Engage Community Church

Latest News

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

AS WE ENTER THE NEW YEAR

2nd Advent

For centuries, God spoke through the prophets and upheld the covenant he had made with Israel through the Law of Moses. 
Then he seemingly went silent. He promised that a child would be born, and a new way would be established.
He promised light in the darkness and the forgiveness of sins. But then, the people were left to wait and encouraged to be faithful.
During these centuries, there was much turmoil in Israel. The Bible does not tell us anything about those years, but Jewish tradition and
literature tell us of conquering armies that occupied the land and desecrated the temple. It tell us of battles fought by God’s people and miracles preserving His people.
Then finally, in the fullness of time, God sent His son. Jesus came. He arrived and the first “advent” was met with angelic praise and the worship of
both common shepherds and wise guest from other lands. God had come; Emmanuel, God with us! Yet it was not what they expected.
This gentle king with kindness and compassion for the lost sheep of Israel, and burning with holy fire against what the leaders had made of the covenant
and promise to God’s people, did not overthrow the Romans. Instead, he went to a cross.
A few of his people came to understand what He had done. They began to spread the news throughout the world in the face of opposition.
Those of us reading this, know the story because of their efforts. We know that the Baby of Bethlehem was the Savior of Calvary. We know the new
covenant he brought; the forgiveness of sins and eternal life that is ours by grace through faith. And yet, we still wait.
We wait now for the second advent of God with us. Creation itself groans, awaiting His return, and He will return. At the first advent, Christ appeared
as a helpless baby. He experienced life and loss and became the perfect sacrifice. God came near and made a way for us to be restored to our Father.
At the second advent, He will come as conquering King. The final war with pain, and sing, and grief, and evil itself will be won, and we will live in the
House of the Lord forever. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

For now we wait, full of hope, still in peace, strengthened by joy, and sharing His love.

Pastor Evan