Updated Thursday, March 19, 2020, 8:13 pm
Harvest Church will NOT have Sunday services at the church until further notice.
We will offer a live stream at all regular service times.
Stay tuned for updates.
March 19, 2020
Dear Harvest Family and Friends,
Let's start with a photo!
This is some of our staff on a "Zoom" call Wednesday morning. We were touching base, answering questions, and planning ahead. And we prayed! In this photo you can see that Kayla (bottom center) is praying, as is everybody else. So what in the world is Alex doing??? He is SO much nicer, and reverent, and not-creepy in real life!
Your church staff loves you and we are working hard every day to meet needs, defeat fear, be an encouragement, and discern God's best for our whole church. We are striving every hour to fulfill God's call for our church in new ways and under challenging circumstances. No matter what, we are going to love one another and spur one another on to love and good deeds. God is good, and we can trust Him.
Here are a few things to be aware of:
We want families to continue growing spiritually, connecting with each other, and learning about God even when we can't physically be together on a Sunday morning. Harvest Kids will send a weekly email to families (who have checked their children into a Harvest Kids Sunday service) with links to our weekly Bible story video, activities to do together at home that reinforce the story, the monthly memory verse, and other parent resources. We will keep working to bring you even more tools to keep Sunday teaching alive throughout the week for your children.
Our student ministry (grades 6-12) is recording a weekly message for students to watch online. They will regularly receive invites to engage with us. Oh look, there's Kayla now (are those pajamas?)!
Student small groups will maintain contact through text chats, online resources and leaders personally contacting students.
Speaking of small groups: We used to say, "keep meeting in your small groups." Like most everything else, that changed. We are now encouraging virtual connection through "Zoom." Alex and Katrina will be communicating with coaches and leaders. If you are not in a Harvest Group, this is actually a good time to get started as we are planning a weekly online Harvest Group. Contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events & Classes
If you were a part of an ongoing event (Designed, God's Storyline, FPU, Alpha, etc.) look for more info in the next few days about how we will proceed.
Harvest Church is "Community Focused" and now more than ever. One of the most vulnerable populations in our homeless and especially our teenagers. We partner closely with Tumbleweed, and I am asking you to help. As you'd figure, the food pantry is being depleted rapidly. Every summer we fill it. But the need is now. So, please see the "item ideas" and bring food items to the church lobby over the next couple of days or go straight to Tumbleweed (drop off hours are Monday-Friday, 1-3 pm). Thank you!
Financially, this is a vulnerable time. Most of us are a little nervous and wary right now ... or darn right scare! Some of us have already lost income and/or employment. We see you and we feel it and we are praying and figuring out how we can help. Your church is planning ahead even now so we can help people as much as God will allow. Everybody, please be thoughtful and gracious with those who are struggling.
Please join us online for church services this Sunday at 8:30 am, 10 am, or 11:30 am. I'll address some things on my heart, we will worship, dive more into Hebrews, and we will defeat fear together.
That's enough for now. Thanks for making it all the way through this. I'll stay in touch.
March 14, 2020
Dear Harvest Family,
Well, darn. Earlier today we told you we were having services tomorrow but would update you if anything changes. Things changed. Harvest Church will NOT be having services Sunday, March 15 at our physical location. We WILL be having services online at 8:30 am, 10 am, and 11:30 am.
We have been monitoring COVID-19 closely and heeding the prudent and loving advice of our medical professionals. The considerable medical and anecdotal information makes it wise for us to no put more people at risk by having a large gathering. This is not about fear, but actually about loving and protecting one another.
I'm really bummed because I was looking forward to being with you Sunday morning and worshiping and learning together. I feel like we need each other more than ever. We'll stay the course online and get back together as soon as possible. And, I was going to give you an "anchor" (temporary) tattoo this Sunday. I'll save it for the next time we are together. The key verse Sunday is, appropriately, Hebrews 6:19 which says, "We have this home as an anchor for the should, firm and secure." Hope is encouraging and we can have hope that God keep His promises to us. We can trust Him.
I love you and hope to be together soon. In the meantime, please join us Sunday morning online.
Encouraged by Hope,
March 14, 2020
We sent an email out yesterday afternoon, and at the time, there were no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Montana, much less Yellowstone County. As I'm sure you know, that is no longer the case, now with four presumed cases in the state of Montana.
We have been in discussion with health officials this morning and feel comfortable moving ahead with our plans to hold church services with our previously stated precautions you can find at harvestchurch.tv. We are monitoring the situation hourly and will update you if anything changes. If you are comfortable attending, we look forward to seeing you tomorrow at one of our three services at 8:30, 10:00 or 11:30 am.
March 13, 2020
Dear Church Family,
The note in yesterday's "Virus prep at Harvest Church" email included a line that we're canceling church until 2021. To be clear, Vern was joking (for those of us not up on today's slang, "JK" means "Just Kidding"). We WILL have church services this weekend, along with most large churches in Billings, and will evaluate each week as we learn more about the Coronavirus and the eventual impact in the Billings area.
We will communicate weekly for the foreseeable future our plans for church services via multiple communication channels (email, text messaging, social media). In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at our 8:30, 10:00, or 11:30 am services this Sunday!
March 12, 2020
Dear Harvest Family,
One of the central teachings of the Bible is that God is sovereign. Sovereignty just means that God is all-powerful and is the ruler of all things — He is in complete control of His universe. It doesn’t mean He controls all things, but that He is in control of all things. Even the coronavirus.
As of this writing, COVID-19 (a.k.a. the coronavirus) hasn’t hit our part of the country yet, even though Montana is now under a state of emergency. They say it’s inevitable, so we are just going to be proactive about it: Church is canceled until 2021, but you’ll get credit for going! Congratulations. Best church attendance ever!(just kidding)
At Harvest, we strive for a safe and welcoming environment. We are disinfecting everything, and we aren’t going to make you shake hands if you don’t want. For the extra germaphobic, we don't 2 Corinthians 13:12!
So, keep coming to church. The building will be clean, the children’s rooms and toys will be disinfected, and we won’t put sick people in your face. But we will gather to worship and learn and trust. God is sovereign. Interestingly, I have a friend who works with underground (illegal) churches in a large communist country. The coronavirus has allowed those churches to flourish and grow because the government has stopped persecuting churches while they are trying to get a handle on the virus. God is sovereign. You can trust Him.
How we are being proactive
Frequent and intensive cleanings in our kids, students, and adult worship venues.
Handles, railings, and doors will be routinely sprayed and wiped down with disinfectant.
All kids will receive hand sanitizer when they enter their classrooms.
While our Guest Services teams usually greet you with a friendly smile and a handshake, they will be greeting you with a warm smile and a wave for the upcoming weeks.
If you, your child, or a member of your family is feeling sick, we ask that you stay home and catch the sermon on our website.