Redeeming Failure

Dear Church Family,
 
You may recall that for our “Be, Go, DO!” service last year, I preached a short message titled “The Church Has Left the Building.” In the message, I talked about the origin of the phrase “Elvis has left the building” (which was first used at a Louisiana Elvis concert in the 1950s). Then, from there, I explained how our church was leaving the building that day to go out and serve the community in various ways.
 
In truth, the church has never been about the building. Yet so often we equate the work of the church with the physical building, don’t we? Don’t get me wrong. Our building is an important tool, and I’m grateful to God for the people who built it long before I ever arrived. In addition, I praise God for the countless memories we’ve shared in this space (baptisms, weddings, youth group meetings, worship services, etc.). But at the end of the day, our building is just that — a building. And Community of Faith exists with or without it.
 
The above truth is one we’ve all come to know and understand during these unprecedented days brought about by COVID-19. While we haven’t been able to physically meet in the building now for well over a month, our ministry has continued. The other day, a gentleman from Wisconsin reached out to me to let me know that while he and I have never met in person and he’s never stepped foot in our building, he’s been blessed by the ministry of our church through our online platform. What’s more, he’s grateful that he’s been able to enjoy virtual fellowship with us. So, Community of Faith, give God thanks and praise that God continues to use our church to impact human lives even in these days when the building is closed. 
 
Let me close by saying that I look forward to “seeing” all of you at some point on Saturday or Sunday for weekend worship. Julia, of course, is going to lead us with great music, and I’m going to preach a stand-alone message called “Redeeming Failure.” In the message, we’ll carefully look at the post-resurrection encounter that Jesus had with Peter on the beach. If you’d like to get a jump start on the message, I’d encourage you to read John 21.

Have a great rest of your day as you continue to be the person God has called you to be!

Blessings,
Chris
 
p.s., I want to quickly share with you some ways to stay connected with me during this pandemic. (Information about children and youth is included further below in this email.)
 
1. Virtual Coffee with the Pastor — Join me for prayer and conversation every Sunday and Tuesday evening from 6-7PM via GoToMeeting. Download GoToMeeting (which is a free app) and (if you didn’t get it in our email blast) email me for the access code to join the meeting (cjones@communityoffaith.org).
2. Morning Prayer with Pastor Chris — Beginning Monday, April 20, join me every day (Monday-Friday) at 8:30AM for a brief time of prayer. I will host the prayer time live on our church’s Facebook page. To join, make sure to be on our Facebook page during that time or you can review it later (www.facebook.com/cofumc). You should still be able to access the page without a Facebook account.

 

3. Philippians Bible Study — I will be leading a Thursday evening Bible study starting April 30. I will host the study live from the building, and you can join either through the live-streaming page of our website (www.communityoffaith.org/livestream-services) or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cofumc). Email me to get on the list for the handout.