Easter 2020: April 12, 9:00 & 10:30am
Join us from around the city as we celebrate Easter together in our homes! Services are designed for the whole family!
Good Friday 2020: April 10, 6:00pm
Come be a part as we celebrate our freedom from the curse of sin through the death of Christ. Service is family friendly!
Be Doxology This Easter
This unusual season has many people looking for answers to life’s deepest questions and wondering if there is any hope. In the week leading up to Easter, we're going to show them how Christ has impacted our lives. Click to learn how!#JesusChangedMyLife
A Note From Chris
Thank you for your prayers this week as our elders discussed next-steps for Doxology coming out of the pandemic, specifically as it relates to masks and social distancing. Obviously, it’s not a simple decision. We’ve done a lot of praying, researching, discussing, and consulting along the way. At the end of that, here’s where we’ve landed: For at least the next few weeks we’re going to continue to ask everyone in the building to wear a mask and observe social distancing recommendations.
It’s important for you to know a couple of things: First, our grid wasn’t (and couldn’t have been) “What are our preferences?” “What are our politics?” Or even “What is likely to be the most popular?” Our elders (just like you) would land in different spots on all three of those questions. The place we found unity is in asking “What do we believe is the wise thing to do from here?” And more specifically, “What does love require of us right now?”
The Bible is abundantly clear that God expects His people to take up the cause of the vulnerable (Psalm 41:1, 82:1-4, Matthew 25:40, Romans 15:1, etc…). Medical professionals and epidemiologists virtually all agree that people over 65 and with pre-existing medical conditions are especially vulnerable to this disease. Those experts disagree on the effectiveness of masks; how similar singing is to coughing; and how significant the threat is of a bunch of unmasked churchgoers sharing the disease and carrying it back to our community. There are some things we just simply can’t know for sure.
So, it seems to our elders that the wisest path forward is for us to continue to sacrifice our preferences a little while longer (even if you personally believe the sacrifice is purely symbolic).
How long? Well, our eyes are on the availability of vaccines to anyone in that vulnerable population who wants it (1A and 1B). Once that time comes (and the experts we’ve consulted currently believe we’re talking weeks, not months), we believe we could make masks optional while affirming before Jesus that we’ve done everything insofar as it depends on us to care for the vulnerable among us and in the world around us.
We (obviously) know that this decision won’t thrill everyone, perhaps even for opposite reasons, and would humbly ask you for grace. Last week we sang “Amazing Grace” together, and I’ve been singing the second verse all day. It gives words to both my rejoicing and my request at this moment in our history: “Through many dangers, toils, and snares, we have already come.” (Thank you, Lord) “‘Tis grace that brought us safe this far, and grace will lead us home.”
A note from Chris
A few weeks ago I wrote to let you know that we were holding in our posture of asking you to wear masks until we were confident our most vulnerable neighbors who wanted a COVID vaccine had access to one. We believe our responsibility as Christ-followers has been to love and care for that population, even when it means laying aside our preferences, or even sometimes temporarily, our freedoms (1 Corinthians 9:19). All indications are that we've surpassed that mark over the past few weeks and the data seems headed in the right direction in virtually every other area as well.
So beginning this Sunday, April 18th:
One additional piece of information that may be encouraging to you: We've recently installed technology called "Bi-polar Ionization" on our HVAC system building-wide. It is designed and used by many hospitals and labs to, among other things, instantly reduce airborne pathogens. Researchers at Nagasaki and Shimane Universities recently conducted a study specific to the COVID and found that this technology reduced the level of airborne virus by 91% in just a few seconds. Older (pre-COVID) studies show similar results with other airborne microorganisms. It doesn't eliminate all risk but may be one more thing to boost your confidence as you're joining us in person.
As you all know, masks have been one issue in a long list of extraordinarily divisive issues in our world over the past many months. With only a very few exceptions, I've never been more proud of the way the Doxology Family has responded every step of the way. You as a church have continued to adopt a posture of grace, humility, and sacrificial love toward each other and toward our neighbors, even - maybe even especially - in areas where we have strong and differing opinions. That looks and sounds a lot like Jesus to me and has made it a particular joy to be your pastor during what continues to be an unprecedented season for all of us. Grateful for your continued prayers, grace and kindness toward us, toward each other, and toward a complicated world who needs clear expressions of Jesus as much as ever.
I can't wait to see you as soon as you're ready and able to return!
In-Building Safety Precautions
We can’t wait to see you in-person as soon as you’re ready. For now, here are 4 really important things to remember about what to expect when you show up. They were written by a pastor, so they all begin with “S.”
Spaced Out: God has blessed us with a large auditorium, and we’re going to use it all.
Sanitary: Of course, no place on earth has ever been able to promise 100% safety but we’re committed to getting as close as we can on Sundays.
