(mirrored from church e-newsletter)

HEADS UP: Only ONLINE SERVICES this weekend. Campuses will be closed.

IMMEDIATE NOTICE. More to come this evening!

Thursday afternoon, March 12, 2020

Dear Saddleback Family,

Later this evening I will be sending you a longer, detailed explanation of how our church family has been dealing with the coronavirus crisis, and what we’re going to do in the days ahead.

We’ve been SO busy responding to the needs, both in our own church and to other churches that look to us, that we have had little opportunity to stop and communicate with you.

But I want you to know this: ALL SERVICES at ALL CAMPUSES are cancelled for this weekend.

Instead I am asking everyone to meet with your small group. Choose a time to meet in a home and watch the SERVICE ONLINE together.

In a second letter I’ll send you later today, I’ll list at least six different ways you can watch the service this weekend with your small group in a home.

In this advanced, brief note, I just want you to plan to meet with your small group on either Saturday or Sunday to watch the services instead of going to your campus.

Before we decided to cancel our weekend services, I had already planned to share a special message on this coronavirus crisis in the middle of our Time to Dream series.

This weekend’s message is on What to Do in a Crisis: Our Response to the Coronavirus will cover three things:

  1. Give everyone encouragement and calm their fears in these anxious days. We’ll review all of the simple ways that you can protect yourself from getting the virus AND also protect yourself from feeling overwhelmed by worry and stress.
  2. Give healthy people a list of practical ways they can protect the most vulnerable around us. People over 60 years old with lowered immunity due to an illness like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or upper respiratory problems are the most vulnerable.
  3. Give churches three immediate ways we can serve our communities during this crisis.

I’ve been in direct contact with the national Center for Disease Control (CDC) this week because the national director, Dr. Robert Redfield, is a long-time dear friend of mine and Kay’s. Bob has worked with us on the “C” of the P.E.A.C.E. Plan, “CARE for the Sick,” from the very beginning. He designed the prototype for our local church-based healthcare system we developed in Rwanda, which is now copied in many other places. Bob has spoken at Saddleback. Also because of our church’s involvement in the AIDS pandemic and 33 national and international disasters, we are deeply connected to the healthcare leaders at local, county, state, and national levels.

Every need in our world is an OPEN DOOR to show God’s love! Little did we know that when we set our 5 Open D.O.O.R.S. goals that we would be given the opportunity to start practicing and working on two of the goals immediately:

Outshine the Darkness and Serve people in pain. Before we’ve even finished our 40-day introductory study, the coronavirus opened these two doors.

Please pray for me as I am praying for you!

Please be sure to LOOK FORWARD TO MY LONGER LETTER TO YOU TONIGHT.

I love you and thank God for you!

Pastor Rick Warren
Saddleback Church