Reopening on May 24
Our on-site services will reopen on MAY 24th with two identical services at 9 & 11 AM. Both services will be identical, but with a more blended feel, including our choir and praise team working together. After being apart for so many weeks, we feel this will give us a greater sense of unity and togetherness during this time. We have developed a safe and thorough plan for reopening, Our first concern is for the health and safety of all of our church family. Click HERE for more details.
A Message From Pastor Tim - 4/04/2020
I MISS ALL OF YOU SO MUCH! The past 3 weeks has been a very difficult time for many of you but I wanted to remind you this day that you are not alone and that you are being prayed for.
It appears that we will NOT BE HAVING SERVICES AT OUR CAMPUS AT LEAST UNTIL MAY. But we will continue to gather each Sunday for our ONLINE SERVICES.
I believe that one of the reasons this time of quarantine is so hard is because we miss the touch and loving embrace of others. You may remember on my first Sunday here I mentioned a study study done years ago in Orphanages where a group of nurses were instructed by physicians to see if there was some correlation between stimulation and physical development! So they took these small babies and divided them into two groups: One group was instructed to feed the babies and change the babies' diapers, but to have no other contact with them. The other group was instructed to fondle, hold, touch, kiss, and rub the babies when they were being fed or changed.
After a period of time they measured the growth of the babies and to their surprise, the babies who were TOUCHED the most, GREW the most! They began to understand there was a correlation between the TOUCH and how it affects our lives!
Touch is powerful! It is often how we communicate most! We don’t have to verbalize our feelings. We often talk more with our body language than with our words! When my sweet wife discovered she had cancer she received numerous cards and calls. But it meant nothing in comparison to one person coming up to her and putting their arms around her and saying… NOTHING! Touch is POWERFUL!
And in these days of isolation we have lost, for a period of time, the physical touch of others. In a sense, it can hinder our growth as individuals created for community. But I want to remind you today that it is only for a season. This too shall pass.
And though we cannot have physical touch as much during this time, we can stay connected. Here are some great ways for you to stay connected during this time of isolation:
- Join us ONLINE each week as we worship together! This is a powerful way to stay connected. I LOOK FORWARD TO SUNDAY MORNINGS! It is a time when I get to CONNECT with my church family...online! We have tried as best we can to bring some sense of normalcy into the lives of our people by live streaming these services each week. Did you know that last week we reached nearly 9,000 people watching online? Sunday will be another powerful service and why not INVITE SOMEONE to watch this? You can go to our FACEBOOK PAGE at facebook.com/kokomonaz or to our website and click on the link to see our service live at 9 AM. You can also watch any time after that either on Facebook or our website. You could send the link to someone and invite them to join us each week!
- Join together with your CLASS or SMALL GROUP via our ZOOM CONFERENCING tools. The church has secured this tool for any group that would like to meet. If you need any assistance on setting this up, just contact the church office at KokomoNaz@KokomoNaz.org! WE WILL HELP YOU!
- Call or email each other. Let's check in on each other throughout the week. Go through the names of those in your class or small group and see how they are doing, share needs with one another, and pray for each other. Often hearing someone's voice can lift our spirits and encourage our hearts.
- Send notes or cards to people. Often an encouraging card can make someone's day. It can be a simple note that says, "I miss you, and I am praying for you."
WE LOVE YOU AND ARE PRAYING FOR YOU! Thank you for continuing to be faithful to God each week. THANK YOU! Once again the prayer of my heart each day during this time is, May this be our FINEST HOUR as a church! May God look down upon us and see our faithfulness and smile as we serve HIM and OTHERS during these days.
Here are some primes from Gd's Word I posted this morning on Facebook. May they be a blessing to you this day.
- In 2 Thessalonians 3:3 He is my PROTECTOR and STRENGTH!
- In Isaiah 41:10 He promises to UPHOLD me with His righteous hand!
- In Proverbs 2:11 He is my UNDERSTANDING and GUARDIAN!
- In Psalm 34:19 He is my DELIVERER in times of trouble!
- In Psalm 46:1 He is an ever present HELP in times of trouble!
- In Psalm 57:1 He is my REFUGE until disaster has passed!
