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First Steps in Coming Together Again!

The past few months have been a "hurry up and wait for updated information" time with everything related to COVID-19.  In our efforts to plan for the New Life relaunch, it has felt much the same.  Trying to plan without having all of the information, or utilizing information that is constantly in flux - while prayerfully seeking the Lord as well as communicating as a leadership team has been challenging as well as necessary. We thank you all for your patience and flexibility as we are forging into uncharted territory...every week, it seems!

Many of you are probably aware Governor Pritzker announced recently that all restrictions have been removed concerning church gatherings.  This is good news, but also presents another set of unique challenges.  

Our goal is not to go back to "normal." Whatever normal was is in the past.  As a church, we must decide now to embrace the future that God has provided for us.  As a leadership team we believe the Lord has opened a door for us to recalibrate, refocus, and reconsecrate ourselves to the mission that God has given us.  As we prepare to open our doors, everything we do must be very prayer-centered in that we do not want to move in any direction unless the Lord goes with us and before us.  For each of us, we must make room for Him, deciding now as individuals and family units, whatever He wants we won't say no!  
 

Here is the plan, as of right now:
 

  • Sunday morning, May 31st @ 10:00AM
    Join the online worship experience via Facebook or YouTube Premier.  If you would like to watch with others in a 2+ Gathering for this coming Sunday, May 31st please contact us @ [email protected] for location information. 
     

    Here are the current locations of our 2+ Gathering host homes:
    *email us for specific location information at [email protected]

     

    1)  Normal, IL location 

    2) East Bloomington, IL location 

    3)  Atlanta, IL location 

    4) Minier, IL location 
     

  • Sunday evening, May 31st @ 6:30PM - Prayer Meeting at the New Life Fellowship building
    We are encouraging everyone who is able to be present to be present.  This will be a special time of intentional consecration of ourselves unto the Lord as a fellowship.  We will walk the grounds (socially distanced) and pray together as household units.  

     
  • Wednesday, June 3rd @ 6:30PM - Mid-Week Passionate Core Prayer at the New Life Fellowship building
    Join us at New Life for the most important meeting of the week - our prayer meeting!  Everything we do must be centered around prayer. 

    If you have things you would like our church leaders and body to be agreeing in prayer with you about, please email your request to [email protected]

     
  • Sunday morning, June 7th @ 10:00AM - Together again!
    Our first back in-person Worship Experience at the New Life building is scheduled for Sunday morning, June 7th.  Seating will be available in the sanctuary and in the downstairs fellowship hall (if needed) in order to accommodate social distancing guidelines.  

    Our online viewing options will still be available at 10:00AM on Sunday mornings for those who are unable, or not yet ready to to attend the worship experiences in person.  We love you and encourage you to jump in whenever you are ready!

    We are so excited to begin the process of reuniting as a church body!  
     

"How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!" Psalm 133:1

Across the nation as states reopen, many churches are struggling to find a sense of unity within the relaunch process.  If I can be perfectly frank with all of us, I am hearing a lot of frustration from many of my pastor friends who note that congregants are content to give their patronage to reopening restaurants, resale locations and grocery stores...but not to the church.  As I've read some of their remarks, my heart was stirred with confidence at what the Lord has been doing among us!  I love that we are a church family that places a high priority on corporate worship.  At the same time, I expect us to place a high priority on showing one another grace as we are all walking through this process uniquely.  

In the weeks ahead you may notice church family members not present because they still may be worshiping at home.  Make a point to call them, write them a note, shoot them a text, etc.  Let's share with one another encouragement and value that comes from being a church family.  It could be that for some of us returning to corporate worship in person may be a very long process.  We are here for you.  But, as a congregation we must also be prepared for what the length of this process may look like.  Let's keep on pressing into Jesus!  God is on the move!

 

Spoiled for the ordinary,

Pastors James & Shelley Haffener

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