For the past several weeks at our church, staff and a number of very dedicated volunteers have been busy working on a number of initiatives in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Please continue to keep these devoted Christ-followers in your prayers.
1. God is still in control, as he always has been. He still loves the world. In this crisis, there are going to be opportunities to serve him and love our neighbors. Our goal is for people to be safe (right now), and also to be saved (eternally).
2. Our vision to be a "church for the unchurched" remains the same. So does our mission to teach God's words and promises so that the Holy Spirit will transform people into fully-developed followers of Jesus Christ.
3. Connection and communication with God in meditation and prayer will be more important than ever during these weeks of social and physical distancing; so will connecting with each other and technology is the bridge.
4. We want to be a church that serves its community and city well, and with the Holy Spirit's help, we will have the courage and conviction to do the things we can to serve our neighbors faithfully.
Sunday worship is now online at 9 and 11 am at cwlk.online.church. You can also worship with us at 9:00 am on our Facebook page and YouTube channel. After that, our services are available on-demand on our website and on these social media outlets. Our focus at present is on incrementally improving the online worship experience. Attendance has been higher than normal at our worship services, but exact numbers are hard to come by. What we do know is that people are joining us from around the country and the world.
Groups are the very best way to stay connected with other members of your CrossWalk family during these tough times. Growth groups are online with 15 groups as well as 4 additional classes meeting virtually via the Zoom platform. Those interested in joining a group can see their options here.
Pastor Chris and our elders have been working to make sure members, particularly those who may be vulnerable or at-risk, are being contacted. Group leaders and volunteer team leaders have also taken it upon themselves to connect with their members. We have additional willing volunteers who have stepped up to back up our Connections and Elders teams to make sure we have the ability to connect with as many members, regular attenders and guests as possible. Finally, staff have also made a significant number of calls and connections.
Phil and his outreach team volunteers have stepped up efforts to serve our communities. A blood drive was held on Friday, April 3rd, and we maxed out the number of donors that the Red Cross would allow on that day. We are planning a follow-up blood drive on April 24. We will also volunteer to pack boxes at St. Mary's Food Bank on Saturday, May 2nd. In Midtown, a food drive is about to launch to assist students in the Madison Elementary School District. Meanwhile, Pastor Chris is also seeing if he can connect with tailors and seamstresses in our congregations to make comfort masks for our local hospitals. A recent CE-4 personal outreach class held on Saturday, April 4th had 16 in attendance. Phil reports there was a high level of enthusiasm among the participants in the course. If you're interested in serving in our community, check the news page on our website for regular updates on our community outreach efforts.
Efforts have increased across the board during the Coronavirus crisis to add additional layers to our communication processes, as well as direct people to our existing platforms such as the weekly email, our social media outlets (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and our CrossWalk website. We added a texting service to our existing communication platforms as well as the Zoom platform for meetings and group communication.
The focus in youth ministry is to maximize our virtual teen impact groups and confirmation classes. Great thanks go out to the three impact group leaders and our confirmation class volunteer mentors. Mentors are also busy checking in individually with their teens and encouraging them to get involved in a joint Bible reading plan with their leaders and peers.
Our children's ministry team has placed its focus on providing solidly biblical, Christ-centered, and engaging children's materials for our CrossWalk Kids families. We are making those materials available right on our website here. Additionally, our CrossWalk team is organizing a safe, fun Easter egg hunt for Easter. Most exciting of all, look for major upgrades to the CrossWalk Kids page on our website to emerge in the next few weeks as our CrossWalk team instigates a revamp to provide even more services and materials for families. Also, check out our CrossWalk Kids Church Youtube page and subscribe.