April 2nd Update
April 2, 2020
Hello Clay Church Family!
As we head toward the end of our third week of being “shutdown”, it’s become clear that we’re all experiencing the effects of this season in different ways. Many of us have had changes to our work duties or even our employment status. The parents in the church have been thrust into the world of home-based education. Some of us have had medical concerns. There’s a lot going on, and that’s just within our church family. Certainly we all have family, friends, and others in our lives who are dealing with big things as well.
A common theme has begun to emerge in our conversations with many of you: We *all* want to get out of the house, and get back to worshiping together regularly!
We are grateful that this is the unified heart of the church body! Unfortunately, given our current circumstances, we’re going to continue to wait patiently — and prayerfully — for that day. The President’s social distancing guidelines have been extended through the month of April, and Governor Cuomo has extended the “New York State on PAUSE” executive order through April 15th. With these things in mind, we have decided to extend our suspension of all CCC services through the week of Easter Sunday, April 12th.
This is a heartbreaking decision for us, just as we know it is for the church body. It can be painful to set aside the beloved traditions we look forward to each year, especially when they bring us the comfort and encouragement that an Easter Sunday service brings.
We must remember that the first Easter didn’t happen in a church building. It happened outside of an empty tomb, while Christ’s people were sequestered in a home, grief-stricken and wondering what was going on. Our current circumstances can’t and don’t change the power of The Resurrection, or the hope there is in Jesus!
Thank you for the many positive comments that have been shared about our 10:00 am sermon livestreams and 11:15 am prayer meetings; we are grateful that these have been a blessing to the body. Going forward we will continue to offer these touch points, and for your convenience we’ll re-send the connection information email every Friday. If you have any questions about these options, or need help joining us, please reach out by replying to this email.
We’ll also be hosting a Good Friday devotional at 7:00 pm on April 10th. This will be offered on Zoom, the same platform we use for our prayer meetings. You will be able to use a computer, tablet, or phone to join us. We’ll send the connection information next week.
Several of our Small Groups continue to meet weekly on Zoom. The leaders of those groups are in regular communication with the participants. If you’d like to join a group, we’re happy to get you set up for that; just let us know!
One of the online tools that we haven’t mentioned recently is our church website, at claycommunity.org. We recently added several items to assist our members. You’ll notice that the top bar on the website provides a simple summary of our current status, as well as links to these COVID-19 Updates, Member Resources, and the public sermon livestream. The Member Resources page has several helpful links for individuals and small groups, including the new weekly devotional guide that has been prepared for you. Be sure to to check it out.
Obviously we will continue monitoring federal, state, and local developments to determine when we will be able to gather again, and we will be sending out updates along the way. In the meantime, please be in prayer for the various leaders serving the church, and for our whole church family!
Blessings In Christ,
Brandon, Chris, Len, and Pat