COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
Pastor Tom's Update via video link: https://youtu.be/I9nKAubjerA
or read transcript below:
Hey Crossroads Family,
9 weeks in...how are you holding up?
I am hearing lots of things like, "the novelty has worn off." "I think I have zoom fatigue." "I feel like I put on the Corona 19." And now our governor has officially informed us that schools will remain closed. It's all hard. So here is the thing: it's ok to be sad, mad, confused. There is not a proper set of emotions or feelings for handling a pandemic. I don't want to throw a couple of bible verses at you and say 'now smile, isn't that better?'
Yes, there is great solace and comfort in God's word. God's word, however, does not remove our feelings and emotions. To put on a shiny happy face when you don't feel shiny or happy doesn't do anyone any good. Jesus and his word should be a lens through which we see our struggles, not a blindfold which helps us pretend they are not there. Did you ever play pin the tail on the donkey as a kid? Put on a blindfold, get spun around until you don't know which end is up and then try and find a target 10 feet away? It was a lot of fun to watch other people do it, but very rarely did anyone ever get to where they wanted to go. As a spectator, if you were really lucky, the participant might have a near-brush with a catastrophe, like pinning the tail on Aunt Suzie. Trying to navigate a pandemic with a blindfold on will end up a whole lot worse than pinning a tail on Aunt Suzie.
As we have been talking about through most of the spring, Jesus wants us to bring our emotions to Him, all of them. As we do, we turn over things that none of us are prepared for or necessarily capable of handling on our own. We give them to Jesus who is capable of handling it all. We do this with our words, in prayer, through journaling and by being intentional about creating time and space for Jesus.
We also lean IN to each other for support, encouragement, and challenge. If you need to vent, rant, ask questions whatever...call 203.261.3999 or visit https://crossroadsct.info/immediate-help. One of our leaders will get back to you as quickly as possible.
We are also looking toward a future where we will meet together again...physically. The elders have approved a relative timeline that once the government starts to loosen restrictions will gradually be put into place. We are in the process of assembling a re-opening team to make sure we think about all the different variables for which we will have to account. We already have orders placed for things like hand sanitizing stations and masks for our volunteers who make our gatherings run.
We are definitely in a hard spot. BUT with Jesus we look toward the future with hope because of who HE IS and what HE DOES.
Pastor Tom's Update via video link: https://youtu.be/65uwcauBvdM
or read transcript below:
Hey Crossroads Family,
Ya know when Ben started the service last week he couldn't think of whether it was our 4th or 5th online service...I held up 4 fingers.....it was actually our 6th. We have been wrestling with the effects of this virus in very real ways for 6 weeks. Some of our community has contracted the virus and fortunately have or are recovering, some have lost jobs and hours, and a good number of us are kinda well losing our minds as we take all of this in.
What are we to make of the different ways people are responding?....Some are racing to open things back up, some are pleading to keep us sheltering in place....some are reminding us that we are all in this together and others are protesting the suppression of their individual rights. Thankfully our God does not change like the shifting shadows. He is rock solid and the same yesterday today and forever. Most importantly Who He is and secondarily what He asks of us is no different now than any other time in history. With eyes fixed on Jesus who is still very much in control, we put the needs of others before our own just like He did. When we make decisions about wearing masks and maintaining social distancing we do so thinking about the vulnerable and at risk, thinking about our frontline workers and not about what would be convenient for us. I know those decisions have very real implications for people's livelihoods. We give our time, talent and treasure to do the best we can to make sure no one goes without. In short, we live like people who have been saved and redeemed at someone else's expense.
Practically speaking these 6 weeks have forced us all to learn how to do new and different things. Here is one of the ways Crossroads wants to be of help - if you are having difficulties connecting digitally we have some very technically minded people who would love to assist you. Please visit crossroadsct.info/immediate-help and fill out the form. That same form can be used for financial assistance, groceries or if you just need someone to talk to. Also super practically speaking we are including THIS LINK to a video for how to make a home made mask that would fit the governor's request to wear one at all times in public spaces wherever close contact is unavoidable.
