COVID-19 Updates

Members

 

A Prayer in the Time of a Pandemic

May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
Amen.

Fr. Martin Poole

 

March 18, 2020

Southwest Family,

First…ya’ll are SO AWESOME!  It has been such a blessing to watch the church be the church in the last week.  People loving people sacrificially, showing courage, showing patience and kindness, all in the name of Jesus.  Way to go church!!

As the situation in our country progresses, we are continuing to adjust and adapt as a church family.  As we communicated last week, we have implemented a three stage plan in response to the COVID-19 virus and our desire to respond in love. 

In an effort to respond to our community in love and to cooperate with local health authorities in slowing or eliminating the spread of the virus in our area, we will now move to stage 2 of our plan.  This includes:

  • All worship services, Bible Classes, or other gatherings will be canceled until the end of March.  This includes Sunday morning worship services, Bible classes, Trek Groups, Wednesday evening classes, Ladies Bible classes, and many other events.
  • A worship service will be posted online at our website southwest.org on Sunday morning at 9 am and will include worship in singing, communion thoughts, and teaching in our Bible Project 2020 series. Individually packaged communion supplies are available for our members for as long as supplies last.  You can call the church office with what you need and we will bring them to your car as you drive up or bring them to your home if needed.  A simple recipe for communion bread is also available on our website or you can simply pick up supplies at the store.  Let us know if you have special needs on this.
  • More online offerings will be coming soon in adult education, children’s education activities and other helpful services where needed.
  • We encourage our small groups to take a break from meeting for the next two weeks.
  • There are some exceptions. Recovery Ministries (NA, Nar-Anon, Celebrate Recovery, etc.) will continue to meet as long as allowed but are asked to remain in smaller groups.
  • “My Next Steps” will remain open and offering counseling services.
  • Benevolence ministries will remain serving our community in increasing amounts.
  • We will reassess on March 30th and make decisions for the coming weeks.
  • Expect a church-wide email each week with updated information.

Along with the above initiatives, our ministry team is hard at work developing ways that we can stay connected, serve our church family, and serve our community through this time.

We know that this comes with special challenges to some.  If you know of members or friends without internet access, give them a call, read scripture over the phone with them, pray with them.  Stay connected with your small groups and others and we encourage you to use video chat when possible.  Use this time to dig deep into the 2020 Bible project.  Use this time to lean in to sabbath rest. Turn this into something for our good and spiritual strengthening.

Continue to check our website!!!

If you have any questions, give us a call or email!

Southwest Leadership

Communion Bread Recipe

1 cup All Purpose Flour
3 Tbsp. White Sugar
1/3 tsp. Salt
1/3 cup shortening
2 – 2 ½ Tbsp. Milk

Sift flour, sugar and salt together. Cut in shortening. Blend in 2 – 2 ½ tablespoons of milk until dough forms. Using a little flour (just enough to work the dough), roll into 1/4” thickness. Cut, score, place on baking sheet and bake for 13 – 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

March 13, 2020

Dear Southwest Family,

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

As the world around us seems more and more fragile, chaotic, fearful, polarized, judgmental, etc., followers of Jesus must first consider the above commands from scripture as we consider best practices for ourselves, our families, and our church families.

  • How can I best show my neighbor and my community that I love God with all my heart, mind, and strength in the midst of concern and rhetoric surrounding the coronavirus?
  • How do I best love my neighbor in the midst of the concern and rhetoric surrounding the coronavirus?
  • How do we best love those that are most vulnerable in our church family?

When these questions are answered well, it impacts most everything we do. How we interact with others face to face, how we gather as a church, how we interact on social media, how we talk about others whom we disagree with, and how we pray.

With these things in mind, we want to assure you that the Southwest leadership is first considering how we love God and how we best love our neighbors in these times. As the leadership has looked to our community, listened to our members, and prayed for direction we have developed a three stage plan that is fluid and will be implemented as needed as we walk with each other and our community through this time.

Stage 1 (current stage)

Southwest will continue to strive to provide a safe and healthy environment for our church gatherings and increase measures to help prevent the spread of the virus. This stage includes but is not limited to:

  • Southwest’s excellent maintenance and custodial staff will continue routine cleaning while increasing attention to disinfecting tables, chairs, desks, toys, cabinets, door handles, restrooms, sinks, water fountains, and other frequently touched areas.
  • Southwest members are urged to wash their hands often and especially after physical interaction with other members.
  • We will continue to have hand sanitizer available at all entrances and other key areas for our members.
  • Individually packaged communion cups with wafers for the Lord’s supper will be available at the welcome desk.
  • We ask that anyone who is sick or has experienced symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, or body aches in the past 48 hours to stay home. Also, those that are at high risk (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, older adults, compromised immune
    system, etc) are encouraged to exercise caution and wisdom when considering if you should attend a gathering. Take care of your health and those around you.
  • We encourage each other to show love by giving “social space” during this time.
  • All church sponsored out of town travel will be suspended until the end of March and will be reevaluated then.
  • All recovery ministry gatherings will continue during this stage.

Stage 2

Stage 2 will only come into effect with instructions from local health authorities or confirmed cases in the Amarillo/Canyon area. Stage 2 will include:

  • In addition to our current online sermons, we will have a more robust online offering for worship and Bible study for children and adults.
  • Possible cancellations or alternate options of our worship gatherings and/or Bible classes and recovery meetings.
  • Offerings of services to our community for those possibly affected by school closures (meals, computer help, etc).

Stage 3

Stage 3 will only come into effect if there is a confirmed case in our church family or church office:

  • Stage 2 activities will continue as we adhere to the advice of local health authorities.
  • Closure of the church office with phones answered from home by church staff.
  • Cancellation of worship gatherings and Bible classes.

During all stages, Southwest leadership and membership should be vigilant in looking to our community to see ways we can serve sacrificially in the name of Christ. Please call the church office at any time with ideas or needs that you see.

We encourage all to visit www.southwest.org and watch the video addressing conronavirus. For updates as this progresses, our website will be the most current updated source of information. Check there often for information and encouragement.

Thousands of years ago, followers of God would sing together, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” Let us be people that not only sing this song, but live this song with confidence as we look for opportunities to be Christ to our community.

Southwest Leadership

Members