I want to mention my deep gratitude for the Pastor Appreciation gift you all gave to Steph and myself on Sunday, October 10, 2021. Your kindness and love is greatly appreciated and we dearly love you all in our Lord Jesus Christ.
This year has posed some challenges to our small group, mainly to our gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has been encouraging to me that there has remained a community among us all from week to week.
Sense of Community
Having that sense of community, being part of the larger fellowship, and having roots in our spiritual family is something that I see as important and of great spiritual value to our individual lives.
We don’t have sign-on the line “memberships” so one has always been part of our church by being part of the larger family of God. Like family, we sometimes regularly come home to visit and sometimes we stop in only once in awhile. I picture all of us as family and I see that as part of what it means to stay in community.
As you may have need, CrossHope Chapel has some community strengthening tools available to us all, that includes:
- Prayer Support — We have a text alert system. At any time you can request prayer by texting me and our entire group will intercede for that request.
- Daily Promise Devotionals — We have the free Today’s Daily Promise email devotionals that you can follow and journey with us from Genesis to Revelation in a year, one Bible promise per day.
- Email Updates — We have an email update list that has been averaging 1 email per week that shares what is happening at CrossHope Chapel and gives a highlight from the weekly teaching series.
- Pastoral Care — We have made pastoral care available to you as our spiritual family and as any needs may arise, and you have been prayed for on a regular basis and will continue as a recipient of pastoral prayer for the Lord’s leading in your life.
- Sunday Fellowship — We have an opportunity for personal fellowship on Sunday mornings at the Chapel as we each may be able to attend. This has been the focal point of our church ministry but strengthening community through other means may soon overtake that as a need among our fellowship.
Online Bible Study
I am working on the possibility of having an online Bible study to offer for those who are unable to attend Sunday mornings. It has been asked of me, several times this past year, about the possibility of recording our Sunday morning gatherings and Bible teaching, and putting it on YouTube.
My thinking has always been that our Sunday morning gathering is built around interaction and it seems that we would almost need a moving camera man and a roving microphone to capture it all. It also seems that a low attendance day would make that kind of video more challenging.
However, there may be some potential for using Zoom and I am currently exploring that. Zoom is similar to the Skype app we once used when Tommy and Shirley were traveling out West. It seems that with Zoom I may be able to offer a Bible study online that will allow for interaction together.
I’m still researching it and I’ll keep you updated on the potential of offering an online Bible study.
In this email, I mainly wanted to express my gratitude for you and encourage you to stay in community together, even if you can’t make it to Sunday morning fellowship.
I have more I want to say about maintaining community, but I plan on doing that in another email when I have time to also include my thoughts on the bigger picture of the future of the western church.
Again, thank you very much, and I am praying for you!