COVID-19 Update 3/14/20

Dear Church Family,

 
By now, you’ve heard from everybody from your financial advisor to your alma mater to your internet provider about how they are all responding to COVID-19. We are living in a moment of profound uncertainty – and as a result, one of rare opportunity. For many Americans, our frantic pace is involuntarily grinding to a halt. For Christians in particular, the genuineness of our faith is being tested. For our neighbors, questions are coming to mind that they might not otherwise consider.
 
The elders at North Sub have been reading, praying, and monitoring the news. On Friday, we came to agreement about a course of action that we believe to be most wise for this weekend. As government recommendations continue to evolve, we expect to modify our actions to reflect the fluidity of the situation. Please visit northsub.com/COVID-19 to make sure you have access to the latest updates to our response plan.
 
As for this weekend (3/14-15):

 

MEN’S CONNECTION
 
This Saturday’s Men’s Connection has been cancelled.

 

LIFE COURSES
 
This Sunday’s Life Course has been postponed indefinitely.

 

SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE
 
We will be holding church this Sunday (3/15). The mission we have been called to cannot be quarantined! However, following recommendations of government officials and public health experts, we are not going to gather together in a large group at the church. Instead, we are going to worship together in the following way:

 

  • At 10:00 on Sunday morning, we want to encourage you to gather for worship in a home, either with your family, with your Life Group, or with some other small group of friends or neighbors.
    • If you do choose to gather for worship in a small group, please take the following precautions:
      • Disinfect shared surfaces before and after the meeting.
      • Establish a single point of entry to the home through which everyone will pass and immediately wash their hands.
      • Anyone who is sick in any way should stay home.
      • Avoid personal touch; provide ample space between seats.
      • Do not share food or drink.
    • Robbie has provided a home worship guide for this Sunday (PDF here). We encourage you to make use of it to guide your first half hour of worship.
    • At 10:30, we will be live-streaming a sermon from Pastor Tim. We invite you to watch the sermon together with those gathered for worship.
      • The sermon will be able to be accessed via North Sub’s YouTube page. Refresh the page at 10:30 to access the live feed.
      • While we will make every effort to ensure this sermon is available to watch after Sunday morning, we encourage you to please watch live if at all possible. This is for two reasons:
        • We don’t want to miss out on truly gathering as one, despite our geographic distance.
        • This sermon will be more interactive than a normal sermon in order to cultivate a sense of oneness. Text in questions or comments during the sermon (224-300-0240), and Pastor Tim will stop along the way to interact with them.
      • We expect to close in prayer by 11:05.
Thank you for making every effort to join us in worship in homes around the North Shore. We made the decision to forego large-group worship not out of fear, but rather out of love. Our hope is that, by joining with our communities in following the directives of authorities, we will do our part in giving healthcare workers and hospitals a fighting chance to contain this virus.

 

TOWN HALL MEETING

It is unclear how long we will be kept from large-group corporate worship. With that in mind, and with the new church year just weeks away, we have chosen to hold the scheduled Town Hall Meeting on Sunday via livestream rather than postponing it.

  • The sermon livestream will close upon completion around 11:05. At that time, we will take a ten minute break, then begin a new livestream on the same page at 11:15. Refresh the page at 11:15 to find the new link.
  • This is a very important Town Hall Meeting in the life of our church. We will be providing major updates regarding the next chapter in church life. Please plan to join us for this livestream.
  • There will be two ways to participate in the dialogue at the Town Hall Meeting.
    • Text questions or comments to 224-300-0240, and they will be read aloud and responded to by the elders.
    • Call 224-300-0240 during a Q&R time, and the elders will take your call and respond live on the air.
  • While we will make every effort to ensure this Town Hall meeting is available to watch after Sunday morning, we encourage you to please participate live if at all possible. The meeting will be more fruitful the more participation we have via text and phone.

 

SMALLER GATHERINGS
 
Throughout the week and weekend, various Life Groups, prayer groups, and affinity groups meet under the umbrella of North Sub’s ministries. At this time, we are leaving it up to the discretion of each group whether they will continue meeting together. Please consider risks related to the age of group participants, and if you do meet, follow the precautions listed above.

 

STUDENTS

There will be no Life Class or Sunday school. RUSH and RALLY will be meeting virtually this weekend at two times:

  • Saturday night’s Student Town Hall is ON as scheduled, but via livestream. Students are asked to participate from home. See details in an email from Alex coming today.
  • Sunday night RUSH and RALLY are ON as scheduled, but via livestream. Students are asked to participate from home. See details in an email from Alex coming today.

 

FOOD MINISTRY
 
Due to shortages at grocery stores, we don’t expect much food this weekend. If you are involved in that ministry, expect an email from Paul Bialek to determine the way forward. If you depend on this food, please contact the church office so that we can work to arrange a way to help you.

 

GIVING
 
If you haven’t tried giving online yet, this is a great time to experiment. Click here, and then follow the directions to make a contribution. Thank you for helping us end this fiscal year on a positive note financially.

 

CONTACT
 
If you find yourself anxious, sick, or in need of prayer for any other reason, please do not hesitate to contact the church office or the elders (elders@northsub.com).

 

OFFICE HOURS
 
Office staff expects to keep normal hours on Monday. Look for further updates early in the week.

 

*****

Please join us today in praying:

  • That the sick would be made well
  • That medical professionals would have the resources and stamina to press on
  • That the virus’s spread would be contained
  • That Christians would be seen to be distinct in their fearless, loving response to this pandemic
  • That we at North Sub would find opportunities to minister the gospel to our friends and neighbors in this time of soul-searching
  • That our church family would still make meaningful connection as a community despite social distance
 
– Pastor Tim, on behalf of the elders