NOVEMBER 20 UPDATE

A SERVICE OF THANKSGIVING AND HOPE

Are you weary? Are you in need of hope? Or maybe you’re excited about life right now. Regardless of where you’re at, giving thanks in good times and bad can remind our hearts of the truth of who God is and of His love for us. Join us next week for a special Thanksgiving worship service featuring a message of hope from Pastor Josh and some of our favorite moments from the last year of Woodmen worship. Find this bonus service online any time after Wednesday, November 25 at 6 PM on our HOMEPAGE.

A TIME TO GIVE

The Gift of Love Celebration is one of our biggest opportunities to love well each year. We come alongside struggling families to provide an affordable Christmas. Across our community, more people are in need this year than ever before. To help keep everyone healthy, we’ve had to make a few changes, but we’re still committed to making sure that this Christmas is a special one for these families.

If you can, will you set aside a bit of extra money to go shopping for a new Christmas gift (or a few!), and bring them by your Woodmen campus the weekend of Dec. 5 and 6? It’s easy and safe to join in the giving: At each campus that Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM to 3 PM, we’ll have volunteers ready to greet you as you drive-up-and-drop-off donations. You can also order gifts online or donate your gifts at Rockrimmon and Woodmen Heights during the next two weeks. To find hours, shopping lists and more details, CLICK HERE.

FAMILY FUN

Hey kids! Grab your moms and dads and get cozy to watch the Woodmen Family Service together. Our Family Service is a perfect opportunity for moms and dads and brothers and sisters to grow in faith each week. It’s jammed full of fun, songs and kid-sized Bible stories that will help you understand God’s love a little better each week! You can also get a box each month that’s full of cool stuff to make your Family Service experience awesome, like a service guide, craft supplies and more. A new Family Service releases each Wednesday at 6 PM. You can sign up for your box, or watch anytime RIGHT HERE.

WHAT IS RADICAL?

“Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.” These words from the apostle Paul’s first letter to the early church in Corinth kick off our scripture passage for this weekend’s worship service. We’ll continue our Radical Calling teaching series, taking a closer look at relationships, sex and the gospel. Join us online to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to lean into the unique life God has for you.

At the end of the service, Pastor Josh will share more about what God has in store for us as a church heading into the season of Advent. View the service any time after 6 PM this Saturday, RIGHT HERE.


Health and Safety Update
As you probably know, Governor Polis has issued an executive order requiring masks in public indoor spaces throughout Colorado, unless someone has a medical condition preventing them from masking up. Children under 11 years aren’t included in the mask requirement. At Woodmen, we’ll be complying with this policy to show care for the health and safety of our neighbors, out of respect for government officials and out of a desire to see more public spaces be able to re-open safely at the earliest opportunity. If you’re joining us for an on-campus Huddle or a Student Ministry event in any public space, please plan to wear your mask. If you forget yours, we’ll be happy to provide one for you. Thanks in advance for working together on this, as we continue to selflessly love others well in this difficult season.


THE CHURCH IS NEVER CLOSED

We’re all facing unprecedented challenges and decisions in this hard season. As a church, our leadership is trusting the Lord to guide our steps as we prayerfully consider how best to walk out our calling as God’s people and our vision to love well and change lives through Christ. 

Like so many of you, we’re eager to return to gathering face-to-face in auditorium-sized weekend worship services, and at the same time we’re concerned for the health of vulnerable people in our community, so we want to keep you up-to-date on where we’re at regarding re-opening our campuses for weekend worship gatherings.

For the time being, we will not be gathering corporately in our auditoriums for weekend worship, but our church is still very much “open”—more on that in a moment. Our leadership approaches these decisions not out of fear, but rather, through much prayer and thorough consideration, out of a deep-rooted desire to love our neighbors and to be obedient to the Lord. Here are a few of our guiding principles as we continue to evaluate how and when to begin meeting in-person again in the weeks ahead:

1. We cherish life. We care deeply about human life because we agree with God’s Word that every person has infinite worth and is created in the image of God. Because life is sacred, we want to avoid opening our campuses in ways that will compromise the life and health of those in our congregation and community. We’re in regular conversations with state and local officials, including the governor of Colorado, our county health department and the city of Colorado Springs, working to determine best practices for gatherings at each stage of the pandemic. 