- In Psalm 140:4 He promises to keep me SAFE from violence!
- In Thessalonians 5:23 He is my PEACE and my SANCTIFIER!
- In 2 Samuel 22:3 He is my ROCK and the HORN OF MY SALVATION!
- In John 10:28 He is my ETERNAL LIFE that no one can take away!
- In Psalm 23 He is my SHEPHERD who watches over me and QUIETS my troubled soul!
- In Psalm 3:3 He is the GLORY and the LIFTER OF MY HEAD!
- In Psalm 91:2-3 He is my FORTRESS who saves me from the fowler’s snare!
- In Psalm 145:9 He is full of COMPASSION towards me!
- In Psalm 19:7 He is my REFRESHING!
- In Isaiah 40:29 He is my POWER when I am weak!
- In Isaiah 43:2 He promises that the WATERS will not overwhelm me and the FIRES will not burn me!
- In Jeremiah 29:11 He promises me HOPE and a FUTURE!
- In Joshua 1:9 He promises to be WITH ME wherever I go!
- In Philippians 4:6-7 He is my PEACE and VICTORY over fear!
- In Philippians 4:19 He is the SUPPLY of everything I need in life!
- In Job 19:25 He is MY REDEEMER who LIVES and promises me eternal life!
I love the words to the old hymn that says,
I don't know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
I don't borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray
I don't worry o'er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I'll walk beside Him
For He knows what is ahead
Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand
Let the promises of His WORD and the songs that nourish the soul be your strength and help in these days of trouble. HE IS VERY CLOSE TO YOU RIGHT NOW!
You are loved and prayed for…
Pastor Tim Gates
A Message From Pastor Tim - 3/28/2020
I just wanted to touch base with each of you today to see how you are doing and offer you some words of encouragement. Like many of you, I have found myself reading more and more of the Word of God during these difficult days to find assurance and some measure of understanding. I want to encourage each of you to feed your soul during these days! What you feed GROWS…and what you starve DIES! Feed your FAITH and STARVE your fears and watch how God will show Himself to you during all of this uncertainty.
You cannot become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety in all of this. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS! WE WILL! “Darkness may last for a night but JOY comes in the morning!” (Psalm 30:5) Morning is coming! I have intentionally not listened to much of the news and have decided to spend more time in HIS WORD and in PRAYER! These 21 DAYS OF PRAYER & FASTING have been so good for us…so good for me. Yesterday I was privileged to pray with three different groups of people and each one lifted my spirit and encouraged my heart. Each day, FEED on His WORD and spend time in His presence through PRAYER!
Though we are in uncharted waters, we have a Heavenly Father who has already been there and He is leading us in this storm. HOLD ON! Don’t let worry consume you. As Paul said in Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything…but pray to our Father in Heaven about everything! And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!” You have to know that God is not only IN every situation…He is also OVER every situation! He will use all of this for our good and for His glory! HE WILL!
And as you listen to God in prayer, I believe He wants to say and do some things in all of this. I believe He wants to say to the Church:
1. FEAR NOT!
During these days of uncertainty, don’t give in to despair or make foolish choices. I have been reflecting on the old hymn, How Firm A Foundation! ‘Fear not I am with Thee O, be not dismayed. For I am Thy God I will still give thee aid. I’ll strengthen Thee, help Thee and cause thee to stand, upheld by my gracious omnipotent hand!’
We have a Firm Foundation in Him…YES WE DO! This is true even in times like this…ESPECIALLY during times like this! God wants to know where we are placing our FAITH in times of trouble. Do we trust HIM or will we be consumed with fear? I believe God is using this time to draw the church to Himself. He wants to show Himself to us in new and fresh ways. Again, church has never been about a building. It has always been about people…US! We are the sheep of His flock!
So in our quiet times with Him we need to ask, “What are you wanting to say to us during this time?” I believe He wants to speak to us…to you! In scripture God tells us, “You will FIND ME when you SEEK ME with all of your heart!” I believe God wants to speak to the whole world…HE DOES! I believe God wants to refine His Church to be more effective for Him. I think He is showing us that our priorities have been misplaced.
