Dear Countryside Family,
As I was thinking of what and how to say what needs to be communicated I was lead to Philippians 4.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Can we commit to praying these verses together? Let’s keep in mind God will guard our hearts and minds and His peace will do this. God will always do His part but remember, we need to do ours; don’t be anxious and pray.
This passage reminds us, in every situation, our prayers ground us in God’s peace. We step forward with faith. God is with us as we seek protection and discern how best to Be the Message!
Countryside, there is heightened fear and anxiety around the Covid-19 virus. But we must not act out of fear but act carefully and responsibly. The last time I looked I couldn’t find any passage or time in history where a virus made the Gospel of Jesus Christ come to a screeching halt. We talk about it often on Sunday mornings, the Church is not a building. The Church is the PEOPLE.
What a great opportunity to live out the words of John 14:15; If you love me, keep my commands. This is an opportunity to not only press into our Heavenly Father for comfort but we need to Be the Message even more so now!
Therefore, it is our belief the most responsible thing we can do is to close the building for any use until further notice effective immediately. Our desire is to reopen on Easter, but we have to take a lot of information under consideration before ever making that decision.
I have been in communication with many other local churches, as well as the governor of Oregon has cancelled all gatherings larger than 50. And as I’m writing this email the White House is suggesting a reduction of any gathering with more than 10 people.
Although our gatherings are smaller than 50 people, the Elders, Pastors and I believe closing our campus for all meetings is the most responsible thing to do.
But here’s the deal, while we are closing the building the Church is still open! And, we now have to look at “doing church” differently. What an exciting opportunity!
In an effort to stay connected, we will be live streaming our services on Facebook, web site and You Tube each Sunday at 9:30am. If you’re not able to participate with us during the live stream the service will be posted to our web site to view at any time afterward.
Please note: For this coming Sunday (3/22/20) we will be recording the message and it will be available for viewing at 11:00am on our web site.
The decision came with much prayer, studying and communication. All of your staff and elders are in unity about the decision even though it is a very difficult one. For those who are wanting specific details on how we came to this decision please email me and I will be happy to discuss those details.
Family, we still have staff to support and awesome ministries we are involved with that need your continued partnership. You are such a gracious and giving church and we are honored to serve alongside of you.
Please continue to give to the ministry of Countryside during this time. You can give online HERE, or you can mail a check to:
PO Box 21015, Keizer, Oregon 97307.
You can also stop by Monday-Thursday between 9:00am and 4:30pm.
Thank you Countryside Christian Church. I pray we will come out of this with a greater bond than before as we move forward in Building God’s Kingdom.
Continue to Be the Message!
Pastor Jon, Staff and Elders