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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Update from the Elders Regarding COVID-19

Dear Northside Family and Friends,

My attention was recently drawn to the reality of Christ’s intercession for his people and its significance. Hebrews 7:25 says that Christ is “able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” It is our prayer that, in these difficult days, you take encouragement from the fact that, just as Jesus Christ hung on the cross in your place, he also stands in your place before the throne of God the Father. Not only did he save you, but he saved you to the uttermost, or completely. There is nothing more for you to do except for trust in him completely.
By way of update this week, we simply want to remind you and ask you to pray for three things.
Update on General Church Practices
First, we would ask you to continue to pray for wisdom for your church leaders as we prayerfully attempt to make decisions that are in the best spiritual and physical interest of our Northside family. We do not take this responsibility lightly and take it as a charge from the Lord (1 Peter 5:1-3). We also ask that you pray for our local and state government officials, whom God has placed over us in order to ensure a safe society (Romans 13). Lift them up to God in prayer, that he might continue to give them wisdom in this fraught environment. We continue to look to the recommendations of these officials as our primary secular source to inform our decisions. As such, we do not currently have any plans of either moving forward in reopening other aspects of Northside or backtracking into further restrictions. In other words, we are holding steady. As information changes, we evaluate how to adjust. Additionally, we remind you to help us provide a safe worship environment by staying home if you are sick and notifying us should you receive a COVID positive diagnosis.
Update on Small Groups
Second, like many of you, we were disappointed when we had to postpone our plans to restart on-site gatherings of small groups on Sunday mornings. We were disappointed because this move would have signaled to many that things were getting back to normal. But the recommendations we were receiving from our officials were telling a different story. So, as of this writing, we do not have a regathering date in mind for our small groups. We would remind our group leaders that they should feel free to explore the option of using the church facilities on a different day of the week, when there would be no risk of several groups coming into contact at the same time.
Update on VBS
Lastly, we ask you help us by praying that the Lord would bless the efforts of our stellar VBS team. Since the pandemic began, they have adjusted, pivoted, and twisted their plans accordingly in order to provide a safe and fun environment for children to hear the good news of Jesus. All that planning has led to our VBS team implementing Wednesday night VBS programming during the month of August, offered both in person in the auditorium or online. Please pray for the efforts of all the volunteers during the month of August, especially on Wednesday nights. If you have children or grandchildren interested in signing up, please direct them to this website.
We invite everyone to join us for our worship service at 10:30 am every Sunday morning, either in person or via the Facebook group page (also streamed on the website). Please feel free to reach out to us as your elders with any questions or concerns you may have. Stay connected with us and each other via the Facebook group page and website. We encourage you to drink deeply from the Lord’s goodness today, for in his presence is abundant joy and at his right hand are eternal pleasures. (Psalm 16:11)

In Christ,

Your Elders (Mike Bowman, John Reeder, Dennis Brooks, Jim Moran, and Nate Brock)