Hi Christ Church Family and Friends,

I’m sure you’ve heard that President Trump has declared churches to be essential and has called on Governors to allow them to reopen immediately.  Whatever your political, religious, or irreligious affiliations, I’m sure that we can all get behind this statement, “These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united.”  It is encouraging to see this truth being acknowledged by the highest levels of our government.

However, I want to clarify a few things.  

First, our church was never closed.  The church is not a building, but people.  Our people never stopped gathering.  We just changed venues.  Our church has actually grown during this time with more and more people participating in our services every week.  We have seen dozens of people come to faith and others come back to their faith.  We have been serving our community by taking on responsibility to feed 1,000 households in our neighborhood every single week.  We have dozens of volunteers working continually to serve our church and serve our community.  We have been able to raise thousands of dollars to support families in need.  Our recovery community center, Transformation to Recovery, has continued to counsel, do intakes and placements for those who are ready to make the courageous journey to recovery.  While we are looking forward to the day that we can safely have in person services again, we are thriving as a church.  We have not been closed.  We will never close.  We can never be closed. 

Second, churches in PA have been deemed essential since day 1 of the PA lockdown.  This is what has allowed us to have staff present at our building every day and to offer our services to our community.  We are grateful that our local government has always seen the important value of churches.  Over a month ago, one of our highly placed government officials wrote to me with encouragement and said, “Your stewardship of our communities is needed now more than ever.”  So while we are grateful that the White House is now acknowledging that churches are essential, this is not new for us.

Third, while we want to respect our government’s authority whenever we can, we do answer to a higher authority.  Our position as a pastoral team has been, and always will be, that we will do what we believe is right according to God’s word, the leading of His Spirit and our responsibility to our local church.  As such, our priority is working hard to find ways to meet safely.  We are eager to be able to gather in person again, but we want to do so responsibly.  We are under a mandate to honor God through fulfilling His command to love our neighbors, so safely reopening is our priority.  Regardless of what other churches do, we are not in a race with them to reopen for in person gatherings.  We are working towards what we believe God wants for our local church and our community.

I am so encouraged by what God has been doing these past few months and I can’t wait to see how He continues to move through Christ Church!

For the glory of Christ,

Pastor Jeff