Dear Church Family,

2020 has been such a strange year for all of us, both individually and collectively as a church: difficult, challenging, and far from over. There are no end to the internet memes to this effect both sad and funny. As we come to the end of the summer, I wanted to write to you to address two things: our current financial status and our ministry plans for the fall.

Ministry & Community

First, let’s talk about the ministry of Emmanuel. If COVID has taught us anything, I think it is that the ministry of the church is vital and essential. We all desperately need fellowship with one another, and Hebrews 10:25 exhorts us not to give up gathering together. That said, the virus makes gathering together more complicated and potentially dangerous. So how do we do it?

We will continue to offer Sunday morning worship services in the SCA gym for those that are able to attend with a live stream option for those that are not. In addition we will continue to offer drive up communion service for those that are not able to come inside. However, we will not be offering any kind of in person School of Discipleship classes at least for this semester.

Obviously we need to have more opportunities for fellowship and discipleship than this. So we are offering two different types of smaller gatherings during the week. There will be a variety of (mostly) online Zoom based Bible Studies and discipleship type groups available for you to join this fall. These are intended to supplant our traditional Sunday morning classes. More information will be coming soon!

Second, we will be launching our Triad Groups aimed at prayer, fellowship, and accountability. These are intended to make up for the lack of our traditional Community Groups. Triads will be composed of three family groups. Some will meet in homes, some outside, and some online. You will need to sign up for Triads based on your preference of meeting environment. These Triads should provide opportunity for the vital fellowship and community we all need in smaller safer gatherings.

Click this link for more information on these opportunities!

Finally we will be having an online webinar conversation with Dr. Irwyn Ince entitled The Beautiful Community about how the Church can respond helpfully to Race Issues in our nation. This webinar will take place at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, September 23. Much of our time will be spent in a Q & A forum. Please be thinking about questions you may have about the racial problems we have experienced over the past few months in our country. I will be asking you to send those questions in soon. This is going to be a great conversation, and you won’t want to miss it!

Financial Status

The other subject I wanted to update you on was the financial status of Emmanuel. Our church family has always been cheerful and generous in its giving, and I am very thankful for all of you. But the combination of the summer and the unusual circumstances and separation caused by the COVID quarantine have resulted in a drop in giving.

Our fiscal year at Emmanuel ends on Sept. 30, 2020. As of now we are projecting a deficit of $23,220 by that date based on current giving and expenses. As a matter of policy, the pastors of EPC (including me) do not know the specifics of any individual giving. But I do know that many of you have already been giving generously. Thank you!

Our goal is to finish this year well. In order to make up the difference each household giving unit in our church would need to give about $500 more than usual through the end of September. Obviously some have more ability to give than others. Please prayerfully consider your giving and what you can do to help the church general fund. This is an opportunity not only for you to meet a need, but also to participate in the ministry of Emmanuel and the advancement of the Kingdom of God here in Cedar Park and the NW side of Austin.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Greg

Philippians 4:19 – And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

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