Dear Northway Church —

With the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolving, I want to share with you the latest decisions our leadership has made on moving forward as a church. During this crises, our goal is to continue to “be the church” while protecting the health of our members and our community. 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 22 or 29. Instead, as we were able to do Sunday, March 15, we will host a live-streamed worship service on Facebook 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. I’ve heard a number of positive comments regarding the online community interaction happening during the service this past Sunday and appreciate all of you who participated. It reminded me of the line from the song, “See a Victory” we sang Sunday: “What the enemy meant for evil, you turned it for good.” While this unprecedented health event may keep us from physically gathering together, we won’t let that stop us from worshipping together each Sunday!

• Our Weekday Preschool and Extended Day will be closed beginning today, March 17 and continuing through March 27. Our Preschool Director and leadership team is continuing to evaluate information as it is made available and communicating with parents on when students and teachers may safely return to school.

• The church office will remain open through Thursday, March 19 and then close through March 27. Again, as the situation evolves and we are able to make informed decisions, we will be sure to communicate these with you.

• As of this writing, Cathedral Coffee will continue to remain open during their normal business hours. Please go to their Facebook Page for the latest information on how they are protecting their customers.

• We are asking our Home Teams to refrain from meeting during this time. This decision was difficult and, as of Monday morning, not one we intended to make. However, the President’s request on Monday afternoon that groups of 10 or more not congregate together is one we want to respect. During this time, there are a number of ways you can still communicate with, challenge, and encourage one another. See below for more information and suggestions on this.

• All other church activities and on-campus group meetings have been cancelled through March 29. 

During this unprecedented health crisis, 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 small group 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,