DECEMBER 4 UPDATE

WAITING WITH HOPE
This weekend begins our advent teaching series called Do You See What I See? We’ll let the book of Isaiah guide our hearts toward Jesus as we anticipate celebrating his birth this Christmas. Be sure to make time to worship with us each week. The new service drops each Saturday at 6 PM, and you can watch any time at woodmenvalley.org

A TIME FOR GIVING
Our Gift of Love Celebration can help make Christmas special for families in need. This is our chance, as the people of Woodmen, to come together to provide an affordable Christmas for moms and dads, boys and girls across the Springs.

This year’s celebration will be a drive-through. Although the format has changed to keep participants and volunteers safe, the heart behind Gift of Love remains the same: We want to share the love of Jesus in tangible ways and welcome others into the hope He brings. The need in our city is greater this year than ever before. So we’re still hoping and looking for more gifts and more volunteers to sign up.

You can take part by serving at the event or by shopping for a new Christmas gift and bringing it by your campus between 11 AM to 3 PM this Saturday and Sunday. We’ll be ready to greet you as you drive-up and drop-off donations. You can also order gifts online or drop off at Rockrimmon or Woodmen Heights through December 8. To find hours, shopping lists and more, CLICK HERE.

A DAY OF THANKS
Even though we’re not gathering in large groups, we’re still meeting needs and caring for people as a church. Together as a church, we donated and delivered Thanksgiving dinners to more than 330 families in need right here in the Pikes Peak region.

NEED HELP?
If you’re experiencing hardships this fall or you’re overwhelmed, we want to pray for you and walk alongside you. We may be able to help in more tangible ways, too. You can reach out to us anytime by clicking the “NEED HELP” button on our homepage. To get started right now CLICK HERE.

GENEROUS SUPPORT
We’re grateful for your partnership in the ministry of Woodmen! We see God at work in our community and around the world through your generous gifts. Year-end giving plays a significant role in our ability to sustain ministry throughout each year. There’s still time to make a 2020 gift to support the ongoing ministry of Woodmen. To have your end-of-year contribution count for 2020, give online through December 31. To get started, CLICK HERE.

A COLORADO CHRISTMAS: DECEMBER 24
Invite a friend to view our online service this Christmas Eve. Together, we’ll let the miracle of Christ’s birth give us the courage to hope again. Join Woodmen from the comfort of your home for an hour of Colorado-style carols and candlelight. Together, we’ll share the true story of Christmas and learn about the peace and love that Jesus brings. Watch at 4 PM on December 24 on KKTV 11, or online any time after 4 PM that day at woodmenvalley.org/Christmas


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. 
image