Engage Community Church

Latest News

Update 3/18/2020

Good afternoon, Engage family!

What a time we are living in. Our normal daily lives are being interrupted like never before, but we also have opportunities we’ve never had before. Opportunities to be salt and light and to encourage one another!

We want to make you aware of how we are handling things moving forward for the foreseeable future as we navigate the Covid-19 pandemic.

Worship Gatherings: We will be live-streaming our messages on Sundays as usual through Facebook Live. We encourage you to join us at 10:00 each Sunday morning. While watching, you can encourage each other and say hello through commenting during the stream. It will be good to see that we are together, so comment and say hello!

We will not be livestreaming singing, but will still be releasing our worship “playlist” during the week through the email and on Facebook. We encourage you to sing along with the playlist during the week and on Sunday mornings before or after the livestream.  “He who sings, prays twice!” – Martin Luther

Giving: While we are meeting online, we still have bills and responsibilities in the real world. In the interest of continuing to be good stewards and to proclaim your dependence and trust in God, we encourage you to continue giving. You can do this one of two ways –
1) Mail your tithes and offerings to the church at:
               Engage Community Church
               PO Box 431
               Bel Air, MD 21014

2) Drop off your gifts with Pastor Evan, or arrange for him to pick it up from you.

Men’s and Women’s Book Study: We are working on rolling out an online option for these groups to meet. The men are scheduled to meet on Saturday morning and the women on the 27th. In the next couple of days, we will send out more detailed information, as well as invites to join online for our virtual meetings. As long as you have internet access, you will be able to join us online.

Be Salt and Light: We encourage you to show Christ to your friends, family, neighbors, and each other. Check in on other via phone, email, skype, and social media. Run errands for elderly family and neighbors. Look for ways to be a blessing. Be “social media positive” by sharing words of encouragement and giving testimonies to the goodness and sovereignty of God. Turn off the news and noise occasionally and enjoy your time as a family. Focus on the numbers of people who have and are recovering. Work. Play. Sing. Worship. Pray. Praise. Tell others why you have hope.

  Remember, God is still in control. He isn’t surprised, and we can trust Him to care for us and to receive the glory he is due even through Covid-19.
We are all in this together, and it is well with our souls!

Additional changes to Worship Schedule

This afternoon we were informed that group rentals at The Highland School will be suspended immediately and continue until March 30th. Because of this development, the following changes to our worship schedule have been made.

In addition to the changes shared last evening, we will now be meeting for worship at the Nutters’ this Sunday, March 15th and March 29th in addition to March 22nd. There will still be a livestream all 3 weeks for those unable to attend, and in case there are further precautions that affect our meeting together as a community.

We will still meet for Journey Group this Sunday evening at the Terrys’ and encourage everyone to attend as we will be having an important discussion regarding our church.

If you have any questions, contact Pastor Evan.

COVID-19 Measures

In response to the suggestions of infectious disease experts and in support of the cancellation of The Highlands School from March 16th – 27th, we will be taking the following measures to help guard against the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

We will meet this Sunday morning for worship and will have our Journey Group meeting as scheduled. As closure for sanitizing begins on Monday and continues through the 27th, that we do not hold service on the 22nd at The Highlands School to cooperate with the sanitizing operations happening there. We will instead be meeting together for a modified worship gathering at the Nutters’ home on the 22nd at 10 am.

The following practices will also be adopted for Sunday, March 15th, and until further notice:

1. If you feel sick, stay home. We are glad you want to attend church but if there is a chance your presence could harm others please err on the side of caution.

2. Use good etiquette for coughing and sneezing. Use the crease of your elbow and not your hand to cover your mouth.

3. Please use an alternative form of greeting (head nod, elbow bump, etc..) because shaking hands and hugging are major ways to pass the virus.

4. Wash your hands regularly with hot water and antibacterial soap.

5. We will make hand sanitizer available.

6. We will not be providing food or coffee.

7. We will begin placing our tithes and offerings in the plate at the information table while entering the gathering space.

8. The teams that count the tithes and offerings and anyone else that handles money will be given latex gloves. Money can serve as a carrier for the virus.

9. Until the CDC has a better handle on this virus we will not be partaking in the Lord’s Supper.

This may seem like an overreaction to some, but understand that these precautions are a temporary effort to help protect our church family and the community at large, while still gathering together to worship our Lord and encourage one another, and will be changed as soon as possible.

The Core Team

It’s Your Best Guests

It is always nice to be asked. Whether it is for a life event or just a night out with friends, it feels nice to receive an invitation. It shows that people are  thinking of us and that we are important enough to be included. We are valued. Some invitations are more meaningful than others, of course. It may be that an invitation is just a formality, like when you are invited to your 3rd cousin’s wedding in Bora Bora. They know you aren’t coming; you know you aren’t going, but still, the invitation is sent and received. Or maybe it is to an invitation to your nephew’s mid-year college graduation in North Dakota. Outside. In December. There is no way you are making that trip, but still, they remembered you.

When Jesus came to the world, he gave an open invitation, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30) He asks us to continue sending that invitation to any and all we know. 

When you invite someone to church, it shows that you care. Even when you don’t think the person will come, or you have been declined 100 times, keep making the invitation. Doing so indicates that not only is your faith and church important to you, but that the person being invited is important to you. You want to share a part of your life that is valuable, with the people in your life that are valuable. It also shows your love and devotion to Christ by being obedient to His command to make disciples. Going to church and inviting people to church is certainly not the only thing we do to fulfill the Great Commission, but it can be a wonderful step in that direction. 

Finally, inviting people to church is an effective way to get them there. Advertising is an option, but it is the least effective option and often costs an inordinate amount of money. What about a visitation ministry? Shouldn’t the pastor and/or some qualified folks chase down leads I give them? While more effective than advertising, it is just barely so and takes a lot of time in an increasingly closed off culture. What about the pastor? Isn’t it his job to grow the church? Well, yes and no. His call is to equip the saints to do ministry (Eph.4:11-12). While he certainly should invite people, he or even multiple staff will never get the job done. It is “expected” that the Pastor will ask. His invitation is less meaningful, especially to your friends and family. 

The best way to get people to come to church, is for a friend to invite them, and keep inviting them. So who will you invite?

Pastor Evan