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List of ways to stay connected as a church during social distancing

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Recently the CDC made a recommendation that we suspend all gatherings of 50+ people for the next 8 weeks and President Trump made a recommendation that we should even avoid gatherings of 10+ people for at least the next 15 days, possibly continuing through mid-summer. The purpose of this social distancing is to do what we can to slow the spread of the virus and let doctors, hospitals, and pharmacists catch up with how things have already developed. 

We are taking these recommendations seriously and continuing to suspend our Sunday services, Community Groups, and other gatherings and events until further notice

Since we’re not able to gather together in person, we wanted to send out some ideas for how to make the most of this challenging situation to encourage one another and press into the Lord! Here is a list of resources and ideas we wanted to share with you: 

SUNDAY SERVICE – On Sundays a few of our staff and elders will be leading an online service with prayer, worship, a children’s lesson, and a sermon (continuing our series in James). You can tune into our website here on Sundays at 11:00am to watch, or watch the stream via Facebook. Please share the video and comment on it so that others might see it and hear the gospel! 

BENEVOLENCE – If you need financial assistance during this time, please email us at benevolence@eccatx.com and let us know so that we can try to help. If you would like to donate to our benevolence fund to help others in need, you can give online here, just make sure to select “benevolence” from the drop-down menu. 

DAILY DEVOS – Watch and share the short devotional videos that we are posting at 10:00am each day on our Facebook page. If you’d like to submit a daily devotional video of your own, let us know and we will give you some instructions! You can watch the first one here and the second one here

DAILY BIBLE READING – Our website has a Bible reading plan that updates everyday with a Psalm and a few chapters of the Bible for you to read. If you have gotten out of your rhythm of daily Bible reading, let this be a time where you get back to it! 

FAMILY WORSHIP – If you have children and would like some guidance for family devotions, you can check out this simple blog post about the basics of family worship. If you have small children, ages 1-5, you can also download this children’s catechism that Jenny and Holland made a few years ago for our own kids, which has 20 simple theological questions and answers that are fun and easy to learn! 

GROUP VIDEO CHAT – You can utilize Facebook messenger or Google Duo to do group video chats with your Discipleship Group, Community Group, your ministry team, or others in the church! 

CALL AND TEXT – Set aside some time each day, even just 10-15 minutes, for texting or calling a few people to reach out and check in. Maybe make a list of friends, family, church members, and others outside the church who you can intentionally reach out for a few minutes each day. Let’s not let anyone feel lonely in this time! 

FACEBOOK GROUP  – Use our Facebook group (ECC Family) or the Slack app to share needs or prayer requests and stay in communication with others in the church. 

HOME GARDENING – If you have some extra time on your hands due to work or school being cancelled and want a fun activity to get outside and de-stress, try some home gardening! It’s a fun way to worship God while growing healthy food for you, your family, and neighbors. You can email Sam Towns (sam@eccatx.com) for some tips on getting started! 

PRAYER WALKS – If you’re cooped up in your house all day, try going on a prayer walk to get outside, get some exercise, and connect with the Lord! Put in some headphones and listen to the Bible one way, then pray in response on the way back (here’s a short blog post Holland wrote a while back about “praying the Bible”). Or use the “A.C.T.S. method” of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. If you have children, you could pray out loud together as you walk! 

Additionally, here is a list of resources for utility services, housing and food needs, healthcare services, etc. that KXAN recently shared. 

Please be safe, smart, healthy, and steadfast in prayer. Ask the Lord to bring an end to this outbreak, to heal the sick, to give courage to those who are scared, to strengthen our faith, and help the church be an effective witness to the world in this time. We love you all so much, please do not hesitate to call, email, or text us if you have any prayer needs or practical needs!