Service Registration and Ministry Updates
Join us for our Thanksgiving Eve and Baptism Service online only
at NCClive.org Wednesday evening, November 25 at 6:30pm!
We have 3 Courtyard Services on our campus this week at 9:00am, 10:15am and 11:30am. Our 10:15am service will also be live-streamed at ncclive.org.
Registration opens Friday afternoon.
Face masks are strongly recommended at our services.
If you aren't able to attend the service you registered for, please email Gloria Shaffer, so others can attend.
POSTED: Saturday, November 21: 9:00 a.m.
Our Sunday morning worship services will be held outside in the courtyard at 9:00, 10:15, and 11:30. We will be livestreaming the 10:15 service, as we always seek to stream the second service of the morning. Kid’s church will be held at 10:15 and 11:30.
In addition, as you might already have noticed, we will be shifting our service registration times so that they become available on our website on Friday afternoon, rather than Thursday. With things changing so frequently, this gives us a little additional time each week to make schedule changes if needed.
We know this represents yet another adjustment. But let’s be reminded that “a joyful heart is good medicine“ and we have much to rejoice in... new mercies every morning, enduring lovingkindness, His promised presence, and the hope of glory to name but a few!
POSTED: Thursday, October 29: 12:00 p.m.
Another month, another change! With the county moving to the orange tier, we are now able to have 200 attendees meeting in the Sanctuary. So, when registering to attend one of our three Sunday morning services (9:00, 10:15, 11:30), you’ll have the option of meeting inside (where I will be preaching) or outside under the tent. As was the case when we met inside this summer, face coverings are required in the Sanctuary and recommended outside.
We have been running about 900 in attendance for many weeks and we know that some of you have had trouble getting registered because the services have been full. With the ability to have 200 inside and at least 200 outside each service, it expands our weekend capacity to 1200 or more... about where we were prior to mid-March. God is good!
As a reminder, we livestream the 10:15 service and our children’s program is offered during the 10:15 and 11:30 services.
Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!
POSTED: Friday, October 23: 11:00 a.m.
I don’t know about you and your home, but our home life and schedule has definitely shifted into more of a fall-like schedule: kids are headed back to classes (though different), music lessons have kicked back off (though different), some sports have re-launched (though different), and homework assignments have come roaring back into our evening schedule (though different). The Lord has shifted plenty of our home life around, and we’re learning to adjust accordingly!
Speaking of adjustments, I want to let you know that, starting this Sunday, we are shifting our service times back a bit later in the morning. Our new service times are now 9:00, 10:15, and 11:30 a.m.
Our reasons for this are as follows:
- The construction phase of the new Family Ministries Center building is imminent, and we were already thinking of adjusting service times during construction.
- As we head deeper into the fall and temperatures get cooler, a later start time helps for when we will be meeting outside.
- Having moved away from a four-service format earlier last month, the 8:00 a.m. start time isn’t really needed any more.
- When we started our outdoor services this summer, we only had 125 people at the 8:00 a.m. service. Now that we have greatly expanded our outdoor seating, we have also greatly increased our noise levels. So a 9:00 a.m. start time is one more way we can love our neighbors around us well.
We know that many of you have already signed up for this Sunday’s services. Please note that we will start Sunday registrations over again tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. If you have already signed up for a service, you will need to sign up again for one of the new service times. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we all make this shift starting this Sunday.
This obviously affects our volunteers, LifeStage class times, Children’s Ministries times, etc., and those ministries are making the necessary minor adjustments.
Thanks so much for your continued partnership in the gospel, and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday, where we will magnify the name of the Lord together!
POSTED: Sunday, October 18: 1:30 p.m.
It’s been awhile since my last update and I have some exciting news to pass along. As announced in last Sunday’s services, years of praying and planning are coming together in exciting ways and we are nearing the start of Phase III of our Master Plan! In fact, this Sunday, following the third service, we will be having a brief groundbreaking ceremony, committing the project to the Lord.
