We hope and pray that you and your family are safe and managing well with this Covid-19 world we’re living! We are praying for you and would love you to contact us if there is anything you need help with.
Just a cursory look at the news at the moment can fill you with a sense of uncertainty and angst. How are you responding to the circumstances? The book of Hebrews gives us three ways we can persevere in our faith despite uncertainty.
The book of Hebrews was written to Jews associating with the Christian faith. Those Jews were facing persecution and as a result were tempted to return to Judaism. The writer persuades them and us that Jesus is better than the old system and that returning to the old system was a futile and costly mistake. As you can see, the readers of Hebrews were facing scary and uncertain times. What council did the writer provide? In Hebrews chapter 10 he counselled them with three ways to persevere in the faith:
- By drawing near to God (Heb 10:22)
- By holding unswervingly to the hope we profess (Heb 10:23)
- By considering how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Heb 10:24)
Just like the readers of Hebrews, in scary and uncertain times we too need to draw near to God, hang on to our faith and consider how in the midst of Covid-19 we can continue to encourage one another in our faith.
As a leadership, we feel the burden to encourage everyone in each three of these points. While circumstances are more difficult than when we could meet together in a room, we are committed to doing our best to provide for the spiritual needs of our church. One tool we have at our disposal is technology and social media.
So here are six ways we are using social media to stay connected and to lean into God rather than fear:
1. Virtual Services
We hope you agree that our online service went really well over the weekend. Again this Sunday morning at 10am, we encourage you to tune into our Facebook and website as we gather though we’re scattered to worship our God and to be encouraged from His word. Sunday mornings are a significant part of our church so we encourage you to continue to carve out 10am to meet together virtually. This Sunday we will be premiering our service from our Facebook page which allows for live commenting and reacting for that increased sense of togetherness. So be ready for that – and don’t be late!
2. Virtual Life Groups
It has been so encouraging to see our group leaders adapt so quickly so that groups can continue to meet. Many of our groups have been using the platform Zoom to have face-to-face interactions, to discuss the sermons questions and to pray for each other. Here is one way we can spur one another on! If you are feeling spiritually isolated, please be in contact about joining a group.
3. Launched a Resources Page
We have just launched a brand new page on our website labelled “Resources”. Here we will be updating you with various forms of media from videos to articles, music playlists to kids ministry ideas. The idea here is to keep you updated and to provide content that is helpful and spiritually nourishing.
4. Published an “I Need Help or I Can Help” Segment
We are aware that stresses imposed by Covid-19 and lockdown are going to have a varied effect on people. For some, it will be an inconvenience but for others it will present many difficulties. We have therefore launched a segment on our website to connect needs with people who can help. If you’re struggling, let us know what you would appreciate help with. If you’re doing okay, perhaps you’re in a place to help? While abiding by all of the government guidelines, we will do our best to connect needs with help. Let us know on our website!
5. Launching Online Classes
To continue diving deeper into God’s word, we are not willing to allow this lockdown to prevent us from offering the classes we had planned to teach. Instead, we will offer those classes via Zoom for any and all who can participate. We are offering Foundations of the Faith and Church History Overview with the timing still to be decided. Let us know if you would like to be a part of that.
6. Our Private Facebook Group
We have a private Facebook group that exists for active members of our church. The purpose of this group is for church interaction and information. It has been great seeing your photos and videos! While we do have some rules about what posts are approved, we would love you to continue engaging with each other there! If you’re not a part of that group, ask a friend to invite you or request membership at The Orchard Facebook Group.
We do also regularly maintain a public page for all to see and be part of which you can find here: The Orchard Church. This is a great place to send people outside our church looking to connect with our content.
These are just six ways we are committed to helping one another draw near to God, hold on to our faith and to spur one another on. May God be glorified through us as we face uncertainty with faith.
The Elders and Pastoral Staff