2. We respect those in authority. The State of Colorado continues to restrict large-group gatherings at concert halls, churches, theaters, sports venues, etc. Scripture calls us to submit to our governing authorities unless they order us to act in ways that are contrary to our faith. At this time, churches are not being singled out and we have not been asked to violate our convictions, so we continue to work with our local representatives to serve our community and search for the best strategies to re-open for large gatherings. We're also complying with the state directive to wear masks in public places, so if you come to a Woodmen campus, please plan to wear your face covering.

3. We love those who don’t know Jesus. For more than 40 years now, the heartbeat of Woodmen has been to help others enter into relationship with Christ. People who have often wanted nothing to do with church are looking to us now. They’re watching the ways we handle tough times and the ways we live out our faith through serving others. They’re watching our decision-making process on opening campuses, too. We want to lead in ways that exemplify the humble, sacrificial love of Christ; ways that place the lives and the interests of others above ourselves and show value and care for the weak and vulnerable in our society. 

4. We value worship. We miss gathering in-person to worship! We long for the celebration of singing out loud in a room filled with hundreds of people proclaiming God’s glory. We miss our kids learning about Jesus together. We miss the conversations, hugs and handshakes! Unfortunately, with current restrictions, we’re unable to offer an experience anything like these fond memories at our campuses. We wouldn’t be able to offer Woodmen Kids, since children aren’t awesome at social distancing. It might not be prudent to sing together because hundreds of us projecting our voices in a confined room with circulated air isn’t helpful right now. We can’t get within six feet of one another and we'd need to wear masks. Due to capacity limits, we'd be spread out in different rooms across campuses, most of us watching the service on screens. The weekend experience we could offer today would be missing many of the elements we miss most.

As more information becomes available, we continue to explore all avenues to gather corporately at the earliest opportunity to do so in ways that align with the principles above. We know many other local churches are opening before Woodmen does. We trust that those churches are being faithful to the Lord and weighing what is best for their congregations.

At Woodmen, based on the values and principles above, we're excited about a new way of meeting this summer! We’ll be gathering in smaller groups to do “church” together in homes with friends and neighbors. We call these groups Summer Huddles, and they' begin on June 20 and last for six to eight weeks. To signup or to get the full scoop on Summer Huddles, CLICK HERE

Even while our facilities are closed for large gatherings, the church is definitely open and active, because Woodmen is so much more than a building! We remain open to serve our congregation and to meet needs across the Pikes Peak region. Thousands are participating in our Summer Huddles, meeting in homes and small groups to participate together in our online worship services weekly. Woodmen U classes are meeting on Zoom or in smaller groups to study God’s Word, pray and grow together. Woodmen Students are rocking smaller events each week, and our Kids team is sharing weekly online Bible lessons for boys and girls. They recently created a digital summer camp that welcomed 1,400 children into an at-home camp experience with crafts and skits and gospel stories. Every one of our ministry teams is learning, growing and serving through this time and eagerly planning new strategies to best serve our congregation and community through this season and beyond.

Together we’re blessing thousands of families facing financial hardships. We’re delivering food to school kids, healthcare workers and other first responders. We’re coming alongside smaller churches, long-term care facilities and prisons. We’re partnering with organizations and ministries providing crisis relief every day in neighborhoods all around our city. We're helping local small businesses facing financial collapse. 

Now, maybe more than ever, we see opportunities to demonstrate the love of Jesus in serving and caring for those with great physical and spiritual needs. In these uncharted days, we trust in our good God to see us through as we walk in faith and obedience. Together, our hope is steadfast in Him! We believe that there are brighter days ahead and we look forward to giving Him the glory for all that He has done. 
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