Saturday, March 14, 2020

In Response to COVID-19

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgement.                    2 Timothy 1:7

Hey guys, Pastor Tanner here with our response as a Church to the global concern over COVID-19 also known as the coronavirus. 

With much prayer, deliberation, and conversation I have made the decision to stand with our neighbors and friends to suspend Christ Church gatherings downtown at HQ in the collective effort to limit overall exposure and spread of COVID-19. I believe this is the best course of action for our Church given what we know now and with consideration for our partners and neighbors. I am asking that we see this as an opportunity to live the Gospel we proclaim; Jesus emptied Himself for us (Philippians 2:5-11) so we also, with the Gospel on our lips, set aside personal preferences or rights for the sake of those around us.

Here are some clear reasons for this decision:
  • So that we don't put vulnerable people in danger
  • So that we are not careless or flippant in a watching world
  • So that we do not create unfair pressure to attend.
  • So that we demonstrate respect for the governing authorities.

Gathering:
So long as the stay at home order is in effect and it proves to be the wise and loving thing to stay apart, Christ Church will “gather scattered.” We stand on Scripture in acknowledging the Church is a people not a place and we have been handed the opportunity to put legs under that. 

For the next several weeks Christ Church will gather Sunday mornings simultaneously in our own homes across the city at the regular 10 am time utilizing Zoom for virtual meetings. Links are posted on the Christ Church Facebook page. Because of some privacy vulnerabilities in Zoom (hackers with vile motives have logged into church Zoom calls to post disturbing content) we are utilizing a meeting password and the waiting room feature.


I would encourage you to prioritize this time and "attend" with purpose and focus. We will spend some time at the beginning hearing from one another, we'll pray, worship in song, and hear from God's Word.

Here's what to do:
  • Like the Christ Church Facebook page
  • Make note of the Zoom meeting ID and passwords
  • If you have trouble email me, tanner@christchurchlagrande.com
  • Join us Sunday mornings at 10AM
  • Also make note of several other scheduled times during the week to spend time "together."


Gospel Hope:
I want to be clear that this decision to gather scattered was reached not in fear but in faith and with great care for our neighbors and our city. While we have unflinching confidence in the sovereign hand of God we are not flippant or dismissive with the health and concerns of others. Church, this is a time when we set aside personal preferences, rights, and self-preservation to serve others because Jesus Himself came “not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for the many,” (Mark 10:45). 

We are not governed by fear but by the love of Christ and through us His love reaches the world around us. While we stand with bold confidence that nothing moves, not even a virus, without the knowledge and governance of the Creator God, we also weep with those who weep, we care for the sick, we speak peace into panic, and we look to the cross of Christ where God brought forth eternal hope from cruel and ugly tragedy.

Action:
For the Church, comfort the fearful, share resources, check in on one another, speak good news and hope into chaotic times, and look for ways to serve the city we love. There are and will be many opportunities. Be ready to give an answer for the unwavering hope you have in Christ. Be eager to give freely, serve willingly, and press into the fear with great faith. Because Jesus set aside glory for us we set aside ourselves to serve others. 

We as human beings in our society are being forced to face our mortality. This serves as reminder of our frailty and need for Jesus as a Savior. Look and listen for opportunities to explain the Gospel, eager to give reason for unflinching hope in Christ who is unfailing.

Let’s be filled with care for each other as we consider how to live as image-bearers of God in a time when social distancing isolates us for physical health but not spiritual health. Utilize this time to slow down, rethink our pace of life, reflect, pray, read, rest, and reorient our priorities with eternity in mind.

Pray:
Let’s continue in prayer not in panic, in faith not in fear, in service not in mere self-preservation.
Pray for healing and protection, pray for doctors and health workers, pray for the elderly and sick who are most vulnerable, pray for God to grant mercy.

Each week we close our worship gatherings with the Doxology so I would like to close with these words as a reminder of where our hope lies, Who is in control, and to Whom we owe our greatest praise and highest trust.

     Praise God from Whom all blessing flow
     Praise Him, all creatures here below
     Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts
     Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

Grace and Peace to you in Christ.
Pastor Tanner

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Welcome!

I'm guessing you arrived on this page through any number of avenues, a Facebook link or an Instagram post, a Google search, maybe you typed it in the old fashioned way from an invitation card or a poster you saw around town. There's a bit of an analogy there, so however you got here, welcome.

Church-planting is a beautiful mess but that is God's specialty, creating beauty from the mess, bringing order from chaos, breathing life where there wasn't. It's absolutely fantastic to be a part of what God is already doing in La Grande. 

Christ Church has been meeting downtown in a cool spot called hq venue since November, 2018. Pastor Tanner is currently preaching through The Gospel of Mark and it has taken us the better part of this year, so throw in with us.

The main thing you need to know about Christ Church is that we are about Jesus. We have a simple name and a simple mission, to see the radically scandalous Gospel of Jesus advance in our city, for by it lives are transformed. The Gospel gives life. We're all busted up in various ways and we all need Jesus. Gospel means "good news," radically scandalous good news. 

If you think you know what Christians are about, if you think you've heard all this before, if you're skeptical, questioning, suspicious, if you're broken and hurt and beat down and exhausted by the constant rat race of life marching every one of us toward the grave, if the Gospel does not yet sound like sweet news of freedom and redemption, come hear it again.

Browse this website for some more information but more importantly than that, don't stop at the website or social media. We're meant to actually do life together, that's both the beauty and the mess. Come be a part of a new church with an old message that creates life in a cool spot downtown Sunday mornings. Doors open at 9:30 with coffee, food, and conversation, and the service begins at 10am.

We're a rag-tag bunch of nobodies trying to tell everybody about Jesus. 
You'll fit right in.