With the tent up and physical distancing protocols in place, we have limited space for viewing the ceremony in person but you are more than welcome to join us if so inclined. We will also be live-streaming and recording the event and will make that available online for those unable to attend. Either way, join me in giving thanks to our great God!
In other news, you can use the following links to obtain a copy of the newsletter that was distributed last Sunday to those in attendance, as well as our Annual Report. And praise the Lord, last week we had our highest attendance on campus since early March with over 900 adults and children here for the three services. What a blessing! However, it also means that parking is getting a little tighter. For those that are able, I would encourage you to use the Ygnacio Woods parking lot to our west.
Finally, though the temporal issues of this life at times assail you, remember the hope we have in Christ. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory!”
POSTED: Thursday, August 27: 8:30 a.m.
Church Family –
We are aware of Grace Church’s recent decision to meet indoors, and the media attention it has garnered as well. As in every matter of church life, we are committed in this matter to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4.1-3). These are the primary marks of Christ-like maturity, and are marks that we know many believers right now—even on this issue—are tempted to discard in favor of anger, fear of man, and pitting one ministry against another (e.g., 1 Cor 1: “I’m of Paul, I’m of Apollos, I’m of Peter”, much like “I’m for Grace” vs. “I’m against Grace”).
Regarding Grace Community, know that we consider them a like-minded church, and in fact, we partner with them through the seminary distance location campus we’re hosting on our campus. We’re thankful to God for what He’s doing through Grace Church. However, as you know biblically, we are not bound by what their elders determine is best for their local church, just like they are not bound by what our elders have determined is best for our local church. We are bound to the Scripture, and so are thankful that the Lord works through biblically-ordained church leaders, who are looking to the Scriptures for direction and guidance in these difficult times. Our direction is what you’ve seen it to be currently. We believe that our approach obeys the Scripture’s call to, first of all, honor Christ as Head of the church, and secondly, to honor our governing authorities whom God has appointed over us. We believe that these are not currently in conflict with each other. We are able to freely worship God in our courtyard, and do so lawfully as well. As I referenced in the sermon on places of worship from Exod 20.22-26, the Worship Center is just a building, not a sacred space. Now, should the state prohibit corporate worship altogether, then we would obey God rather than man (Acts 5.29).
It's also important to note that churches pastored by TMS alumni both up here and down down south are handling this the same way we are right now. This highlights the reality that even among the Master’s-affiliated churches around the college and seminary community, there are differing approaches to this. Therefore, when there is allowance for variance among TMS pastors as to how to approach meeting indoors or not, we can certainly allow for differences on this as well. We affirm with the reformers that the “true church” is one that is preaching the Word, proclaiming the gospel of Christ, and discharging the ministries of the local church in accordance with the Scriptures, and that is what we are doing currently. We have not swerved one inch from our commitment to the exposition of God’s Word, to the preaching of Christ and Him crucified, and to the building up of the body in love, all by God’s grace.
On a personal level, I went to The Master’s College as a college student, and grew a ton. I have two graduate degrees from the seminary, and two of my primary TMS professors were elders in my church down there. While in seminary, I worked at the college as the Dean of Students for several years, working with several more faculty who were also elders at Grace Church. I consider that season of my life to be exceedingly sweet, and one of the reasons I am who I am today.
And one of the greatest take-aways of my time down there was to love the biblical doctrine of grace—the grace of God, in Christ, applied by the Spirit to sinners like you and me. Which is why I love the grace of God that has been shown to us—it drives me to show God’s grace to others in the midst of divergent approaches as to whether to meet inside or outside. I trust that you will show that same grace to Christ’s church—both here and there—by praying for and supporting what God is doing in and through Grace and NorthCreek as well.
POSTED: Thursday, July 16: 2:30pm
Church Family –
In what seems like déjà vu all over again, we will be holding worship services outside in the Courtyard as a result of the latest State health order. And while it might feel like a little step backwards, a nice side benefit is that when we gather for a particular service, those in attendance will be together in one (physically-distanced) location rather than different areas on the campus. Full singing voice will be sweet as well.