Looking UP eyes fixed on Jesus, leaning IN for support and encouragement and reaching OUT to the world around us, we will not only see this thing through to the other side we will also bring the hope, peace, love and joy of Jesus to those that need it.
Have a great week,
How to make a mask at home video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPYp-kjiqtw
Paster Tom's Update via video click link: https://youtu.be/2GiUScBL6bw
or read transcript below:
Hey Crossroads Family,
It was great to spend Easter together. I was so glad to see all the pictures that came in of our community. Our time of worship in song was great as usual. The kids did an amazing job introducing our sermon on Jesus' Unbelievable Victory and we got to celebrate communion together. It was a different Easter that's for sure but it was special one to be remembered.
I also recognize that I think we may have broke the internet once or twice on Sunday morning. We have been hard at work trying to come up with a solution that still allows us to gather as a community AND greatly improve your experience. This week we will be prerecording the service. What does that mean for you? Nothing changes on your end, except hopefully far fewer glitches and less buffering. The whole leadership team will be online in the chat starting at 9:45 AM this Sunday for pre-service catch up & connection and the service will begin at 10:00 AM. You can join us here.
As we look to the future, there is still a great deal of uncertainty. Some of our leaders want to open the country back up by May 1st. Our governor has us closed until May 20th. Some numbers are up, some numbers are down. Even in the midst of uncertainty, while it feels like a giant pause button has been pushed we are looking to move forward. God continues to bring new people to Crossroads which tells us He has work for us to do. We have already begun the process of planning and praying for post-Corona Crossroads. I would ask that join us in praying for wisdom in discerning God's leading and courage to follow that direction.
You have all been great about stepping up during this time of crisis. We have come together as a community inviting others to join us as we look UP during worship gatherings. We have been leaning IN through increased mid-week connection points and launching new groups. We are reaching OUT to the poor in spirit and resources through your generosity to help fellow Crossroaders, our ministry partners as well as the general public.
Let me just end by reminding everyone that if you find yourself in a place where you need help please let us know and we will do what we can.
Love you guys...See you online
Hi Crossroads Family,
Do you need HELP TODAY?
Here at Crossroads we want to make sure everyone stays connected to someone, that no one is left behind and no one goes without.
If you need someone to go to the store or the pharmacy; if you need someone to pick up your mail or pick up a meal, we're here for you.
Let us know your need and we will work out a solution with you.
We are here for you, because we love you.
CLICK HERE for help.
CLICK HERE for info on ways to reachOUT to your community and an update from Crossroads Community Partners
Hi Crossroads Family,
Here are some important LINKS
If you have friends you would like to invite to Online Church this Sunday please
direct them to the HUB
Every week joining the service requires only one click on the Livestream card.
This week the 'lobby' opens at 9:45am, grab your coffee and join us for some conversation in the comments section prior to church starting at 10am.
Please join us on our channel for a time together tomorrow
If you would like to subscribe to our YouTube channel you can rewatch or
catch up on past services.
If you are not currently in a group or looking for an additional digital connection point during the week, we will be offering a time of prayer and connection Wednesdays at noon and Thursdays at 7:00 PM. Sign-up for these HERE
(i.e. visit the Hub crossroadsct.info)
Next online devotional starts this coming Monday, March 23rd.
Click the link above for more information and to sign-up.
This is a great way to connect with scripture and the community.
ONLINE GIVING: https://crossroadsct.info/giving
Hey Crossroads family,
It was great to worship with so many of you through the wonders of technology yesterday.
As the day progressed, it became clear that things are going to get worse before they get better. That is not pessimism; that is reality. At the same time, I wanted to tell you that even as news was unfolding, I truly felt God’s peace that passes understanding. That peace is in part supernatural, but it is also the result of doing things that keep us behind the cover of God as our refuge and our fortress.
I wanted to let you know of a few things Crossroads will be doing that will help us stay in that cover as a community. While social distancing is appropriate, we still want and need to stay connected and close in as many other ways as possible.
