Senior Pastor Update in the Time of COVID-19 (March 25, 2020)

Here is my latest update for Eastbrook Church as we navigate the time of COVID-19. I will continue to re-post these weekly updates here at my blog for those who have not seen it or who are not part of our church but could use the encouragement. I also encourage you to watch the video of our worship team leading the song “Way Maker,” from this past weekend’s service. It is such a powerful song, particularly during these days.

 

Eastbrook at Home – March 22, 2020

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As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times related to the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, I want to invite you to worship with us at Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home. On Sunday beginning at 8 am, we will stream our weekly worship service for you to watch at home with your small group, family, or friends. This service will then be available during the week until the next Sunday’s service starts.

As this is a new endeavor for Eastbrook, we expect that there will be some technical issues that we will need to address. Please let us know your experience by emailing us here. You can also access or download the service directly via Vimeo here.

This weekend we will continue our series, “God in the Ruins: The Message of the Minor Prophets,” as Pastor Femi Ibitoye speaks from the prophet Zephaniah. You can access all the messages from that series here.

If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Regular updates on COVID-19 and coronavirus impact for our church activities can be found here.

Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this critical time. Please give online or send in a donation to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.

Habakkuk [God in the Ruins]

God in the Ruins Series GFX_App SquareLike many other churches, this past weekend at Eastbrook we had to make a major shift in our gathering due to the concerns related to COVID-19 and coronavirus. This was accentuated by the declaration of a public health emergency in our state, and the recommendation that groups over 250 no longer meet. We switched to online service for this past weekend, but still continued our series on the message of the minor prophets, “God in the Ruins,” by looking at the prophet Habakkuk.

Habakkuk is one of the 7th century BC prophets in the Hebrew Bible, ministering near the time of Nahum, Zephaniah, and Jeremiah. Habakkuk’s prophetic message is gathered into book form in the following structure:

  • Habakkuk’s first complaint and God’s answer (1:1-11)
  • Habakkuk’s second complaint and God’s answer (1:12-2:20)
  • a final prayer of trust and worship (3:1-19)

You can view the message from this past weekend and follow along with the message outline below. You can also engage with the entire series on the minor prophets here or download the Eastbrook mobile app for even more opportunities to connect.

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Turning to God in Troubling Times: a five-week study on Habakkuk

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This past weekend, I continued our series “God in the Ruins: The Message of the Minor Prophets” at Eastbrook Church by looking at the prophet Habakkuk. You can watch the message here.

I also wanted to share a five-week series I did on the book of Habakkuk in 2015 entitled “Turning to God in Troubling Times.” Each of these messages dives into topics of fear, faith, trouble, worship, and what it looks like to be a person of God in the midst of distress. I am loading the video links for each message of this series below.

Part 1 – Crying Out When God Seems Absent


Part 2 – Suffering and the Surprising Plans of God


Part 3 – Talking with God When Pain Looms Large


Part 4 – Faithfulness in a Confusing World


Part 5 – Singing the Songs of God’s Salvation

Eastbrook at Home: worship service online

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Earlier this week, Governor Tony Evers declared a Public Health Emergency in the State of Wisconsin, with Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm recommending the cancellation of any events of more than 250 people to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

After consulting with our medical advisory team, we have decided to cancel our in-person weekend services/activities for the foreseeable future beginning this weekend. This will continue until a change is recommended by city and state officials. 

In its place, we are developing a weekly pre-recorded worship service that will be posted online at 8 am as “Eastbrook at Home.” We encourage you to watch this service in your home, with your small group, or with a table groups as a means to go deeper in relationship with God and with one another. This weekend I will continue in our “God in the Ruins” series with a message from the book of Habakkuk. I cannot help but think that Habakkuk is timely for us these days.

Please visit eastbrook.org/athome this Sunday after 8 am to worship with us through song, prayer, and teaching. You will also find resources to help you engage in the service at home, as well as ongoing discipleship resources for use during the week.

If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Regular updates on COVID-19 and coronavirus impact for our church activities can be found here.

Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this critical time. Please give online or send in a donation to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.

Empty Arms prayer service tonight

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Tonight at our regular 2nd Tuesday Worship and Prayer gathering at Eastbrook, we will have a special prayer service for those who have experienced pain in the loss of an infant or unborn child through miscarriage, the loss of a young child, regretted abortion, or the long ache of infertility. This gathering is open to anyone who has experienced these situations, or those who want to walk with them in pain toward healing.

We will sing, pray, have some experiential responses to God, and hear two testimonies from others in our congregation.  In the midst of the service, Kelly and I will also share the ways that God met us in our own story of loss, as well as encouragement from His word.