Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Dear Church Family,
It’s been a year since Covid-19 invaded our world, a year since our church services went completely virtual for twelve weeks. Since June we’ve made space for a hybrid community--those of us meeting physically in the sanctuary have been masked and socially distanced--the rest at home participating via the internet. Our sanctuary was closed last Easter, and so therefore this Easter, less than two weeks away, seems even more special!
Most of us agree that it’s been among the most difficult times of all our lives. In addition to the pandemic, we’ve experienced terrible political division and disagreement. The culture wars are raging, but as Jesus followers committed to peace we don’t want to take part in fighting.
This week the orders for public masking in St. Joseph were rescinded. We have agreed as a leadership team to follow the lead of the city, therefore masks will no longer be required in our building. The CDC still recommends them. The pandemic is not over, although numbers in our area are now very low. We’re praying that we will not have another spike.
We’re grateful for the vaccine--Brian and I are now fully vaccinated. We’re glad that the vaccine has been so widely available, allowing many faithful members to come back to the building after a very long absence.
Our heart’s prayer is that in the midst of all the division our world is experiencing, our church members can be loving and non-judgmental and respectful toward those who have different opinions regarding masking and social distancing and even the vaccine. I see this as an invitation to cultivate Christlikeness, to practice real humility in putting others first. (Philippians 2:3)
I think particularly at this season of the year of the high priestly prayer of Jesus, prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane shortly before his arrest and crucifixion. I believe he was praying for us in this time, and that he continues to pray this for us, as we continue to pray this for YOU:
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.”
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Masks Now Required
Due to a significant rise in Covid-19 cases, the mayor of St. Joseph implemented an emergency order beginning September 17. Masks are now required in our building. Masks can be removed while seated in the sanctuary if you maintain six-feet distance from those not in your household.
Masks are not required for:
Children under 5.
Those who have a medical condition preventing them from wearing a mask.
Those seated in The Porch consuming food or drink.
These mask and distancing measures are required by emergency order. If Word of Life Church is found to be in non-compliance with this ordinance, we are subject to fines.
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
In addition to all of the social distancing practices listed below, we encourage everyone to wear a face mask when they come to worship on Sunday mornings. While not a requirement, we believe wearing a face mask is one of the ways we can love our neighbors and our church family.
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
As we gather on Sunday mornings beginning Sunday, June 14, please note the following social distancing guidelines:
+ Please remain six feet apart when if you are in conversations before or after the worship service
+ Children’s Ministry will not be available….all services will be family services
+ A live stream of the service will be in the MYC for families if needed
+ Prepackaged communion elements will be handed out as you enter the sanctuary, a gluten-free option will be available
+ Our bulletin will be exclusively online at wolc.com/bulletin
+ Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the foyer
+ Spread out in the sanctuary as we worship
+ Offering boxes are available in the back of the sanctuary, buckets will not be passed
+ If you have a prayer request, fill out a CARE card and place it in an offering box or fill out the online form at wolc.com/prayer
+ The Porch will be set up outside
+ Feel free to gather outside in the parking lot after the worship service to chat with your friends
+ Although you may feel comfortable with hugs or handshakes, others may not, so consider giving a friendly wave while we are gathered
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Beginning June 14, 2020 Word of Life Church will gather on Sunday mornings at 10:00 with social distancing measures in place (details will be released soon). We will also continue our online gathering. Vulnerable congregants and those not yet ready to gather are encouraged to participate online.
Monday, March 23, 2020
This current crisis pulls us into a profound place - a place where we are more aware of our connection to one another. As the church, we have a rich history of moving towards our neighbor in times of plague and sickness. Staying put when others leave. Running towards crisis instead of fleeing to safety. Our call has not changed: we want to be ready to love our neighbors, serve the vulnerable, and ensure that there is no need among us.
One of our own Word of Lifers, Andrew Foster, is the Volunteer Coordinator at Second Harvest Community Food Bank. They are on the front lines of providing help to our community during this time. Andrew is looking for volunteers to help on site at Second Harvest every day this week, at a mobile distribution site this Wednesday, or from your home by preparing food collection bags.
