Palm Sunday & Easter
These past two Sundays we had virtual worship services online, available through Facebook, YouTube, and our website, fbctlh.org. We will do the same for the service this Sunday, April 5, celebrating Palm Sunday by honoring Jesus as our King. I can’t tell you how much I miss seeing you week by week and worshipping with you in person, but I continue to be thankful for how God has blessed us with the resources and wonderful people to hold virtual services as we have.
Last week we communicated that we were holding off on making a decision about our Easter services on April 12, due to the significance of Easter Sunday. Unfortunately, in light of the increasing spread of Covid-19 and the continued need for social distancing, we will be unable to physically gather together on Easter, or for any Wednesday or Sunday in April. We did consider and explore several ways that we might be able to gather on Easter, considering what a large outdoor gathering or renting a large parking lot and encouraging people to park their cars together for the service could look like, but ultimately concluded that we could not do a service like this and still follow best practices in preventing exposure to the virus. All services for April will be virtual services. We will work to put together the most God-honoring, Jesus-centered, Spirit-driven virtual service that we can for Easter, and the next time we meet we will celebrate “Resurrection Sunday,” whenever that might be.
We do have several opportunities we are encouraging people to participate in for Easter:
- Palm Sunday Service, 9:00AM on April 5
- Maundy Thursday Service, 6:00PM on April 9
- A self-guided time of worship for Good Friday, April 10, consisting of Scripture reading and prayer, that we will email to everyone, post on our website, and share on social media
- Easter Sunday Service, 9:00AM on April 12
Typically, Easter is our highest attended Sunday of the year, and I would be encouraging you to pray and consider who you should invite to our Easter services. I want to ask that you still do that, even though this invitation now might consist of a text, an email, or a social media post with the link for this service. We might be isolated, but the Great Commission must never be quarantined. Please continue to consider how we can reach out to our neighbors, co-workers, classmates, friends, and families with the gospel. People who would never attend a church service might be willing to watch a virtual service and then have a conversation about it afterward. Let’s work together to make our Easter services the most-watched and shared virtual service we’ve ever had.
ADDITIONAL WAYS TO WORSHIP
In addition to our Easter services and activities, we are continuing to send out and make available resources for family worship, youth ministry, and children’s ministry. We are facilitating virtual SMBS classes, lessons, and meetings. We are posting a mid-week Bible study every Wednesday. We are posting daily times of prayer. All of these things are available through our website, social media, and YouTube, and will continue throughout April.
Please also continue to be on the lookout for announcements through email, social media, and our newsletter on continuing opportunities for ministry and mission. Our community needs us to be the church, to love and serve and minister in the name of Jesus Christ. We have opportunities to help feed hungry people, participate in making masks, gather groceries and other necessities for people who can’t or shouldn’t leave their homes, and so much more. And if you are in any kind of need, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know how we can help.
I am praying for you. One passage of Scripture I keep coming back to during this time is Psalm 34, and I am praying several of the requests from this psalm for you, for our church and for myself. “God, help us to extol you at all times. God, let your praise be always on our lips. May we glorify you and exalt your name together. Help us to look on you and be radiant, never shameful or afraid. Save us from our troubles. Help us taste and see that you are good, and how blessed we are when we take refuge in you.” These are prayers we can always trust God to answer.