Aspen Ridge Church will celebrate the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter weekend. The weekend will include a community outreach: MOPS Hop Easter Egg hunt on Saturday along with a Saturday Night family service at 5:00 PM and ending with a free food truck evening meal. Further, we will have services on Sunday at 9:00 and 10:30 AM. Our theme will be the “reality of the resurrection.” Bring a friend.

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Aspen Ridge Family,

As I ponder the upcoming celebration of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ (what we call Easter), I am giving special attention to the value and significance of gathering in local Christian churches for such celebration. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control asked local Christian churches (among other public entities and places) to close their buildings. Since then, we have faced unprecedented tensions to divide or not to gather. These fall generally in two directions.

On the one hand, individuals believe churches who follow government guidelines for wearing masks and respecting physical distance have succumbed to outside pressure and are in compromise. These people believe a great battle is being waged for religious freedom and our constitutional republic. It is time to resist and stand up to governmental pressure. Those who do not resist are weak.

On the other hand, other individuals believe that too many who attend church dis-regard important guidelines needed to safeguard their health and the health of others. These include individuals who have a family member at high(er) risk, health care workers and others fearful of contracting COVID 19. Their hearts are broken that culture “warriors” will not limit their freedoms for the sake of others.

In both cases, people are choosing to stay away from the public gatherings of Christian churches. How do we go forward in public celebration of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ? In the way of love for God and love of neighbor. Gathering with fellow believers in celebration of Jesus’ bodily resurrection is a demonstration of love for God. If you are in the second group listed (above), please know that Aspen Ridge Church is respecting state guidelines and asking people to observe physical distance and to wear masks when moving about to love neighbor and limit the spread of COVID 19.

If you are in the first group listed (above), please know that our decision to respect governmental guidance is not a decision made from fear. We regularly preach a message that is counter-cultural. Our statement of faith holds firm. Our teaching from the Scriptures does not waver; we believe that Jesus Christ “is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the Father but through Him.” There are hills we will die on; however, current guidelines with respect to COVID 19 are not hills we will die on.

Instead, we will go forward in the way of love for God and love for neighbor. If you gather with us, you will find us seeking both. For the sake of love for God, we will gather in public worship, even though there is some risk associated with going to any public place. For the sake of love for neighbor we will respect guidelines and wear masks when moving about.

This is our playbook for moving forward in such difficult times. Will you join us?

Expectantly,
Pastor Jeff

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