- I am asking all of our community group leaders to not hold their physical meetings but instead offer a digital option via Skype, Facetime, Facebook, etc. If you are currently in a group, your leader will be reaching out directly with details.
- If you are not currently in a group or looking for an additional digital connection point during the week, we will be offering a time of prayer and connection Wednesdays at noon and Thursdays at 7:00 PM. Sign ups for these will be available on the Hub shortly.
- Rachel Seferian, our Children’s Ministry Director, will also be offering an online gathering option for kids during the week. The details on that will be coming directly from Rachel to parents.
- We were scheduled to participate in another online devotional after Easter. We will be bumping that up and will begin some time later in the week.
I also want to pass along some practical thoughts, none of which are earth-shattering, but hopefully helpful nonetheless as we all navigate these uncharted waters.
- Get some sleep. Your body and brain need rest.
- Pray and meditate. Make time every day to reflect, pray, and meditate on scripture and surrender the problems you have to God. You will have extra time on your hands try to do this multiple times a day.
- Get some exercise. Even a 20 minute run or a brisk walk will help.
- Eat better. Yep, this is sounding a lot like what you already know. But just do it.
- Call a friend you can talk to. In a crisis, you need people who don’t need anything from you. Call a friend.
Please be on the lookout for communication from Crossroads via email, text and social media regarding our plans as they will be fluid and adjusting to the changing situation.
Love you guys. May God’s peace and my prayers be with you.
Dear Crossroads Family,
The rising concern over the Corona pandemic, school closings, event cancellations, and the stock market losses could easily lead one to believe the “sky is falling.” As followers of Jesus we can be confident that God is STILL in control. The current circumstances do not change that fact.
God’s sovereignty does not allow us to throw caution to the wind, give up hand-washing and start licking door-knobs. It means we take practical steps to keep ourselves and our families safe and healthy while at the same time we bring the hope and peace of Jesus to the world around us that so desperately needs it.
We do this by keeping our eyes fixed on Him, confident in His provision and protection. Further, almost all of us are going to have unplanned free time over the coming weeks. Use this time to try to rest in and with God. We are all being forced to slow down. We can get upset and complain about it or we can use even these very difficult circumstances for God’s glory and our good.
Below is our plan to maintain the safety of our community while continuing to move the work of God at Crossroads forward.
Trumbull schools have been closed effective Friday, March 13th. This impacts us as a church community as we do not have access to our space at Frenchtown Elementary School and it is inadvisable, at this time, for us to meet as a large group. We do not have a timeline for the closure, but we will be following town-wide recommendations as they are made.
What you need to know today -
1. As of this Sunday, March 15th we will be holding online Sunday services. An access link will be sent through communication channels outlined below.
2. For questions about small groups and youth meetings, please check with your group leader for updated info.
**ROOTED will meet this Saturday for a walk instead of breakfast. Meet at the Rail Trail, Trumbull @ 9:00am.
**CLUB will not meet at Grace Sunday night. Dinner will be offered at a home. Details will be e-mailed when confirmed.
3. Our secure online giving platform is available during this time: https://crossroadsct.info/giving.
We are committed to keeping the Crossroads community informed and connected during this time. Please work through the following steps to ensure you will receive updates:
1. Make sure the e-bulletin address vis Mailchimp is on your ‘safe address’ list (i.e. not going to spam/junk folders).
2. Sign up for our ‘Members in the Loop’ text messages - Text the word LOOP to (203) 779 7097 and sign up. We plan to send a test message tomorrow morning at 9:00 am.
4. Follow us on social media:
Facebook: The Crossroads Community
5. Update your contact info in our Crossroads Online Directory (If you signed up, you should have received an email with log-in directions). If you have not signed up to be in our directory, please do so HERE.
If you need anything during this time, please reach out via email [email protected] or leave a voicemail at (203) 261 3999 and the Crossroads leadership will get back to you.
Pastor Tom, Crossroads Elders and Lead Team