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Reunion Planning

CityRise May 8, 2020 E-newsletter, Updates, e-newletter, reunion, wilderness,

Photo by Anastasia Petrova on Unsplash

Hey church family! We continue to journey through this wilderness together, hand in hand facing whatever challenges come our way. We continue to trust God as we traverse this new path, and we are eager to share with you how He is leading us to plan what our church family reunion will look like.

Earlier this week, Executive Pastor Kirby Follis and I spoke to you via livestream in a State of the Church address (if you still haven’t watched it yet, I highly encourage you to do so) in which we stated our target goal to resume our corporate, in-person worship: May 31. It’s going to be so thrilling to have many of us back within our sanctuaries again, all the while knowing full well that, at least for a short while, it will be different and on a smaller scale. Additionally in the address, Kirby and I shared with you that we have internal teams and have been talking with fellow churches to figure out a strategy of how best to reunite, discussing everything from that target date down to which individual hallways to utilize.

Did you know that you have also helped us out in a major way? Over 450 of you have completed our reopening survey, telling us your thoughts and concerns about returning to worship. That information is vital to us.

And you can help us even more by volunteering! Our worship services are going to operate differently than before and will require more areas of assistance. We are looking for extra help with greeting and directing those who come in, with mask distribution to those who aren’t wearing one, in multimedia assistance, and more. If you feel comfortable helping in person, contact us! We have two new email addresses for you:

Our church family is filled with amazing folks, and I’m always encouraged when I see you rise together every time it’s needed.

Now, having the blessing of brainstorming alongside some extremely brilliant minds in this city and utilizing your valuable help from the survey and volunteering, designing a plan like this is far from easy. We’ve had to ask some hard questions that, frankly, don’t always have immediate or obvious solutions.

In that same vein of thought, during this time at home, has God asked you any hard questions? We’ve been talking for several weeks now in our “Into the Unknown” sermon series about how God teaches His children in the midst of the wilderness, and part of that teaching could very well be God asking us some tough questions. And you know what? Being asked those hard questions is ok. Maybe it’s His way of realigning your life with His Word, or perhaps a hard question leads you to a deeper and intimate understanding of your Creator. God works in our individual lives differently but with the shared intention of bringing us closer to Himself.

All we can do is trust that God will guide us if we turn our hearts toward His, especially in a wilderness. If you’d like some encouragement from fellow church members, take a few minutes and watch the two videos below. We’ve been asking our members the question, “What has God been teaching you in the wilderness?” I love these videos because so many generations are represented, from our growing students to our beloved senior adults, which shows that God never stops guiding us. We’ve had some fantastic responses, one of which inspired today’s letter. Take a few minutes of your time today to see if these lessons resonate with you.

Our first round of stories
Our second round of stories
Our third round of stories

We are continually praying for you, those who are medical professionals facing this virus up close, those who are fearful about making ends meet, those who have lost loved ones. If you have any prayer needs or would like someone to reach out to you, please don’t hesitate to fill out our online Connection Card. And please pray for us as a staff and for our teams tasked with trying to answer the hard questions so that you have a safe and joyous return to our sanctuaries. 

Stay Expectant,
Pastor Roger

PS This Sunday is Mother’s Day, don’t forget! I hope all you moms join us for our Online Experience on Sunday morning as we have some special moments lined up for you!