This is a copy of the email I sent out to… well, to the people who’s email address I had. If you didn’t get it, now you have it, too.
I’m going to call it tonight and announce online that we’re canceling our worship gathering ahead of the likely blizzard conditions tomorrow. I watched the latest of five different weather reports from different folks (Weather Channel, three major networks, local Fox, Accuweather… okay, six, I guess) and the common thread, and the part that ultimately concerns me, is the wind. Add to that that all outlets are saying this storm is triggering their computer models to double the accumulation amounts over the previous storm that came through, coupled with the fact that the work day incentive to plow the roads doesn’t exist on Saturdays and Sundays, I get the sense that even if this storm isn’t as bad as they’re predicting, it will be as bad as the last storm with less man-made intervention. Meaning the driving risk could be substantial.
This has been a tough one to pray about, if only because, like I said to a few leaders, we should never, ever cancel our worship times together lightly. Especially in our culture where our society tends to find plenty of reasons to not worship together (Hebrews 10:25). I do get concerned with the message I’m sending my kids when we cancel over weather IF that weather doesn’t come to pass as expected. It’s one thing to set breaks for our big three reset Sundays each year and to miss out because of pre-arranged travel or illness. Honestly, it would be a lot easier to cancel while the snow has started dropping rather than to be depending on NWS warnings and computer predictions. But with our service being in the dead center of the storm system chronology, we’re as likely to wake up to light snow and continue to meet only to find ourselves in blizzard-like conditions upon leaving our worship time.
Taking all the factors together, the advice and perspective of some of our leaders, and, most of all, believing God’s promise to grant wisdom when we ask (James 1:5-8), I believe the wisest course of action is to cancel our time of worship now, get the information up online right away, do our best to contact any prospective attendees (Beth has a good list, she and I will take care of that), and worship in our own homes safely tomorrow morning.
I hate to do this. I really do. I wish I had more definitive weather information or evidence first. But such is life sometimes. The magic of the Cross is that it even covers bad judgment so we can be free to make the best decision we can make at the time with the information we have. I found this Scripture and was encouraged by it…
Luke 1:74 “We have been rescued from our enemies, so we can serve God without fear.”
So, with the expressed backing of our overseers, I’m canceling our time without fear.
And on the bright side, VJ has already told me she’s fine to do her concluding message next week. So, we’re not missing out on that. If we were, I might have just told you all to get your snow-shoes ready anyway so as not to miss out on her message. But she’s graciously willing to reschedule for next week. Lucky us!
On that note…
May your sleep be deep, your morning be uniquely restful, and the presence of God refreshing to your soul as you worship Him on your own… for the time HAS come where it doesn’t matter WHERE we worship Him, but simply THAT we worship Him… in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:21-24).