ALL ON CAMPUS STUDIES, CLASSES AND EVENTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
SCAMS & PHISHING
HOW CAN I HELP?
An Update from our Pastors (Wednesday, April 1)
To Our Dear WC Family, It is an understatement to say that we are disappointed that our Holy Week activities will not be able to be shared in person this year. While it looked unlikely for the past week, we held out hope that events would unfold differently. As you may have seen, Texas Governor Greg Abbott extended social distancing guidelines through April 30 and announced Texas schools will remain closed until at least May 4. We want you to know that we continue to be in touch with our regional medical and municipal officials and are regularly reviewing the needs of our community and church. Though religious services are deemed an essential community service, we have been asked to keep our worship services and programming online. As we hope you’ve seen, we have been working mightily to convert all our church’s ministries to an online platform. To date, every ministry area has launched online resources and studies; we are currently offering exciting ways for folks of all agesto connect online with each other, with the church, and – most importantly – with God. We also want you to know about the awesome slate of special programs that we’re launching for Holy Week. Every day, we will be posting activities and spiritual disciplines that we’re inviting you to participate in (you’ll see an article in this week’s Herald and on our website). And the experience begins today! Hoping to be back to “normal” for this weekend’s services, we’d ordered palms for our annual Palm Sundayservice… and we’d still love for you to have one (or several) for this weekend’s services. They will be available (starting at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, and will remain available as long as supplies last) under the southern porte-cochere (that’s just fancy speak for the car port) on the Gallery side of the sanctuary. We would love for our children to gather with a favorite pet or stuffed animal and to wave their palm for a virtual palm parade in worship this weekend. If you would like to participate in this special momentwe’re planning for all our services, simply video your child waving his/her palm at home (or wherever) and submit it by going to wc.wetransfer.com and then selecting “Add your files." From there, locate the video you want to upload. (It should automatically default the email recipient name as our dedicated Palm Sunday address: firstname.lastname@example.org) We’re inviting “kids” of all ages to participate! For production purposes, we’re kindly asking that all videos be filmed horizontally and be submitted by Thursday at midnight. We’re also inviting everyone to join us in witnessing to our faith by taking our palms (or any sort of greenery) and attaching it to our front doors or windows – a visible proclamation of our prayers, our hopes, and our trust in God’s goodness, a visible proclamation that, wherever we are, we are the Church! Just as a reminder, our online worship this weekend will be at our regular times: Saturday, 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. will be contemporary services, and our traditional services will be at 8:20 and 11 a.m. on Sunday morning. What a wonderful time to invite friends locally or from around the world to worship with us! (Our special Easter weekend service times are posted on the church website, as well.) Lastly, as long as we stay in this mandated social distancing period, every Monday evening from 6 to 7 p.m., we invite you to join us for Monday Night Live as we will be giving updates about the church and answering questions from our community. Join usliveon our website or on the WC Facebook page. Our earnest and humble prayer is that, even though we can’t be together physically, our hearts and spirits will join together in a powerful week of worship and spiritual preparation! Remember: We may be physically isolated, but we are not separated. We are united as the Body of Christ. We are the Church! As always, we are honored to get to serve as your pastors, John & Todd
An Update Concerning COVID-19 (Wednesday, March 18)
An Update from Pastors John & Todd: Right now, so many of us have email inboxes that are overflowing, and we don’t want to add to the avalanche… but we do want to keep you informed about what’s going on at church!
First, from the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank each of you for your prayers – we can feel them… and God is answering them in amazing ways!
Last weekend, as we worshipped online, we’re told that we had over 7,600 locations participating -- and that’s locations, not people. Even with a low “multiplier” (our database suggests we’re safe assuming a multiplier around 2.25), that means over 17,000 folks were logged on for WC worship!
All we can say – and in more ways than we can express – it’s been overwhelming in a good (but not surprising) way that so many of you are asking what you can do to help! We’ve had an awesome series of Response Meetings with our staff over these past two days: times when we strategized about the best ways for us to respond… and about the best ways for you to sign up to serve.