In making this alteration, we have also decided to conduct all four worship services on Sunday. You will still have four options from which to choose beginning with the 8:00 a.m. service and concluding with a service at 12:15 p.m. A new link has been created on the NorthCreek website to register for your service of choice (Register - Weekend Services).
We appreciate your flexibility and understanding, and we look forward to seeing you!
POSTED: Thursday, June 25: 2:10pm
Church Family –
Sending a brief update regarding this weekend’s services. Things will look very much the same as last weekend but we will not be using the Chapel as a venue. With the exception of the 9:30 service, attendance numbers were quite sparse. This weekend, we will still have seating for 100 per service in the Sanctuary but will also be expanding our Courtyard seating each service.
For more detailed information on attending and to register for these services, please visit the Health and Ministry Update page on the website. If things change dramatically as we prepare for services on the weekend of July 4/5, we’ll send another all-church email letting people know. Otherwise, please plan on returning to this page next Thursday, July 2, to register. The registration links should be up by early afternoon.
Questions: Email Jim Daggs
POSTED: Friday, June 18: 4:30pm
Dear Church Family,
What a sweet time it was last weekend to be able to worship with many of you in person. And Lord willing, it will be even sweeter this weekend. Earlier this week, the county aligned itself with the state guidance addressing places of worship. In short, that means we are able to meet both outside and inside, and we plan on doing so this weekend!
1. We will have four worship services again this weekend, June 20 - 21, but now with additional venues. Services will be limited to 100 people per service in the Sanctuary, 100 people per service in the Chapel, and we can accommodate about 50-60 people per service under the tent in the Courtyard. It is supposed to be quite warm on Sunday so most will not want to be in the direct sun.
2. As with last week, service times are Saturday evening at 6:30pm and Sunday morning at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00am, and you will need to register your attendance based on both location and service time. Registration details can be found on our website in the Health and Ministry Update section. The Sunday 9:30am service will continue to be live-streamed.
3. Services will be shorter in order to allow adequate time in between services for cleaning, for groups to promptly exit the campus to make room for the next service, and to help with children in attendance (see the good news with #6 below).
4. The state has just issued a face coverings order which mandates the wearing of face coverings when inside public places for individuals three years of age and older unless they have specific health conditions that prevent them from wearing one. This is slightly more restrictive than the county order and means that those that opt for one of the inside venues (Sanctuary or Chapel) will need to wear face coverings (masks) the entire time they are inside. For those that choose the Courtyard option, the state guidelines strongly encourage their use generally and mandate their use if physical distancing of six feet cannot be maintained with those outside your household.
5. With respect to parking and check-in:
* For those attending in the Chapel, please use the east parking lot if possible, as your check-in area will be near the Chapel / Fellowship Hall.
* For those attending in the Courtyard, please use the south / main parking lot as your check- in area will be near the nursery like it was last week.
* For those attending in the Sanctuary, please use the west lot if parking in the main lot isn’t available as your check-in area will be near the main Worship Center entrance.
6. There will be no childcare or children’s classes (that’s the bad news), but families are invited to attend and we will have activity pages for your children (that’s the good news!). Please see the Children’s Ministries page on the website for more information on how you can prepare for corporate worship as a family.
7. We will maintain social distancing and encourage cough and sneeze etiquette, proper hand hygiene, and symptom screening before leaving home. If you’re sick or have recently been exposed to someone who is sick, please stay home.
8. Select bathrooms will be open in the Worship Center as well as the Chapel, but given the time constraints and health order requirements, it would be wise to use the restroom at home before you leave, so as to minimize restroom use on campus as much as possible.
One final note... if you attended in person last weekend, we would ask that you wait until Saturday to register for this weekend’s services. This will give a day or two for those who weren’t able to come last weekend to register before services fill up. Thank you for your understanding, flexibility and cooperation. Lord willing, I’ll see many more of you this weekend as we gather to give God the glory that is due His great name.
