Flattening the Curve
At The Orchard, we care about our congregation, and take safety very seriously.
Our staff began to regularly monitor the spread of this disease back in January, and we implemented preliminary protocols in February. Seeing the very recent expansion of cases in the USA over the recent days, we have now taken these important steps to protect and provide for our congregation. Good shepherds provide for and protect their flock!
We also want to do our part to "flatten the curve." That means that we may not be able to reduce the overall number of cases, but we can participate to dramatically slow down the spread of the virus, and hopefully keep the potential severe demand within the capacity of our healthcare system.
We are called to "make the gospel relevant to our community," and that means providing hope and comfort during difficult times. Fortunately, we have access to great digital tools to connect people to community, and to proclaim the gospel... So even if we can't gather to meet and worship together, we CAN still be faithful to our mission.
During this time, here's
How You CAN:
Our weekend messages at The Orchard are geared around helping you fall in love with God. We will continue to post messages at this location, and may try to enhance that with additional resources.
Of course, the BEST way to stay engaged with weekly messages is by subscribing to our podcast. Podcasts are automatically delivered to your device as soon as they are published.
Nothing can replace real-life community, but during this situation, we can still have community with interactive video conferencing. We are setting all our Lifegroup leaders up with paid Zoom accounts, enabling video conferencing for their life groups. Anyone can participate with a free Zoom membership! It is so easy to set up and participate. We don't want you to miss out on community during this potentially isolating time.
Obviously, discipleship is a lot harder in quarantine mode, but we believe people will feel the need for the gospel more than at any other time! You can participate in this by "liking" our Facebook page, and sharing and reposting our content. YOUR interaction (liking and sharing) makes ALL the difference in the Good News getting out through this channel!
Parents, your PRIMARY discipleship responsibility lives right there in your house... Your children are looking to you to disciple them, raising to love God, love others, and make disciples. We have a GREAT tool for you that you've already seen, our Parent Cue app resources you to have God conversations with your kids. It is free and for YOU!
"You are the light of the world."
-Jesus, Matthew 5:14
Some may feel like these are dark days. Instead, we believe that this is the most opportune moment for the Body of Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy that "God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7) Not only that, but God has equipped you for just such a time as this. He has given you gifts to be used in exactly times like these. We are praying that God will fill us with His Spirit, and that we will know His power and presence.
Pray for those around our country, and around the world who are infected with this virus. Pray for families of victims. Pray for our community.
Even during this time, ministry costs money. Your giving funds the ongoing ministry of The Orchard Church, and supplies needs in our community through our For Gilmer ministry.
Now more than ever, our community needs the hope of Christ. There are lots of ways to continue to serve. You'll find ongoing ways updated here.
Questions and Comments
If you would like to share thoughts, concerns, questions, or ideas with us as we navigate this unprecedented time, we'd love to hear from you. Your input and feedback are important to us. Please feel free to email us with any questions or comments.