A CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FROM LAKEWOOD WAY
 
Friday, March 13th, 2020 – 3:00pm
 
Dear Lakewood Way Family,
 
Over the past weeks we have been monitoring closely the concern of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), especially as the first cases were announced nearer to our local community. In the past few days there has been significant movement in that the mayor of KCMO has imposed limits on large group gatherings, the Governor has declared a state of emergency in Kansas, and at the time of this writing the President has declared a national state of emergency.
 
Our response is not to fear, but we do know that we need to lead our community forward with wisdom. We also understand that as the church, we want to be a good neighbor to our community and have wrestled with the decisions that we need to make accordingly.
 
Based upon the counsel we have gained, as well as much prayer, our leadership team has decided to move our worship gatherings planned for Sunday, March 15th and Sunday March 22nd exclusively online. We will worship virtually for these two Sundays, instead of in person, and will continue to monitor weekly after that.
 
We have made this decision for the following reasons:
 
  • First, we are close enough to the size of the public gathering bans and want to work with our government officials to follow the spirit of the request. When our city and county officials are making decisions, such as canceling school and limiting public gatherings to halt the spread of the virus, we deem it our civic responsibility to work together, not against.
  • Second, we want to protect those who are most vulnerable among us. There are numerous individuals in our community who have severely compromised immune systems due to underlying health issues, as well as many in our community who are of an age where they are at increased risk of complications with this virus. While we would encourage these individuals to just stay home, we know that some may feel as if they should not or cannot due to their commitment to corporate worship and volunteer positions. We do not want to put them in difficult position.
  • Finally, we truly believe that in this moment not meeting in person is what it looks like to follow Jesus’ command to love our neighbor. There is research to show that limiting large public gatherings, can in fact translate to real lives that are saved as we work together to get out in front of this virus and do what we can to flatten the curve.
 
In the last 20 years of ministry, we have only ever cancelled a service in extreme circumstances. So, please understand that we do not take this decision lightly. We understand that corporate worship is not just a good idea, but a command of our faith, and serves as a lifeline to many.
 
With this said, we want you to remember that the church is not the building, YOU ARE THE CHURCH. The church will gather this weekend, just not in its building.  While we are steering away from a large gathering where germs could easily spread, we are asking that you still meet and worship together in smaller groups.  In a season such as this, where fear and anxiety push people to isolate and move towards self-protection, we believe we need to prioritize genuine Christian care and concern for one another. This is an opportunity for you to BRING HOPE to our community like never before.
 
We will hold service online at indiancreek.org at 9:00am, 10:30am, 2:00pm, and 6:00pm and we are encouraging you to use this as an opportunity to increase your presence in your immediate neighborhood – worship and pray together with others in your homes during one of these times.
 
  • Meet together as a small group.
  • If you don’t have a group, find the people who you have spoken with about “getting together” and make it a priority on Sunday.
  • Invite a neighbor or friend over – maybe they would never go to a church building, but they would go to your living room.
 
We will be carrying on our series, Lost in Translation as we continue to teach and pray through the Lord’s Prayer. The scripture this week is Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread.” There may be no better topic to focus on this week, than by repositioning ourselves with daily reliance on our God and being reminded of the access we have to Him in prayer. We already see how God is at work in the midst of this sermon series – There may be no more timely call to action than the call to pray for our city, nation and world.
 
With the exception of Little Treasures Learning Center in Olathe, midweek gatherings that take place on-site in the building will also have alternate arrangements that will look different for each gathering. Please refer back to this page for the latest information as arrangements are finalized.
 
Throughout this, we know kingdom work must continue to move forward. If you were planning on giving tithes and offerings at one of our weekend gatherings you still have many options to give: You can mail your gift to the church, drop off midweek in the church offices, text to give or give online. All of these details are listed at https://www.lakewoodway.com/online-giving/
 
Finally, in the midst of this know that we are here for you. If you have questions or concerns for our pastoral team, please reach out to office@lakewoodway.com. You can use this email address If you have a prayer request or a care need, too.
 
We love you and are praying for you, for our city, and our world.
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Brian E. Smith
Pastors Jake and Sarah Zaske