POSTED: Friday, June 12: 12:50pm
Dear Church Family,
One of my favorite psalms is Psalm 115. The anonymous psalmist brings the heat right out of the gate in verse 1: “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and faithfulness!” Not one iota of our lives is lived to give us glory—all glory is to be given to God alone. This highlights our humility, in light of His love and faithfulness. Verses 2-3 wrap up the psalm’s first verse by keeping the pedal down: “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’” Answer: “Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.” This acknowledges God’s sovereignty, in light of the nations’ antipathy. The world may be awash in life-draining idolatry (vv. 4-8), but we will “trust in the Lord, for He is our help and shield” (vv. 9-11). What a blessing it is to be one of God’s people, and to know that He will bless us, both small and great (vv. 12-15). The psalmist appropriately and exuberantly concludes, “we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord!” (vv. 16-18). It seems that this psalm is written straight to us, doesn’t it? No matter what our world is going through, our purpose and passion remains the same as it did three months ago, namely, to give God glory because of His loving faithfulness to us, and His sovereign power over all creation. How? By proclaiming and praising His name.
Speaking of three months ago, it was that long ago that we last were able to worship together in person (March 8, to be exact). While we have been very thankful to worship God together online, we are also very excited to worship Christ together in person. In light of the most recent guidelines from the state and county, we are finally able to begin meeting again for worship services! There are many things that will be different about this first stage of re-gathering, but for our purposes here, there are ten things to know for the worship services:
1. We will have four worship services, starting this weekend, June 13-14. Services will be limited to 100 people per service, and will be held outside on our courtyard patio. Service times are: Saturday evenings at 6:30pm, Sunday mornings at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00am. The Sunday 9:30am service will also be live-streamed.
2. Services will be shorter, in order to allow for more services, and to allow adequate time in between services for cleaning and prompt exit and entry. Parking will be available in the main church lot, as usual.
3. Due to the restricted number of people allowed per service, you will need to sign up for the service you wish to attend. To register, please click the service you with to attend:
Saturday, 6:30pm FULL - Join us online at 9:30am, NCCLive.org.
Sunday, 8:00am FULL
Sunday, 9:30am FULL
Sunday, 11:00am FULL
When you show up on campus, please check in at a welcome table in the courtyard near the Nursery, so that we can help you with a bulletin, communion supplies, and to find your seat.
4. We will maintain social distancing. Plan to bring your own mask, as they are still strongly encouraged by the county and state. Use cough and sneeze etiquette, and use hand hygiene. If you’re sick or have recently been exposed to someone that is sick, please stay home. A quick temperature check at home before you come would be a good idea, though also not required.
5. Select bathrooms will be open in the downstairs Worship Center, but given the time constraints and health order requirements, it would be wise to use the restroom at home before you leave, so as to minimize restroom use on campus as much as possible.
6. Again, due to limited space, we are asking our higher-risk folks to stay home and continue worshiping online. Too, if you have young children (5th grade and below), we’d like to ask that moms and dads keep the kids at home, and they themselves stagger their attendance, so that we can maximize space for the rest of the church family (for example, dad attends one service, then goes home and watches the kids while mom attends another service).
7. We will be under the tent in the courtyard patio, so it will be mostly shaded, but you may want to consider the sun and weather for the service you will attend (i.e., bring a hat or other means of self-shade for the warmer services, an extra layer for the cooler earlier-morning services).
8. We will not have slide support outside, so we will be passing out a bulletin with words to the songs inside.
9. If you want to attend, but are not able to this week, please email us, and we will make every effort to have you attend the following week.
10. We anticipate worshiping in this way for the next 2-4 weeks, so thank you for your patience, as we shift into this first stage of re-launching our worship services. As soon as we can make the move back inside, we will let you know.
And there’s more good news as well! Our Community Groups (Adult Ministries) are now able to re-launch as well, though also with modification.
