***** CLICK HERE FOR THE CURRENT STATUS UPDATE *****
BELOW ARE THE ARCHIVES OF PREVIOUS UPDATES WE HAVE POSTED
March 16 - No Wednesday Evening Activities this Week
March 13 - our plans to meet on March 15 March 12 - our hope, precautions we are taking, resources to help
UPDATE: MARCH 16, 2020 ~ 10:00 AM
We continue to monitor the coronavirus situation. Per our previously scheduled plans related to spring break, there will be NO WEDNESDAY EVENING activities this Wednesday (March 18).
Check back here mid-week for additional information about next weekend's plans.
UPDATE: MARCH 13, 2020 ~ 8:00 PM
As we mentioned in our previous message (see below), we do plan to gather this Sunday morning, March 15, with our normal schedule. We plan to have small group Bible studies at 9:00 a.m. and the worship service at 10:30 a.m.
Please scroll below to read that previous message to see the steps we are taking to help keep you safe. In addition to the steps mentioned there, we are taking two additional precautions this Sunday:
- We will not pass offering plates during the service to minimize the spread of germs. Instead, there will be boxes by the sanctuary doors (to the main parking lot and to the office hall) where offerings can be placed. As always, you can securely give online on this web site.
- For children’s check-in, two directors will be present to do all of the check-in of your kids at the tablets to minimize the spread of germs at a place where many people typically would touch the same surface.
Our sermon this Sunday is from James 1:22-25 on being doers of the Word of God, not hearers only. This text is very timely for us, and we will talk about how the truth it shares impacts how we walk through the trying situation we face today with the spread of the coronavirus. I am looking forward to studying God’s Word together with you!
Here is the order of service for this Sunday morning:
As we mentioned previously, if you are sick please remain at home. If you believe you are at risk, we encourage you to stay home as well. However, we want to provide an opportunity to worship God together for those able to do so.
Know that we continue to monitor the situation related to the coronavirus and developments within our own community. If any changes are necessitated, we will let you know.
Let’s be praying for one another, for wisdom for our government leaders, and for our time worshiping God together Sunday morning!
~ Pastor Grady
UPDATE: MARCH 12, 2020 ~ 11:30 AM
You all are aware of the coronavirus and the instability we see in the world all around us in response to it. How should we as the people of Gateway respond?
HOPE IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY
First and foremost, we must remember that God is sovereign over all things. Remember that Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). This situation is no surprise to our good God, and He will work good out of it (Romans 8:28). Now, that does not mean we will not have suffering in the midst of it. God has never promised that this life will be easy. We have seen that in recent weeks in our study of James chapter 1. In fact, James 1:2-4 speaks to what our attitude should be to any trial we face, whether sickness, uncertainty, or financial loss:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Yet, in the midst of these and other hardships in life, we can cling to the beautiful command and promise of Philippians 4:6-8:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
This Sunday morning we are going to look together at James 1:22-25, where James reminds us that it is not enough to just hear the word of God, but we must seek God's grace to obey it. The uncertainty of things around us today provide us a great opportunity to seek God's grace to do what He commands even as we walk through the hardships of life. We will talk about that more when we gather this Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.
Our elder team believes it is wise for us to continue to meet as usual with our normal schedule for small groups, corporate worship, and upcoming special events. We hope you will continue as you are able to make gathering together to worship the Lord and study His Word a top priority. Hebrews 10:24-25 is a helpful reminder:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Friends, the uncertainty of the world around us is a reminder of how much we need Christian community and to be in each other’s lives.
With that said, God does call us to use wisdom and be wise in how we live. Long before coronavirus was known to us, Gateway already was doing the following for your health:
- The campus buildings are professionally cleaned by a janitorial service every Tuesday night and Saturday night
- In addition, we pay someone to regularly deep clean the preschool rooms and toys for added safety
- The main building (sanctuary, offices, halls, and preschool areas) all have UV light filtration in the HVAC system so all the air circulating through the building is cleaned with UV light which kills viruses.
- Hand sanitizer stations continue to be available just inside the entrances to the gym building, office lobby, and preschool lobby.
In addition, because of the nature of the virus and concerns, we are adding the following additional precautions beginning this week:
- Disinfection of all door handles, light switches, and faucet handles by our cleaning company with every cleaning during the week
- Additional disinfection of items in preschool areas
- Disinfection of the tablet screens for kids check-in throughout events
- Addition of a hand sanitizer station in the sanctuary as you enter from the main parking lot doors
We also ask you to use common sense in your interactions:
- If you have any type of sickness, please stay home.
- Feel free to not shake hands or hug people. No one will think you are being rude.
- Regularly wash your hands and make use of the multitude of hand sanitizer dispensers around the campus.
For those who need to remain home, remember that the audio of every sermon is available immediately following the service on the Messages page on our web site.
Here are three resources we believe will be of help to you. I hope you will take a few minutes this week to read each of them:
“Anxiety, Waiting and the Coronavirus”
A helpful article on how to handle fear from CCEF, a trusted Biblical counseling ministry
The FAQs: Coronavirus explained by an infectious disease doctor and pastor
A helpful summary from The Gospel Coalition on the history and nature of the virus
10 Random Thoughts about the Coronavirus
Chuck Lawless was one of my most influential professors during my seminary years. He provides 10 practical reflections on what we learn about ourselves and our mission as we think about this virus
MOST OF ALL, LET’S PRAY
- Pray for God’s kingdom to advance in these days.
- Pray for the elderly and must vulnerable in our Gateway family.
- Pray for one another to have peace and a kingdom mindset.
- Pray for God to be glorified in how we live each day.
- Pray that God gives each of us wisdom to know how to respond.
- Pray that Gateway will be found faithful to do what God calls us to do, regardless of the circumstances around us.
I am so thankful that God allows us to walk our journeys together as a church family!
~ Pastor Grady