Someone wrote me this past week and said, “Pastor, I believe God is smashing our idols in America! So many worship sports or Hollywood as it takes the most important spot in our lives. Now that is being taken away. Maybe God is asking, ‘Where will we turn now?’” We have made idols out of athletes and stars and savings accounts. But it can all be gone in a day! I believe this is a time when God is reshaping our priorities and showing us how everything in this world can quickly change, and seeing if we will seek Him with our whole hearts. He is calling His children back to the home and heart of the Father. I believe that! This is not a time for FEAR but a time for reflection and prayer and drawing close to our Father’s heart!
2. I believe this is a time of CALLING OUT THE CHURCH!
I think He is saying to the church worldwide, “The church was never meant to be about a building…but about PEOPLE! We can often come to church and sing songs, and hear a message, and get stirred…and then leave the building and never really be about the Lord's work…His mission for us…PEOPLE...our neighbors, those we work with, those around us each day.
Maybe He is shaking us up to realize He has a much bigger plan for us; a plan that shows His incredible love to people…people in our lives every day; a plan that shows us how one day everything we idolize and treasure will soon be gone…except people! Maybe He is teaching us to love and treasure people in a new way. I hope so!
It is a time for us to come to our Lord in prayer and say, “God, we cannot solve this problem…but YOU CAN! You can eradicate this disease and heal our land. YOU CAN!” Pray for our hospitals and doctors and nurses and staff! Pray for those in research seeking to find a cure! Pray for our president and all those around him as they lead us through this crisis! Pray for those among us who are most vulnerable, for protection over their bodies during this time. I believe PRAYER MATTERS!
3. I believe God is calling us TO BE FAITHFUL!
Faithful in our prayers! Faithful in the Word! Faithful in our GIVING! Maybe more than ever, our giving will show what we believe! Jesus said, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also!”
We seek to steward every dime here well for God’s glory. It is HIS MONEY and one day we will give an account of how well we stewarded that money and how obedient we were in trusting Him with His TITHES and our OFFERINGS! The older I get the more faithful I want to be! I want to hear Him say one day very soon, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” I DO! That drives my life!
Your faithfulness to God is a testimony to others. Your faithfulness will allow us to continue to minister to so many during these days! There will be some who will lose their jobs during this time. WE WILL HELP! There will be some who need food or assistance or someone to take them to appointments. WE WILL HELP! And of course, WE are the CHURCH…YOU and ME! BE FAITHFUL so the CHURCH can continue to minister to many each week. Be FAITHFUL in giving to our Good God during this time. Just a reminder that you can give:
- ONLINE by going to KokomoNaz.org and clicking on the BLUE icon in the bottom, right corner for Rebelgive.
- You can also MAIL YOUR GIVING IN! Simply put it in an envelope and send it to 2734 S. Washington St., Kokomo IN 46902.
- Call the church office and one of the Staff will come by and receive it for you! THEY WILL! We want you to be safe as well as faithful.
WE LOVE YOU and we are so THANKFUL for the many of you who are faithful to God each week. THANK YOU! I believe God wants to show Himself in ABUNDANT WAYS during this! Ephesians 3:20 reminds us that we serve a God who wants to do “immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine.” I certainly do not know why this is happening, nor do I know all that God wants to do in this. But I do believe it will be so much greater than we could even think or imagine He will do.
GOD IS DOING IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN WE THINK! On Sundays we usually have 700-800 people in worship. Since we were forced to cancel our services and LIVESTREAM only, WE HAVE HAD 6,000-8,000 PEOPLE watching our service online each week! TO GOD BE THE GLORY! That is immeasurably MORE than we dreamed or thought would happen. That is ONLY GOD who took something Satan wanted to use for evil but HE USED IT FOR GOOD; He used us in abundant ways that we couldn’t see!
I want to say it again. WE LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I am praying for you each morning during this time of crisis and opportunity for us as a church. I AM! May this be our FINEST HOUR as a Church! May God look down upon us and see our faithfulness and smile as we serve HIM and OTHERS during these days.
