Dear Beloved Chapel Hillers,
It is difficult for me to write this to you because we have been looking forward to our in-person/on-site worship on November 1st! Our COVID 19 Task Force with the support of our Board of Directors and I have decided we cannot in good conscience restart in-person/on-site worship on November 1st. I want you to know that I made that recommendation to our gifted lay leaders as your senior pastor as a means of taking good care of the souls entrusted to us!
I know that many of you will be very disappointed. I am too. However, I ask for your understanding because God calls us to be wise and prudent in all ways seeking the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The current COVID data for Sedgwick County is going in the wrong direction and has been for nearly two weeks. When we eliminate the high-risk parts of our service of worship like fellowship, singing, and Communion, there is only a sermon left and you can listen online without fear of contracting the virus. Our worship planning team is committed to providing an excellent online worship experience and we are deeply grateful.
Additionally, our own Director of Music Ministries, Dr. Rayvon Moore, was diagnosed as COVID positive on Tuesday with many symptoms making him quite ill. Also, Pastor Jennifer Herndon has been ill and is being tested a second time because of her symptoms. Please keep them in your prayers!
In honor of our 25th Anniversary as a congregation, we are going to have a 25-hour prayer vigil in the sanctuary each Sunday in November from 12 Noon to 5 pm. With our vast sanctuary, we are able to utilize each section of seats (We have 8 sections) allowing an individual or couple to pray for an hour providing significant physical distancing.
Each Sunday in November, the sanctuary will be a purposefully prayerful worship environment. A prayer guide will be available as well as we pray for our world, our nation, our congregation, and for the needs that are in our own hearts/minds. Of course, we can pray anywhere but this will allow some connection with our own physical worship space. I would encourage you to sign up by clicking on this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D49A5A82FA1FDCF8-prayer
Please remember: In the event that the current data begins to reverse, we will resume in-person/on-site worship as quickly as is safe to do so. We all look forward to that day!
I want to end with some really exciting news. Starting this Sunday, we will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary as a congregation. This is an important milestone and in spite of the challenges of our day, we want to celebrate well. Over the next year in general and the next four Sundays, in particular, want to praise God for the gift of our mission and the lives impacted for the cause of Christ and His Kingdom. We will have a video each week as I emphasize a particular dimension of our mission through the sermon. These videos powerfully demonstrate God’s activity among us! Please tune in on Sunday at 9:30 am and 11 am or on YouTube after Sunday morning.
Thank you for your understanding, support, and prayers as we seek to be faithful and fruitful for the glory of God and the blessing of souls.
God bless you and your loved ones,