Sacrificial: This is already built into our DNA as Doxology. We do church as a family. When we decided to scatter, it was in response to the question “What does love require of me?” We’re expecting to re-gather in the same posture: open-handed, flexible, and attentive to the sensitivities of others around us; not just our own.
Significant: We are committed to making sure when you get in your car to leave on a Sunday, you say “I’m so glad I came today.” Even though things will look and feel a bit different than they did when we left, there is no reason it should be any less significant. What we do isn’t limited even if how we do it needs to have some limits for now. Come prepared and expecting to be a part of something significant. Worship always is.
We're back in our building!
Our Sunday morning services are back in our building at 9:00 and 10:30am (RSVPs are not required to attend the worship service, though they are required for Children’s Ministry). In an effort to be good neighbors in our community and to anyone who walks through our doors, we'll be sure to take all the recommended safety precautions, including wearing masks and social distancing. Children's Ministry is available for both services for children ages birth through elementary!
Children's Ministry for nursery thru elementary aged children is available for both our 9am and 10:30am services! No reservations are required for Children's Ministry. We're so excited to have your kids back with us!
For Those Who Have RSVP'd
This season we are all navigating uncharted territory, and there is ground to take! Opportunities will arise to love our neighbors, families, and communities in ways that have never been presented to us before. Below are five areas of strategic focus that we hope engage throughout this next season, as well as daily devotional. Check out each of these for ways you can care for yourself and your family, serve our community, and stay connected!
If you are unable to attend in-person, we will be worshiping together all across our city! Join us Sundays at 9:00 or 10:30am via our online service!online service
Join us for our monthly Zoom online prayer gathering on the first Thursday of the month at 9am! This is a 30 minute time of encouragement and prayer, as we pray together and for each other. You can find the zoom link for the online prayer gathering this week through the link below. We hope to see you there!prayerAugust 6 zoom link
This season has exposed many of our own vulnerabilities and lack of control. God's solution is never to try and overcome and fix it on our own. Check out this week's resources for ways to get connected!CARE/Community
Check out this week’s resources to facilitate meaningful conversations with your family and have some fun! Watch a good movie and have some fun conversations with your kids!parent resources
Want to keep the kids busy and engaged during the Sunday morning service? Check out these activities including coloring sheets, discussion guides, and more! UPDATED EVERY FRIDAY.Sunday parent guide
Helping Neighborhoods Thrive
“This was the easiest neighborhood party that I have ever thrown!” This is likely the party that your neighbors are just waiting for your invitation! Read Gary’s story here!NeiGhborhoods thriving
Daily Devotionals Through the Psalms
Seasons of uncertainty are ever present throughout Scripture. Join us as we journey through the Psalms together with our daily devotionals. New devotionals will be posted daily.daily devotionals
This is a season of navigating uncharted territory, and there is ground to take! Opportunities will arise to love our neighbors, families, and communities in ways that have never been presented to us before. Below are five areas of strategic focus that we hope to engage in throughout the coming weeks. Check out each of these for ways you can get involved.
I cant wait to say “It’s good to see you this week” to even more of you next week! We got to worship live this weekend in backyards and front yards of a few Doxology families who invited us to be a part of their neighborhood Memorial Day plans. It was great to see a bunch of us in person but only made me thirstier for a day when we can all be back together again.
Next week will be a first step for a bunch of us and I’m really, really excited about it. If you’re not able or ready to join us in person, we’ll produce the live stream services as usual for you at 9:00 and 10:30am. If you’re able to join us next Sunday, the service will be right in the middle of those at 10am (sleep late and still beat the heat). And please remember: even though we don’t have limited capacity for that service we do need you to RSVP so we can plan wisely. You can do that below.
Go and be Doxology!
Like I told you in my email on Sunday, we’re continuing to evaluate data and have conversations with medical professionals and government authorities concerning when we might be able to regather together in-person. Based on their recommendation we still don’t believe it will be wise or strategic to regather in our building until at least June 6th. However, we do have some ideas that are consistent with their recommendations that provide a way for some of us to begin taking steps toward re-gathering all together again.
We’re planning to continue the online worship services just as they are for the foreseeable future since we know some of us won’t be ready for in-person gatherings for a while. We’re not going to leave you behind!
Can’t wait to “see” you on Sunday. We’re beginning a brand new series through the book of James called “Anything But Normal: Finding a Faith that Stands Out.” If you wonder if the book has anything to say to us and our situation, read the first verse. See you there. And hopefully in person very soon.
Go and Be Doxology!
After the announcement this afternoon by Governor Abbott, many of you (I hope) are wondering what that means for us gathering together again in person on Sundays. I cannot wait for us to be together again and am incredibly grateful that it seems like we might finally be able to see that day from here, but it needs to not be this Sunday.
