I hope you’ll join us Sunday as we begin our Lenten Series from The Fourfold Gospel.
Join us in-person or online.
As we prepare for our Missions Conference, here’s a sneak peak at an article from the Alliance Life, written by Heather
We hope you’re planning to join us as we welcome Jeff and Heather – March 4-7, 2021.
It might be a good idea to subscribe to our Curwensville Alliance YouTube Channel, just in case something happens with our blog and you can’t access our Facebook page.
That way, you will be alerted when there’s something for you from us on YouTube.
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If you love Jesus and are committed to the kingdom and to Curwensville Alliance, this might be a good five minutes!
May God do such things in our lives both now and forevermore.
There were 52 Sundays in 2020. But if you are the kind of person who attends worship faithfully, it didn’t feel like there were 52 this year. Many of those Sundays didn’t feel like Sundays.
In 2020 Curwensville Alliance suspended in-person worship for a total of 14 Sundays: Eleven starting on March 22. Then three more, starting on December 13. For more than one fourth – 27% – of our Sundays we could not be together, in-person.
For some, that might not seem like a big deal. Many Christians are absent from worship one or two Sundays a month, anyway.
But there are people who worship with their church family every Sunday – faithfully prioritizing that appointment with God above all else.
For them, this was a sacrifice.
Sacrifice – that’s how the good people of Curwensville Alliance saw those Sundays. It was a sacrifice because we love getting together. And we love one another. But that very thing – love – is what made us certain that we were doing the right thing: Protecting others by sacrificing something we loved – in-person worship. It was a Christlike response.
God provided Curwensville Alliance with the resources to thrive during this time. Thanks to some sharp technical people, we were able to provide online video coverage of worship services every Sunday. And each week, podcasts were available. Shut-ins watched on YouTube or Facebook in their homes. Some gathered together in homes and watched online. Those without internet were able to listen on portable MP3 players, made available by the church family.
Even when worship was not in-person, it was just what was needed for those who tuned in.
I often remark that small groups are the life-blood of the church. This isn’t exactly correct. Jesus is the life-blood of the church. But small groups are important at Curwensville Alliance.
How would we do without those in-person gatherings?
Again, God provided us with the resources needed. One small group met on a conference call, set up by that small group leader. A women’s group moved to Facebook and doubled in size – with more consistent attendance than the group enjoyed in-person. A men’s group met outdoors and then in garages. When that didn’t work, such groups met via videoconferencing.
These groups were like the Whos down in Whoville: They demonstrated that the Christian community – the fellowship of believers – isn’t about the food we eat or the place we meet. It’s about Jesus – overcoming barriers to disciple one another and be discipled by one another.
Something I hadn’t anticipated was the increase in ministry produced by the circumstances we found ourselves in. Women from out of state joined the Facebook Bible Study – and participated in the discussion. People who had moved from the area, leaving Curwensville Alliance, tuned in and worshiped with us online. Local people watched online and began to attend in-person.
As I saw these things unfold, I thought of Joseph, who said to his brothers who had sold him into slavery, You meant it for evil but God meant it for good. Indeed, God used something we’d never desire in 2020 for good. He specializes in redeeming that which seems to be beyond redemption.
We can trust him to do that now and forevermore.
I want to thank the elders and the board of ministries for providing leadership to our church in 2020. And for being willing to spend the money necessary to make the changes we needed to make during this unprecedented year. You have responded with wisdom and courage. Thank you.
I am very thankful for my wife, Laurel. While she does well with technology, this year has required her to move into areas she’d not ventured before. She did so without even being asked. As always, she saw a need in the kingdom and stepped forward to exercise her gifts in unfamiliar territory.
Thank you, Laurel.