Dear Chapel Family,
As we make decisions as a church family in this difficult time, I continue to look to God’s Word to His people in exile for wisdom:
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” - Jeremiah 29:7
In order to apply God’s Word to our current reality, I would like to ask two questions:
- What does it look like for our church to seek the welfare of our city, nation, and world in the midst of the current public health situation?
- How can we pray to the LORD on our city’s behalf?
To seek the welfare of the city...
We will continue to worship
- We will continue to worship online for at least the next two Sundays – March 22 and March 29.
- Our worship services will be available at wcchapel.org/worship by 9 am each Sunday.
- Last week more than 1200 households participated in our online worship service. Thanks be to God!
- People everywhere are longing to hear good news. We will continue our study of the 4 Gospels, where we hear the greatest news of all: God took on flesh to dwell with His people. Consider who you can invite to hear the Good News this week.
- For example, in order to share this opportunity with my friends, I sent out a simple text message: “Worship is vital for human flourishing. wcchapel.org/worship starting at 9 am on Sunday.”
We will close the Chapel campus
- The Chapel’s campus will be closed through March 30. We will not host programing at the Chapel during this time.
We will ensure the Chapel Staff Team is available
- Although the building may be closed, our staff is available! Please do not hesitate to reach out. We want to hear from you!
- To email a specific staff member, visit wcchapel.org/staff and click on the staff person’s picture for their email address.
- To reach a staff member by phone, please call the church’s main number: 229-7152.
- For any pastoral care needs, call the church’s main number at any time: 229-7152.
- Our staff team is working hard to provide opportunities for our Chapel family to continue to Connect, Grow, and Serve in this new reality. Each ministry area will be sharing more specifics through their communication channels. I hope you will plan to engage with the resources presented as we continue on this unique disciple-making journey together.
We will continue to serve
- Our Agape Team will be available remotely during this time. To reach the Agape office, please call 757-808-5887.
- Our Agape fund has already been able to provide additional resources to organizations in our community providing shelter and food to people in need.
- Please continue to give as you are able by going to wcchapel.org/giving or using the secure drop box located at Door East 1. Your gift can also be mailed to the Chapel at 3899 John Tyler Highway.
We will stay connected
- Please visit wcchapel.org/communications for details on all of our communication opportunities. To ensure everyone stays connected during this time of separation, I want to highlight the following resources:
- Chapel Text List – Please add yourself to our new Chapel News text list by texting the keyword CHAPELNEWS to the number 41411.
- Visit our Chapel News Blog for all of our latest updates: wcchapel.org/news
To pray to the LORD on behalf of our city, nation, and world...
We will provide opportunities to pray, both corporately and individually
- Chapel-Wide Digital Devotions: Starting this Friday, March 20, we will engage in corporate prayer as a family of faith through Facebook Live. After Friday, these prayer opportunities will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 2 pm. You will receive a separate email later this week for more details on how to join us. If you do not have Facebook, we will upload a video of our prayer time to wcchapel.org/worship so that as many people as possible can still engage with this prayer tool.
- Individual prayer: If you are looking for a resource to guide you in your own prayer time during this season, our Psalms Reflection Guide is a great place to start.
We will encourage each other to stay in God’s Word
- Although we may not be meeting in the same physical location, spending time in God’s Word together is another essential practice as we try to stay connected to each other and Jesus. The E100 reading plan provides a great framework. Small Groups Pastor Dale South has also done an excellent job preparing study helps to guide us as we walk through the Bible together. Both of those resources are available at: wcchapel.org/e100
- Dale has also provided some excellent guidance and tools for small groups to encourage us to continue meeting digitally in this time. For more information, please contact your small group leader or Dale South, .
As we continue to navigate this new territory together, I hope this information provides more clarity for the Chapel family regarding how we can seek the “welfare of the city” and “pray to the LORD on its behalf” over the next two weeks. While we know that new information from government and health officials is suggesting that this public health crisis could continue for some time, we hope to strike a balance between planning ahead and maintaining the flexibility necessary to follow the Holy Spirit as God leads us through this current reality. At this time, we are making plans through the remainder of the month of March. You can expect to hear from our Chapel team via email at least twice a week during this time. Our next email update will be this Friday, March 20.
In closing, let us come back to the Bible verse that serves as the outline for this email:
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”- Jeremiah 29:7
I want to acknowledge how difficult these changes, and all the changes that are going on around us, may feel. They are certainly difficult for me as well. So, in addition to providing God’s wisdom for this time, I would like to highlight how Jeremiah 29:7 also provides one of God’s great promises for His people. As God’s people seek the welfare of the city and pray to the LORD on its behalf, God promises that His people will also find their welfare. Let us continue to put our faith and trust in the God who always keeps His promises in His perfect timing.
See you online this Sunday,