I LOOK FORWARD TO SUNDAY MORNING! It is going to be a powerful service as we join together for LIVE STREAMING ONLINE! You can go to our FACEBOOK PAGE at facebook.com/kokomonaz or to our WEBSITE and click on the link to see our service live at 9 AM. You can also watch any time after that either on Facebook or our website. You could send the link to someone and invite them to join us each week!
May you feel His love and peace washing over you this day in whatever you are facing. If we can help you in any way, please contact us at the church office. Let me pray over you this day a beautiful passage of scripture I have been dwelling on this week from Isaiah 40:28-31...
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
WE ARE NOT ALONE IN ANY OF THIS! GOD HIMSELF IS WITH US! He will give us peace in turmoil, wisdom in decisions, and power over the enemy of our souls.
In the days ahead, please let us know your PRAYER NEEDS…PLEASE POST THEM or EMAIL THEM to us! If you need help in any way, LET US KNOW! We continue to pray each day at 6:30 am and noon! We will pray for you! We will help you in any way we can. We are STRONGER TOGETHER!
I look forward to sharing with you on Sunday the conclusion of a timely message from PSALM 23! I think you will find great comfort in this passage that is familiar to us all. Please read this passage before Sunday and dwell on it and find the peace of God washing over you! God bless you real good this day! STAY HOME and be SAFE!
You are loved and prayed for…
Pastor Tim Gates
A Message From Pastor Tim - 3/21/2020
I wanted to give you the latest update, but first, I wanted to say that, I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH! O, how I miss you already! You have been on my mind and heart continually and Vicky and I are praying for each of you during these days of difficulty.
As you may know, WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO MEET AT CHURCH FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS. All onsite activities have been canceled because of the mandate due to COVID-19. No one is more disappointed than I am. But I would like to give you a scripture that has been a blessing to me during these days. Jesus said in John 16:33 that, “trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” I need to be reminded of those words often. I need to be reminded this week. Praise be to God that He has conquered the world and everything in it, even disease, is under his authority.
I am praying a peace over your lives today knowing that God is at work! I promise you that one day soon we will look back and tell and hear the stories of how God has used the situation we are going through right now in powerful ways.
I want to thank all of you for your faithfulness and incredible generosity. During these days of uncertainly, KokomoNaz will continue to be a strong force of ministry in our community. We are learning to be the hands and feet of Jesus in new ways each day as we walk through this journey together. So, thank you for staying faithful to God and to our church. You are loved and needed.
Now you may not be able to physically help someone right now, but your giving is there…YOU ARE THERE! Your faithfulness to our Lord has allowed ministry to continue to thrive in new ways during these difficult days. We have had several ask about being able to give the Lord His tithe during this time. If you want to be a part, you can give online by going to KokomoNaz.org and clicking on the blue R at the bottom right corner of the page. You can set up automatic giving or simply give a one-time gift to pay your tithe or give offerings. You can also mail in a check to the church each week.
If you are in NEED during this time, there is also a link on our webpage you can click on called COVID-19 CARE. This allows you to tell us what need you have so that we can help you through this time. Perhaps you would like to SERVE someone in need. There is a place on the COVID-19 CARE link to sign up to help serve someone in need. WE ARE HERE TO SERVE YOU IN ANY WAY YOU HAVE A NEED!
HERE ARE A FEW DETAILS YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR THE DAYS AHEAD…
CHURCH SERVICES: Because of the mandates, we will not be having services in our building for the next several weeks. However, we will be having church ONLINE each Sunday morning at 9 AM. You can be a part of the KokomoNaz church family wherever you are by simply going to our Website Kokomo@KokomoNaz.org and clicking on the LIVE STREAM box in the middle of the screen. You can also find the service by going to the KokomoNaz FACEBOOK PAGE: FaceBook.com/kokomonaz and scrolling down to the FB Live Stream. Though the LIVE STREAM will begin at 9 AM…they can be viewed at any time by going to our Facebook Page and watching them over & over again.
CLASSES and SMALL GROUPS: We are communicating with our teachers and small group leaders to connect them with the tools they need to continue to meet as groups in a virtual online video-conferencing type of format. We are also asking all of our group leaders to help us with pastoral care situations. If you have a need during this time that you feel we could help with, reach out to your group leader or click on the COVID-19 CARE link on our webpage. Of course, you can also call the church office.
