As we conclude our Solve7 Summer of Love, we're All-In on multiple things this week.
We are All-In for our Summer of Love
Our series concludes this Sunday as we focus on the last one of our Solve7 efforts to FIND that which is lost. At the end of JT's message, he will offer an opportunity for anyone present to go All-In! Are you thinking about getting baptized? Awesome! It is an outward expression of what Jesus is doing inside your heart. It is a way of telling Jesus and those around you "I am going All-In" in my relationship with Jesus. If you're ready for this next step, click here for more information or to register. At the end of the day, there are only two categories of people on planet Earth (as well as heaven). Those that are lost and those that are saved. You can move from the category of the lost to the category of the found by going All-In with Jesus this Sunday. I'll be praying and watching for you! And don't forget to bring those "Brown Bag Lunches" filled with items when you come this Sunday. Just place them in the large rolling bins at each entrance.
We're All-In for our schools, too
Last Sunday, we delivered Shoes for Souls after worship time. Love this, friends! It's absolutely the Church working right!
We're also All-In to Love Our Neighbors by following mask recommendations
I know. Not the best news for some of you. I threw my masks away a month ago. In fact, I wanted to have a mask-burning ceremony! But due to the recent (and rising) Delta variant/resurgence, in order to protect the safety of our church family and community, we are highly recommending masks again for everyone on the Whitewater campus, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated. This mask recommendation is intended to be temporary and will be reviewed regularly. This is based on the Center for Disease Control and Hamilton County guidelines (which is what we've been following since COVID began) and the recommendation of a team made up of senior staff, elders, and health care experts who carefully examined the situation.
So, I plan to wear my mask again. I know this will please some of you and greatly irritate others of you who have been vaccinated and done everything asked of you. Once again, we request for you to love your neighbor as yourself and sacrifice your comfort and convenience by masking up again for Sunday services. As we are primarily a spiritual organization, we are choosing to submit and sacrifice for others just like Jesus did for us.
Jody Burgin said it so well in an email to our Life Center volunteers:
"God has invited us to be examples of love - not with what we say, but with what we do. Getting a vaccination, wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene is a sacrifice each of us can choose that demonstrates our love for one another and our community. We move the needle in people's lives not with thoughts or words, but with acts that may cost us something. The coronavirus is contagious, but so is love. If love doesn't involve sacrifice and commitment, it is something other than true love. In short, we'll be known for a lot of things, but we'll be remembered for our love.
We encourage everyone to be vaccinated since that provides the extra protection you wouldn't normally have. Vaccinations are the key to our return to normal and the key to moving beyond these types of recommendations. If you've been vaccinated, you've done the most important thing for you and your family, and friends, but also to help you return to something that looks like a normal lifestyle. There's substantially more freedom for people who are vaccinated. Hamilton County Public Health is present every Thursday 1-4pm on our Whitewater campus to answer general health questions and provide the vaccination as needed. It is free. Walk-ins are accepted and no insurance is required."
I know you might have some questions. One of our church Elders, Dr. Kurt Knochel will be available after each Sunday service on August 29 to address questions or concerns about the use of masks or vaccines. If you wish, plan on remaining after worship that day to join the conversation with Kurt. Kurt is a long-time, trusted voice in the Whitewater and Cincinnati community. He is a medical professional currently serving as an ER doctor on the front lines of this pandemic, as well as the front lines of our church, and is dedicated to ensuring the safety of our congregation, volunteers, and staff.
So thanks for your support and prayers as we, yet again, be FOR THE ONE as best as we know how. We have had people die from COVID in our church family which burdens and saddens me. Our mission is to saves lives here on Earth and for eternity. Thank you for going that 'extra mile' (and mask) to help us provide hope and a home in Jesus.
P.S. We are also All-In for generosity. We are 2/3rd's of the way through our wonderful 90-Day Generosity Challenge. Keep up the trust and giving. I hear folks who took the challenge talking about how blessed they have been and so enjoy watching God work through generosity. Keep sending me your stories!