Coronavirus Updates

April 9th, 2020




April 8th, 2020

Dear Faith Church Family & Friends - 
 
You’ve seen it across the news that this next week our country is to face an unprecedented number of coronavirus deaths. It’s being referred to as our “Pearl Harbor” moment. It’s not hard to hear news like this and understand we are living in a very fearful world right now. But at the same time, in the midst of this very difficult time, a time of uncertainty across the world, we are about to celebrate the greatest invitation of hope. There is nothing coincidental about the timing of this week coinciding with Holy Week, friends. Jesus is the hope that holds steady no matter what we are facing, even the coronavirus. 
 
I’m not discrediting what we are experiencing, what people are facing - isolation from loved ones, financial struggles, spiritual warfare, the loss of loved ones or loved ones being on the front lines, etc. But - there needs to be a but - now more than ever people are seeking an answer and the only answer is a risen King! We have the opportunity to share the gift of hope and what Jesus did for us on the cross 2,000 years ago. 
 
We invite you to not only join us but help us spread hope to your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, socially distant cashiers at essential grocery stores, etc. Celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with us! It’s a time for us to show the world that we can’t be broken when our hope is in the one whose name is most high. It doesn’t change the circumstances around us but it can give us the hope to not live in fear.
 
Good Friday - April 10
Each Faith Campus will host its own Good Friday service. Connect with your Campus Facebook page at 5 or 7 PM to remember and reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus (Faith Beecher, Faith Cedar Lake, Faith Dyer, Faith Highland, Faith Munster, Faith Schererville).
 
Easter - April 12
Gather your family together - whether dressed in pajamas or your Easter best - and be filled with hope as we worship together as one church in celebration of the resurrected King. Gather with us at 9 or 11 AM on your Faith Church Campus Facebook page (Faith Beecher, Faith Cedar Lake, Faith Dyer, Faith Highland, Faith Munster, Faith Schererville) or here
 
Easter looks different this year in the sense that we aren’t celebrating physically in 
person together or having big family parties. The meaning of the day is no different though; we’d love for you to snap a picture of your family worshipping and celebrating with us. Share it with hashtag #wearefaith 
 
Please know - whether you are struggling right now (emotionally, spiritually, financially, all of the above) or you have questions - we are here for you. Just reach out! We are never too far away! Below you can find a new video that features John Bivona, a senior biosafety officer at The University of Chicago. He shares practical ways to protect your health at this time. 
 
Further, the previous two weeks you have been invited to fast and pray for the needs related to the coronavirus. This will be a weekly practice moving forward. Will you join me? It will begin every Thursday after dinner and break (fast) at dinner on Friday night. Also, at 12:12 PM on Fridays we will pause and pray as one (after Romans 12:12 - Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer).
 
And now to close. Our preschool children learned a new song last weekend as part of the Faith Kids online curriculum. The lyrics go a little something like, “I don’t need to be afraid no more, afraid no more, God I’m yours.” God loves you, friends, today and every day. Find rest in Him! 
 
For the glory of God,
Pastor Bob 




April 7th, 2020




April 2nd, 2020




April 1st, 2020

Dear Faith Church Family & Friends - 
 
From our pastors, to staff, to worship leaders, to Faith Kids and Reflectors teams - we all miss you. We have missed the opportunity to physically see each of you in-person these last couple of weeks. I feel I include this a lot in my emails, but I truly am so grateful that we have technology that can keep us connected, as one church, reaching across the world even from our couches. 
 
As we honor and participate in the rules of social distancing, we will continue to host weekend worship services online. All Faith Church campuses will worship as one body on Sundays at 9 & 11 AM, and the service will be available on each campus Facebook page and here.
 
This upcoming weekend is Palm Sunday, when we commemorate the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem with palm branches. The service will include a message for kids, so we have a palm printout for you to access. Parents - could you print this out so your child(ren) can color it and cut it out to have as part of the service? We thank you in advance!
 
