Pastor’s Garage January 20th, 2023

I hope that you are enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve been having
lately. It is absolutely incredible how the frost keeps hanging onto the
trees the last few days. It feels like I am literally driving through a
“winter wonderland.” They say that the weather is going to return to more
seasonal temperatures in the next week or so so enjoy the reprieve while it

Sometime during the worst of covid we made a decision to begin posting our
services online using facebook. We bought a new camera and tried our best
using the equipment we had to post something (most times it was better than
nothing) to our church’s facebook page all the while fighting with our poor
internet upload speed. It was something we did out of necessity as there
really weren’t a whole lot of options.

Covid restrictions lifted in about March of 2022 (or somewhere near there)
and we just kept doing it. It wasn’t a decision to keep doing it per se,
we’d just got into the rhythm of doing it and so we kept on. Recently at
one of our board meetings and in several elders meetings we’d been
discussing our “online experience.” Through those meetings and through some
prayer and reflection we’ve decided that we’ll be ending our live broadcast
at the end of January.

While there are many reasons why we should continue to broadcast live and
while there are many reasons why we probably should stop broadcasting there
are two points that stand out that I want to share:

– *broadcasting our service live makes it hard to create an
intimate c**ommunity
– *if covid didn’t happen we would never have done it*

One of the values that I am really pushing this year is that we would be a
people who gather. I want our gatherings to be a place where we can share
our hearts and where we can share hurts during prayer times. Where we can
express ourselves without fear of it being broadcast to the internet. In a
world that is increasingly being policed, I want us to feel free to boldly
proclaim God’s truth. Now I know there are a handful of us who find it very
difficult to make it on Sundays but I believe we can offer these dear ones
a better way to connect to our community. I take responsibility for leading
us here, but I am calling on you to step up and help serve them. If this
hits your heart please talk to me. Finally, to put it frankly, the online
service for some has been an excuse not to come – and that’s not something
I want to continue. If you are able, you need to make the effort to join us
on Sunday – it can be hard and it will cost you but that’s part of the walk
of the Christian.

And honestly, there is no better way to say it… if covid didn’t happen we
would never have done it. If covid hadn’t happened we were never heading
towards being an online church. It’s not my passion, nor is it in our DNA.
We’ve been a tight knit, loving, stable body of believers who serves our
community at large and who gives to missions. Our strength is when we come
together and I believe that this is how God intended us to be… together
in the same room.

If you have concerns about this my email inbox and office door are open. We
don’t do this lightly or without consideration, but we do need to lead. The
elders or Pastor Mike are available too.

This Sunday I am preaching from 1 Peter 4 and I would encourage you to read
this chapter ahead of time. I’ll be sharing about why we serve. Pastor Mike
will be leading worship and I ask that you please pray for the service.

Hope you have a great weekend.