This press release below described ChurchSpot as a web-based platform that was designed to increase church commitment and communication. ChurchSpot was first launched in 2008 and its last update was October 2011, according to archive.org. Also see the 2 blog posts at https://reserveaspot.blogspot.com from its founder to learn more about the ChurchSpot software.Continue reading
May 9, 2020
Dear Saddleback Family,
I MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! I pray for you all the time. I pray that God will give you the strength to adjust to all of the many changes COVID-19 has caused.
As your pastor – someone who loves you very much – my goal during this season is to provide you with calm, competent, and reassuring direction that will help you survive and even thrive in all the chaos. Each week, I’m seeking to assist you in managing the “dis-ease” (stress) being caused by the disease of the coronavirus.
This is NOT the first crisis (or even pandemic) that I’ve led our church family through I think this is the 33rd national or international crisis we’ve gone through together in 40 years, so we’re confident in what to do and when to do it. The HIV & AIDS virus pandemic of the 80’s, 90s, & 2000s has killed 32 million people worldwide and we’re still fighting that one.
Of course, everybody wants to know “When will we be able to meet together again?” My answer is: If you read our special COVID-19 daily email newsletter, Saddleback@Home you will be the first to know what that happens Because of our size, it is very likely that smaller churches of 50 or 75 people will be able to open sooner than Saddleback Besides Disneyland, there aren’t many places in Southern California that attract crowds our size.
Last week, I taught you the first half of a message on “Ten Commandments For Emotional Health.” I shared 5 biblical principles to live by during COVID-19 Thanks to the many of you who wrote me this past week, saying how helpful and practical those first 5 principles were for reducing the current stress.Now, this weekend, I’ll share the last 5 ‘Commandments’ – instructions God gives us to handle the crises that we go through in life. Here’s the TEACHING OUTLINE in PDF and WORD formats, and also your SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.
Let me urge you again, to invite your unchurched friends to watch this practical series on how to handle the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic It’s not going to be over quickly! Help them out.
THE SENSELESS TRAGEDY OF THE SHOOTING OF AHMAUD ARBERY
This week, we all learned the truth behind the sad ordeal of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder. Once again, an unarmed young black man was gunned down by two white citizens – a father and son. And once again, justice was not served immediately. Over two months went by without an arrest – until a video of the murder was leaked to social media and the world is justifiably outraged. Is this the kind of nation we want to live in? NO! A thousand times NO!
Right now, I am so heartbroken for Ahmaud’s family, so incensed at the injustice, so angry at the racism of the perpetrators, and so fearful for the safety of our brothers and sisters of every color – both in our own church family, and in the larger Body of Christ I’m also so discouraged that in 2020 this kind of blatant racism and violence still exists.
You’ve heard me say many times that “Racism is not a SKIN issue. Racism is a SIN issue! It is an insult to God who made every person in His image Racism says “God, you made a mistake by not making everyone else like me.” It is the ultimate arrogance.
Sadly, what Isaiah described thousands of years ago is still true today: “Injustice is everywhere and justice is turned back. Righteousness (doing what’s right)has been sidelined Truth falls dead in the streets, and fairness has been pushed away.“ Isaiah 59:14
As Christ followers, WE…MUST…STOP…THIS…NOW!
Pastor Rick Warren
Purpose Driven Network
Global P.E.A.C.E. Initiative
Finishing the Task Coalition
Daily HOPE Broadcast
(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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
You’re invited to the 40th anniversary at Saddleback Church’s Lake Forest Campus on February 9th, 2020. It’s a giant all-campus outdoor party where all SoCal campuses will come together at Lake Forest for a fun event to launch the new decade! 9:00am to 3:00pm. All parking will be off-campus. Shuttles provided.
The official website is saddleback.com/40
Come and celebrate God’s goodness together!
A Saddleback Church 40th anniversary website is under construction with more information to come.
When that’s launched, you’ll see it at saddleback.com and this blog post will get updated with a link to it.