We are excited to announce the launch of WC Neighbor: a multifaceted, faith-driven response to the many needs that our community is facing. Be looking for more information to come shortly (it would take up the entirety of this email to address every opportunity in detail). As of last night, a special email account has been created where we can register a need and where we can volunteer to serve: email@example.com
On top of that, in the last two days, every ministry area of your church has created an entirely new, web-based discipleship and connection strategy to reach every group in our family! We’ve also developed a strong Tech Support system to respond to the needs of those of you who are looking to move your current groups/studies online… and for those who are trying to connect with our ministries.
And, oh, do we have some powerful worship services planned for this weekend! We’ll be continuing our Lenten series, “Rotten” (because a little normalcy and continuity are good things!), and Point | Counterpoint resumes at 6 p.m. tonight.
Next week, be looking for the return of Pastor John’s Monday and Tuesday Bible studies and Pastor Todd’s Monday and Thursday studies (for the sake of our Production Team, at this point, these will be the same study: “Beginning & End: A Study of Genesis and Revelation”). Additionally, recognizing our daily need for spiritual encouragement and prayer, starting on Monday, our Pastoral Team will begin leading an online Midday Meditation every day (Monday-Saturday) at noon.
Beyond all of that, our Kids and Student Ministries are hard at work resourcing our children, youth, and parents with both discipleship material and ideas to make these “days of togetherness” fruitful… and even fun! Men. Women. Singles. Marrieds. College and Classics. We want you to know that we – your church, your family – are here for you! (We couldn’t be prouder of what your church staff has created in such a short amount of time!)
In the days to come, be sure to check the church’s website, Facebook page and The Herald for the latest ministry news.
God is at work in a powerful way, even in the midst of everything that’s going on: leave it to the Almighty to turn the power of fear into a springboard for faith! So, keep those prayers coming – for every person facing fear and illness, for all our medical professionals, first responders, medical researchers, and elected officials as they serve and lead, and for our church family as we brave this season with the firm conviction that 'God Is Big Enough!'
As always, we are humbled to get to be your pastors,
John & Todd
An Update Concerning COVID-19 (Friday, March 13)
To Our Dear WC Family,
In this rapidly evolving situation, we continue to discern the best course of action for our church and for our community. Being a regional church, we must take into consideration the health protocols that have been enacted by multiple state and local agencies and governments.
With that being said, we will not be hosting on-campus worship services or programming for the next three weeks.
Of course, worship services will be available online. It is particularly important for you to join us online this weekend, as we will update you on how we plan to engage with you and your family during this season. We want you to know that we are currently strategizing as how to best keep you informed and connected through these days – realizing that “social distancing” may lead to increased feelings of isolation. Honestly, none of us have ever pastored a congregation through a pandemic before, so we are in uncharted territory… and we ask for your patience and prayers.
Let us emphasize that this decision was not arrived at easily. We’ve been in constant contact with local health authorities and have been in a season of deep prayer and discernment. Making the choice to move to online worship and programming is one based in what we feel to be prudence. We are not being fearful; we are being responsible – taking responsibility for and loving our neighbor through these difficult days.
Though the operations of our church will look different over the next couple of weeks, our ministry will not. All pastors and essential personnel will still be available to journey with you and your family through this season. More, we will continue to worship. We will continue to study. We will continue to pray. We will continue to reach out in love and support to our world. In short, we will continue to be the Church even if we’re not at the church.
ONLINE WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES:
Saturday, 5:30 p.m. / Contemporary
Sunday, 8:20 a.m. / Traditional
Sunday, 9:30 a.m. / Contemporary
Sunday, 11a.m. / Traditional
ONLINE DISCIPLESHIP OPPORTUNITIES (beginning next Wed., March 18):
Monday, 7 a.m. / Jump Start Bible Study (beginning March 23)
Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. / Pastor John’s Tuesday Study (beginning March 24)
Wednesday, 6 p.m. / Point | Counterpoint (beginning March 18)
And additional online opportunities are in the works!
In times like these, it is ever more incumbent upon us to look out for each other. Let’s be patient with each other; be gentle and kind. You know, all the Fruit of the Spirit stuff that we’ve been (and will continue to be) talking about.
Let us remember the words of Paul in Romans 8: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Yours in faith. In prayer. In service. In love.
