A limitation can become an opportunity.
What did Paul and Silas do when they were unlawfully thrown into prison?
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”
Paul and Silas respond to their imprisonment with prayer and worship. And guess what? The other prisoners were listening to them!
We are in quarantine and the world around us has changed dramatically.
How can Unity use this limitation as an opportunity to share God’s Good News?
Here’s what we know, and here’s how we plan to respond:
Governor Cooper has outlined 3 stages for reopening North Carolina.
The stay at home order has been extended to May 8. If testing capability, infection trends and tracing capability are moving in the right direction, then NC may be moved to Phase 1 after this date.
Phase 1 will last at least 2-3 weeks— possibly May 9 to May 30.
Phase 1 is basically an amended ‘stay at home’ order. Groups will still be limited to 10 and under and teleworking is still encouraged.
During this phase, Unity will continue offering on-line streaming of worship services and the church office will remain closed.
Phase 2 will last at least 4-6 weeks — possibly May 31 to July 12.
The executive orders states that NC will “Allow gathering at places such as houses of worship…at reduced capacity.” The order does not share with us what the maximum allowed group size will be in Phase 2.
Unity may be able to offer in-person worship during Phase 2 in a modified format. We will not know exactly what this looks like until we are given further guidance from the governor.
Phase 3- Possibly July 13 and beyond.
The executive order states that NC will “Allow increased capacity at…houses of worship” and will “Further increase the number of people allowed at gatherings” in Phase 3. Again, no specifics are given, but it looks like Phase 3 will be closer to a return to normal.
Based on this guidance, Unit is in a wait and see approach when it comes to reopening. Your staff and session are monitoring this closely. We are exploring many different possibilities for modified worship in Phase 2. We appreciate your patience and grace as we seek to respond faithfully to the current crisis.
Here’s the REALLY important note:
We can use this time to share the gospel with those who may not otherwise hear it.
Unity has an opportunity to reach many people who may watch an online service but would not otherwise attend church. There are large numbers of people who do not feel comfortable physically coming to church but will click on a link and explore online church.
This is our opportunity to reach out to people who may otherwise not experience church!
You have a huge role to play in this.
Please consider sharing the live stream worship service on your Facebook account. Imagine what the reach of the service could be if every person who watched it shared it with their Facebook friends. If you stream through the church website, consider e-mailing or texting a few friends with an invitation to join you on the live stream.
Do you know of someone who really needed to hear last week’s message? Or the week before? Consider e-mailing them the link with a special note from you. You can find the video archives of past services at https://www.unitypres.org/connect/service-video-archives/.
Let’s embrace this electronic format by trying to reach as many people as possible with God’s Word!
“See” you on Sunday!