We do need physical distancing right now to cooperate with our national leaders’ directives. But we HAVE TO HAVE SOCIAL CONNECTION! We were made to do life together. We need each other. I don’t want anyone to feel alone, especially the elderly and those who live alone. I am going to ask every one of you to CALL SOMEONE in your group or in the church and check on them each week, if not multiple times throughout the week. Call them or text them and see how they are doing. Pray with them and remind them they are not alone. This is why we have classes and small groups…to STAY CONNECTED!
PRAYER: Finally, I think we need to pray like never before. Prayer is connecting our hearts with the heart of the Father. Though we cannot meet at the church like we have been doing, I am asking ALL OF US TO PRAY at least at 6:30 AM and NOON every day! While we are entering into our second week of our 21 DAYS OF PRAYER and FASTING, we will extend our prayer to every day for however long this lasts. WE NEED TO PRAY!
Now listen to me with your heart: WE ARE GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS! And when this crisis ends, we will be better than we were before, closer to God than we were before, and closer to each other than ever before. My prayer is that in these days before us we would show the love of God to people like never before! There will be people during this time that previously had not been open to the Lord. People are. asking questions and their minds and hearts are wide open.
It is so vital for all of us to KEEP THE FAITH! Don’t let fear or worry control your life. Let your faith be strong and stand firm knowing that our good Shepherd is with us and watching over us. Fill your mind and heart with good things, not negative thinking and fear. Remember, what you feed GROWS and what you starve, DIES! We do not ignore the news; we need to be informed. But let’s feed our souls daily by spending time in prayer, reading God’s Word, and encouraging one another. And as we do, we will starve the fear around us, and God will grow us together in Christ.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
I am praying for each of you this day and in the days to come. I pray for strength, encouragement, wisdom, and peace in this season of uncertainty. I pray that we will all live in the power of our faith and not in the valley of fear. May you know in your soul that as we walk through this valley; we will get through it together. And may God use it all for our good and for His Glory! AMEN!
I look forward to worshiping with your tomorrow ONLINE! It will be another great day!
You are loved and prayed for…
Pastor Tim Gates
A Message From Pastor Tim - 3/17/2020
Our world has changed in the last few days! As of today, it appears that we will not be allowed to do IN-PERSON SERVICES at our campus for at least the next several weeks. BUT WE WILL STILL HAVE CHURCH!
We will be live streaming our service beginning at 9 AM each SUNDAY via Facebook. You can access that live stream on our Facebook Page here: Facebook.com/kokomonaz. After the service ends, this live stream will also be available anytime someone would like to watch it by simply going to our Facebook page and scrolling down to the video. This makes it available all day, every day, all through the week.
Our staff has worked non-stop since last week! Today we met in our staff meeting for nearly 6 hours planning and working hard to keep moving forward and ministering to people during this crisis. Would you please pray for each of the staff as they are leading in uncharted waters and giving 110% of themselves to the Lord and to our church?
Please stay tuned to email or Facebook for UPDATES as we move along in this journey together. Be faithful to God, to prayer, to caring for one another, to the Lord's tithe so we can continue ministering strongly in the days ahead, and to believing God is working all things together for good!
A Message From Pastor Tim - 3/14/2020
I want to provide an update to all of you on our gatherings this weekend and for the unforeseeable future. In light of recent changes and concerns over the past 24 hours and a ban from our Governor for groups larger than 250,
WE WILL CLOSE OUR CAMPUS SUNDAY, MARCH 15TH, FOR BOTH SERVICES THIS WEEKEND.
Our president has declared this a national emergency and has asked all organizations to work together to curb this pandemic worldwide. No classes or groups will meet unless directed by those group leaders. Smaller groups are ok to meet but left up to the discretion of each leader.
I am aware that any decision we make will cause some people relief and others angst. It has been a heart-wrenching week as a leader. Our staff/leadership has worked hard to monitor and consider the outcome and safety of all for our church and community. The health and safety of the KokomoNaz family is a top priority and with a large number of people in our church that are most vulnerable during this crisis, we feel this is the most prudent measure to take.
