When will the 'church' reopen?

May 28, 2020

Watch here: https://youtu.be/j1muC-Sjozo

Hello Church,
That’s you by the way, the people of God.  All throughout the new testament, Jesus and the Apostles refer to the people of God as “the church”.  And that word is instructive for us today... The greek word Ekklesia, from which we get the word “church” is a compound word “Ek” which means “out of” and “Kaleo” which means “called”.  So, very literally the word church means, a called out group of people.  Hold on to that thought for a moment...

This last week as part of phase one of reopening, Governor Baker gave the green light for people to their places of worship - mind you with a huge laundry list of restrictions that would amount to an “in church” experience that would look NOTHING like what we call corporate worship (no singing, no sharing meals, no communion, staying away from each other...).  But I want to challenge us at this time to consider the idea that the last thing we need right now is to go back INTO the church building.  Not only because we believe it would possess a public health risk, but moreover, because the church building at 315 Whitwell Street in Quincy is not who we are.  The church is not a building, the church is YOU.  

So for many of you who have been asking me if we are planning to begin meeting in church again this Sunday or next.  The answer is no.  In fact, I’m sorry to say, that it might be much longer than that.  But we don’t need to experience that fact as something that KEEPS us from being the church, RATHER, we can experience this moment as one that ALLOWS us to be the church in a way that we should have been for hundreds of years.  We are a “Called OUT” group of people, not a “Called IN” group of people.  

The coronavirus has forced the church out of the building.  Good!  Let’s seize this opportunity.  I’ve always said, the church is not four walls and a roof, now we have a chance to prove it.  We don’t know what the future holds, but it could be that as restrictions ease the most natural place for us to be together is not in the church building in large groups of people but in each other’s homes in smaller groups of people.  Keep that in mind, because the Spirit of God may be prompting you to open up your home, not just to people in our church community but your neighbors.  Only time will tell.  In the meantime we can be the called out community that Christ has made us to be, even from your homes...

...Here are a few ways how:
SHARE SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT
We will continue producing weekly content and sharing it on our facebook and instagram pages.  We haven’t been great about this in the past, but the reality of the present is forcing us to do so.  As we share content, we want you to share it with others.  We will try to make it bite size, not long sermons.  Join us in this effort simply by passing along what we will create for you.

JOIN US FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP EACH WEEK (AND INVITE!)
Continue to join us for our live Sunday premiers on YouTube.  You can also invite others to these services as well.  Don’t think it works?  Think again, several friends and family members have participated in our weekly services because they received a simple invitation.  Think about your social circles, pray about those people, and consider who God might be putting on your heart to invite.

SHARE YOUR STORY WITH US
Pastor Cindy and I are putting together some basic instructions on how you can share your story with those of us here in your church family.  Video has become the new medium for life sharing, most of us have recording devices right on our phones.  The tools of evangelism and community building are right there in your pocket, let’s put them to use for the Kingdom of God.  Not everyone will want to share their story, but we encourage you to strongly consider saying yes to this initiative.  

HELP OTHERS
There are several ways you can be the church by serving the least of these, and we encourage you to visit our website or fill out the form at www.highrockquincy.org/i-can-help.  

The church has left the building, and maybe that’s just as it should be.  Let’s not get called out of the bonds of ONE building only to isolate the church again in our own homes.  No, let’s get out there with every tool at our disposal.  

We won’t be meeting at 315 Whitwell for a while.  It’s okay!  Stay healthy, AND stay engaged.  The Good news is this... that a loving King named Jesus has come into this world to rescue and  restore all that is broken, including diseases.  The rescue of Jesus is far reaching even from death itself.  This good news is right here in our possession.  Instead of holding on to it, let’s continue to act, continue to share, and continue to love together.  

If you have any questions, you can reach out to me or one of our pastors.  You can find our contact info online at www.highrockquincy.org/staff . 

With love in Christ,
Pastor Stephen