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encouragement from steve wise

Thursday, May 28 2020

Dear friends,

Ekklessia, the word for “church” in the New Testament, has nothing to do with buildings and everything to do with people. It is defined as a gathering of people called out of their homes into some public place or assembly. The New Testament defines the Church as those who have been called out of sin and death and into the kingdom of God. 

This ekklesia of Christ is often called the body or bride of Christ which shows the importance of the community of faith. Eugene Peterson writes, “The gospel is never [just] for individuals but always for a people. Sin fragments us, separates us, and sentences us to solitary confinement. Gospel restores us, unites us, and sets us in community…Love cannot exist in isolation: away from others, love bloats into pride” (Reversed Thunder, 43). 

Thus, being together is a very important aspect and practice of our faith. Community is where we are formed and shaped, to learn how to be loved and to love. Our Sunday worship serves as one of the most important things we can do and do together as believers and followers of Jesus. Even CNN, in an article entitled “4 Reasons Why the Rush To Reopen Churches Goes Beyond Politics,” recognizes the importance of community in the Christian faith. They understand that Sunday assemblies are a “most ancient tradition,” “at the very origins of Christianity,” and “important for this day.” 

We are excited to begin the process of regathering this Sunday, May 31st. We will start a new teaching series on the first 5 chapters of the book of Revelation – the Last Word. This material contains letters to seven churches in Asia Minor preparing them to deal with uncertain times and challenges to their faith. I am looking forward to this conversation together.

We will have two in person worship options while continuing to live stream our service at 9:30am – here. We encourage those in our most vulnerable populations to continue to worship with us from home.

Our two live options are:

  • 9:30 am – Worship in the sanctuary (this is the livestreamed service) will be open to a maximum of 100 worshippers. Overflow in the Fellowship Hall will be open for a maximum of 35 people. More details can be found here. Please remember to sign up here if you plan on attending this service.
     
  • 11:15am – Outdoor worship on the back lawn of the Emory Road House. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets to sit on. Our members and guests should spread out and maintain appropriate distances from other families and individuals. There are NO sign-ups required. You can find more details here. Remember to dress more for the weather than for church!

I look forward to worshipping with all of you and being able to see some of you!

Your friend,
Steve Wise

Posted by: Steve AT 03:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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