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This week has been fast-changing, and I need to update you again on our plans.
Before I go into details, please know that we are proceeding not out of fear or panic. Our leaders have met throughout the week, monitored news and talked with leaders from other organizations. All our decisions come from a deep desire to care for and respect our community—along with our neighbors in Nashville and around the world.
After much prayer, it has become clear that loving others requires some short-term changes to the rhythms of Journey:
We have decided to hold our weekend gatherings only ONLINE for the next few weeks.
We’re not going to cancel Sundays, and we hope you will embrace the opportunity to experience worship in a new way, in a new location—your home. You can watch our livestream this week at 10am and 11:30am on our website, on our YouTube channel and (we hope) also on Facebook Live with live commenting. There will be no livestream at 8:30am.
Even though this is a moment of fear across the world, we rest safe in the knowledge that our God is in control. His most frequent command in the Bible is ‘Do not be afraid.’ If we really believe His promises, we will lean into them.
Journey isn’t a Sunday gathering, it’s a community of people who love God, each other and their neighbors. No doubt, this is a time to take precautions to ensure your own health and the safety of those around you. But it’s also an opportunity to demonstrate hope and faith in the face of challenges.
Here are some ways we can do that:
If COVID-19 creates special challenges due to your health, and you are a part of our Journey family, let Sam Barnhart know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help.
CAN YOU HELP?
For the rest of us, let’s think and pray about what each of us might do to help others. Who in your neighborhood or your circle of friends needs a hand with groceries or errands?
We also have a list of organizations and volunteering opportunities for tornado relief on our website.
NEW WAYS TO ENGAGE
Our staff has been thinking about how they can bring new meaning to gatherings during this live-streaming period. They will be trying some different things in the weeks ahead.
If you’re able, consider inviting neighbors, a Village Group or friends over to watch our livestream. Something powerful happens when we gather together. Of course, don’t do that if you are sick or have elevated risks from exposure. But, this is an opportunity for Journey’s light to multiply into hundreds of lights shining throughout Middle Tennessee.
It would be easy to just stop being a church during this time. Now more than ever, we all are the Church. Let’s be intentional as we practice that calling. In addition to joining for Sunday messages, this is also a great chance for you to binge read / listen to the podcasts and blogs on the Journey Exchange.
With so much need, we hate to mention Journey’s challenges. But the reality is that Journey is going to take a financial hit from these circumstances. Many of you make contributions in the Give boxes, which you won’t be able to do from your couch.
Work continues on the building (new steel girders for the lobby this week!). And, our staff is working harder than ever to care for our community. Though we are working hard to be good stewards of every dollar, we need to keep staff salaries in place. Please continue to support our efforts by giving online, via Venmo (Journey-Church-1) or by mailing a check to us at Journey Church, 1600 Wilson Pike, Brentwood, TN 37027.
While we aren’t sure when we will be able to resume in-person gatherings, we look ahead with real excitement to Easter (when our space should be enlarged and reconfigured). No promises on that, but it’s a goal!
Our current Lent•ish series could not fit better with these times. In a season of darkness, let’s focus more than ever on the light of Jesus’ resurrection and the hope that He provides beyond any current circumstances.
We will be communicating as often as needed to make sure you’re updated on our plans. Please check our website and social media and sign up for our weekly email newsletter at the bottom of our website home page.
Be safe and stay healthy, Journey. We love you all and look forward to meeting with you online this Sunday. Please let me know if you have any questions or need to talk further.
If you have been affected and need help, please email Sam Barnhart, our care pastor.