The World has Changed, but Our Mission Hasn't
Confusing times I know. Seen this yet?! One secret to surviving and thriving right now is to increase your joy. The Bible would say it is good medicine!
Mother's Day is this Sunday, and we will be concluding our Upside Down series with a message from our friend and gifted teacher, Beth Guckenberger. Don't miss her timely and inspiring words. Being a parent is always challenging, but more so right now! Did you see the story of the 5-year-old boy who was caught driving his parents' car on a freeway in Utah on Monday - apparently on his way to California to buy a Lamborghini. Can't make this stuff up!
Beginning May 17, we are beginning a brand new series called 'Life According to Movies.' Since most of you are already watching more screens than ever, we thought it might be cool for us to do a series like this, because stories have power to illustrate God's story. Just a quick glance through the Gospels, and you will see how many times Jesus used the technique of parables (captivating and culturally relevant stories that helped people more clearly understand God and life). The storytelling medium of our generation is movies. And it is our goal as a church to bring help and hope through a language we all can understand.
We've picked some movies people of all ages and stages can relate to, and it is our hope you will watch and discuss this with your family and friends. Our Harbortown KIDS team is even sponsoring a movie-themed parade on Friday, May 15, from 6:30-7:30pm! They are asking Whitewater families to drive through our parking lot (staying in cars) to see volunteers dressed up as movie characters and/or their decorated cars. For more info, click Whitewater Movie Parade.
Buy 1 Give 1
This Thursday (May 7), 5:30-7:30pm and Saturday (May 9), 9am-noon, don't forget to resource our efforts to bless our community with food and hope with our Buy 1 Give 1: Campaign of Hope. The Solve 7 truck will be in Whitewater's parking lot to accept donations of food and/or monetary donations. I stop by regularly at the Life Center to see their ministry operations. Terri Beth Faust and our Life Center/Food Pantry volunteers are making a huge difference providing help and hope to hundreds.
I saw this recently and the parallels are uncanny to the time we are currently living in. Maybe this time is not as unprecedented as we thought!
I do know many of you are asking and wondering when we will meet again in person. Know that we on staff spend a great amount of time each week discussing very complex scenarios and options (as do other large church pastors here in Cincy), but we do not expect to physically meet in our building for some time. We believe churches, concerts, movies, and sporting events in Ohio will be among the last organizations freed up to resume normal activities since so many people gather in close proximity. We are closely monitoring the governor's Coronavirus guidelines and are complying right now for several important reasons:
- We trust these guidelines are necessary (their knowledge is superior to ours and social distancing is necessary for the welfare of all).
- We trust these guidelines are impartial (they are not unduly biased against the church).
- We want to be the best witness to a watching world that we are not out of touch with cultural reality and give the church an unnecessary 'black eye' when this is all over.
So, for now, we are trying to 'submit to the governing authorities,' as Paul instructs us to do. If at any point we can no longer trust the validity of these conclusions, we will pivot very quickly and encourage in-person services again, while using every reasonable means to keep people safe.
Jesus tells us we are to be "as innocent as doves and wise as serpents." That is what we are doing right now, so pray for us and stay tuned. Our church has never been about buildings, but about people - providing help and hope to those inside and those outside! While our method (and our world) has changed, our mission hasn't. Thanks for your support.
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