445 S. Mary Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94086 | 408.736.3120 | Questions? email becky@crosswalkchurch.com

CROSSWALK AND CORONAVIRUS

Dear Crosswalkers,
 
Greetings in the name of Jesus.
 
These are challenging times to be sure. I’m writing to let you know some of the steps we are taking regarding the coronavirus (COVID - 19) pandemic.
 
First, we need to remember that our Lord spoke about challenging times, and how those times reveal our trust in the Lord. For example, he said,
7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. - Mark 13:7-8 (NIV)
 
Here the Lord speaks of tremendous troubles and suffering, and he says, “Such things must happen.” Why? Because we live in a fallen, broken world. They must happen because they are, mysteriously, a part of God’s plan for this planet. And because God is in control, the Lord Jesus says, “Do not be alarmed.”

We need not fear.

We trust.
 
In times of great upheaval and confusion, followers of Jesus are to model a calm assurance that the Lord is an ever-present help in times of trouble. Our hope is in him!
 
In addition to a lack of fear, we are to model caring for and healing the sick. This was the Lord’s ministry while he was on earth, and he left us the mandate to heal the sick. We do this both by helping those who are already ill and by preventing illness from happening. This requires, in times of a pandemic, being good citizens and cooperating with the recommendations of public health officials.
 
The order of the day is social distancing. This is a big challenge for Christians because our call is to be loving and caring and to show great affection for each other. Yet we must cooperate with this social mandate. We should lead the way.
 
Here’s what Crosswalk is doing at the present time: 
  • We are canceling our Preschool Open House, which is scheduled for tonight. 
  • We are canceling our International Potluck at the close of our Faith Promise month. 
  • We are canceling our annual Community Easter Egg Hunt. A week from this Sunday we will offer some alternatives for you that will be a better practice to keep our community healthy. 
  • We are canceling our Seder Feast, which is scheduled for Holy Thursday, April 9.
This is frustrating because Easter season is such a wonderful season for outreach. We cancel these events, not out of fear, but out of a concern for the health of our community. All these cancellations are saddening, but they are a part of the Lord’s plan for us. We redeem our time with a concerted effort to pray for our unchurched friends and neighbors, and to pray for the health and welfare of our community.
 
We are still planning to hold our normal worship services and taking the following precautions:
  • We are doing extra cleaning to insure a clean and safe environment. This includes wiping down all surfaces, including pew tops, between worship services.
  • We are, as we began last Sunday, practicing social distancing by greeting each other with an elbow bump rather than a hug or handshake. In addition, it is best to space ourselves out in the worship services (six feet is the recommended distance).
  • We are ordering individual, hermetically sealed communion cups (with wafers) for our times of celebrating the Lord’s supper together.
  • All snacks between services will be in prepackaged plastic wrappers.
  • We encourage anyone who is feeling unwell to stay home from worship services. 
We are also practicing our value of showing great love and respect and understanding toward all our brothers and sisters in Christ. Many will choose to stay home from church, especially those who are seniors. This is understandable. Our attendance last Sunday dipped below 200 for the first time in twenty years. Many will choose to worship the Lord privately. Again, there is no shame in this. Please follow the leading of the Holy Spirit for yourself and your family.
 
As your pastor, I want to help you in this regard. Beginning this Sunday, we will be putting our Sunday morning message online immediately after our worship services. That way those who choose to participate from home may do so, using the Crosswalk App or accessing the teaching on our website. On top of that, we are considering live streaming our services, beginning the following Sunday. Next week we will also put Sunday School materials on our website for parents to use in their homes.
 
If it becomes necessary to cancel Sunday services altogether, we will do that as well. Of course we hope it doesn’t come to that, but we will keep you informed.
 
Our school is also staying open, while putting enhanced structures in place for the safety and security of our children.
 
Jesus said, “these things must take place.” It is all a part of the plan. We must trust the Lord’s purpose in this.
 
Jesus said, “Do not be alarmed.” Into the darkness of fear, we bring faith; in confusion, we bring clarity; in despair we bring hope; and in anxiety we bring contentment. We are, the Lord challenged us, to be a shining city on a hill, always pointing to the glory of God in all things. His joy is our strength.
 
We will keep you informed.
 
We will also keep you in prayer.
 
Love in the Lord,
 
Pastor John 

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