) your browser page to get back to the live feed. And you can always come back later in the day to view the complete recording.
Until further notice, this is how we’re going to worship together. To best honor our community’s efforts at social distancing, please don’t come into the church building except for things that can only be done in person. But while you join in from home, put aside distractions as much as you’re able and allow this to be a time of family worship. Where two or three are gathered, Jesus is in their midst.
Wisdom dictates that we change some of our ministry patterns, but we’re still here. We’re spending lots of time on the phone checking on how folks are, asking about needs, getting prayer requests, and praying together. Please don’t hesitate to call – somebody is in the church office most of the time, and you have our cell phone numbers in the church directory.
Pastor Cameron’s done a great job of putting together online resources for ministry to your children, along with instructions for how to use them. If you aren’t on his list and haven’t seen these, please reach out to him. Likewise, Pastor Roger is maintaining connection with the youth and even had virtual youth group last night over Zoom.
Roger has also given some online resources to youth and parents, so if you haven’t received them and would like to, contact him.
We are looking to the Lord to understand what it means to be the church when we are not together in person. It is, honestly, a refreshing part of this challenge. Please tell us what you like as well as what you think could be done better, or what we may be missing. In particular, we’re praying about how to best reach out and minister within our neighborhoods and communities. We’d love for you to share your ideas as well. CACnews is a great forum for that kind of sharing.
One part of continuing to worship together, even in different circumstances, is continuing to give. The building is still here and the bills need to be paid! Some have asked about how that will go, and we simply want to direct you back to the church web page about ways to give. Thank you for your continued faithfulness to the Lord and generosity in this matter, and for the extra effort it may take to get this set up. To reiterate what we say on that page, online giving is pretty easy to set up, but having your bank send a check both protects your information and keeps down administrative fees related to online giving. If you have any questions about this, reach out to Paul Amos (paul [at] caryalliance [dot] org).
Small groups and other meetings
As mentioned above, several people in the church family have used Zoom to connect, and there are other platforms as well. Zoom has waived time limits on their free version, so it’s a great way for us to maintain community and get the work of board meetings done. Pastor Cameron is reaching out to small group leaders about how to use Zoom, but anyone is also welcome to reach out to Paul for help getting started.
We’ve already had our staff meeting and youth over Zoom. Our MLT meeting for next Tuesday will use the same technology. You can do the same! I don’t think I’m being flippant to say that we can add “and by every means possible” to the phrase “every day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Good News that Jesus is the Christ.” The point is, instead of hugs and handshakes and face-to-face conversations, keep on reaching out, whether by phone or Zoom or even a hand-written card.
Sharing needs and carrying each other’s burdens
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 up here.
In doing so, 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.
We love you and are eager to know how we can serve you in these days.
– The Pastors and Staff