Please contact Andrew at (816) 364-3663 or by email at to volunteer.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
We have been praying during the Lenten season every day in the Upper Room at noon and we are going to continue praying! These are days for drawing near to God in prayer. Even though we are not gathering in the Upper Room together, we can gather together online.
Join Pastor Derek live on our Facebook page for Lenten Midday Prayer at noon central time today and every day except Sundays.
Download the Lenten Midday Prayer liturgy at wolc.com/middayprayer.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Dear WOLC family,
We have been staying in close contact with local officials on the status of COVID-19 in our community. Yesterday the mayor of St. Joseph declared a state of emergency for our city. The leadership team at Word of Life Church met today to discuss how best to respond to these unprecedented times.
In 38 years of ministry, Word of Life Church has never closed its doors on a Sunday morning. We believe the church is to be a shelter from the storm and a place of belonging in a growing world of isolation. Gathering together weekly is our sacred practice. While recognizing corporate worship has been at the center of our faith for two millennia, the ability for the church to shift and change in its expression has allowed our faith to remain strong through a variety of circumstances.
This is all taken into account and weighed against our concern for the safety and health of our church family and our community at large. We have a responsibility to do our part in helping to slow or minimize the spread of COVID-19 and have decided to take steps to do so.
At the present time, our Sunday worship service will be moved to an online gathering. All other meetings at WOLC are also postponed until further notice as we monitor the situation. The building is currently closed to the public during the week, including the Upper Room prayer chapel and The Porch coffee shop and bookstore.
Though we will not gather physically, our team has been working hard to create alternative means for our church community to stay connected digitally. Sunday’s worship will be streamed live at wolc.com/live. Midweek small groups will be meeting online via Zoom, a simple video conference platform. Instructions and more information can be found at wolc.com/groups.
If you are in need of help, we are actively expanding our care ministry. For those who need prayer or assistance with navigating access to resources during this time go to wolc.com/i-need-help. If you would like to join our care team in assisting with these needs go to wolc.com/i-can-help.
We’ll keep you updated with more information as soon as possible. Stay up-to-date at wolc.com/covid19.
Lastly, we believe Jesus gives us peace, but not as the world gives. His peace surpasses our understanding and remains with us during times of fear and anxiety to guard our hearts and minds. We are praying this prayer and invite you to pray with us:
O God make speed to save us. O Lord make haste to help us. Lord we are entering into an unknown area. The rapid spread of this virus has created alarm and uncertainty. Come and help us Lord Jesus. Bring healing to the sick. Keep our hearts open to one another that we would care for the weak and vulnerable even at a distance. Bring an end to the spread of this virus. Help us to make wise decisions and may the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Monday, March 16, 2020
This current crisis pulls us into a profound place– a place where we are more aware of our connection to one another. As the church, we have a rich history of moving towards our neighbor in times of plague and sickness. Staying put when others leave. Running towards crisis instead of fleeing to safety. Our call has not changed: we want to be ready to love our neighbors, serve the vulnerable, and ensure that there is no need among us.
In this spirit we are making an effort to mobilize those who can lend a hand and serve those in our congregation and community who have been affected by COVID-19. Please click on a button below, fill out the form, and we will contact you.
Friday, March 13, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has stirred up fear, worry, and anxiety in many people, and understandably so. As followers of Jesus, we want to respond to this pandemic with both faith and wisdom. We know God is with us and we are praying for the Holy Spirit to guide us in wisdom so that we can continue to be the church during this difficult time. We encourage you to put your faith in Jesus who promises to be with us always.
Here are some important details:
1. We are monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely and thoughtfully.
2. We will be gathering for worship this Sunday at 10AM.
3. We have a high standard of cleanliness and sanitation in all kids classrooms and will continue to maintain this standard of cleanliness during this situation.
4. Extra hand sanitizer is available in the foyer and outside the doors of the sanctuary. Use it!
5. We encourage you to practice social distancing by avoiding physical contact. Consider alternative ways to greet one another at church.
6. Communion will look a little different. We'll explain more during service on Sunday.
7. Instead of passing offering buckets, you can give online at wolc.com/give or drop your offering in the wooden box in the back of the sanctuary.
8. If you’re not feeling well, please stay home and gather with us online at wolc.com/live.
9. For future updates, stay up-to-date at wolc.com/covid19.