Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
Dear Crossroads Family,
I’m looking forward to our gathering this coming Sunday for worship, fellowship, and teaching! The sermon will be from Philippians 2:19-30, “The Joy of Friendship.” It’s interesting to read that Paul, who was a man of many friends, had trouble finding the friend he needed when in prison in Rome. What makes friendship so valuable … and sometimes hard to find? What are the purposes of friendships in the church, and how can we develop them? I’m looking forward to God saying some clearly and powerfully through this little section of the book of Philippians. I hope you’ll be at the Y at 10:00 on Sunday! Dress warmly, as you know it’s usually on the cool side in the gym! (Sermons are also posted on the Crossroads Facebook page by Saturday evening.)
A few of us enjoyed some prayer time via Zoom this past Monday evening. We’ll get together again for prayer on Zoom on Monday, August 31st, again at 7 pm. Would love for you to join us for a few minutes of sharing and prayer!
*If you are a part of the Crossroads family and need this information to join, contact Tom or check the TMG email version*
Calendar & Announcements
Baptisms. We’re very excited that two of our church family will be baptized immediately following worship on Sunday, September 13, at the pool here at the Y. Please mark your calendar. Those being baptized are Vicky Parker and Ebony Conley. If you are also interested in being baptized on that date, please let me know.
Nursery Team Volunteers? We’re trying to put a nursery back in place for September during the sermon time on Sunday mornings. Could you help by being part of a rotation of people serving our littlest ones and their parents? Please let me or Michaela know. Thank you!
Thank you! Thanks to all who served the community this summer by handing out lunches on Friday afternoons! You were a blessing and an encouragement! Thanks to Heather who took on the job of organizing Crossroads’ participation!
Monday Night Bible Study. Monday night Bible study, “The Strength You Need,” will begin Monday, September 14, 7:00 – 7:45 pm. You are welcome to meet at my house (628 W. Arch St.), or join us on Facebook live.
Crossroads Connection coming up on September 27, immediately following worship. Watch for details!
More thank you! Dear Church Family, Thank you so much for the Bible and journal! I love them. I am so thankful to be a part of our Crossroads family. Love, Adi Wilson (Missouri State University)
Some Thoughts on COVID-19, Church Life, and How We All Get Through This Together
One of the reasons for the Apostle Paul’s writing of the letter to the Philippians was because a rift had developed between two women in the church. Their names were Euodia and Syntyche, and Paul addresses their disagreement in Philippians 4.
So Philippians is another letter where we find Paul exhorting Christians to work hard, diligently, and prayerfully toward unity in the church.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly has the potential to drive wedges between people who live with each other, and who love each other, in local churches. It has already shut down some churches in our nation, at least temporarily, and it has the potential,
I believe, to close some permanently.
I’m grateful that we’ve weathered the storm thus far at Crossroads. We had a sweet time of doing worship online last spring and, actually, by doing so, we broadened our reach to those who can benefit from the message we have to offer. Now we’re glad to be back in the gymnasium at the Y. Thankfully, to my knowledge, no one at Crossroads has been diagnosed with COVID. Some of us have friends who have been diagnosed with the virus, and among those a handful have suffered physically as a result.
We’ve been recipients of lots of information about combatting the virus, some of which is confusing and some of which even seems at times contradictory. Some doctors and nurses speak of the efficacy of wearing masks; others disagree entirely. Some recommend a certain treatment for the virus; others oppose it. Some businesses require strict observance of social distancing guidelines, yet down the road you can eat at a restaurant where no masks or distancing of any kind is required. What to make of it all?
Here are four thoughts of my own that I hope will help us at Crossroads in getting through the remainder of this pandemic, however long it may last:
- Not all at Crossroads choose to respond in the same way. Some are choosing to continue to isolate mainly; others are living and working in environments where many fewer precautions are being taken. We must recognize this about each other, and realize that whatever decisions another person has made concerning his/her response to the pandemic is based on personal conviction and, quite likely, a definite need. We should be diligent to preserve unity in the church. One way of doing that is for those who are not isolating to remember to reach out to those who are isolating. A short phone call or text message can go a long way. In the same way, those who are isolating should remember to reach out to those who are living out in the world. Many of us could also take time on August 31 at 7 pm to join the next Zoom prayer meeting as a means of facilitating unity. It should last about 40 minutes only.
- We should refrain from judgment. Those at Crossroads who choose not to wear a mask should not belittle or judge those who do. Similarly, those who choose to wear a mask or take other precautions should be careful not to judge those who don’t. We won’t live up perfectly to each other’s standards. In fact, the truth is that probably none of us is living up perfectly to his/her own standard.
- The church leadership trusts you to make good judgments concerning your safety and health. I feel positively about the efforts we’ve made at Crossroads to accommodate a range of personal needs and wants. There is plenty of room to space out in the gym as far as you would like or need to during Sunday morning worship. You are welcome to wear a mask or other protective gear any time we gather. You are welcome, if you feel the need, to come a little late to worship or to leave on the early side, if you’re needing to avoid close contact with people. In addition, as you know, we’ve made sermons and Bible studies available online, and now we’ve started an occasional prayer meeting via Zoom. For those who are living and working in more exposed contexts, and who feel a need to return to a kind of church life we’re more accustomed to, we’re trying this fall to put back in place some of the fellowship and ministry opportunities we’ve loved so much over the years. Each one should use their own judgment in choosing whether or not to participate in any of those activities.
- Ultimately, we trust the Lord. We are bombarded – by news outlets, on the internet, and sometimes by friends and family members – by fear. I don’t want to add to an atmosphere of fear. We believe God is sovereign. Our trust is not ultimately in science, in politics, or in statistics, but in the Lord. In all we do, both in and outside of the church, let’s seek to be lights in the world!
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life!” (Philippians 2:14-16)
In Christ’s love,