Everyone has a treasure. Something that is valuable and precious to them. Kyler and Kara Gray texted a fantastic picture of a treasure chest that their 7-year old son, Abram got from his grandmother a few years back.
It sits on his dresser and his prized possessions go in it. Makes you smile to consider what kids treasure. But what about yours?! Wonder if God doesn't smile at what we hold so valuable down here on earth.
That's why we're doing the I Was Broke series. It is forcing us to decide what we are going to do with our treasure. Store it up here on earth or lay it up in heaven.
This Sunday is a can't miss. Joe Sangl will be here in person at both services to talk about living a "Fully Funded Life." Joe will return Sunday night at 6:30pm to share the Financial Learning Experience.
This special two-hour equipping event will help you learn practical and biblical principles and tools to help you become a great steward of the resources God has provided you. Click here to sign-up.
You will also have an opportunity to receive Joe's book this weekend.
This Sunday also marks the date that COVID restrictions will start to be lifted at Whitewater for in-person gatherings!! God has certainly blessed us mightily as we navigated through this complex and stressful period. A huge thanks to our staff and high-capacity volunteers who tirelessly ensured that our Whitewater family and community were protected and provided for. A special thanks goes to the COVID task force, whose advice and wisdom was invaluable as we navigated COVID actions - mask-wearing, improved air filtering, building closures, distance ministry, and many other areas, to ensure we were being the best stewards possible throughout this singular time in our history.
As we continue to move forward, and in compliance with the CDC and Governor DeWine, we will see fewer and fewer restrictions. You will see our volunteers wearing masks less and our staff (who have largely been vaccinated) not wearing masks. In Harbortown, volunteers and children will be free to do what is most comfortable for them. If children come in with masks, then we will honor that while they are with us. Overall, you will see a reverse dimmer switch as water fountains will be operating, chairs in The Landing returning and self-serve coffee stations resuming. (We will still have served coffee available, too.) We will continue to provide a safe environment for all who attend in person.
We will (as well as dozens of other church and business leaders) be reviewing lessons learned over the past 14 months. We have discovered much and pivoted to opportunities we never would have seized without the pandemic. Things like the Dose of Hope, our Sunday morning TV services through STAR*64 and all the resources deployed to create a brand new online campus were birthed. COVID also helped us increase communication with the congregation. We were able to use (repurpose) our wonderful building in new and creative ways. Jon Tisevich and I got to deepen our relationship and experience ministry in ways we never would have. We all discovered that the mission of Jesus is not dependent on just a Sunday service or a beautiful building.
So COVID helped us continue some things, cancel some things, but also create new things to help the mission be stronger and more effective. Looking back, we made the best decisions we could with the best information and advice we had at the time. That's all any leader can do. I don't want to go through another worldwide pandemic, and it will for sure take quite some time for every church, including ours, to have any sense of equilibrium, but I know God has used this for good. I am looking forward to leaning into our new post-COVID "phygital" (digital and physical) mission and ministry.
I know you are currently distracted by two things - cicadas and vacations. One Whitewater family even made some yummy cicada cookies.
The Bible says that John the Baptist ate locusts and wild honey, so I guess it's ok!
I also know that Memorial Day marks the official beginning of summer and lots of us will travel this summer because we didn't get to last year. Go for it! Even Jesus disconnected from time to time. "When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place." Matthew 14:13
There are times when everyone (including pastors) needs to withdraw to recharge, recalibrate, and recreate. My prayer is you will connect with your family, yourself, and your God. Maybe even a different church in the place you're traveling to. Bring back some ideas for us! And don't forget to sign up for E-giving so our ministry of generosity can continue over the summer here at Whitewater.
Speaking of treasure...
You are a treasure to me. Thank you for engaging and not bailing on the mission of Whitewater during these chaotic and stressful times. I will never forget it.