Worship and Prayer Night
Dear Church Family,
Our last corporate gathering as a church happened 12 weeks ago, which is why I’m very pleased to remind you that we will be gathering in the EBC field this Friday from 6:00-7:30 pm. for a night of Corporate Worship and Prayer.
I want to acknowledge that although this season has without a doubt been difficult for every person in our congregation, for some it has been incredibly tumultuous. I believe that we would all recognize, and genuinely express gratitude for the fact that we’ve been able to continue to “virtually gather” every weekend, but the reality is that it is only a shadow of being together, greeting one another, caring for one another, sitting under God’s Word together, and singing together. To me, this season has brought an incredible amount of clarity to something I thought I already had a good grasp on: the importance of the physical gathering of the church. Yes, we are the church, no matter if we are in a building or not. BUT, the New Testament authors always describe “the ekklesia” as a gathering of God’s people doing things like breaking bread together, worshiping together, and seeking to help one another keep continual focus on Jesus as the center of our lives.
Because of the necessity of corporately gathering, the many people that make up our church family have differing and valid opinions on what we should do about gathering during this time. Many of you rightly see the hurting, the broken, and the need for the church to function as the light of our community. I commend that, and I am grateful for your loving care for others. On the flip side, there are many who argue that the best way to love our community, to be good neighbors, and to love one another is to continue to isolate in order that we may not spread a life threatening virus to others (if you just raised up an objection to that statement – please remember your call is to love, respect, and care for those who view things differently). We are in the midst of a time in which we are caught between biblical mandates in multiple ways. What do we do about that? How do we respond to our governing authorities (who are not persecuting us, but are certainly overreaching with their restrictions)? How do we respond to one another when we don’t agree?
My response, albeit simplistically stated, is to worship and wait. I encourage you, go do a biblical word study on the word “wait.” I think you’ll find that some of the most prominent characters in the narrative of the Bible were marked by the attribute of waiting on God. Instead of running ahead of Him, or wallowing in sorrow at circumstances, waiting on God is “staying at your appointed place while he says stay, or going at his appointed pace while he says go” (John Piper). I believe we are in a season of needing to wait as the church, and the best way I can think of to fight my potential anger at our current situation, or my sorrow over all that is right now, is to worship in prayer and in song.
So, on Friday night that’s what we’ll do. We’ll call on God to help and to heal the broken, to keep us from division, and to end racism in our communities and our country. Logistically, it won’t probably look like you are wanting it to look, and it won’t feel the same as a normal corporate gathering. We will socially distance ourselves, request that everyone wears face masks, and we’ll limit the number of people in attendance to 100 to respect our governing authorities – and yes, these are things we are sad about. But, we will gather. We will sing. And we will pray. I believe it will be a benefit to our souls, and to our community and nation at this time. Details for signing up, and the other requests we are making for this gathering are below.
In His Mercy, and in great anticipation of gathering with you all,
OUR GATHERING IS AT CAPACITY. WE WILL LET YOU KNOW WHEN WE HAVE ANOTHER.
We are planning a special praise and worship night outside at EBC this coming Friday, June 5 at 6pm. Because of current requirements due to COVID-19, we will only be able to have 100 people attend and everyone attending will need to bring and wear their own face mask at all times while we are together. We will not be live streaming this event because of the complicated nature of doing so in an outdoor environment. Social distancing will also be in place where family groups can sit together and others must be six feet apart; please bring your own lawn chairs. We plan to reserve the first 20 spots for seniors and people who have a little harder time with signing up via technology. If this gathering fills up, we hope to have another one that you can attend.