Western Avenue will livestream the worship service on Sunday morning at 11:00 AM as we sing together and study the first three verses of Isaiah 53.
We also will use picture-in-picture technology to provide a dedicated sign language interpreter so our deaf community can participate and worship with us.
Please share with anyone who would benefit from this service.
Click here to watch the video from the Facebook Live Andy Lackey taught Wednesday, March 18.
I wanted to wait until later in the week before sending this update about our Sunday morning services and other ministries. The situation continues to change at such speed that it is difficult to keep up. In the midst of an avalanche of information, I want to give some important and essential information about Western Avenue in the days and weeks to come.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. This is uncharted territory for all of us. As you do with your family, we will rely on the Lord to protect and provide as we walk in faith with Him!
The coronavirus has changed all our lives. For many, it is only a matter of certain inconveniences. For others, the situation is much more serious. We have all heard the people most susceptible to COVID-19 are our senior adults. How can we care for these precious saints in our church and in our neighborhood? This is our mandate from Scripture. The apostle Paul writes, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:3-4). Paul goes on to tell us this is the mindset of Jesus in coming to serve us.
Elsewhere, John writes words that strike us in our heart: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18). I am constantly encouraged by the love I see being poured out on one another within our congregation. We now have a very real opportunity to do so all the more.
I want to encourage each of you to use this time to get to know your neighbors and inquire if there is any way you can assist them in meeting their needs and acquiring personal items and food. This is what it means to obey the greatest command: to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:28-31).
What about our church family? I want to ask for individuals and families within our church to “adopt” our senior adults. I have a fifteen-page document listing households with older senior adults. Each of our twenty-one deacons are already caring for 4-5 widows and shut-ins. This lowers the number of households on the list considerably but there are still many couples and individuals to care for.
If you are willing to adopt one of these homes, please let us know by emailing the church office at email@example.com.
This post will likely get shared by many – please do not indicate your desire to help in comment section below. We may not see it.
We hope to have enough volunteers so that each family has only to care for one household. If you would like more than one household, please let us know. We will send you contact information via email. Once you receive your family, we ask you not to visit their homes but call them to assess their current situation and needs. Please reach out to them often as it appears this situation will continue for several weeks. If they have the capability, perhaps you can FaceTime with them. If you have children, perhaps they can send letters or draw pictures for them.
We realize all seniors are not created equal; some are more susceptible and more dependent than others. At the same time, some have family nearby who are already taking care of all their needs. We praise the Lord for this but it is good for them to know their church family loves them and cares for them, as well.
If your adopted family’s current needs are too much for you to handle, you can contact the church office.
I hope to see the church rise up and be the church to this special segment of our church!
Late Saturday afternoon, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order mandating there be no crowds of more than one hundred people in attendance. Within the hour, several members of the pastoral staff met with Andy White, the chairman of the deacons. After much discussion, we have decided that Western Avenue will not meet as a church body Sunday morning. We will livestream our worship service at 11:00 AM. You may participate in the service by watching the live feed on Western Avenue’s Facebook page or our church website (westernavenue.org). Please do not come to the church building unless you have specifically been requested to attend to serve in a specific capacity.
We do not believe this is a Hebrews 10:24-25 issue. There, the author urges believers to “not neglect to meet together.” This is not a matter of negligence. This is not your decision but ours (along with our governing authorities and health professionals). Your conscience should be clean because you are indeed “providentially hindered” from attending.
At the same time, we do see this as a Romans 13 issue. In the opening verses, the apostle writes, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Rom 13:1-2). This is not a matter of church persecution but an opportunity to serve our entire community in love. This is not a matter of fearful overreaction; there is a crucial difference between fear and prudence. Instead, this is a matter of expressing love for our neighbors, our elderly, the most susceptible among us, and concern for a potentially overtaxed healthcare system. All these compel us to join these unusual efforts to minimize contact to slow the spread of the coronavirus (and other viruses active at this time).
Your church staff will meet again on Monday. It is almost certain more developments will occur. We will take all these into consideration as we make plans for the days and weeks to come. These are not easy decisions. We realize some will disagree with the track we have taken. We think this is the best way to honor God and love our neighbors, the two things God has called all his children to do.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
2:00 PM - 7:00 PM
William Sherrill Blood Drive
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Middle School / Second Sunday @ the Johnson's