• Groups (called Social Bubbles by the county) are to be no larger than 12. However, kids are not counted in that total, so it’s 12 adults plus the kids. The kids allowance only applies to CGs, not to other aspects of church life (like the worship service, for example).
• The social bubble you identify is to remain static for three weeks at a time. So be aware that if you meet with your CG, that counts as your social bubble for the next three weeks, at which time you can switch if you’d like (it’s odd, we know, but that is the guideline).
• Meetings must be held outdoors.
• Social distancing (6’ and masks), though not required, is still strongly encouraged.
• Use cough and sneeze etiquette, practice hand hygiene, etc.
• If you’re sick or have recently been exposed to someone that is sick, please stay home. A quick temperature check at home before you come would be a good idea, though also not required.
Friends, these are challenging times in which God has placed us, yet He loves us, will be faithful to us, and will sovereignly guide through all that He has planned for us. Thank you for your flexibility and patience, as we walk through this together. You’ve been seeing me on a screen, but I’ve missed seeing you all. Lord willing, I’ll see many of you this weekend, as we gather to give God the glory that is due His great name.
POSTED: Sunday, May 24: 12:30pm
I trust that you’re able to enjoy some rest and refreshment during this warm holiday weekend. We’re trying to not overload you with email, but thought that a church update would be helpful in this moment.
As you probably know, the President deemed churches “essential” yesterday, and called on governors to allow churches to re-open worship services again effective immediately. As a result, some churches have decided to meet together this Sunday. That has led to further questions about the timing of when we will gather for corporate worship services here at NorthCreek.
In response to all of that, I want to remind us that our position on worshiping together in real-time has not changed. We will meet together at our earliest opportunity. This has been our posture all along and continues to be our posture looking ahead. We rallied hard to ramp up virtual ministry when things were shutdown, and we will rally hard to re-engage real-time ministry when things open up. We will make every effort to hold worship services together, and part of that effort is to consider our state and local governing authorities as well. I’m confident that a return to our Sunday gatherings is imminent. So, we are continuing to pray and prepare for whatever the Lord has for us in that regard. I’m sure you are just as anxious as I am to gather with God’s people again in a way that both honors Christ and honors the Scripture, so let’s all be ready to go as soon as we possibly can, and work hard toward that end.
Speaking of reminders, let me add a couple more. First, resolve to not get through this, but to grow through this, and come out stronger in your faith. This is a trial. I trust by now that you know for a fact that God is testing your faith in this. Why? In order to build steadfastness in you (James 1.3-4). The sea captain’s cry in the storm applies here: “Steady as she goes, men, steady!” That’s right where God has us today. The currents in the storm have shifted, but the storm is still raging; and you and I are called to rejoice in this trial, as we remain steadfast in devotion to God.
And second, it seems that each passing week reminds us how much we need the Lord. Our trust is in the Lord our God who made the heavens and earth. He is sovereign over each federal, state, and county official. Even if they appear to be in conflict with each other; they all are working in perfect submission to God’s plan, for His glory and our church’s good. So, pray for our church. Pray for the unity of the Spirit centered on Christ (Eph 4.1-10), that will lead to us building each other up (Eph 4.11-16), as we commit each week to worship God, walk in love, and witness to the world.
I can’t wait to see you all again soon. Pray persistently, every day, toward that end (Lk 18.1)!
POSTED: Friday, May 1: 9:00pm
Dear Church Family,
Happy May Day! We trust that by God’s grace you are well, and that God is sustaining and encouraging you during this time. It’s been a while since we emailed you, but with the Shelter-in-Place extended to May 31 (unless amended), we, Kent and Jim, thought it would helpful to provide a brief update on a few family matters.
Annual Meeting Update: Most of you likely know that our Annual Meeting is held each May, generally in conjunction with our Great Family Gathering. This provides the opportunity for our members to vote on the proposed budget for the new fiscal year and to affirm elders whose terms would otherwise be expiring.
