These are strange times and uncharted waters for Grace, our city and our world. As we reflect in years to come, it will be the year that a new coronavirus rocked our daily lives. For most of us, we never lived through a time when guidelines told us where we can go and what we can do. Our jobs, our schools, our social habits—it’s all new territory, and we are learning to navigate this together.
Yes, we are in this together and need to remember that. Even though we may be separated by physical distance, the body of Christ is the body of Christ, and our goal is to care for each other well, encourage one another and continue to unite together to represent God’s presence in this world. We are still an active church. We are called to love God and others, share the Gospel and honor the Lord in all we do no matter where we are. Lean into that, and begin praying about how you can thrive under current circumstances.
We also want to share a few logistical details with you in this email today.
- Grace will be suspending in-person, on-campus worship services and programs through April 30, 2020. The latest city ordinance that was announced today (March 17, 2020) indicates that we cannot gather with more than 10 people in a room at one time. We will do our best to keep you informed of program schedules.
- Grace is online! As hundreds of you experienced with our sermon on Sunday, March 15 through Facebook, we are going to be unfolding more ways to connect in the coming days and weeks in our already established ministries. Please be on the lookout for communications from pastors and leaders of the ministries in which you regularly participate. Join us at 9:15am at facebook.com/grace360 for Sunday’s sermon, and please continue to check updates found on our website regularly.
- The Grace office is currently closed. We are spending the days deep-cleaning and working on plans to connect and encourage you even while we can’t congregate. And during this time, we want those who are in our office to feel safe and have limited exposure to other people.
- If you need to speak with a pastor, please email email@example.com or call us at 512.345.7840. We know that there are many who are struggling spiritually and emotionally. We don’t want you to struggle alone. Pastors will be happy to pray with you. Remember, we are the body of Christ, and even if we are physically separated, you are not alone. As a church, we want to care for each other. We are working diligently to answer the question, “How do we facilitate ministry when we can’t congregate?” We want to encourage you to reach out to your friends, your family, your Life Group, your Communities—those who are connected to you and know you well. Don’t get isolated or leave others isolated.
- Generosity is still encouraged and welcomed. We know that many of you may be financially impacted through job and income loss due to closed businesses. However, if you are able, we would like to encourage you to continue a generous spirit with your regular giving habits, even when we are not meeting in person on Sundays. We are very much an active, busy organization, including caring for Grace employees. We also support many organizations and missionaries who will continue to rely on our church’s financial gifts. To make a one-time gift or set up reoccurring giving, please visit grace360.org/give. If you would like to mail a check, our address is 9508 Jollyville Road Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78759.
Thank you for being a part of our church family! Today, the elders gave the staff a new thematic goal for the next three months—thrive. We are asking you to join us, not to survive, but to thrive in this period. Thrive in your spiritual life, your personal life and as a person whose trust is in the Lord, not our circumstances. You and I have permission to THRIVE.
Grace Covenant Church