Join Josh and Beth in a prayer of reflection on the past year and looking forward with hope to a faith-filled summer!
“Those first few days we were talking about closing church I remember thinking how will we tell everyone?” said Joe Holmberg, Communications Director. “Perhaps we will have services for one more week?” he thought. And then, in a what seemed like the blink of an eye, the state issued a stay at home order and St. Andrew’s was launched fully into a digital world, with online worship, online Bible studies and Facebook Live services. 3,500 households were called within the first week we left campus, and 937 prayers were added to the prayer list. Staff, church leaders and community wondered how long this would last and yearned to get back together. It became apparent, in those early days that we needed more infrastructure to really be the church, outside of church. The Community Resource Center rallied to avoid disruption of support for community by routing the main phone number to cell phones, and in those first 6 weeks, we saw a 300% increase in phone calls from the same weeks the year before. Requests for rental assistance, short-term housing and basic needs came flowing in. Online worship was already a part of our worship opportunity, but new features were added, like interactive chats, Facebook Watch parties, prayer rooms, all as we sought new ways to reach out to those we missed and those in need of hearing the healing power of Christ’s love. After several weeks at home, we learned new ways to engage as students adapted to online confirmation and our Bible studies shifted to recorded messages and in-person zoom calls. We started worship in the courtyard for our friends at St. Andrew’s Village, and yet still we felt the call to reach further to find those who were not yet connected. We added a dial-in worship number that [...]