This precaution in no way undermines our faith in God’s ability to protect His people or His church. However, we would rather error on the side of caution and we feel an obligation to respond to the current health crisis in our community and show a spirit of solidarity and a willingness to work together to curb this awful virus.
We know that 'church' isn't just a building. It's the ministry we do every day in every way. Nothing can separate us from God’s presence nor His love for us, not even a building. And nothing can stop us from sharing the love of Jesus with a hurting world. We have at our disposal as a global Church the technology at our fingertips to do online ministry—whether through Live Streaming, Facebook, or other tools.
We will be Live Streaming our service beginning at 9 AM on SUNDAY via FaceBook. You can access that Live Stream on our FaceBook Page here: FaceBook.com/kokomonaz, or by vising kokomonaz.org/live-stream. After the service ends, this Live Stream will also be available any time someone would like to watch it by simply going to our FaceBook page and scrolling down to the video. This makes it available all day, every day, all through the week.
As you watch, please hit the LIKE button and you can also post comments that we will respond to. Invite others to watch as well. Our impact during this time could be even greater! You can add prayer requests or testimonials or simply say, “AMEN”, at any point in the service. Beyond that, you can always email us prayer needs, questions/concerns, problems you are having, or any way that we can minister to you during this time. We are grateful to have this way to stay connected even though we can’t meet together.
The health and safety of our church family and community is our top priority; we do not want to further the spread of COVID-19 by hosting services, classes, or gatherings of any kind. We will re-evaluate this each week and keep you posted through updates on our webpage (kokomonaz.org), FaceBook page (www.facebook.com/kokomonaz) , and through email (email@example.com).
Our offices will remain open through the week and our staff will be here to serve you and pray for you.
THIS IS UNCHARTED WATERS FOR US ALL! I know people have experienced a wide range of emotions in regard to this outbreak, from fear to doubt and disbelief. The one thing I am confident about is this: we have a mandate from Christ to care for the vulnerable in our church and community. Please know that our staff is passionate about continuing to support you in the weeks and months to come. If you have a need or would like someone to pray with you, we have pastors available. Simply call!
Again, Isaiah 41:10 reminds us, “Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
We are not fearful nor in a state of panic. We serve a God who has promised to be with us and watch over us. As we have been learning in our current series on PRAYER, in every circumstance, PRAY FIRST! How timely that we begin a 21 DAY FAST on Sunday. Let this be a time of drawing close to God and allow His Spirit to speak to us in profound ways to encourage ourselves and to help others. We will still meet at 6:30 a.m. and noon each day, Monday thru Friday, in our chapel for prayer during our 21 days of prayer. We are taking preventative measures by wiping down all surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, handles, etc). This is to ensure a clean and safe meeting space. Oh, yes, plenty of hand-sanitizer will be readily available throughout the building.
We encourage you to continue to be faithful in giving God His tithes & offerings during this time. The easiest way is to give online, or by dropping it by the office during the week. You can also mail your giving to the church office: 2734 S. Washington St. Kokomo, IN 46902. Times like this can be crucial to our church financially. Your faithfulness and generosity allow us to continue to offer ministry to people each week as we journey through this crisis. Thank you in advance for always being a generous and caring church.
This is our day in the glorious story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May our light shine brighter and farther as people look for help and hope. In all things God is working and may this moment in time be our finest hour. During this time let us have "clean hands" and a "clean heart".
You are loved and prayed for this day…
Pastor Tim Gates
A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR TIM - 3/13/2020
As concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) are rising, we wanted to let you know how we are responding as a church.
Our staff/leadership team is carefully monitoring the situation and considering all recommendations from Federal, State, and Local government officials. We have also been in conversation with our District Superintendent as this has developed. We will update as needed over the coming days and weeks.
We still plan to gather together for both of our regular worship experiences this weekend at 9 & 10:50 AM. As always, we are committed to doing whatever we can to provide a safe environment to welcome you and your family.
