And so it begins!
We LOVED being out at Lawrenceburg last Sunday! The weather was gorgeous, the crowd was energetic, the pizza and ice cream were tasty, the message and worship were uplifting, and the church was on mission!
Lawrenceburg is known for floods, cigars, distilleries, casinos and NOW a 'crazy for Jesus group of people' called Whitewater Crossing. We are now praying for and serving this city in targeted ways. I talked Sunday at the service about a blacksmith in Lawrenceburg named Elijah Anderson who helped over 1000 slaves escape slavery through the Underground Railroad. At his blacksmith shop, down by the river, he would hammer the anvil to do his work, but also secretly signal slaves seeking freedom from across the river in Kentucky, that it was safe to cross. That's what we want to do in that town and every town. We want to ring out the Good News of Jesus that freedom is possible through Him. Whether online or in-person - we are still on mission!
I'm sure you've heard we are now ready to resume services inside again in a simple and COVID-friendly way. Our staff, informed by our COVID-19 task force, have been busy preparing for your arrival back inside. We thought one service would suffice but, because of demand, we are now doing two services, one at 9am and one at 11am. We need you to register and get all the details to attend, so we can be ready for you and your friends. Our hope is to make the building and those who attend as safe as possible. NBA Bubbles work for people with unlimited resources, but that's not us! So, thanks for your patience and prayers as we seek to be the church inside again.
Online, Live and TV
If you're still not ready to return, we very much understand and encourage you to keeping joining us online. We are trying something brand new this Sunday. We will be showing the actual service in the building 'Live' to our online campus/community. We are really excited about this as it will make everyone feel we are all one family worshiping together in multiple places. Our goal is to bring connectivity to our online community by going 'live' as opposed to only 'on demand.' We will continue to record and provide the message (just delayed) for our Star64/Local Channel 12 audience as they are still the biggest platform we have.
Speaking of Local Channel 12, we were mentioned twice in Liz Bonis' segment this past Sunday. Go to times 6:55 and 43:01.
As you can see from the above, we are deploying our precious resources of time, money, and people into this new hybrid model of in-person and online digital discipleship because of the coronavirus to help people find hope in Jesus. This new reality and approach to COVID means we don't need as many building centric staff and ministries as we used to need. There has been a necessary shift in strategy and approach in ministry now that has affected every aspect of how our timeless mission is accomplished - including some of our staff. Like other organizations and churches these days, we are recalibrating staff and structure around new jobs and job descriptions that involve different skill sets then previously needed. As stewards of God's resources here, we simply have to do this as we head into the fall. You may hear about some excruciating and heartbreaking decisions we had to make with several of our staff as their positions were eliminated. Just know we've been informed along the way by wise Whitewater leaders and church consultants, and the elders are also aware of these changes. We do not take this task lightly or flippantly, but came to these decisions after multiple meetings and much prayer. So I (we) covet your prayers right now. This is the toughest season of ministry I have navigated in my leadership career. Although I don't know exactly how our world will change, I do know our mission has never been more vital and our resolve more firm to keep Jesus first, hope alive, and His precious church working right.
See you Sunday!
P.S. Here's an opportunity for our church community to be a part of an inspirational time of prayer and fellowship. The event is called Lift Seven Up and here are some details:
- WHAT: Outdoor Prayer event for the new school year to lift up students, teachers, administrators, support staff, families, communities, and the nation. There is power in prayer!
- PROMOTED and SUPPORTED BY: This City His City, and area churches and non-profits in the Harrison school district
- SPONSORED BY: Rock Solid Families
- WHEN: September 8 at 7pm
- WHERE: Miami Whitewater United Methodist Church at 9700 Dry Fork Rd Harrison, OH 45030
- SAFETY: Masks are required and social distancing encouraged
For more info, go to Rock Solid Families' Facebook page.
Dose of Hope
Don't forget about the Dose of Hope on Facebook or YouTube, Wednesdays at 7pm!
Watch Dose of Hope