When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers

As you know, we are in a global situation none of us have been in before, and information is changing by the hour. I have already seen secular public officials call for some churches to shut down and not meet. We have seen the NBA and Big XII suspend play, and other large gatherings cancelled. Other places and events are staying open. Both are options. Every church and organization has a different context. At Acts 2 Church, we will be open this weekend, and here is how it will work and why I think it is important not only to look for the helpers, but to be the helpers in times of need.

This Weekend
We will worship God together this weekend on Friday at 6:30pm with One Church and Sunday at 9:15am and 10:45am. If you are sick, please stay home for your own benefit and the health and wellness of all of your brothers and sisters in Christ who will be attending. It is the kind and right thing to do. I also hope you will participate in worship as you can at home by livestream at 9:15am or a replay of it. Sing the songs, pray for one another, bless someone, and give online to the mission of Jesus. Please let us know of your participation by checking in on the website or social media. If you are a member or part of our CDO, Girl Scouts, or other groups using our shared facilities, please ensure that all participants who have been to infected zones refrain from entering our property for 14 days. We all depend on the faithfulness of one another to ensure the best for everyone.

Our church is young in age, vibrant in spirit, and normally worships in gatherings of roughly 100 – 300 people per service. Given the data we have today from health professionals, our healthy members and guests can come experience Christ in community this weekend to be empowered to be sent out to serve a frightened and anxious world.

Why?
Christians in times of crisis do what is best for others. If you love people, you serve people. This is our time to shine and not say stupid stuff online or take the last roll of toilet paper at Target. In this moment where too many Christians are behaving badly in their own self-interest, let’s be like that early Acts 2 church where we ask, “Jesus, what would you have us do today?”

The early church wasn’t known for stockpiling ample food and supplies for themselves and spreading fear on social media. – Carey Nieuwhof

What You Can Do
One of the important ministries of Jesus in our community is Edmond Mobile Meals. EMM feeds some of the most vulnerable of our city. Thanks to Kathy Wallis of our church, I was able to speak today with the Executive Director of Edmond Mobile Meals, Cristi Twenter. She said, “With so many of our volunteers being older, it is going to take a lot of hands to keep things moving.” If you have NOT been out of the country in the last 30 days and do NOT have a cough or sniffles, then please click this link to fill out the application to volunteer in the coming weeks. They will need our help. All ages can help deliver meals. Kitchen helpers need to be 16 and older. Drivers need to be 18 to work alone. I have delivered meals and prayed with our wonderful citizens. It is holy and sacred to serve Jesus in this way. When people in our city see that we care, it will remind them that God does too.

Health Precautions
While I know you can guess these, in love be reminded:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (we now have hot water in the bathrooms!)
  • All greeters, ushers, communion servers are to be healthy and symptom-free.
  • When serving communion, give large pieces of bread to avoid hands in the cups.
  • The CDO staff regularly disinfects the classrooms in the Chapel building.
  • Our janitorial staff cleans all the facilities multiple times a week.
  • We have ordered extra individual gluten-free wafers and individual communion cups for anyone who would like them.

Finally, Jesus said, “Be not afraid.” Instead, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” If you need to stay home, please do. If you need to be in worship with those of us who love you, please do. You are loved. Do not fear. God is with us.

Much love,
Pastor Mark