It’s a season of firsts for most of us.

Today we had our first virtual staff meeting because of the coronavirus guidelines. Our staff probably thought they were getting out of meetings, but no way! To be honest, I thought we would be unable to have all the snarky and pretty humorous side comments that make our meetings fun. But boy, was I wrong! You see, there’s a chat side bar attached to Zoom meetings that filled up with…well…shall we say…”additional ideas and brainstorming.” Let’s just call it that for now. You had to be there.

About half our staff has a friend who we were around last week who came down with a cough and fever over the weekend. There’s no positive coronavirus test because urgent care doesn’t test for mild symptoms. But, in an abundance of caution, we all quarantined ourselves today, but still got a lot of work done! I was proud of them. Many of you joined us at RVCC Online over the weekend for services and we’ve received a lot of great feedback. Plans are already in motion for this weekend as well.

For today, I want to give you some quick updates:

God is still in control. He was not surprised by this, and walks with us through this season.
The offices and buildings at Graham and Parkland will be closed starting tomorrow in order to abide by the latest recommendations by the CDC and Health Department to stop the spread of the virus.
The Rooted Week 10 and the celebration will be rescheduled at a later date to be determined.
Community Dinner is still on for tonight. Our great crew is making sack dinners they will hand out as people come. The plan for the future is to continue this practice, but final decisions have not been made.
We are encouraging our Community Groups and other types of groups to be creative as you support each other and stay active in each other’s lives. Perhaps you could do a virtual group (complete with snarky sidebar), or meet in a location where you can social distance but be together, or meet in smaller subsets, or…? Mostly, we really hope you'll continue to explore the variety of options God intends for us to use to continue being in community even when we cannot meet face to face.
We are making plans early this week for our church members to support and take care of each other, especially those who are not in small groups, or need extra help. Look for an email tomorrow outlining the first steps towards this.
In the meantime, you can contact any of our staff and elders through RVCC Connect, our database and online church directory. If you have not registered with RVCC Connect, then now is the perfect time to do that! Head to our church website and click ,"RVCC Connect Login" to get started. Just chose "Request Account" then watch for an activation email. This may take up to a day or so, since it's not an automated process. If you have an existing profile, please take the time to review and update – bonus points for uploading a profile picture! It helps everyone to be able to put faces with names.
We are also in conversations with our local school district partners in order to discover practical ways we can continue to help and serve our community. We should have some more information on that later this week or next week.
We are planning to start a daily devotion time on Facebook Live at noon everyday where you can join us from wherever you are for some biblical encouragement, support, and community. I named it “Soup, Salad, and Scripture” but for some crazy reason my beloved staff didn’t like the alluring alliteration. Can’t imagine why. Maybe when you join us at noon tomorrow we’ll have a name for it!
I was sent a prayer recently by one of our church members. Here’s a section of it that I want to share,
Almighty God, I praise You, because You are the God who is Good all the time, regardless of our circumstances. You are the Father who is Gracious and Merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in Steadfast Love. You are the King who is enthroned above every other power and principality. You are the God who is always in control. You are the God for whom nothing is impossible. You are Trustworthy and Faithful and True. You are the God who makes a way where there seems to be no way. You are the God who Heals and Restores and Redeems. You are the Good Shepherd who leads us in paths that are good and who will never leave us or forsake us.

Amen to that! Trust in God and His goodness. We will be in very regular communication via email and social media. 

- Rusty, for the staff of RVCC