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Beyond these walls—like we never imagined!

Posted by Pastor Mark Toone on

You may not believe it but someday, this COVID stuff will be behind us! It will become part of our lore and, predictably, we will bore our grandchildren to death with stories of how we lived through the Great Quarantine. 

There is a lot about COVID that is, obviously, very irritating. I’ll confess, I had a bit of an emotional gut-punch the other day with yet another piece of disappointing news. But—I’m back! And ready as ever to lead you as we seek to meet the challenge—and opportunities—that this presents to us as a church.

For one thing, COVID is causing us to go “beyond these walls” in ways that we never imagined. Our original Beyond These Walls dream was to pay off our debt and use that money to support local ministries in ways we have never done before. But COVID has accelerated that. Suddenly, we found ourselves unable to meet within our walls—and then, greatly restricted in how we might meet within these walls. 

Your elders and pastors began to ask, “Now that we can’t meet within our walls, how can we be the church beyond these walls?”

Here are some of the ways we are doing that. 

  • Right off the bat, one of our great hopes is that going “beyond these walls” will make us more nimble and able to respond quickly to community needs. A great example of this agility is the back-to-school pencil pack event happening tomorrow, Sunday, August 2, from 6:00-8:00 pm at Chapel Hill. We’ll support families in our community as they prepare for school this fall by partnering with the Children’s Home Society of Washington to provide pencils for their back-to-school event. I hope you’ll consider coming to our parking lot near Door A tomorrow to help pack the pencils! To find out more, watch this week’s Way to Serve Wednesday video.
  • We have offered our church building to seven local churches that lost their venue due to school closures. We feel this would be a great demonstration of Christian unity, to make our building available, rent-free, to local churches that might be greatly hampered because of this pandemic. We will keep you posted on this. 
  • We are working with the Tacoma Rescue Mission to see what it would take to provide emergency, temporary family shelter for those impacted by job loss during this crisis. We are already a designated emergency shelter; this just takes that commitment one step further. Again, we will keep you posted as details unfold. 
  • Parents recently learned that PSD schools will remain online in the fall; we are looking at practical ways to support families with mentorship or the use of our building space. We’ll provide more information as soon as possible.
  • And finally, I know so many of you are eager for concrete ways to help your neighbors! Together, we can respond to the increasing number of requests for practical help like yard work, moving, and household projects. We’re calling on families, LifeGroups, youth, and others to be “for the city” with simple acts of loving service. Is that you? Please let us know by filling out this form

Wouldn’t it be great, my sweetheart church, if ONE of the outcomes of having greatly restricted access to our church building, is that our community became even more aware of how much Chapel Hill loves our community? This can ONLY be good for the Kingdom of Jesus.

Thanks for your support—prayerful, financial, and hands-on—that makes this ongoing ministry possible. We are moving “beyond these walls” as never before.

Pastor Mark

PS—Don’t miss Sunday! We are coming to one of the epic stories in Exodus. Join us at 9:00 or 11:00 am. See you there.

Tags: serve, local outreach, beyond these walls, for the city, covid-19

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