Coronavirus Update: March 19, 2020

Coronavirus Update: March 19, 2020

Dear Faith Community Church Family,

The prophet Habakkuk lived through a difficult time in Israel, to say the least. God’s people had split into two kingdoms, and one of those had already been conquered by a foreign nation and hauled away into exile. Those who were left, like Habakkuk, were watching anxiously as yet another nation, Babylon, grew stronger and stronger. The threat of attack loomed large in people’s minds. Furthermore, the leaders of Israel, instead of caring for God’s people, were instigators of injustice and idolatry. Habakkuk had every right to be anxious and fearful. Even so, in the midst of such hardship, Habakkuk found joy in God:

 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places. 
(Habakkuk 3:18-19)

Habakkuk could pray these words because he came to a place where he knew that God was sovereign over every nation and over every event in history. Not only that, but he is a God who protects his people. “ I will take joy in the God of my salvation,” he says. We find ourselves right now in the midst of uncertainty, just as Habakkuk did. We can either allow fear to take root, or we can trust in our God. Nothing is outside of his control. Nothing catches him by surprise. He directs all things for our good and to bring praise to his glorious name.

As we navigate the coronavirus outbreak in the coming days and weeks, our commitment as a church body remains constant: to glorify God, to worship him, and to pursue our Refocus 2020 vision of missional prayer, mercy, and mentoring.

The elders desire to ensure that we communicate clearly and frequently with you. Please take note of the following information regarding communication, worship services, and our church ministries.

 Weekly Communication:

  • Mid-week update from Pastor Rhett: Each Wednesday you will receive an email update from Pastor Rhett with any important information and announcements.
  • Avenues of communication:

o   Email: Congregational communication will be sent out weekly via email.

o   Phone calls: Those who do not have access to email will be called by phone whenever there is a congregational update.

o   Facebook: We will post important announcements on Facebook.

o   Website: Sunday sermons will continue to be available on the church website.

 Sunday Worship Services: For the remainder of March we will have an online worship service. We will not meet for worship at the church. We will keep you updated on whether we will continue this practice as we move into April. The worship service is intended for both individual and family worship. Though we will not be doing a live stream service, I strongly encourage you to set aside time each Sunday to worship the Lord by following the order of service and listening to the sermon.

Each Sunday morning you will receive an email with the following contents:

  • A brief “welcome” and overview of the service from Pastor Rhett, in addition to any necessary updates and announcements.
  • The service of worship: A written version of the order of service, including the call to worship, confession of sin and assurance of pardon, Scripture reading, etc. Included in the service will be a link to the sermon, links to the worship music (for Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube).
  • Offering: We are now able to accept offerings online through our website here. You may also mail an offering check to the church office (910 Main St., West Chicago, IL 60185).

 For those who do not have email access, we will mail or drop off a printed version of the weekly service, including a recording of the sermon on CD or DVD.

 Communion: Since we administer communion the first Sunday of each month, we will be provide you with an update on whether we will be able to administer communion the first week of April as we get closer to the date.

Special Services: Missional Prayer Service and Holy Week Services

  • Missional Prayer Service: We will have a missional prayer service on Sunday, March 29th as planned, but following an online format like that of the Sunday morning worship service.
  • Holy Week Services (Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday): We will hold services for holy week. If we are not able to meet together for worship for these services, they will be held online in the same format as the Sunday morning worship service.

 Pastoral phone calls: In an effort to provide ongoing pastoral support, the elders will be checking in with you over the phone to pray with you and to provide ongoing shepherding. If you have a pastoral concern or need, do not hesitate to call us.

Mercy Ministry: We want to continue to be a church that shows mercy, especially during a time of crisis. I will continue to work with our Mercy Ministry Team to organize and oversee this vital work in the coming weeks.

 Youth Ministry: Ryan Lorimer is working to set up the best avenues to connect and disciple our youth in the coming weeks, and will be keeping our youth and parents updated as to what this will look like.

Mentoring: For those in our congregation who are in a mentoring relationship, I encourage you to continue doing so either over the phone or via video chat, if you are not able to meet together in person.

Church Building: In order to protect ourselves and our neighbors from contracting the coronavirus, our church building is closed to the public. If you would like to meet with a pastor or elder, please contact us first to set up a meeting time at the church. We will let you know if there are further changes to this arrangement.

In the coming days and weeks let’s focus on our eyes on the Lord Jesus. Remember the words of Habakkuk: “God, the Lord, is my strength” (Habakkuk 3:19). Let’s rejoice in him!

In His Strength,

Pastor Rhett