Here are some announcements that will be helpful to you:
Serving Our Community
During this time we want to encourage you to continue to serve our community with the gospel. Below are some ways you can partner with us.
- Open Door Food Pantry - Our Food Pantry is continuing to operate each week, but will be delivering groceries to the clients' cars. They are currently in need of bags and boxes to use for food delivery. Also, they are asking for notes of encouragement that they can put with the food. These can be from adults and children. Their current food needs are for non-perishable items (peanut butter, jelly, cereal, canned goods, rice, and beans), paper products, and toiletries.
- Serve Your Neighbor - We have heard many encouraging stories about church members who are leaving notes in their neighbors' email boxes expressing a desire to help. We wanted to provide you with a template to use that will also invite them to join us online. You can download the template here.
- Raleigh Dream Center - Our new ministry partner, Raleigh Dream Center, is meeting the needs of the people in our community that rely on the school systems for meals or have other food insecurities. See how you can help serve alongside them by clicking here.
- Human Coalition - During this time of confusion and uncertainty, there are still women struggling with how to deal with an unplanned pregnancy. If you are interested in serving with our ministry partner, you can purchase e-gift cards for our clients. We ask that gifts are in small amounts of $10, $20, or $25 for easy dissemination to multiple clients. You can purchase an e-gift card here and email it to the Clinic Director, Amber Arias.
Chris Rafferty will be providing you with the Gospel Project curriculum each week through this Dropbox link. Also, we will be posting resources for you and your family on the Open Door Children's Ministry Facebook page. Each Saturday a different teacher will be filming the Sunday lesson for Chris to post on the page.
Sean Robinson will be emailing weekly curriculum for students to study each week. This curriculum is based on their Sunday evening series. If you are not already following, please follow Student Ministry Instagram and Facebook page.
In God’s Word we are reminded to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to gather together as some are in the habit of doing" (Hebrews 10:24-25). This passage reminds us that our fellowship with one another should not be neglected. And even though we are unable to gather physically as CareGroups, this passage reminds us to “consider how” we can stir up one another. For this reason, we are encouraging all our CareGroups to continue meeting digitally (platforms like Zoom and Google Meet) or via the telephone. This pandemic has not surprised the Lord and there are many lessons we can all learn and strides in sanctification if we will redeem the time and build one another up in Christ through our CareGroup Ministry.
Jimmy Cooper has created a Spotify playlist called "Songs of Comfort and Hope." He hopes that these songs will encourage you during this difficult time. Also, we will be updating the This Weekend Worship playlist each week with new songs. There will be a video released each week talking about why we sing these songs.
This Sunday we will be live-streaming a teaching time with Pastor Dwayne. You can join this live-stream by visiting our YouTube channel Open Door Church Raleigh at 11:00am on Sunday.
The ministry of Open Door Church continues despite us not being gathered together. Our staff is working on ministry efforts to bless you and your family, our ministry partners that we support are continuing their work, and the various other expenses related to ministry are still occurring. God has called us to give and to support His work. Therefore, we want to remind you to continue to be a part of the ministry of Open Door through your giving. You can mail a check to the church, give electronically through your bank, or give electronically through our website by clicking here. Thank you for your sacrificial gifts which are blessings to the saints and a sign of your thanks to God.
One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Philippians 4. When I was younger, I focused primarily on verse 13 but as I grew older, I began to realize that there was more to that chapter than just overcoming obstacles. As I looked closer, I realized that Paul was focusing not on his accomplishments but rather on his finding contentment and peace in all of life’s circumstances and learning to “rejoice always” whether he was in need or had everything he wanted. He did so by dwelling on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, reliable, excellent, and worthy of praise. There are a lot of things that you can be dwelling on right now. My prayer for you – no matter your circumstance – is that you will choose, like Paul, to focus on those things that will lead you to rejoicing, peace, and contentment rather than anxiety, chaos, and hopelessness.
I love you and miss seeing you all during our normal gatherings but I am grateful for the opportunities that we have to continue our fellowship. You can read more about those below.
Stay healthy spiritually and physically,
As we all try to find a new normal, I want to encourage you to trust in the goodness and sovereignty of our Heavenly Father. Today in our staff meeting, we discussed how thankful we are for the gift of technology and how it allowed us to share a time of teaching with you this past Sunday. We are grateful that you took the time to join us for the livestream. We also discussed ways in which we can continue to minister to you during these unusual times. But most importantly, we took time to pray for you. Know that you, our church family, are loved.
