It's almost Easter! Your countdown to that special Sunday likely looks a lot different this year. But just because so much of our lives are on pause doesn't mean our faith is on pause. This is a time of embracing compassion for others, focusing on community efforts for good, and directly seeking more of our amazing God. Maybe Holy Week, or as some refer to it, Passion Week, has been a traditional schedule of events. Maybe not! Either way, we have a unique opportunities to experience Holy Week individually and as a family by ordering a Holy Week Kit and downloading the app Easter Now.
Each basic kit will come with communion and a few gifts. If you have kiddos, order one with an activity pack for kids. You can also choose to include a candle that the app will walk you through lighting. It is the Christ Candle, and any candle you have will do, but we have some! The app will provide devotions, deeper analysis of the significance, symbols, and revelations attached to the events of Holy Week leading to Easter.
You can text "kit" to 210.361.3943 or fill out the form below. You can also use this link to access and share the form:
SAF Church Online will host a Good Friday service, and Easter Sunday will be live at 10:45am as usual with some special "digital guests!"
Pastor Matt will go live at sunrise to deliver a special Easter message.
Let us take what this mortal world has meant for bad and partner with how God is meaning it for good - study His word, speak with Him more in prayer, and listen in new ways without the noise of the day to day.
Did you know that you no longer need a Facebook account to watch live videos! Now you have more choices for tuning in Sundays!
What a difference a week, or two, make in every detail of our lives. We are all making efforts to protect our communities, to show love to all God's children via sacrificing for the sake of health. As Pastor Matt said last Sunday, God uses these things to develop our character. It's not that he sent COVID-19 to teach a lesson, it's that He will use our response to it to use our "suffering to produce perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope" (Romans 5:3).
SAF.Church is still on mission, even if our methods have changed! We still invest in body, mind, and spirit because of God's grace:
- WAC is still serving our community with a public food pantry each Tuesday from 10am - 2pm,
- Small groups continue to meet to facilitate "transformation through the renewing of the mind" (Romans 12:2),
- Sunday service is being broadcasted each week and the leadership team is flooding social media with posts to help encourage the spirit, guide us in the time, and call attention to the work God is doing through the community as we navigate this surreal season of life.
Here are two places we highly recommend browsing for information help us all to be alone together.
1. Join a small group! Visit saf.churchcenter.com/groups. All groups are meeting online and there are quite a few to choose from. Some groups are on hiatus, but there are still many open for you to dive into.
2. Join our Facebook group: SAF Community Board. It's a group linked to the SAF Facebook page, and it's a place where we can share helpful info, shout out thanks to one another, post a need, or give a testimony.
We are praying for you. We are rooting for you. We are here for you.
Your leadership team began meeting two weeks ago to discuss the best ways to promote wellness while at church. Based on the recommendations of health care officials and the leading of the Spirit, SAF.Church will not meet in person this week. We will not have service on Sunday and all small groups are cancelled for the week.
We will however broadcast our Sunday service live at 10:45am on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sanantoniofirstchurch! We invite you to join us from your homes as we continue worship together.
We continue to communicate with each other and stay apprised of relevant information regarding COVID-19. As we are all aware, concerns over this unique strain of coronavirus, called COVID-19, is an ongoing and developing situation. Therefore, we will decide each week about having service and small groups. We are dedicated to our commitment to provide a safe place for you and your family.
Following the advice of the CDC and local health officials, here are the best methods for promoting wellness and avoiding the spread of viruses, even during these current risks:
•if you have a fever: please stay home!
Runny noses and coughs are part of SA living! But a fever means stay home and see a doctor in order to protect your community.
•if you’re out and about: refrain from hugs and handshakes - go for fist bumps instead!
By doing this we can protecting one another from unnecessary germs.
•clean hands are the best practice!
The most effective step we can all take is to keep our hands clean and away from our own faces as much as possible.
What else should you do going forward? Here are a few tips:
1) Pray. God is still in the business of healing! There are those who are greatly impacted by all this. Many globally are fighting the virus itself, but even more are financially effected by the closure of events, schools, and organizations.
2) Keep a close watch for updates on our Facebook page or via text/email for any further changes that may come up in the coming days and weeks.
3) Avoid contact with those who are sick.
Be sure that we are monitoring the San Antonio Metro Health District updates to make decisions about services in the coming weeks. We will share updates via text, our website, email, and social media. By taking these steps, we can enjoy our time together while protecting one another. We continue to pray for all those who have been effected by COVID-19 and flu this season. We are grateful for the hard work our federal and local officials are doing to serve the wellness of our communities!
Ps. Matt Rice and the SAF leadership team
Today starts a new time... one built for spring and summer. But we aren't just springing forward by turning our clocks ahead. We are making progress in implementing a vision that God has given us as a church: To reach 550 new people in our community! We call it Vision 728. By serving 550 more people, our SAF community will grow to about 728 people. Additionally, in our efforts to serve more individuals in our community, we are increasing what we offer at large. This includes upgrading, renovating, and expanding our facilities and campus to meet the needs of the people around us, so that we can be a physical place that can be counted on. We host HOAs, weddings, parties, memorials, homeschool groups, Scouts, community classes like ESL, and more. Vision 728 is about upping our game when it comes to the mission: investing in body, mind, and spirit because of God's grace.
Here is what is going on right now in the SAF community!
© San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene 2019