Dear Christ Covenant Family,
The Elders and Deacons of Christ Covenant Church met on Tuesday evening to discuss the following question:
How do we continue our Mission - Worship, Life, and Ministry Together - while we pursue our Vision - to participate in a movement of the gospel that will bring about personal conversion and renewal, community formation, and generous lives serving others through humble cultural engagement in Columbia and beyond while we live our lives out as the church in our community during our present health crisis?
In answering this question we devised a three week plan (March 22 - April 5) broken up into Worship, Life, and Ministry. The Elders and Deacons will meet again on Tuesday April 7th to report, re-evaluate, and plan the next three weeks as necessary.
For the next 3 weeks March 22th - April 5th:
- Worship: We will conduct a 10:00 am morning worship service online
- Life: We will conduct a Wednesday 7:30 pm online Bible Study and encourage one another through simple relationships.
- Ministry: We will reach out to our neighbors to minister to them in time of need.
We want to encourage you to worship together with your Christ Covenant Church family online. We desire to heed the encouragements and directives of our civil authorities and love our neighbors in our community while we conduct ourselves faithfully as the worshipers of God trusting in God’s means of grace.
We will conduct a 45 minute live streaming service Sunday mornings at 10:00 am on March 22, 29 & April 5. The service will be conducted with fewer than 10 facilitators with the following order:
- Musical Interlude - begins at 9:50
- Call to Worship & Prayer
- Hymn of Praise
- Prayer of Confession, Assurance, & Supplication
- Hymn of the Gospel
- Scripture Reading & Message
- Doxology & Benediction
This order of service will be emailed to you each week and will be available on our website https://www.ccotc.org/morning-order-of-worship.
We encourage you to go to www.ccotc.org by 9:50 am and click the “Live Streaming on Facebook” rotating banner at the top of the page. Or, you can go to our Facebook page by 9:50 to watch the live service. The service will also be posted on the Christ Covenant - PCA Facebook page during the week. You do not need to have a Facebook account to participate on the live streaming service.
If you have any problems trying to get connected to the service or if you are having problems once connected, the following men can provide you with technical assistance. You may call or text them: Jonathan Liva 803-920-7522; Ben Wilkerson 803-979-4103; or Andy Markle 803-351-0815.
At the conclusion of the service Pastor Jim will host a 15 minute Q&A time. You will be able to message him questions or text him after the service. Our pastor will be preaching a series leading up to Easter entitled “The Last Words of Jesus”.
If you would like to try a “dry run” of the live streaming service you can use the above instructions to join us this Saturday March 21st at 4:30 pm. This will allow you to try it out before Sunday and ask any questions you may have.
If you are uncomfortable with trying to participate in worship through online streaming, you can partner with a church member who is comfortable doing this and who lives near you on Sunday morning.
We will not be conducting an evening worship service during the next three weeks.
Since the giving of tithes and offerings is a part of our regular corporate worship, we want to encourage you in the biblical stewardship of the gifts God is providing. We encourage you to send your tithes and offerings to Christ Covenant Church 1824 Barnwell St., Columbia SC 29201. Next week you will receive a letter giving an update on Christ Covenant's current financial situation, on the progress of the sale of the property, and instructions on some different ways you can give to the church during this time while our regular meeting for worship is suspended.
We also want to encourage you to worship God in your homes through a personal or family use of God’s word and prayer. The Formation Devotional is provided on our website and you can subscribe to have it sent to your email inbox each day. You can view that by visiting our website https://www.ccotc.org/devotional.
We want the congregation to have a continued sense of being connected to and cared for by one another during this period of distancing and isolation. Therefore, we want to provide and encourage the following.
We will conduct a weekly online Bible study on “A Movement of the Gospel, A Study in Acts.” The study will be led by Pastor Jim and begin on Wednesdays March 25th at 7:00 pm. We will be using Zoom to facilitate the study. You will receive an email with a link inviting you to join in the study. You will also be able to join the study by going on the church website and clicking the rotating banner at the top of the page “A Movement of the Gospel, A Study in Acts”.
We want to encourage “Zoom Bible Study Partnerships”. Those who have email but who are not comfortable with doing things online, or if you think Zoom is a character from a Dr. Seuss book, you can partner with a church member who lives nearby and gather with them as they participate in the Zoom Bible study. This requires us to love one another by expressing need and seeking out others who have this need.
Another way we want the congregation to be cared for is through connecting with one another by a phone call or a shared note, or a safe walk together. Each of you are a part of a Shepherding Group. Our Shepherding Groups are divided up according to the area of Columbia you live. Each group is represented by elders and deacons. These groups are a means by which we pursue life together in community.
Your elders and deacons will be contacting you over the next three weeks to find out how you are, what your needs may be, how they can pray for you, and to encourage you during this difficult time. We also want to encourage you to use this time to build relationships with those in your Shepherding Group. We want you to reach out to one another as your elders will be modeling for you. Give someone a call, write them a note, or invite someone to go for a safe walk.
You can find out what Shepherding Group you’re in, who else is in your group, and how to contact them in several ways. Cindy Jones has a printed list of each group at the church office with contact information for each of the members of the group. You can pick this list up at the Barnwell Street office or she can email it to you upon request firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-254-5055. Another option is for you to use our Community Church Builder online platform at https://ccotc.ccbchurch.com/goto/login. If you have an account you can log on and go to groups and find your Shepherding Group and all the names and contact information will be available online for you. If you do not have an account you can use the instructions to create an account by contacting Cindy Jones email@example.com and she can email those to you. Or, you can go to the CCB Member Directory on the church website for instructions.
Social distancing and self isolating are new terms and for some of us they describe the way we would like to think about relationships with others in normal circumstances. But the church is the body of Christ that is called to love one another. Therefore, we encourage you to find ways to continue our mission of life together, even if you can’t be together.
The church historically has been very impactful in the world during times of suffering. That impact has come as the blessing of God flows through them in love to their neighbors in need. Let us continue to live out the grace of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ through our neighbor love.
The church leadership wants to encourage you to reach out to the neighbors on your street. One practical way to do this is by sending or putting a post card in your neighbors mailbox with your name, email, and phone number on it. On the card you can let your neighbors know that you’re available to:
- To go for a walk - To run an errand - To provide a meal - To assist them in any way they may need help - To pray for any needs they may have
Some of your church family is practicing this on their street and they have already seen it impact their neighbors in significant ways.
We also want to encourage you to reach out to your family members with calls and letters to honor parents, encourage siblings, and to give hope to extended family living with uncertainty.
We have two ministry affiliates in the city that our Hope for the City (Mercy Ministry Team) is partnered with for ministry. Both of these ministries, Providence Home and Toby’s Place, can use our assistance during this time. If you would like to purchase items on their “needs list” when you are making an order or are in the store. Those items can be delivered to them by a member of Hope for the City. You can call or email Cindy Jones at the office to request a list of those items and then have those items delivered or dropped off at the church office where they can be picked up and delivered by a member of our Hope for the City team.
Another way we can love our neighbors is by following the helpful guidelines provided by the CDC and understanding and respecting your neighbor in the ways they are handling this crisis.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter from the church. Thank you for being willing to participate in our Mission - Worship, Life, and Ministry Together in ways that reflect our love for God and our neighbor.
Let us be reminded and encouraged that our Lord seeks our good and his glory in all that he does in the heavens and the earth,
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!...
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” - Romans 11:33, 36