Update 3/20/20

Dear Wellspring,

In light of the recent “shelter-in-place” order put in place by Governor Pritzker, we wanted to let you know that we are still permitted to conduct our livestream for Sunday services (within CDC guidelines), because church services are considered an essential service (see below). So join us! We encourage home groups to connect online. We will share more ways to gather virtually as a church family on Sunday!

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services handout for faith leaders:

“Faith-based and community leaders continue to be valuable sources of comfort and support for their members and communities during times of distress, including the growing presence of COVID-19 in different parts of the country. As such, these leaders have the unique ability to address potential concerns, fears, and anxieties regarding COVID-19. Additionally, by reiterating simple hygienic precautions and practices, these leaders can broadly promote helpful information, managing fear and stigma, and restoring a sense of calm into the lives of those in their care. Such leaders are also poised through their acts of service and community relationships to reach vulnerable populations with essential information and assistance. These acts of service are an essential part of the safety net for the vulnerable in their communities.”-HHS on the role of faith-based and community leaders

Update 3/18/20

Dear Wellspring,

To show love through social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines, ALL MEETINGS held at both Wellspring Wheaton and Warrenville (including prayer meetings and groups) will be cancelled beginning TODAY (3/18/20).

Furthermore, both buildings will be CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE as the buildings will be thoroughly disinfected at this time.

Sunday Worship for Wheaton and Warrenville will be held jointly via livestream starting this Sunday at 9AM at our website: http://wellspringalliance.net/livestream. For those who will join in later than 9AM, you’ll have the luxury of rewinding to the beginning!

If you haven’t done so already, consider joining our 21-day prayer challenge. You’ll receive a daily email containing a brief devotional thought and a prayer guide with specific church-related prayer requests. Sign up at http://wellspringalliance.net/prayer.

Finally, keep an eye out for new resources for family worship that we will provide for you before this coming Sunday!

Update 3/14/20

Clarification RE: Sunday Worship on 03.15.20

Dear Wellspring,

Regarding Sunday Worship on 03.15.20:

In WHEATON, we strongly encourage you to join us in worship via our livestream at 9am or 11am. There are two ways to access the livestream:

  1. A link will be emailed to you by 8:30am Sunday morning.
  2. Go to our website (www.wellspringalliance.net) and click the “STREAM” button at the bottom.

In WARRENVILLE, we will be meeting for service as usual.

As the situation continues to develop, we will communicate next steps on our website, social media, and via email.

If you missed yesterday’s video, click below!

COVID-19 Response 3/13/20

Dear Wellspring,

In response to Governor J.B. Pritzger’s directive to cancel gatherings over 250 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage those in Wheaton to join us in worship via our livestream at 9 and 11 AM this Sunday; we will not have Sunday morning children’s, youth, EQUIP, or other programming in Wheaton. Doors will remain open on Sunday at Wheaton; you may join a small, live “studio” congregation for our livestream at 9 AM or 11 AM this week if so led. Warrenville will meet as usual in person, and midweek gatherings such as Wednesday & Saturday prayer meetings will continue unless otherwise directed. Women INC will not meet. Next Sunday we will only have one livestream from Wheaton at 9 AM; those who come in later may watch a recording of that.

We have formed a task force at the church to monitor information and respond as needed, and information will be posted on our website and through the E-news mailing list.

As I have been praying for our church, the Lord is laying a few thoughts on my heart that I want to share with you as we respond to this pandemic:

(1) WASH YOUR HANDS

James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Wash your hands you sinners…” Obviously James is concerned not with the spread of viruses but the spread of sin, but we should be concerned with both. We should take appropriate precautions for our hygiene— washing our hands thoroughly, not going out if we are feeling sick, and generally following the protocols from the Center on Disease Control. Those who are sick, elderly and/or have underlying conditions should take special precautions at this time. In addition we should also draw near to God in this season.

(2) COMMUNITY STILL MATTERS

Even as we increase social distancing to reduce the spread of this virus, we must fight the danger of isolation by meeting together to encourage one another (Heb 10:25). We can can do this both virtually and in smaller groups.

As you worship on the livestream, don’t do so alone. Gather with your home group, some friends, or another family to worship; this can be done in person, on the phone or through video conferencing technology.. We will provide questions for discussion after the message so that you can process and pray with one another, as well as resources for the children.

As you worship on livestream, don’t do so passively; post comments on the feed, sharing a virtual and hearty “Amen” and encouraging others with your presence. Please sing with the lyrics on the screen with the worship team. If you have not signed up for online giving, we strongly encourage you to do so now as well; use this link to signup. Do not let fear make you passive; let us continue to give God the worship that He deserves.

(3) PRAY TOGETHER

As this microscopic virus brings the world to its knees, may we as the church rise up from our knees. “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Ps 50:15).

Beginning on Monday we invite you to join us for a 21 day prayer chain. Each morning we will send a brief devotional thought and some prayer requests. Please pray for these requests. Also find a prayer buddy to pray with daily for these 21 days, and each day make a time that you will pray with one another. Let us pray that the power of God would break through in this time of pandemic!

(4) COMBAT FEAR WITH FAITH — NOT MORE INFORMATION

During the Ebola crisis in Africa, Pastor Jeter shared of the temptation was to quell anxiety through more information. Yet an incessant quest for information inevitably leads us to rumors and unverified statements that may cause more fear and anxiety. Receive your information from a couple of reliable sources (e.g., www.cdc.gov; dupagehealth.org), and live in trust of God.

(5) THE LORD REIGNS. PERIOD.

As schools close, graduations get canceled, and life is massively disrupted, any illusions of control are quickly dispelled. Yet the reality is we were never in control in the first place. James 4:14 says, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” Let us remember the One who is truly in control and respond to His shaping hand in this situation.

The speed and severity of the spread of COVID-19 has taken us all by surprise. The NBA has canceled their games and March Madness has become March Sadness. We are joining our community in taking steps to mitigate the spread of the disease. But most of all our hearts should be filled with faith in the living God.

Praying with you,

Pastor Mitch