This coming Sunday is when we would normally make available copies of our 2020-21 budget for your consideration prior to voting. We will not be doing so for a couple reasons. First, we will be unable to physically meet together on May 17 as planned and our bylaws make no provision for voting electronically or by proxy. Secondly, while we’re moving toward a loosening of stay-at-home restrictions, we believe we’re only just beginning to see some of the fiscal impacts caused by this pandemic. As such, the elders thought it wise to allow for some additional time to gauge the general financial health of our church body before proposing the new budget.
Our plan at this point is to present a budget to you in about a month from now. If it’s determined by our county and state governments that we can begin meeting together prior to June 30, we will conduct a vote then. If we are still unable to meet together, we will operate at budget levels consistent with or below our current budget until such time as we can officially affirm the proposed budget.
Giving Update: This is the briefest of our updates and it can be summed up in two words... THANK YOU! God’s faithfulness has continued to manifest itself through your generosity, even during these challenging times. We are continuing to meet our budget requirements and building fund giving remains quite strong as well. What a blessing!
Shelter-In-Place Update: The recent Shelter-in-Place extension and mandates have provoked various responses among our church body. Some of us are increasingly concerned about government overreach and financial fall out, and sense that we should do something to raise awareness along this front. Others of us are increasingly concerned about a spike in cases when and however this mandate is lifted, and sense that we should continue to raise awareness along this front. There are folks in our church on both sides, and to be honest, it seems that most of us have concerns along both fronts. Our concerns are only amplified when we recognize the far-reaching effects this pandemic will have on our country medically, financially, and politically. But friends, listen, in the midst of mounting concerns on any and all sides, we must trust in the truth that God has sovereignly planned every medical, financial, and political outcome. More than ever, we maintain the theological conviction that political machinations and epidemiological predictions alike bow in submission to Him. What then is the practical outcome of this truth in your life? It is this: God will keep you in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Him, because you trust in Him. Isaiah 26.3, paraphrased. So, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26.4, not paraphrased. There is a lot of changes happening right now, but our God hasn’t changed one bit. And that’s good news as we kick off another month sheltered-in-place.
That’s enough for now. Know again that we are praying without ceasing for you, and can’t wait to see you all again. May the Lord bless us as we strive by His grace to live for Him.
Kent Dresdow and Jim Daggs
POSTED: Wednesday, March 25: 12:45pm
Dear Church Family,
“We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.” Psalm 75:1
Giving thanks, recounting His wondrous deeds, and recognizing that He is near... good reminders for us all during this season of upheaval and uncertainty. May you continue to find strength and hope in our good God!
As we enter our second week of “sheltering in residence,” I thought a few updates would be helpful:
Sunday Services – Live streaming on our upgraded Vimeo platform has proven quite successful. What a blessing it was to see over 700 individuals/families worshiping together in this way. It’s not the same as being together, and I look forward to that day. In the meantime, however, I am thankful that we have this as an option and that the state has identified it as an essential function.
Ministries During The Week – Last week was used by the staff to get our bearings on how best to approach ministry life moving forward. I’m happy to announce that on Monday morning, Academy grades K-8 were back “in class” in their homes with their teachers providing instruction from their homes using video conferencing. It is truly amazing what they have accomplished in such a short period of time.
On the church side, several ministries will be starting back up this week using a video conferencing platform called Zoom. It’s a software program you will need to download if you want to participate in our midweek ministries. And it’s quite easy to use. You likely have already been, or will be contacted soon, if you are currently registered in 180 or Ignite DGs, the Life of Christ class, Impact, Kaleo, or Lighthouse... all of which will begin this week on their normal days and times. In the case of Cornerstone, you already have access to the videos for the remaining sessions. And Jon will be recording his class sessions and they will be uploaded to Vimeo (vimeo.com/northcreek) for viewing on Wednesday evenings.
