“I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:7)
Our God is good, and it’s been exciting to see our community hope in Him as we’ve walked through the events of this past week. As of Saturday, the fire is still under investigation by the Fire Marshall and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Unfortunately, for the indefinite future, only staff will be allowed into the building to retrieve items from their offices. If there is something in the church that you are concerned about, let us know and we’ll do everything we can to retrieve it for you.
We are obviously facing some space issues, but we have had tremendous support by people in Central City. The main goal for this weekend is to enjoy a time of worship together on Sunday morning. This Sunday we will be meeting at the Performing Arts Center from 10:00-11:30. We’ll be meeting as an entire community for the first part of the service, and then a team of elders and children’s ministry workers from Stromsburg Evangelical Free Church will host childcare (up to age 3) at the PAC for the majority of our time together. We will likely continue meeting at the PAC on Sunday for the next several weeks.
IMPORTANT: A part of being in such a loving, engaged community, is that people want to help, and we love you for it! But, I would just ask you to be patient with us (pastors & staff), and show us a bit of grace these next couple weeks. The staff is feeling a bit overwhelmed by the number of phone calls, texts, and emails that are coming in with questions and requests. We will try to communicate with you as best as we can, but unless your issue/question/request is urgent, we may need to wait to respond, or wait to connect with you in person. I especially feel concerned for Tracy Myers. She is often the “go-to” person for the details, and when I met with her this morning for about twenty minutes, she received at least fifteen calls. We love your support and desire to help, but please allow us a bit of space to catch our breath and figure out next steps. There will be many opportunities for everyone in the Body of Christ to help and serve together soon, but for the next week or two, the staff needs a bit of space to figure out how to help organize a plan. Please pray for us.
Also, please assume that if you had an event scheduled at the church (small groups, adult classes, Bible studies, etc.), you will need to find another location. Many of the calls coming in are asking about events and ministries, and the building is simply going to be out of commission for the next several weeks. Staff will be working with ministry leaders on their ministries soon, but for the next several days, our attention will be primarily on issues related to insurance, items in our offices that need cleaned or thrown away, and moving our Sunday services offsite.
I’d like to close with a request: As I’ve listened to many in our church, I keep hearing the statement, “Let’s not miss a single chance to reach out to our community during this time.” That’s an awesome desire, and I think that one of the ways we can love well is by expressing our gratitude for the volunteer fire department, the city, and the many neighbors and business owners who have raced to our side with support. Please “thank” these friends and let them know how much Heartland appreciates them!
God is so good. It will be exciting to see what He does in our hearts, and our community, through this “calamity.”
Enjoying Christ with you,
Pastor Zeke (for the staff and elders)