3 SMALLER WORSHIP VENUES:
With the Governor asking churches not to gather in groups of over 250 in one room, we will have 3 venues on Sunday available for the services at our church: The Main Worship Center, the Chapel, and the Youth Chapel. We will dismiss each one at differing times to keep the main foyer less congested.
For the time being, we will refrain from "meet and greet" moments in our worship services as we did this past week. Maybe give the person near you a THUMBS UP! 👍
WE WILL BE LIVE STREAMING OF OUR SERVICES:
We will be live streaming our services on Sunday at 9 & 10:50 AM via FACEBOOK. Should you decide to stay at home, you may go to the KokomoNaz Facebook page and watch the services online. The link to this is: https://www.facebook.com/kokomonaz/
Our janitorial staff and volunteers are taking preventative measures in wiping down all surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, handles, etc). This is to ensure a clean and safe meeting space. There will be hand-sanitizer readily available throughout the building.
To remove another commonly touched item, we will not be passing plates around during the offering collection time in our services. We’re encouraging members to give online, or by dropping in-person gifts in plates at the end of the services. We will have ushers stationed at all doors on the way out of our worship center.
Of course, you can also mail your giving to the church office: 2734 S. Washington St. Kokomo, IN 46902. And as always, you can give online by clicking the blue RebelGive icon in the bottom right corner of our website. Times like this can be crucial to our church financially. Your faithfulness and generosity allow us to continue to offer ministry to people each week as we journey through this crisis. Thank you in advance for always being a generous and caring church.
HOLY GROUNDS CAFE:
Holy Grounds Cafe will be closed on Sunday.
In KokomoNaz Kids, our staff/volunteers will sterilize all surfaces and toys used by our children after each experience. We will continue to follow our standard health protocols. We continue to encourage parents not to bring any child with an elevated temperature (above 100 F). A child must also be fever free for 24 hours before returning to KokomoNaz Kids. You can help by closely monitoring your children for any symptoms.
As always, we encourage you to consider what is best for you and your family this weekend. If you are feeling under the weather or running a fever, the best way that you can love your neighbor is by staying home! If you want more information on preventative methods, see this helpful article.
While most of what we're recommending here concerns the practical, we want you to be equipped to handle this situation spiritually, too. Rev. Todd Wagner has written a helpful article answering the question, "Should Christians Be Anxious About the Coronavirus?" which applies truths about God's sovereignty, wisdom, and love specifically to this situation. We also believe that as Christians the panic of this virus gives us a chance to be Christ to so many.
Click here to read an article from Psychology Today which explains how the virus is infecting our minds more so than our lungs. We are not people governed by fear. WE EXIST TO ENCOURAGE AND EQUIP PEOPLE TO BE FULLY DEVOTED FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST! This is especially true during times of uncertainty like these.
Remember, we are the church. We are encouraging our staff and leaders to check in on our shut-ins and vulnerable. Let us know if you discover a need. Let us be the hands and feet of Jesus and love and serve one another during this time.
The scripture I am using these days is Isaiah 41:10,
“Fear not, for I am with you.
Do not be dismayed. I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
We do not need to overreact or panic. We serve a God who has promised to be with us and watch over us. This is a day in which the world may look to the church to see how we respond in the midst of a time when many will panic or be overwhelmed with fear. As we have been learning in our current series on PRAYER, in every circumstance, PRAY FIRST! How timely that we begin a 21 DAY FAST on Sunday. Let this be a time where we draw close to God and allow His Spirit to speak to us in profound ways to encourage ourselves and to help others.
I am aware of churches canceling service because of everything that’s going on, but that is not our plan. Tough times give us greater opportunity to minister; to be there when people are afraid. There will be changes on Sunday morning, yes, and some may prefer to join us via Facebook Live. But for anyone who wants to “be there,” we will BE THERE and God will meet with us, whether at church or in our homes.
During the 21 DAYS OF PRAYER & FASTING, would you join Vicky and me in praying for the physical health of our world, and for the spiritual health of lost people, both here in the United States and around the world, that we would be a powerful testimony to the gospel in the midst of this present challenge.
I know you will likely have additional questions, and we will continue to communicate updates and changes through email, our website, and social media channels.
You are loved and prayed for this day…
Pastor Tim Gates