Many businesses will be re-opening on Friday because they must in order to accomplish their mission. We certainly affirm that some level of good business is a part of God’s plan for a flourishing city. However, we also recognize that there’s a level of ongoing risk to the vulnerable in our society presented by any large gathering of people. At Doxology we realize that as important as our gathering is, and as much as we long for it, it isn’t strictly required for us to fulfill our mission. So, for now, we are going to choose to sacrifice what we are allowed to do for the good of our city and the flourishing of our neighbors. Meanwhile, we’ll continue doing what we must do in order to be faithful to who we are: worshipping where we are and loving where we live.
That’s not to say “same ole same ole” this week! Although we don’t believe large-group worship gatherings are the best way for us to “be Doxology” toward our city right now, we do have some creative, safe, and socially distant ideas for how some community groups might decide to begin meeting in-person again; for you to be the best neighbors on your block; and even for how some of us might be able to host a small group of neighbors, coworkers or friends to worship together as a smaller group on Sunday. We’ll share those with you later this week and keep you updated on other plans as they continue to develop.
All that to say, let’s choose to “be Doxology” more than ever this week. In the things we sacrifice and the opportunities we seize, showing and telling who Jesus is and what He’s like is as important this week as it has ever been. Let’s make the most of it.
It’s hard to believe it has only been 14 days since we decided to invite ourselves into your living room on Sunday mornings. If your experience has anything like mine, these 2 weeks seem like they’ve been strangest, craziest, sweetest, hardest, worst, best twenty years of your life!
We’re continuing to listen to local and federal officials for any hint of when we’ll be able to gather together in person again. For right now that date still seems over the horizon. So, we are currently anticipating no large-group in-person gatherings until at least the middle of April. Yes, that means both Good Friday and Easter will be online gatherings this year. Although they will look different from what we’re all used to, I’m confident you won’t want to miss either one. And on the bright side: this year may be the year your family or neighbors are more open to the Good Friday and Easter message than ever before.
A few other things to communicate with you:
We will continue keep you in the loop in the days ahead. Please know that you’ve been prayed for by name this week. We miss you terribly, but I’m so proud to be watching and hearing stories of you “being Doxology” in the places you’re placed today. Like Paul told the Galatians: “Don’t grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a great harvest if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9). Don’t. Give. Up!
Go and be Doxology!!
There’s a story about Lewis and Clark, the two explorers sent by President Thomas Jefferson to find a river passage from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. They were chosen specifically because of their background: they were experts at canoeing and exploring rivers. One evening, they believed they’d found the passage. One of them wrote in their diary something to the effect of “Tonight I took a big, long, gulp from the headwaters of the river that we’ve been searching for. Tomorrow morning when the fog lifts, we’ll continue on our way and our canoes will get us to the Pacific Ocean before long.” Instead, the next morning when the fog lifted, they got their first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains. At that moment, they had two decisions: (1) Pack it in and go home, (2) Figure out how to canoe the mountains.
We’re taking the mountains.
Here’s what the mountain range looks like, at least for today: We will not be hosting any in-person gatherings on Doxology campus until at least March 30th. Our offices are open virtually (phones and emails still work), but the building is closed during the week physically.
I know that raises a billion questions for some of you. The short answer to most of them is, “We’re not sure yet.” We’ve never climbed this mountain before. But here’s what I am absolutely sure of: God is at work, this is an incredible opportunity, and we were made for this.
Our staff met most of the day yesterday and again this morning. There are 5 things we’re committed to being extraordinary at in the days ahead even if we don’t (or can’t) do anything else:
Prayer – If you listened to the message Sunday, that was Jesus’ priority when the need got bigger and nearer.
Worship – We’re going to continue to worship together in our living rooms on Sundays at 9:00am and 10:30am. We’re planning with the whole family in mind from the music through the message. You’ll find a link to the service at www.doxology.church/live
Pastoral Care – We know there will be real, tangible needs we can meet for each other and for our city. I’ve been in contact with the FWISD and City officials. They’re canoeing a mountain right now too and have all said one of the worst things churches are doing right now is “helping” them in ways they haven’t requested it. So we’re waiting on them, ready to mobilize as soon as the phone rings.
See Neighborhoods Thrive – One of the city council members told me this morning “The most helpful thing a church can do right now is have people take care of the people who live in their neighborhoods. This crisis gives us an opportunity to lean-in to what we’re best at. We’re working on some strategies for how to do that wisely and effectively, but don’t wait on us to check on the people near you.
Seize the Season for Families – There is absolutely no reason families shouldn’t look back on this season as one of the most spiritually significant seasons of their family’s life. We know that won’t happen by accident but are working on ways for it to be fun, intentional and accessible. Stay tuned.
We’re committed to communicating well without barraging you with emails. For now, grab some climbing shoes. Trust me: the view from the top of these mountains is going to be worth it.
For today: The people in your life have never needed to know and see a real-deal Jesus follower as much as they do today. Go and be Doxology!