Church Closure Updates
March 14, 2020
First Pres Family,
I am praying for you–that you will know the Lord present with you in this unusual time. Know that you are on my heart and mind.
Three things to share today:
First, we will not gather for worship at First Pres tomorrow or March 22; but will instead worship together online.
At 6am tomorrow morning we will send an email with a link to the video and audio worship service. The service can also be found on our website anytime after 6am. We’re looking forward to worshipping together with you in this scattered way. We have been trying hard to let our whole community know about these plans. But, will you please call a couple of your friends and let them know of this change? A phone call is a great way to check-in and stay connected to one another.
Second, we are still eager to conclude our campaign, For Boulder With Love.
A successful campaign includes everyone’s involvement. If you haven’t already, will you please communicate your commitment here. Or, you are welcome to mail it in or call the office. We will celebrate our vision commitments on a future Sunday when we can all be together.
Third, earnestly seek to be the Church.
Love God and love people. Crises are a moment for the Church to shine and share the love of Jesus, and not to shrink in fear. Our staff and elders are seeking to lead us in a series of responses that are filled with grace for our broader community, but also for one another. We want to live into our vision: to be a people and a church For Boulder With Love!
Spend time with the Lord. Look for opportunity. Respond to the Spirit’s prompts. Be ready to act.
March 13, 2020
Lenten Prayers for us all, my friends:
So much has been evolving and revolving around COVID-19 that it can be easy to forget we are in a season traditionally set aside for preparation and waiting for Easter. And yet, all that is unfolding around us is a perfect reminder that the Lord has risen and that we ache for his return.
I have other important news for you today. Please read on:
Session has decided that our church family will not gather for worship for (at least) the next two Sundays, March 15 and 22, in response to the concerns about the Coronavirus. We want to take good care of one another and be good neighbors to our community to help minimize the spread of the virus. Instead, we will encourage households to worship at home, and we will make resources available by video. You can always visit our website or access our YouTube Channel.
To repeat, we will not worship at First Pres on March 15 or March 22; but we hope you’ll join us online.
We are eager to be back to worshiping together as soon as we can. Our elders will reassess the situation in our community on March 24, and then take appropriate action regarding our worship and programmatic rhythm.
These are exceptional times. They require exceptional measures. I’m thankful for the non-anxious leadership of our elders. They have instructed us to prepare for live streaming our worship services as quickly as we are able.
For Boulder With Love: Your Commitments To the Campaign Are Essential
Among all the other odd and imperfect things about this season in our world, is that this Sunday was planned to be a significant celebration at our church. We prepared to finish our capital campaign with a Commitment Sunday to celebrate the goodness and generosity of our people. Even though we will have to wait to be together, let’s keep going and finish strong. We’ve been praying for 100% involvement—we want everyone to participate in our church’s vision.
If you have not yet shared your commitment, we invite you to share it online, or put it in the mail as soon as you reasonably can. One thing that I am so stunned and encouraged by: even in the middle of all the swirling chaos is that we have received $7.4M in pledges! Every dollar over our stated $8M goal makes this project easier to achieve and complete.
When we are gathered together again, we will set a time on a future Sunday to enact and celebrate our commitments to this vision for us to be a church and a people For Boulder With Love.
My prayers are with you all—I have been desperate to see you all, my church family—and now I won’t get to, but you’ll get to see me . Until Sunday—walk with the Spirit.
March 12, 2020
Grace and Peace to you all!
Like many of the other groups and communities of which you are part, we have been trying to understand the head-spinning headlines concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), and the various precautionary measures appropriate to our community. Communication between our staff and elders has been constant, seeking to evaluate and then take whatever next steps are necessary as new information becomes available.
Because circumstances are changing so quickly, you can expect that we will send you regular updates in the days to come as we understand more about how COVID-19 needs to be tackled in Boulder County and how we can be good neighbors in participating in those measures. You will be able to find those updates online, by email, or simply by calling the church.
Here is what I can tell you right now:
Effective immediately, we are cancelling all programming, concerts and special events through Saturday, March 28. We will seek to pursue other ways in which we may stay connected, support one another and grow in our discipleship.
Our building will also be closed to the community and congregation for that same duration. Staff is still on duty, phones will be answered and we are gathering as a team on Monday to explore how to minister as a church in this exceptional season.
This includes the cancellation of our mid-day prayer gathering tomorrow for the conclusion of our capital campaign.
Changes to our worship schedule is a decision that belongs to our elders who have not yet had a chance to meet or discuss how to proceed with worship. We know of churches that are still meeting, and of those who have decided to cancel.
We will communicate to you all by email and here on the website to confirm or alter our worship plans as soon as possible.
Pray: Go to the Lord asking for intervention, healing, and the calming presence of the Spirit for everyone.
Connect: As I’ll share on Sunday (in person, or by video), God’s people have a long and beautiful history of extending compassion and relationship even in the hardest and most perilous of times. People around you, like you, will feel exposed and nervous. The hope of Christ is real – and this is a good opportunity to share the hope that is within you.
Finally, friends, let us remember this passage from Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
We get to be a calming and joyful and confident presence because of Jesus. Take the right precautions. Be prudent with your health and of the health of your neighbors. But, don’t panic. Seek the settled trust of knowing life in Christ, and exhibit it among your friends and family.