9600 E Mill Plain Blvd Vancouver, WA 98664  (360) 892-5520

Building a New Boat

I am still astonished at the way coronavirus seemingly came out of nowhere and blew a hole in our boat, the good ship Evergreen. On the first weekend in March we were acknowledging this viral threat seemed to be a legitimate threat and then six days later we canceled all onsite gatherings until further notice. I can still hardly believe it.

The next six weeks I would characterize as emergency response. The staff, the volunteer leaders and a large portion of the church body were all scurrying about the ship trying to make sure everyone was ok and tending to any immediate needs. We developed a contacting plan, we learned how to stream the worship service and we organized a means for helping people hurting financially. We began to develop a new rhythm for life and ministry and were thankful God was holding us together.

But at the beginning of May, God helped me realize it was time to begin figuring out how to sail onward again. One key catalyst was the proposal to Governor Inslee written by a local pastor called Safe Start Gathering Proposal. I very much appreciate the tone and approach of this proposal and immediately signed on to affirm my agreement. Nearly 5,000 others, many of them pastors, have done the same.

It is impossible to know what response, if any, will come from the Governor’s office. But we know two things for sure: 1) We will resume onsite ministry gatherings at some point, and 2) We will have to do things differently than before, especially at first. Therefore, the Leadership Team is now beginning to seek God’s wisdom on the when and how of resuming our onsite ministry activities.

I say “seeking God’s wisdom” with deep dependence. I am well aware that there is a wide spectrum of views on this matter represented in our church body, many of them strongly held. And most see their conviction as a biblically faithful position. So how do we discern God’s will for Evergreen Bible Church? The Leadership Team has a fresh and compelling opportunity to trust God’s promise that if anyone lacks wisdom, he may ask God who will give generously without finding fault. We will work to acknowledge God in all our ways, believing he will keep our paths straight. Thank you for praying for us to that end.

Pastor Toby

Categories: Evergreen Connection