John & Todd
Message From our Pastors (Thursday, March 12)
To Our Dear WC Family,
While it’s never easy to be the Church, these days have been especially trying… and it seems that we’ve been saying that too often recently. Along with you, we have been vigilant in staying informed with the most current updates concerning the COVID-19 outbreak. With the latest announcements of major colleges and universities closing (or transitioning to online classes) and the cancellation of major sporting events and flights in and out of Europe, we wanted to update you on our plan to keep White’s Chapel a safe environment for everyone.
First off, let us say how blessed we are to have such an amazing medical team! Our crew of doctors and nurses, along with our wonderful partnership with Texas Health Resources, has been of tremendous value to us as we continue to discern the best course of action for the church. We maintain a constant posture of prayerful, thoughtful discernment as we progress through these days – trying to balance prudence with faithful trust, trying to avoid both over-reacting and under-reacting. As your pastors, your health – spiritual, emotional, and physical – is our primary concern!
With that said, our worship services will look slightly different during this season: out of an abundance of caution (and just some good, old-fashioned common sense), we will be forgoing our typical “Meet-n-Greet” time during our services. Communion will be handled differently as well. Based in our firm conviction that the sacrament is an especially important means of grace (especially in times like this), we will continue to offer communion after every service – but we will not be employing our usual means of intinction. Instead, each recipient will partake with an individual cup and wafer. In addition, we will not be celebrating our normal monthly communion service this month. Instead, we will invite all in attendance to an especially poignant Act of Remembrance in lieu of sharing in the bread and cup.
Further, many have contacted us about the possibility of cancelling our worship services. Again, it’s our conviction that the worship of God in times of uncertainty and fear is of paramount importance. At this time, we do not plan to cancel our on-campus services – though we will be closely monitoring the situation for any necessary changes as information is developing so rapidly. We are prepared to make changes that may be required to assure the safety of our members, guests, staff as well as the public.
We completely understand, however, that some of us may not feel entirely safe gathering together in public in such large numbers. You must make the right decision for you and for your family. For that reason, we invite all who would feel more at ease worshipping at home to join us for our four streamed worship services and three Bible studies every week (services and classes can be accessed from the WC homepage):
Saturday, 5:30 p.m. | Contemporary
Sunday, 8:20 a.m. | Traditional
Sunday, 9:30 a.m. | Contemporary
Sunday, 11:00 a.m. | Traditional
Monday, 7:00 a.m. | Jump Start Bible Study
Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. | Pastor John’s Tuesday Study
Wednesday, 6:00 p.m. | Point|Counterpoint
While on campus, we want you to know that we have taken every possible precaution to ensure your safety. Several weeks ago (in fact, before the onset of the Coronavirus), we added additional hand sanitizing stations around campus. Our property and custodial crews are also maintaining (and increasing) their daily cleaning and sanitizing of our facilities.
As we continue to pray over the best course of action for our incredible church, we ask that you join us in seeking wisdom and discernment. We also pray for the faith, boldness and judiciousness to make the best choices in response to this unprecedented event. In addition, we’d invite you to join us in praying for our brothers and sisters across the world as they face this threat – especially those facing it without the hope we find in our Savior.
Through good times and bad, the Church has always been a refuge, a shining light into the darkness. In these dark days, we will rise to the challenge. We will be the people God has asked us to be, and we will face whatever comes together… in service to each other, to our God, to our community of faith, and to our community at large.
As always, we are humbled to get to be your pastors,
John & Todd
Useful Tips regarding COVID-19:
The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (RNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic code. (mutation) and converts them into aggressor and multiplier cells.
Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.
The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That is why any soap or detergent is the best remedy, because the foam CUTS the FAT (that is why you have to rub so much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam). By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own.
HEAT melts fat; this is why it is so good to use water above 25 degrees Celsius for washing hands, clothes and everything. In addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more useful.
Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% DISSOLVES ANY FAT, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.
Any mixture with 1 part bleach and 5 parts water directly dissolves the protein, by breaking it down from the inside.
Oxygenated water helps long after soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the virus protein, but you have to use it pure and thatdamages your skin.
NO BACTERICIDE OR ANTIBIOTIC WORKS. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria; antibiotics cannot kill what is not alive.
NEVER shake used or unused clothing, sheets or cloth. While it is stuck to a porous surface, it is very inert and disintegrates only after around 3 hours (fabric and porous), But if you shake it or use a feather duster, the virus molecules float in the air for up to 3 hours, and can lodge in your nose.
