Dear Gateway family,
The declaration of a third state of emergency by the Ontario government yesterday was a “stay at home order” that is challenging to interpret and understand. Our staff team met a couple of times the last two days to determine what this means for our Gateway public services. Recognizing that we have some families and individuals who would like for us to stay open and others who would prefer that we go exclusively online for now, the decision was not easy. In the end, I have decided to pause our Sunday onsite services for the next two weeks (April 11 and 18) while we monitor the situation, clarify the provincial regulations, and pray.
Something that has always served us well at Gateway is avoiding snap decisions in times of confusion and, instead, taking the time to pause and pray. This has been our practice on the Board of Elders for years and this also has been our practice as we considered in-person activities during the last 13 months. For example, we took the time to pause and pray when legislation allowed us to meet again last June, and we did the same when lockdown measures changed at the end of February. As your pastor, I am asking for your patience once again as our staff and elders gather to consider new government regulations and seek God’s direction. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.
In the meantime, I want to challenge you to engage as much as possible with our online services and the difficult questions coming out of a survey we offered last winter. This Sunday’s question in our “Asking for a Friend” series is, “What’s up with God in the Old Testament?” Parents should know that these messages, streamed live at 10 a.m. on Sundays, are geared for those in grade 6 and older and are a frank conversation about two very challenging issues. We encourage you to make full use of our excellent Gateway Kids videos when your children are watching with you.
In closing, I want to remind you that God is at work in our church and community in a very powerful way. There are more people indicating interest in baptism these days than I’ve seen in a long time. Our online services continue to attract new people. The workshop on the book of Revelation has been very well received with over 100 people joining us every week. The testimony at the end of our Easter service last Sunday was a powerful tribute to the overwhelming hope that we have for abundant and eternal life. There are more opportunities than ever before in my lifetime for Christians to, “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15).
May God bless and strengthen you to reflect that hope that we have in Christ.
- Sun., Feb. 28https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81039406389Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m. – Apr. 11, 9:00 p.m.https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81039406389Feb 28 - Apr 11 (no session on Mar 28 or Apr 4). The book of Revelation isn't an easy read. Bowls. Seals. Trumpets. The mark of the beast. The 144,000. Pastor Steve is going to unpack this book over a six week period and you are NOT going to want to miss it!