UPDATES

3/19/2020

We know that this crisis has given us all kinds of reasons to fear, doubt, and is a significant testing of our faith. We all feel that today. The last week has been one we will all remember for many years to come. Many in our community are facing the threat of illness. Many are struggling to adjust to the demands of children and jobs as they attempt to work from home. Others don’t know when or if they will be able to go back to work again, and still others have already lost their jobs. And, after just a few days of this, many of us are already feeling lonely and long for community and friendship in a way that feels out of reach in this season.

As more information comes out about COVID-19 there are two things that we know:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way…” 
– Psalm 46:1

While there is much to fear with this virus, fear doesn’t get the ultimate word: God is in control, and he loves us.

And second, we know that we are going to have to settle into a new rhythm of life for a while, but “social distancing does not have to mean spiritual isolation”!

After all, we are the church. We must hold on to Christ as we seek to encourage one another. Our pastors and leaders have been working hard to reach out and care for people, spend time seeking God in prayer, and meeting to decide how we adapt our ministry in this strange season of life.

Also, we want to remind you that we are united with Redeemer Fellowship and are acting in one accord with our other two congregations and leadership right now. Because we are leading things together, you will see your pastors and many other leaders, some you may not even know yet. As your local pastors, we are here and available to lead, shepherd, guide, and pray for you ALWAYS!

WHAT’S NEXT
In light of guidelines passed down from our civic leaders, The Avenue & Redeemer will not host public services for the next eight weeks. In addition, we are no longer encouraging you to physically meet in Small Groups as those generally exceed the “10 people or less” guidelines set out by our civic leaders. You may however, choose to move your small group online, if you so choose. Below we have broken down the ways we plan to move forward as a congregation for now.

communion

During this time when we are not able to host public gatherings, we desire to create a context for us to still worship together—acknowledging the importance for us to continue worshiping through song, prayer, the hearing of God’s word, and communion as the family of God.

We are thankful that technology affords us the opportunity to facilitate this time together, and invite you to worship God together with our church in your homes. Because of this, every Sunday we will host “Sundays Online”. We hope to do these well, but nothing can replace the gathering of the saints in the corporate assembly, so even as we benefit from these times, we will grow in our desire to meet again!

Please join us this Sunday as we host a service live at 10 am at redeemerkansascity.org/live.

Each week we will post a liturgy guide on the Redeemer blog, as well as a family discussion guide and activity to accompany the service.

In addition, we plan to host several prayer meetings throughout the week. Over the last year, our staff have begun to set aside a few hours a week in the Sanctuary at Redeemer Midtown to sing, pray, and seek God’s face together. In many ways, these Online Prayer Meetings are us opening that up to our whole body, and we’d love for you to participate by joining us online. This is something you can watch while you make lunch or take into a prayer closet and intercede with us. In times like this, it is sometimes hard to pray and so we wanted to have a catalyst to become a people of prayer in this season.

You can view a schedule of each week’s prayer meetings at redeemerkansascity.org/live, as well as a link to our Vimeo account, where you can watch live. We also plan to make these available on Redeemer’s Facebook page, through Facebook Live.

fellowship

We are a family, a spiritual community of believers that need each other. We still need ways that we can pursue community and deep discipleship together. So, in addition to connecting with your small group (inside the guidelines set by our civic leaders), we want to encourage you to meet together in small clusters of 3-4 people (either in person or online) to talk about how we are experiencing God through Scripture and in our personal lives. We have many of these as men and women already meet in discipleship groups.
We’ve created a set liturgy or plan for you to follow as you connect each week. We believe that as we engage each other in these focused conversations, we will be able to experience deep fellowship with each other while pursuing a deeper faith.

hospitality

Many of you have emailed us to ask about ways you can step toward hospitality and mission. Right now, we think the best way you can do that is through your Small Groups, your neighborhood, or existing relationships you have in the city. We’re working to identify a few local partners we can begin pointing people to immediately, but even as we do that, step toward your neighbors. We’ve heard of groups walking their neighborhoods, contacting elderly members in their communities to buy groceries, and raising money to help meet needs for those already facing the economic impact of this crisis.

So, serve your neighbors. Get with your Gospel Community Group or a few friends and find local organizations to partner with. And if you need ideas for how to get started, feel free to contact us.

STAY UP TO DATE
We plan to send emails out every week or two but to stay up to date on everything, follow us on Instagram or Facebook.