COVID-19 Updates

APRIL 5, 2020

Dear TLW family and friends,

Welcome to the week known as “Holy Week” or “Passion Week.” If you were visiting this website expecting to get an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and what we as a faith community at The Living Well are doing in response to it, well…this is it!

What we are doing is moving closer to Christ in worship and prayer. You are invited to join us here, with a daily blog that will help us walk alongside Jesus as he journeys to the Temple, the Upper Room, the Garden, the Cross, and the Tomb. Along the way we will pause to reflect on our current path–a path we still share with Jesus today. And you are invited to join us for an Easter celebration that is as hopeful as any year before–even if it is delivered online.

What we are doing is continuing to care for each other and stay connected as a community. Checking in, reaching out, prayering FOR each other and finding creative ways to pray WITH each other.

What we are doing is continuing to listen to the needs and concerns and fears of people around us who are struggling to embrace the coming joy of Easter morning, struggling to stay patient in a time of shelter in place, struggling to find hope and faith in dark and troubled times.

Although we may be socially isolated for many more weeks to come because of this crisis, we must strive to remain spiritually connected. I can’t help but think of the many, many times in the life of the church where, “stay safe, stay inside” was the only option for followers of Jesus. But during those times–of war, or persecution, or pestilence–the church of Jesus Christ has always strived to remain, “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). This is one of those times. May we find peace in following Jesus together this week and in the weeks to come.

Pastor Philip

 

MARCH 29, 2020

TLW Family and Friends,

We want to keep the website updated each week as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together. So, here is where things stand as of March 29:

Although we deeply miss our times of community gathering and worship, The Living Well will continue to suspend all officially scheduled events and activities at least until April 13, in compliance with the Governor’s executive order. In the meantime, we encourage all of our TLW family and friends to stay safe and stay connected through emails, texts, phone calls and social media platforms. 

We will continue to provide weekly worship and discipleship experience and resources  through our new “Sunday Toolkit” tab on the webpage. This includes an interactive Home Worship Service with sermon, scripture, worship songs, family activities, giving and serving oppotunities and more. The toolkit will be available every Sunday morning by 9:00am.

For any other pastoral needs or concerns, please feel free to contact me at philip@thelivingwellkzoo.org

Please pray for our communities, nation and world during this time of uncertainty and fear. You are encouraged to join with other Christian congregations to observe an area-wide prayer time on Sunday morning at 11:00am. Those details are included in the Sunday Toolkit as well. We pray this time will bring us closer together in purpose and faith!  Even as we feel separated physically, our God is a Father who provides emotional and spiritual communion for his family. Stay close, stay safe, stay calm. He is in control!

Pastor Philip

March 20, 2020

TLW Family and Friends,

We want to keep the website updated each week as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together. So, here is where things stand as of March 20:

TLW is continuing to suspend all officially scheduled events and activities through April 11.  This includes Worship gatherings, Share the Life groups, and Mom’s Share the Life; and all regularly scheduled meetings during that time. 

We will continue to provide worship and discipleship resources / experiences through our new “Sunday Toolkit” tab on the webpage. Sermon, family activities, announcements, giving and serving oppotunities and more will be available every Sunday morning before 9:00am.

We encourage ministry teams and groups to consider meeting via online platforms, and we urge all of our family to stay connected through phone calls, social media and whatever other safe and appropriate means are available.

For any other pastoral needs or concerns, please feel free to contact me at philip@thelivingwellkzoo.org

I pray this time will bring us closer together in purpose and faith!  Even as we feel separated physically, our God is a Father who provides emotional and spiritual communion for his family. Stay close, stay safe, stay calm. He is in control!

Pastor Philip

March 16, 2020

Good afternoon! You might think that’s a strange way to greet you in these strange days we are living through, but I am reminded today (just like every other “normal” day) that “This is the day that the Lord has made [so] let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24) I invite you to receive this day and every day as a gift from your Heavenly Father.

I wanted to update all of our TLW family and friends on what we are doing as a church in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am persuaded that a certain measure of continuity and predictability in “church life” might help counter the uncertainties we are facing everywhere else. So, here is where things stand:

TLW is cancelling all officially scheduled events and activities this week and next week (March 16-29). This includes Sunday Worship services, Share the Life groups, and Mom’s Share the Life; as well as scheduled meetings with the Finance Team, Leader Team and STL Group facilitators.

These measures seem severe, but they are in compliance and support of current community health and government recommendations we are receiving.

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR TLW?

For the time being we need to STEP BACK from our typical rhythms and routines. This will allow us space to STEP OUT in care and concern for others. And through it all we will need to STEP UP in terms of our prayers, giving, and communication.

Worship / Discipleship – For the next two weeks the current sermon, song selections and family devotion resources will be available on the website by Sunday morning at 9:00am. I encourage you to gather as a family or with a (healthy) group of friends and “do and be” church together. Your Share the Life Group study guide will also help keep you on track with Jesus’ “Best Sermon Ever!”

Pastoral Care – If you are in need of pastoral care, or if you encounter unforeseen difficulties of any kind due to the COVID-19 situation (or anything else) please do not hesitate to contact me at philip@thelivingwellkzoo.org. I am happy to meet with you via phone call, or in person as long as I remain healthy. Our plan is to try to check in as much as possible as staff, STL Group facilitators and Team Leaders. This is a good time to communicate / check in with all of your friends and family at TLW.

Outreach / Service Opportunities – We are staying in contact with local aid agencies, like Christian Neighbors and the Alamo Foundation. Remember that organizations like these are currently strained for resources as they try to help people navigate the situation. We will try to keep you informed of any “official” opportunities to help. In the meantime, check on your neighbors, older acquaintances, friends and family.  Be willing to step out, step up, and help.

I pray this time will bring us closer together in purpose and faith.  Even as we feel separated physically, our God is a Father who provides emotional and spiritual communion for his family. Stay close, stay safe, stay calm. He is in control!

Pastor Philip

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