Dear Real Life Family,
We had such a wonderful time in the Lord’s presence Sunday, March 15 as we celebrated our first service in our new building! It is so thrilling to see what the Lord is doing, and how He is moving not only in Real Life Church, but in our community.
Monday night, March 16, Pastor JJ and I met with several leaders in our church to pray and talk about upcoming church services in light of the widespread COVID-19 situation, known as Coronavirus, and what both our Federal and New Hampshire government leaders are asking of us. In today’s news, we learned that there are two confirmed cases at Lakes Region General Hospital here in Laconia. Tuesday afternoon, March 17, I met and prayed with Laconia pastors representing different churches in our city, and I was on a conference call later in the evening with 9 other Foursquare Pastors from all over New Hampshire to hear and share how we will continue to effectively minister to you and the communities which we serve.
So, here we go. Beginning this Sunday, we’re going to “Real Life @home” gatherings Sundays at 9:30am. Jason will lead worship and I’ll bring the message from the church building by way of livestream. This means that we will honor our leaders’ requests and will not gather publicly in the church building for the time being due to limits on public gathering size. I want to be clear here, we are NOT “cancelling” services. In light of what our Foursquare leaders and governmental leaders are asking of us, we are temporarily moving to an online, house-to-house, New Testament format—with the added benefit of technology to stream our services.
If you currently lead or host a Life Group, we’re asking, would make your home available Sundays at 9:30am? We’re also asking others in the congregation, would you make your home available as well, so we can fellowship together? If you’d like to be included to do this, please let Carrie Butler know by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. I realize there may be those who are still uneasy gathering in this setting or may not be feeling well. If this is the case, please join us online in your home. Many people from around the area and world already do on a weekly basis! The link is www.facebook.com/reallifeNH. We are also looking into other streaming options for those who are not on Facebook and will be sure to keep you updated.
Over the next few days, the staff and I will be working out the specific details and will provide more information as we solidify our meeting plans. Some of these details include: kids’ ministry in our @home meetings, receiving the offering, providing care for our elderly members who may not want to venture out, and so forth. We’ll be sure to communicate these plans on our web site, e-mail, social media, and by phone. Our web site is www.reallifenh.org, and you can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @reallifenh.
Be on the lookout as we regularly post online other ways to connect beyond our Sunday morning gatherings. There is still plenty to do at the new building, as well as some exciting online options we’ll be sharing this week. Men, I look forward meeting you at the church as we get in the Word and journal together. We’ll also be prayer walking at 8:30am Wednesday mornings at the church.
Now, it is going to be CRITICAL that we stay connected by reaching out to our church family and community because this is not a time for fear. 1 John 4:18 tells us that perfect love casts out ALL fear. You see, we have a unique opportunity to really BE the church to our neighbors. A long-time Pastor friend of JJ & mine recently said, “Social distancing does not mean emotional and spiritual distancing.” Look for doors the Lord opens and opportunities to minister to your family and friends! Remember, this is how the early church exploded onto the scene according to Acts 2:46 & Acts 20:20)…and they didn’t even have the internet!
As we take this step, please know the staff and I continue to pray for you. Would you also please pray for us as this is an extremely difficult decision to make. I know there will be people who are disappointed (both JJ and I are included in that group) but our top concern is for the flock and communities in which God has called us all to serve.
The staff and I are expectant to see how the Lord uses this situation to deal another blow to the enemy and forcefully advance the Kingdom of God. Remember, the Word tells us that the gates of hell will NOT prevail against the church. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
The church staff and leaders, and JJ and I love you very much and are so thankful we have the honor of discovering and walking in God’s plans and purposes with you by our side. Be on the lookout for more information in the days ahead. God bless you as we move onward and upward together.
Onward & Upward,
Pastors Tim & JJ Vercellono