June 17, 2020

Dear CrossWay Family,

“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’” (Psalm 122:1)
We hope there is something in your hearts this week like what the psalmist expresses here—a gladness in anticipating gathering with God’s people. The Bible tells us that we, the church, are God’s living temple, “a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22). When we gather, God himself is among us—and that is something to look forward to with great gladness. It has been more than three months since we experienced the fullness of that reality, and even though this Sunday won’t be exactly like what we remember from early March, we can expect God to wonderfully meet us as we come together.

If you haven’t already RSVP’d to let us know which service you’re planning to come to, please do that here. We’ve been working to maximize the seating of our auditorium (while keeping 6-foot distancing), and we’ve been able to open more seats for both the 8:00am and 9:45am services.
And if you’re not planning to join us this weekend, please know that you are loved and will be missed as we gather together. We eagerly look forward to the time when everyone is able to regather. One of the services will be recorded so you can participate from home, and you can look for more details on that in our regular Friday email.

If you’re coming, we want to orient you to how Sunday morning will look. Please plan to come 10-20 minutes before the service begins. We want to avoid a mad rush through the front doors right as the service begins. Please come through the north lobby doors, the doors closer to the restrooms. As you come in, there will be hand sanitizer available, and you’ll be able to pick up a mask if you’re not bringing your own. We’ll have both disposable masks and cloth masks you can take home and reuse. You’ll also see boxes where you can deposit your offering—we won’t be passing baskets. As you enter the auditorium, please look for a group of seats that fits your family size. Greeters will be there to assist you.

Once you’re seated, you can take off your masks. We’ll let you know when to put them back on. We’ll be singing (as we’re all excited to do), but we’ll be singing less than we’re used to and raising our voices to God in other ways, like reading Scripture aloud together.  At the end of the service, one of our greeters will dismiss you, and you’ll exit through the south doors into the lobby, nearer the kids ministry wing. From there you can head outside, where you should feel free to take off your masks (if you’re comfortable) and catch up with brothers and sisters you haven’t seen in months. We know this can sound like a lot, but we want to serve you by preparing you as best we can.

Those are the practical items you need to know, but there’s another side to this we want to call your attention to. This regathering presents many opportunities to show love by being mindful of one another, by in humility thinking of others rather than thinking of ourselves. If your group has three people, you might be tempted to take a group of five seats a little closer to the front—but please leave those for a family of five. In the absence of nursery and children’s classes, children will be in the service, and there will be an opportunity for us to love them and their parents by extending them grace (and a smile) when they’re a little restless or noisy, rather than being annoyed. At the same time, parents, please be mindful of those around you, and make use (if you need to) of Rooms 101 and 103, which will be set up to serve families with kids who need a little room to move around and will have audio of the service. You may have a friend you know is coming alone on Sunday—if both you and they are comfortable, invite them to sit with you. You might have friends you know will be worshiping from home; maybe send them a quick text message before the service to let them know you’re thinking of them. You might be sitting in a different part of the auditorium than usual, and you might not know the people sitting around you—make the first move and introduce yourself, and through getting to know them seek to communicate the love and welcome of God.

This Sunday we will gather as the dwelling place of God by his Spirit. What a marvel. It has always been true, but there’s an additional sweetness after being apart for so long. Let’s be in prayer for God to bless our gathering, to accomplish his good work through his Word, and to draw us closer to him.

See you Sunday.

With great affection,
Pastor Brett and Pastor Mike (for all the pastors and elders)

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