While it may seem difficult to stay connected, we really want you to be in community with others and with us. Please watch the latest video below, which includes an update from Highland’s Associate Pastor Tim Huizenga and myself. Tim shares helpful tools as to how you can stay connected with your Faith campus as well as how now is a better time than any to be participating in a small group. Campuses are also hosting midweek devotions, worship nights, prayer gatherings and also sharing other updates on their Facebook pages; check out your campus page to find out more (Faith Beecher, Faith Cedar Lake, Faith Dyer, Faith Highland, Faith Munster, Faith Schererville).
 
Lastly, I’d like to invite you to join me in fasting and prayer this Friday, April 3. Eat supper on Thursday and break (fast) at supper on Friday night. We will pray during meal times for healing, care, wisdom, our country’s leaders, the elderly and a miraculous end to the coronavirus. Will you join me? 
 
This unusual and difficult time does bring about its own sort of beauty; have you noticed yet in your own life, at home, while driving for essential groceries, while watching the news? I asked my Facebook friends what good they’ve experienced - family dinners, spending time outdoors, the stresses of school and sports schedules fall from my children’s faces, leaning into ‘today is a gift’, reconnecting with yourself, connecting with family we don’t regularly check in with, among many others. Be encouraged, friends. We serve a big, BIG God. God can produce good out of bad (James 1:1-4). 

Pastor Bob
 
P.S. – If you have any questions, just ask.




March 31th, 2020




March 26th, 2020




March 25th, 2020

Dear Faith Church Family & Friends - 
 
Within the last five days, both Illinois and Indiana governors issued ‘stay at home’ orders through April 7. In these times, I think it’s easy to wonder, “How am I supposed to live out my faith while I am at home?”, and I wanted to share a couple of significant ways God can use you right now even in the midst of all this.

  • Video Chat: I have seen so many incredible uses of video chat! Rather than sending text messages, people have more time to video chat others to (re)connect. Personally, I’ve used video chat to talk to my friends in Florida, in work meetings each day, and even in continuing to have our small group gatherings.
  • Livestream: We have the incredible privilege to gather as a church - and also invite people to gather with us. There are numerous churches across the country who do not have livestream capabilities. You have the fortunate opportunity to let people know they can gather with us on the weekends to hear God’s Word. Trust me, people need to hear it especially in these times, they need hope!
  • Quiet Time: How many extra minutes do you have in your day now to sit quietly with the Lord? How many more minutes in the day do you have to call upon the Lord (looking at you parents who are home with your kids 24/7!)? Perhaps, in the midst of this, God is breaking you from your routine, your jam-packed schedule, because he desires to spend more time with you. What if you set aside time - even as a family - to be off your devices and spend time in God’s Word, in your own ways as I know it can be hard for families with young ones.
  • Grow: Last weekend we shared on grow, personal growth. You see, God calls for us to move forward in life and its challenges, continuing to grow as we examine His truth and ask for His guidance (any of this resonating in these particular times). I wanted to iterate two specific assets that can help you in your growth: our 4 Year Bible Reading plan, which sends you a daily scripture and devotional, and a Spiritual Health Survey so you can evaluate your current strengths and growth areas. Further, we’d like to invite you to join us for a day of fasting and prayer starting after dinner on Thursday, March 26 and break the fast at dinner time on Friday, March 27. We will skip breakfast and lunch on Friday to pray for those affected by the coronavirus - for the sick to be healed, for those feeling anxious and worried, for first responders and medical teams, etc. 

While we can’t invite you to our physical campuses, we want you to continue to gather with us, at least weekly. This coming Sunday, March 29 at 9 & 11 AM we will host another all-campus worship service, which will be available on all of our Faith Church Facebook pages (Faith Beecher, Faith Cedar Lake, Faith Dyer, Faith Highland, Faith Munster, Faith Schererville) and here. Interact with others from your campus, including pastors and worship leaders. Fun fact - last week, 2,258 households viewed the worship services on our Facebook pages! 

I’ll close with a scripture I needed this week in Psalm 62 - God is my ROCK (steady foundation), God is my FORTRESS (a wall of protection), God is my SALVATION (a loving hand to save us). I shall not be SHAKEN!
 
