Dear Evergreen Family:
I’ve mentioned from time to time that we’re on a “journey back to church.” This journey has taken longer than many of us expected. In fact, sometimes I feel like I’m Dorothy lost in the land of Oz. Even Dorothy, though, got a piece of good news. Glinda, the good witch, told her, “Everything you were looking for was right there with you all along.” She always had everything she needed to get home.
So do we. Evergreen has been Exalting, Experiencing, and Extending Christ for years, and I believe this is also the way we get back home.
Our next big step on our journey back to church is to Exalt Christ. We need to get back to worshipping together. We need to get back to seeing each other, even if it’s through masks while keeping our distance. This is crucial. We are making a concerted effort to open the church building for worship in the near future. In the meantime, we are still able to worship together at our outdoor 9:00 a.m. service. While no one can guarantee safety, one comment I hear repeatedly from people who attend for the first time is, “This really does feel safe.” In fact, it is very easy to stay 40 feet away from the nearest person should one desire to do so. Some do. Everyone wears a mask. We Exalt Christ together, and we’re re-forging that Evergreen bond. This is our first and most crucial step on “our journey back to church.”
The second step on our journey back to church is to Experience Christ. Our amazing staff and other leaders have been joyfully engineering virtual classes, groups, and other growth experiences. We will need to continue to find ways to plug in during what may be an extended period of social distancing in our wider society. Even once we’re worshipping regularly inside, we will still need creative ways to connect and grow. Experiencing Christ will be a marathon rather than a sprint.
The third step on our journey back to church is to Extend Christ. There will come a day when the fear of COVID subsides and people are ready to try new things with new people again. When that day arrives, we will be there with the love of Christ, working to connect with people who are ready to explore faith for the first time. The year 2020 is changing all of us, and many people in the seasons to come will have recognized that there is more to life than they had previously realized. We pray we can help them know that Christ is the answer. We plan to be ready, and we need you. We need everyone to Extend Christ together at Evergreen. We have a high calling, and we’re grateful and ready.
Thank you for taking this “journey back to church!”
May God bless us all.
Your Fellow Minister in Christ,