4 hours (copper and wood)
24 hours (cardboard)
42 hours (metal) and
72 hours (plastic).
The virus molecules remain very stable in the cold air both outdoor ambient or artificial, as air conditioners in houses and cars. They also need moisture to stay stable, and thrive best in darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade it faster.
UV LIGHT on any object that will break down the virus protein. For example, to disinfect and reuse a mask, uv light is perfect. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin.
The virus CANNOT go through healthy skin.
Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.
The more confined the space, the more concentration of the virus there can be. The more open or naturally ventilated, the less.
You have to wash your hands before and after touching mucosa, food, locks, knobs, switches, desks, tables, counters, remote controls, cell phones, watches, computers, etc. And when using the bathroom.
Also keep your NAILS SHORT so that the virus does not hide there.
There is a lot of information on coronavirus and on this website, but the most important things you can do is to please wash your hands often (at least 20 seconds, sing "Happy Birthday"twice while washing your hands for a good estimate of time) with soap and water. Use a paper towel to open the bathroom door; therefore decreasing the possibility of picking up germs from a door handle. Sneeze into a tissue if possible; if not bend your arm and sneeze into your arm. The goal is to keep respiratory droplets from spreading.
Be aware of fever, cough, shortness of breath. Please stay home if you have a fever. Contact your Dr. if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. If you have not gotten a flu shot, it is not too late . I would encourage you to do so.
Again, let us pass along these reminders:
Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 to 20 seconds
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands
Stay away from sick people (and stay home if you’re sick - except to get medical care)
Use tissues to cover coughs and sneezes (and throw tissues away)
Clean and disinfect items and surfaces that are touched a lot
To protect others, put on a facemask if you are sick or taking care of someone who is sick. If you are not sick, you do not need to wear a facemask.
What do I do if I think I have Coronavirus?
Stay home (except to get medical care). Call your doctor right away for advice and minimize contact with others.
If you have shortness of breath, call 911 immediately.
For more information concerning this ongoing situation, please refer to any of the following sources:
Protect Yourself From Coronavirus Grocery Shopping
If you are greater than 60, it is recommended that you do not go to the grocery store. Do not go if you have any respiratory illness, new or underlying. If you do go to the store, hand washing and social distancing are key. Have a shopping plan. Minimize time spent in the store and try to buy 2 weeks of groceries at a time. Touch as few articles as possible, including canned goods, boxed goods, plastic containers. Wash down counters after setting items on them ( soap and water/ disinfectants). Wash hands after opening a container. Information seems to change often , so ,if in doubt, wash hands and sanitize.
Listing of Grocery Stores with Senior Shopping Hours
To keep seniors safe from coronavirus — and to ensure they get the items they need — many U.S. grocers have made special senior shopping hours.
These reserved times mostly take place during the markets’ first hour of business. Senior shoppers should pay attention to each store’s requirements and bring a valid form of identification. The following stores offer senior-only shopping hours. We’ll keep this list updated.
Thank you for those of you who have shared valuable information on how to make your own hand sanitizer. Combine in a bowl: 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol (99 % isopropyl alcohol) 1/3 cup aloe vera gel Stir. Decant into a clean soap or pump bottle.
A cleaning option is to put straight hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle to spray countertops, table tops, surfaces, etc.
Students enrolled in Free & Reduced Lunch Programs at their schools will still have the option of receiving their daily lunch benefit.
Here is the information that we have regarding the following school districts:
It is very important to stay vigilant during this time as scammers and hackers seem to like to come out of the woodwork to take advantage our general panic.
A few items to be on the lookout for:
Text messages from financial institutions asking you to click on a link to resolve a problem with your account. (i.e. "Your card has been locked. Go to any url that isn't secure "http"") Your financial institution will never ask you to click on a link. They will ask you to call them regarding the matter instead.
Watch for criminals claiming to provide medical guidance, investment opportunities or a safe place to transfer or keep money using COVID-19 as a cover story.
We're also coming into tax season which tends to bring out the scammers as well. Please exercise extreme caution online.
A good rule of thumb... if it feels like it could be a scam or is suspicious, listen to your gut! Don't answer messages coming from your accounts unless you initiated the conversation.