What a few days it has been! I have been praying for you, for our congregation, for the Lehigh Valley and our country and the world. There is so much to pray about as the world keeps changing due to COVID-19.
Everything has changed from last week. Parents are becoming teachers. Many of us have had a crash course in ZOOM meetings. And yes, they do look like the Brady Bunch intro. Our hands are dry from hand washing. And I hope you are saying the Lord’s Prayer which is the perfect 20 seconds of washing and praying. We keep watching our retirement accounts, looking for green arrows pointing up. We hope that we keep our jobs or that we don’t have to let our employees go.
No matter how many interruptions this virus may bring, from inconveniences to even contracting the disease, we cling to the truth that our God has not disappeared, he has not abandoned us. We believe he walks with us and is with us in the best and the worst of times.
God came close to us when he sent Jesus. I am praying that you know his closeness in your fear or your loneliness, in every interruption that you were feeling before COVID and after COVID.
I have watched and prayed as many of you are on the front lines – in healthcare, in leading your organization, in finding ways to love each other and our community. It’s a beautiful thing for all of us to live our faith and let our lights shine in this dark moment. I will keep praying.
This Sunday, it will be good to be together worshipping online. We will look together at a man who had an interruption that changed everything in his life. That should sound familiar. He was Levi and then he became Matthew. We’ll talk about his interruption and the interruption that all of us need at this moment in history.
Beginning, Sunday, we will launch GRACE Live: Live opportunities for us to connect and grow in our faith. That includes our worship and much more. Our GRACE team has been working all week to get this ready for you and for others that you can invite to be encouraged and supported as we all must remain isolated for the next weeks. I am so thankful for our amazing team!
From our GRACE Live link (www.gracecb.org/gracelive/), you will be able to access:
GRACE Worship, Sundays 9 am and 10:30 am
Join us at 9 for a classic service with the hymns of the faith accompanied by organ and piano. Or at 10:30 for a modern service the hymns and song led by our worship band. Both services have Biblical relevant messages from Dr. Marnie Crumpler or one of our pastoral team.
GRACE Students, Sundays, 7 pm
All students (MS and HS), join us for 30 minutes of games and message. High school small groups (via zoom) will follow.
GRACE Family Time, Tuesdays, 7 pm
Join us for a 30-minute family experience designed for our young families including worship songs, games and a bible story.
GRACE Bible Study, Wednesdays, 7 pm
Join Dr. Mark Crumpler for 45-minutes for a mid-week bible study as he walks through the Bible
GRACE Prayer Gathering, Thursdays, 7 pm
Join one of our pastors for a 30-minute prayer gathering and some worship.
You can also access GRACE Live on our Facebook page. We invite you to interact in these online experiences. Don’t just watch. Make comments. Let us know you are there. And invite other people to join you. We need connection more than ever.
In addition, on the GRACE Live page, you will find links to give online, submit prayer requests, as well as a link to get help, or offer help. We are just beginning to hear from our partners in the community about the needs they have and are working on ways for you to help meet these needs in our congregation and community. We hope that you will let us know through the firstname.lastname@example.org link if you know of needs or would like to help. More to come.
A couple of pointers if you are new to technology. If you have a smart TV, you can screen mirror these programs from your computer to your tv. It is a much better experience to watch together on your tv. You can also buy a cord that will allow you to plug your computer or your iPad/iPhone into your tv. Here’s an example of a cord on amazon that could make that happen.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L9W7GC4/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_c_api_i_pLMCEbCMJMNEE. Be sure to check your tv to see what ports it has before you order.
If you need help to get online, please email GRACEonline@gracecb.org. And someone will reach out to assist you.
We will continue to work on ways to serve you and our community in this new normal. It is such a privilege to be…
Dr. Marnie Crumpler