March 12, 2020
Dear Church Family,
Today I’m writing to you with a deep sense of love for you all, and also excitement for what the Lord will surely do in us who are Eastridge Church. It is in that spirit that I ask you to read the whole of this letter, even though I know you are getting marketing emails like crazy on this subject.
As I’m sure you have seen, our Governor has placed a statewide ban of gatherings over 250 people in light of the Coronavirus outbreak. We usually exceed that number at each of our Sunday services. More important than the Governor’s mandate, though, Jesus asks us as his followers to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable.
So I come to this point: As a staff and leadership, we have agreed to comply with the Governor’s ban and have changed this Sunday’s worship gathering to be a virtual service only. We will consider further suspensions of Sunday gatherings week to week.
Thankfully, we will not stop worshipping as a community. We will continue to livestream worship service via Facebook (consisting of people who are involved in its production) each Sunday at 9:15am. These videos will be made available on our website, as well as for audio download, after it has streamed live.
We will worship the Lord as we love one another in smaller groups, and so minister beyond these walls. We will continue to be Jesus’ family in this city. In fact, we may see the Lord use us in a whole new way with each other, as well as in the broader community of the southeast side of Portland.
I’m asking you to join me in prayer for one another, for our friends and family, and for the people in our country and state. I’m suggesting that we pray in a spirit of resilience – not just because I keep using that word but because now is the perfect time to live it out!
Hebrews 10: 24, 25, and 39 tells us who we are:
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together…[For] we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls."
Your church leadership is committed to being the church as we have a remote gathering. We will communicate with you often about what is happening at Eastridge. In turn, we are inviting all who call Eastridge their family to take the opportunity to engage in the following ways:
- Check Facebook, your emails, and the website regularly
- Reach out via email for any support needed for your faith life or your child’s (note that youth Midweek will continue).
- Gather with your smaller community - whether it’s a life group, D8 groups, or ministry team. We encourage you to watch the livestream together, discuss it and pray together.
- Continue to support Eastridge through your regular giving. Our church staff depends on your giving and will be working just as hard to care for Eastridge.
Most of all, I want to encourage you to ask the Lord to make you sensitive and deeply aware of how you can support those who have no other connection with this church family other than the Sunday morning service.
Eastridge Church is not a building and it is not a service. It is a body. A community of believers that meets in a building and has gatherings together to live out who we are: Jesus’ kingdom people. This is a temporary disruption, but it is not the end. Viruses can’t do that anymore than a grave could hold our Savior, and we know how that turned out! Be watching for the details, but know that we’re going to celebrate that day too - with a resurrection of our own!
There will be more info to come, but for now, may the Lord bless each of you and your family. Also, I pray for each of you and for our church that has had such godly impact on this city and community. I have a hunch He’s going to do it again, only bigger, during these days as we go beyond the walls.