Dear Northway Church —

Seemingly every day we are learning of new restrictions being placed upon us as a necessary response to the COVID-19 virus. As a church, we’ve had to adjust our ministry plans each week, sometimes several times during the same week. 

The information I’m sharing with you in this letter concerns our plans on March 26, 2020. Tomorrow, as we hear further news, this may change. We at Northway will do our best to keep you updated on how we are striving to continue our ministry in the midst of this unprecedented health crises. To that end, I want you to be aware of several decisions that have been made regarding the schedule and life of our church for the next few weeks:

• We will not meet on the Northway Church campus for worship on Sunday, March 29 or Sunday, April 5. Instead, will continue our Facebook Live services at 10:30AM. Even if you are not on Facebook, you will be able to watch this service by going to the Northway Facebook page. It has been such a joy to see the number of comments, likes, and shares by our Northway family as we have been forced to worship together in this way. While our enemy wants to use these restrictions to put distance between us and to keep us from worshipping God together, we are determined to not allow him to get the victory. Thank you for your participation in our online community worship. 

• On Sunday, April 5, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper together in worship. If you’ve read the Northway News, you’ve seen the details of what you need to do to obtain your communion packet for that Sunday. Go to Cathedral Coffee’s drive-thru during normal operating hours on April 1-3 (7AM-2:30PM), or come through the drive-thru on April 1 or 2 between 6PM-8PM and you will be given what you need for the Lord’s Supper celebration that day. 

• The church office will remain closed through April 6. Again, as the situation evolves and we are able to make informed decisions, we will be sure to communicate these with you. See the Northway News on how you may contact your staff for any needs you may have. 

• Cathedral Coffee’s drive-thru is continuing to operate from 7AM – 2:30PM, Monday-Friday. Please go to their Facebook Page for the latest information on their hours and ways they are doing ministry during this time.  

• We are asking our Home Teams to not meet during this time. Hopefully you have been able to engage with members of your Home Team through texting, email, and phone calls.  Many of our groups have been meeting through video chat room sites such as Zoom and Google Hangout.  If you’d like assistance in using these platforms, contact Phil Anderson.

• On Monday, March 30, you will begin receiving a church-wide devotion. We are asking everyone to follow these devotions together and to memorize the weekly memory verse together.

• All other church activities and on-campus group meetings have been cancelled through April 6. Again, we will continue to update you as this situation develops. 

During this unprecedented health crises, our strong desire is to continue — as much as possible — to be the church for one another and our community. To that end, we are making a number of resources available for you and your family. In this week’s Northway News, you will see information on how you can use Northway’s Right Now Media account for Bible studies, sermons, and even movies with a message about faith. Our Next Generation Team will be providing parents with curriculum resources for home Sunday School lessons and Bible studies. We are placing our Sunday worship Message Map on the You Version Bible App for you to be able to take notes and save the information during our livestreams. We are looking at other creative, virtual ways to help you grow spiritually during this time and keep you connected with your church family. 

For many of you reading these words, the current situation of our nation is a great opportunity for you and your family. If you have been lacking margin in your life, perhaps this will be a time for you to slow down and spend more quality time with the Lord and with your spouse and children. I would encourage you to not waste this time. Play games together. Read that book you’ve been putting off. Watch a Bible study together. Find ways to connect with the hearts of your children and your spouse. 

Finally, I would like to encourage you during these uncertain times to not succumb to the spirit of fear. Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that the Lord has given us “a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control” (ESV). While the situation around us is ever-changing, we serve a God who “does not change like the shifting shadows” (James 1:17, NIV). Moreover, while these are difficult times, as children of God, we can know that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV). 

My pledge is to keep you informed as more information becomes available. Please keep Northway Church, our community, and our nation in your prayers as we face these challenging days together. 

Your Pastor,