With a spirit of cooperation, we want to honor the guidance our government officials have given related to no gatherings of groups of 10 or more. With that in mind, we are canceling all activities through March 30 and will continue to evaluate week by week. We will be livestreaming a teaching time for the next two Sundays at 11:00am. You will be able to find that here on our YouTube channel.
During this time, we will continue to send a weekly email on Thursdays. This will be the primary way we plan to communicate with you. In this Thursday’s email, we will have more information about how our ministries are adapting to meet your needs during this season.
As always, continue to reach out to us if you have any needs. You can call the church office at 919-847-6969 or email [email protected]. We know that fear and anxiety can take a hold on our thoughts during this time, but let me encourage you to rest in the words of Matthew 6:33-34. "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Yesterday was a first for us. We could not meet together as a church family, but we were still able to hear from God’s word through our live stream. Although, this is not the preferred way for us to worship and we missed gathering together, we are thankful that in God’s providence we have the ability to still worship through the use of technology. If you were not able to tune into the live stream yesterday the message is available on our YouTube channel. As was mentioned yesterday, we are trying to find ways to be creative with ministry during this time. However, I wanted to share with you the resources we currently have available.
The curriculum we use for our Children’s Ministry is called The Gospel Project for Kids. They have loosened their copyright rules during this time and have allowed churches to make the curriculum available to each family. You can download the curriculum for this week here. We will continue to ad to this dropbox each week. You can also find the curriculum here on our website.
Also, Jimmy created a new Spotify playlist called, “Songs of Comfort and Hope.” It is our hope that these songs will help you focus on God’s steadfast love and goodness at this time. You click here to access the playlist.
Finally, I want to encourage you to continue to be faithful and generous in giving your tithes and offerings during this time. Since tithing is an act of worship, it’s one of the ways we can worship Christ from home while not able to gather together. Additionally, during this time we still have many financial commitments to honor, which include our building and utilities, our ministry partners, our church planters and international workers, and as well as caring for our staff. Currently, on average, we see about 30-40% of our weekly giving come through the offering plates. Since that is not possible for the next few weeks, we want to encourage you to consider giving online through our website or the Realm app, or you can drop off your tithe at the office Monday-Thursday 8:30am-5:00pm. Thank you for remaining faithful and generous during this time.
Even today we have received more information from the White House. The Elders are continuing to monitor the situation and will be communicating with you this week. However, we are aware that unique needs will arise in our church family during this time. Please contact us at [email protected] and let us know how we can serve you.
Finally, as followers of Christ, we can remain hopeful and faithful during this time of uncertainty. It is one of the ways that our witness for Christ can be seen clearly. Let us rest in our Sovereign God and be committed to stand firm in the midst of the chaos we are experiencing around us. In Isaiah 26:3-4 we read, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
As many of you know, we will not be gathering at the church tomorrow (March 15) morning; however, we will be streaming a service online at 11:00am. We encourage you to watch online as a family or CareGroup. We hope this will be a blessing in this time of uncertainty. To access the live stream click here or click on sermons at the top of the page.
As more information unfolds in relation to the Coronavirus, the Elders of Open Door have been constantly monitoring the situation and are committed to a safe environment for our church family. As you probably heard, yesterday Governor Cooper recommended that there be no gatherings greater than 100 people. With this in mind, the Elders of Open Door believe that it is in the best interest of our church family to cancel all Open Door events scheduled through next Saturday, March 21. This was not an easy decision but one we felt was necessary to prevent the spread of the virus and protect our church family and community. In order to continue to care for you spiritually, we will be live streaming a service this Sunday morning. More details will be provided soon.
Care Groups are free to meet at the discretion of the leader, or to modify their routines accordingly. We trust the leaders will use the utmost discernment in shepherding their groups through this unique circumstance.
Our Food Pantry ministry will continue to serve our clients, but will modify our processes to protect the health of our volunteers and the clients we serve.
As this situation continues to unfold, we encourage you to remain faithful and prayerful. Our God is sovereign, wise and good and that should be a great source of hope for us in these stressful times. Here are some ways you can pray:
- Pray for the people affected by the virus in our community, nation, and around the world.
- Pray for the government and health care professionals as they address the crisis.
- Pray for our Open Door and IMB missionaries around the world as they offer the hope of the gospel to those dealing with the virus.
- Pray for one another, that we will rest in the hope of the gospel and stand ready to offer this hope to our community.