Bless you, friends.
Pastor Bob




March 24th, 2020




March 20th, 2020




March 18th, 2020

With regular announcements being made both federally and locally, please know our Leadership Team is meeting daily to discern what this means for worship, ministry gatherings, building openings, etc. We promise to continue to keep you informed on the measures Faith Church is taking during this time.
 
In regards to the coming weekend (March 21 & 22), we will have an all-campus worship service available on our Faith Church Facebook pages (Faith Beecher, Faith Cedar Lake, Faith Dyer, Faith Highland, Faith Munster, Faith Schererville) as well as on WeAreFaith.org on Sunday, March 22 at 9 & 11 AM. I’m so grateful for technology, that even now while we can’t gather in-person, we are able to worship together as one church. I really want to encourage you to participate with us this weekend - “go” to church at 9 or 11 - on Facebook so you can interact with others from your campus, including pastors and worship leaders.
 
We will continue in The 4G Life series on Grow. While we are being asked to limit our interactions and social gatherings, we still need to grow daily in our walk with God. What better time than now, in a world currently filled with anxiety and fear surrounding the coronavirus. God calls for us to move forward in life and its challenges, continuing to grow as we examine His truth and ask for His guidance in our lives. 
 
For families with children in Nursery, Preschool and/or Elementary, the Faith Kids video lesson is available here and on the Faith Kids Facebook page. Have fun and worship together! Additionally, Brian Dennert, Faith Church’s own resident theologian, wrote a great blog about church history and mass illness. We can learn from Christians in previous times of health crises. Take a read


March 12th, 2020

Yesterday, the Indiana and Illinois governments gave guidance on how to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, which included canceling large gatherings of people. Given these directives, we will not be having in-person worship gatherings at any of our Faith Church campuses this weekend and will reschedule the baptisms, professions of faith and welcoming of new members that were planned for the weekend.
 
Participate in Weekend Worship from Home
While we cannot gather together in person, we believe it is important to hear from God and respond to Him in song in all circumstances - especially in this time with much uncertainty and anxiety - so we will have online options. 

  • Our Dyer Campus will have an online service available starting at 5 PM on Saturday, March 14 and throughout the weekend here and on the Faith Church app
  • Our Highland Campus will stream on Facebook at 9 AM on Sunday, March 15.
  • Our Cedar Lake Campus will stream on Facebook at 9:30 AM on Sunday, March 15.

 
Since there will not be an offering in services, we wanted to remind you that you can give online here. The Faith Kids video lesson for Nursery/Preschool and Elementary is available here, and resources for families will be available on the Faith Kids Facebook page.
 
Small Group Gatherings
Because the government directives concern large gatherings, at this point smaller gatherings (those of less than 100) are allowed. Other classes and groups may still meet if proper measures are taken concerning hygiene, cleaning, physical contact and social distancing of participants. Please check with your ministry or group leader if you have questions or concerns about a particular meeting.
 
Future Updates from Church Leadership
Since this is a constantly changing and fluid situation, we will continue to provide updates on the status of church activities as well as spiritual guidance at this time. Please continue to check your email, our website and Faith Church social media channels for updates. 
 
Living as People of Faith 
In this season in which we must limit our physical contact with others to help prevent the spread of disease and demonstrate love towards others, may we continue to connect with God and each other in the ways that we are able. Let us: 

  • Continue to pray to God regarding these circumstances, for those whose health is affected and for those seeking to guide us through this time. Let us turn to His Word for guidance and hope in this season with so much uncertainty; reading in the book of Psalms as part of our 4 Year Bible Reading Plan has brought comfort and confidence in God at this time. 
  • Use technology to stay connected with and encourage others in the faith - call or text someone to let them know you are thinking of them or praying for them. We can also find ways to continue to gather in small groups in this season (or connect in groups on video calls).
  • Remember that the church is not a building or a worship gathering but rather God’s people who gather and scatter. Let us live as God’s people in this world who turn to Him and show love and kindness to others.

 
Trusting in Him,
Pastor Bob, on behalf of the Faith Church Leadership Team