Scheduled Events – The various orders regarding “sheltering” and “not gathering” have obviously impacted a number of our scheduled events and will undoubtedly impact more in the future. We are making every effort to keep our website up to date with that information but our general posture is to keep events as scheduled until such time as we know that they cannot be held and must be postponed or canceled.
Church Website – We have been updating the banner on the home page to make certain information is easily accessible. We plan to continue to do this as needs arise. So feel free to check in periodically.
Giving – Finally, I thought it would be helpful to remind you that in addition to using our online giving option on the website or app, checks can still be mailed to the church if that is your preferred method of giving.
That’s it for this week. Know that you’re being prayed for and please reach out to your LifeStage pastor or elder, or any of us on staff, should you find yourself needing assistance.
POSTED: Wednesday, March 18: 2:45pm
Dear Church Family,
We continue to make adjustments here at NorthCreek and wanted to update you along a couple fronts.
Regarding ongoing ministry
We held an online, ministerial staff meeting yesterday morning to determine next steps across all ministry fronts. With the exception of Sunday live-streamed worship services, all ministry meetings are canceled this week while we plan ahead for future ministry needs. Here’s how that will happen.
- Each pastor and director will be contacting their leaders to discern the best and most practical ways for their ministry to move forward while the shelter-in-place (or, “SIP”) mandate is in place. Once Jim and I hear back from them by the end of this week, we will work to synchronize and simplify our ministry approaches. For example, with ministries that can occur virtually, we are trying to avoid using multiple online platforms and wildly different ministry approaches during this time.
- By early next week, each pastor or director will let those in their respective ministries know how each ministry will re-engage, or not, during the SIP. Lord willing, by next week, all continuing ministries will be ready to go, albeit in a simplified format. Some ministries will be canceled, unfortunately.
Regarding senior care and benevolence
We desire to care especially for our folks who are more “advanced in years.” I have been blown away by how the older generation has desired to not burden the younger with undue care. By all accounts, our senior saints are doing fine at this point. At the same time, let’s unite in prayer for those most vulnerable to exposure. Thank the Lord for our senior saints! I have also been blown away by how the younger generations are desiring to help and encourage the older generation in any way possible. We have students, singles, and young couples and families on standby in abundance, should any need arise. Thank the Lord for our younger generations! Please feel free to let your ministry leader, pastor, or elder know of any need or desire you have to to serve, and we will be glad to discuss those matters with you.
Friends, we are sailing in uncharted waters, but the Captain of our salvation is at the helm, and He will guide us through them. He has secured our salvation from sin, and He will secure our protection according to His will. Nothing is outside His control, Hebrews 2.8-18!
POSTED: Friday, March 13: 7:45pm
Dear Church Family,
Things have continued to develop quickly since our last communication. We are writing to let you know that we will hold Sunday worship services via LIVE-STREAM ONLY through the end of March, 2020. Logistics follow below, but let me assure you of our motivation first, as well as our response second.
This decision has been arrived at through much prayer, through abundant elder and pastoral counsel, through consult with our medical advisory group, and with a desire to comply with our governing authorities’ most recent directives. This is not borne out of fear, but out of care for those most at risk in our church body and community.
Part of my own thinking has been informed by Mark Dever, Pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, in Washington DC. He stated yesterday that his thinking was shaped by their church’s response 100 years ago to the Spanish Flu, when they suspended meetings for similar reasons. He quotes Pastor F. J. Grimké from 1918: “If avoiding crowds lessens the danger of being infected, it was wise to take the precaution and not needlessly run into danger and expect God to protect us.”
We echo that same sentiment - it is not unwise to suspend meeting for the sake of others, given the many factors taken into consideration. And we would add that it is actually an action borne out of love for each other and for our neighbors.
Second, how should we respond? On the one hand, this is a new experience for our church. In our church’s almost 65-year history, we have never had to walk through something like this. These are truly extraordinary times. On the other hand, this is not new for the church. Historically, the church has leaned into caring for the most vulnerable in times of crisis, out of love for them and a desire to reach them for Christ. Now is a great time for being careful, while also providing care.
