Gathering is one of our four core values at Victoria Alliance Church. Bringing people together is something we believe reflects the nature of Jesus' work in our lives. This is why we hold fast to the encouragement of scripture that tells us "not to give up meeting together" (Hebrews 10:25).
But then there are times when gathering is not an option. You are out of town travelling. You are taking care of a sick family member. Or perhaps you are unwell yourself. How can you stay home from church and still experience the encouragement of those gathered?
Well here are a few thoughts to help keep you feeling connected and on mission with the gathered church.
1) We experience community when we are connected intimately with Jesus.
One of the most life-altering truths about Jesus is that He is God with us, Immanuel. While there are times you may seem alone - you are never to be lonely in Christ Jesus. The companionship of the Spirit is with you at all times in all places - so quiet your mind and invite God to speak a word to you. Then wait. Communion with God is often encountered in the waiting.
2) We have lots of ways to keep informed
Realizing that information is not the same as feeling connected, it sure does help us to feel in the loop and to keep the message and mission of our faith community in mind. We post audio recordings weekly of our sermons, usually by 1pm Sunday. We have regular blog posts and News posts to help keep you in the know. There is an active social media page on both Facebook and Instagram that seeks to meet you in your day and intersect your activities with the message of Jesus. Many new tools help us connect information easier than ever before.
Still, we want to encourage an old-fashioned approach too. Pick up your phone. Call someone who you know was at church and ask them to fill you in. Invite them to be praying for you. Ask how you can be praying for them. It is tempting to wait for others to call you. But why wait? You're thinking about them right now. So call.
3) There are ways to stay on mission from home or afar.
Our mission is to make Jesus known among us, around us, beyond us. Regardless of where you find yourself on a Sunday morning, our mission can be prayed for, supported, and lived into. Get connected to our prayer chain ministry. Prayer is a first step of everything we do. Be in prayer for your faith community and the impact that we might have in our neighbourhood. Give generously and regularly to support the continued efforts of the church. Recurring gifts are easy through our online platform and help connect you on mission from wherever life takes you. Live on mission in your home, on your way, as you work. Making Jesus known happens best when we live our lives with the intention of doing so. Wake up and determine your life to be a part of God's story. Be ready to respond when He leads you to opportunity.
4)There is help.
None of us are meant to journey alone. We can be praying for you. Let us know how to pray best. There are sometimes ways we can draw alongside for encouragement. The office can help get you connected to our care team. We can come to you. Let the office know if you would like a care team visit. Asking for help can be hard. We understand that. Do it anyway. We all need help sometimes.
Gathered or not - you are loved. May you feel the encouragement of Jesus with you today.