Finally, logistical details are as follows:
- Again, we will not be meeting on campus for any of our regularly scheduled Sunday activities. We will, however, be live-streaming the worship service on our website and the NorthCreek app at 10:00AM each Sunday in March. We plan to live-stream the entire service, just like we normally would, so plan to worship with us this Sunday!
- Worshiping the Lord in our giving may be accomplished online through our website, using the NorthCreek or Pushpay app, or you can mail in or drop off your offering at the church office during the week.
- Based in large part on the latest medical information in our area, ALL mid-week activities here on campus are being suspended until further notice. This would include men’s and women’s ministries activities, student ministries activities, etc.
- It is our recommendation that regularly scheduled off-campus ministry activities also be suspended for the time being. Sometime next week, CG leaders will be hearing from their respective Pastor/Director with additional guidance.
- Lastly, be aware that we are evaluating the practical viability of each of our Short-Term Ministry trips and those groups will be notified individually as more concrete information becomes available.
From each of the elders and staff members, know that we’re praying for you. Additionally, it is our desire to serve you and be available for you, even as you serve and care for those around you. To that end, our church office will be open during its normal hours.
Our series in Exodus is so helpful here, in that its central point is as relevant today as ever: we have been saved to worship, and saved to serve. That truth isn’t isolated to Exodus by the way—it’s the flow of the biblical gospel as well. Let us live out that gospel in these exceptional days. Then, when we’re able to gather back together again, we’ll unite our hearts and voices in even greater praise to the Lord for what He has done in and among us.
POSTED: Wednesday, March 11: 11:45am
Centers for Disease Control
California Department of Public Health
Contra Costa Health Service
Contra Costa Health Service Guidance (March 13)
NorthCreek App (Apple)
NorthCreek App (Google Play)
NorthCreek Video Streaming
By now, we are all too aware of the coronavirus epidemic hitting closer and closer to home. It seems like a lifetime ago when news headlines weren’t dominated by COVID-19 stories. And while some of us are weary of the headlines, more of us are probably quietly wondering about its trajectory. It can seem like we’re waiting for the storm to hit and are trying to figure out how to brace for impact.
We can’t know the severity of the virus globally, nor the impact it will have locally, but we can be confident of this: God’s Word strengthens and guides us through these times—fully. His promises strengthen us: “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Promises for strength and truth for life abound in God’s Word for every matter of life, including this matter we face today. In that light, we want to provide an update on where things stand regarding the ministry here at NorthCreek.
As Christians, we are called in any danger or trial to seek the Lord in prayer, asking for His wisdom and guidance. His guidance is paramount, so we must be a church of prayer—asking God for help and strength that comes from Him alone.
We have assembled an advisory group that will provide counsel to the Church and School moving forward on best next steps through the virus season. Each member is medically trained, and ministry minded.
Our leadership team is keeping up to date with the latest information available from both national and local health organizations. This is guidance we take seriously, and it will help inform decisions regarding future Church and School activities.
We encourage you personally to keep up to date on current COVID-19 developments from trusted sources like the Centers for Disease Control, California Department of Public Health, and Contra Costa Health Services. Yesterday, CCHS issued guidance with respect to larger gatherings. While it is not our intention at this time to cancel any of our programming, please feel the freedom to choose not to participate if you have concerns or are part of what is considered the higher risk population.
Rest assured that we are staying current on the latest news and updates from official health organizations. Additionally, let’s be prayerful and thoughtful about differing preferences and opinions at this time. Some believe that this is of little consequence; others believe the opposite. Romans 14:19 comes to mind here: “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
There is probably more to say, but it’s enough for now to remember that we worship and serve our great God and King, Jesus Christ, who loves you and will lead you through all that He will bring to you, for your good and His glory. We learned a new song at church recently that seems appropriate in this moment:
“May it be, come what may, that I rest all my days, in the goodness of Jesus.”