Wrapping up the 30-day Challenge

by Chad Allen, Lead Pastor

Our last week of the 30-day challenge for April lands us in a spicy book… the Song of Solomon!  Keep in mind that we are just working our way through the Bible reading plan and this wasn’t done intentionally!  But, being in this book for a week can have some interesting results, such as possibly contributing to the anticipated baby boom from sheltering in place!  But in all seriousness, there are some unforeseen benefits that await us by spending a week in this great book of Hebrew poetry.  Here are a few tips for you as you begin this book:

  • This is a love story.  Commentators have spent centuries debating it’s author, the identity of the characters in the song, and whether the interpretation should be limited to a love story between two people or if God has a greater application in mind, extending the meaning to include God’s love for His people.  I would encourage you to see this primarily as a tasteful but intoxicating love story of a couple as they celebrate their passionate love and marriage.
  • This song celebrates marriage.  We live in a world that has lost its moral compass when it comes to what a pure, committed, enduring, and beautiful union between a man and woman should look like.  This song demonstrates what a holistic marriage looks like, one that celebrates physical attraction, sensual intimacy, and a heart that is fused and committed to their beloved.  And God has created all of this!  This book is God’s endorsement of a passionate marriage relationship.  Reading through the Song of Solomon helps cast vision for the single who longs for their future mate, creates anticipation for the engaged couple as they commit themselves to purity so that they can enjoy their wedding night, and also can renew sparks for the married couple who has had the romantic fire die down because of the challenges of life.
  • God is passionate about His bride.  Although the Song of Solomon is a love story between and man and woman, the reader is also reminded of how marriage is a reflection of God’s love for His bride, the church. It is a mystery how Jesus so fiercely and faithfully loves his sinful bride.  But when we journey through Ephesians 5:31-32, we are reminded of the love and passion Christ has for us, the church.  So it’s not out of bounds to think of God’s love for you and me, the bride He has purchased with His blood. And just as we see deep longing between these to lovers in the Song of Solomon, God wants us to deeply long to be with Him, and He goes to mind-blowing lengths to demonstrate His love for us.  God created us to be in relationship with Him.  He went to the cross to demonstrate His love for us.  He has given us His Spirit to bind us together and to sanctify for Himself a people that will be faithful to Him.

So explore, and try to figure out what doves, flowers, gazelles, pomegranates, spices, and goats have to do with expressing your love and attraction to you beloved or future beloved.  And look for insights into how God loves you and has created you to love and long for Him.

To help you in understanding some of the ancient and Eastern imagery, here are a few online commentary links I recommend:

https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/song-of-solomon-1/

https://www.studylight.org/commentary/song-of-solomon/1-1.html

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/songs/1-1.htm

EASTER WEEKEND

GOOD FRIDAY

Our Good Friday Online Service will take place at 7 PM on Friday, April 10 by visiting our website, the Cuyahoga Valley Church Facebook Page, or Boxcast.

Please note that an opportunity for the Lord’s Supper will be extended during this online service.

You can participate in our CVC Good Friday communion experience from your home. Communion (the Lord’s Supper) is an ordinance given to all believers by Jesus to remember His sacrifice for us.  If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ and are in good standing with us at Cuyahoga Valley Church, you are invited to join us online to remember His selfless sacrifice. Consider this as an invitation, not a requirement.

If you don’t feel led to participate or if you feel uncomfortable for any reason about participating, then don’t participate. At that point in the service on Friday, simply lift up your heart in gratitude to God for the sacrifice of His Son.  If you are not in the place where you consider Christ Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior or if you are unrepentant about sin in your life, then we would encourage you to pray quietly while others celebrate the Lord’s Supper together.

HOW TO TAKE COMMUNION ONLINE

  • Prepare your heart: Confess all known sin.  Seek restoration with anyone you may have hurt or offended.  God’s Word says that we should not eat of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy way.  
  • Gather the elements: Grape juice and bread or crackers – find elements that best approximate those that we would use for Lord’s Supper at CVC.
  • Prepare the juice: Serve the juice in individual small glasses for each participant.  We encourage you to use glasses that you would not normally use.  This will help you and your family remember the significance of Communion.  
  • Prepare the bread or crackers: Use a special dish or tray.  When you share the elements, allow people in your family to access the elements one at a time in order to maintain a safe distance from one another. 
  • Follow the directions: The Teaching Pastor will guide you to eat and drink together with others in the CVC family of faith.  

EASTER SUNDAY

On Resurrection Sunday, April 12, Easter Sunday Services Online will take place at 9:30 AM and 11 AM by visiting our website,  the Cuyahoga Valley Church Facebook Page, or Boxcast.   Invite your family members and friends to view these special services by inviting them to our website, or by downloading this text invite.

We looking forward to celebrating the Resurrection with you!

20 Ways to Apply God’s Truth to Your Financial Crisis

by CVC Elder Ron Dick

Like many of you, the economic impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic has become particularly personal to my family as my wife was recently notified by her company that her position was being eliminated. Also, although my job as a bank manager is considered essential and I am still employed, my level of stress has dramatically increased as I negotiate the challenges of managing an anxious staff and clients while being available 7-days a week at all hours by phone. The result: much less income, much more stress.

Similarly, many of you are facing struggles ranging from job or income loss, and the numerous consequences which come with that, to dealing with the anxiety and fearfulness of an uncertain future. To compound things, the unfortunate reality of a crisis is it can expose our weaknesses (emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and financially) causing us to struggle and lose focus which subsequently makes us even more fearful and anxious. This can become a vicious cycle which will quickly make you feel overwhelmed and powerless.

In order to break that cycle, I look to God’s truth in scripture for answers as 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” Thus, I ask myself, “Is there scripture which speaks, directly or indirectly, to my situation?” and “How I can best apply it to my current circumstances?”

Here are 20 practical ways, with a basis in scripture, which I have found can help you work through a financial crisis:

  1. Seek wise, Godly advice. (Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 15:22)
    Get advice from those who have successfully navigated a financial crisis by managing their money according to scripture. Seek out testimonies for encouragement.

  2. Don’t panic or make impulsive decisions. (Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 19:20-21)
    Perhaps the worst thing you can do in a crisis is to make a decision in the midst of emotion and turmoil. Slow down and seek Godly counsel from spiritually mature people whom you trust.

  3. Create and live on a budget. (Proverbs 24:27, Luke 14:28)
    When you have reduced or no income, it is important to wisely account for every dollar you spend. You can create a crisis budget using the template from Crown Financial found here or use free budgeting apps such as EveryDollar Basic or Mint.

  4. Prioritize your spending. (1 Timothy 5:8)
    Put your family first and start with the “four walls” essentials: food, utilities, shelter, and transportation. After that, prioritize your expenses from most important (such as medical or insurance) to least important (unsecured debt such as credit cards) and pay them in that order.

  5. Reduce expenses and be content with less. (1 Timothy 6:8, Hebrews 13:5)
    The Lord instructs us to be content when our basic needs are met. However, we live in a culture of consumption that tells us our “wants” are really “needs.” Make the tough choices and cut or defer unnecessary expenses. Some tips can be found here, here, and here. Many lenders and companies are willing to work with you during this crisis and defer payment or service.

  6. Increase income. (2 Thessalonians 3:10, 1 Corinthians 10:31)
    Look for temporary employment with essential businesses (grocery stores, drug stores, cleaning, food delivery, package delivery, etc.) or be creative such as selling items of value on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Explore all benefits available to you such as unemployment or stimulus money. Do not let pride become a barrier.

  7. Build an emergency fund. (Proverbs 10:4-5, Proverbs 21:20, 1 Corinthians 16:2)
    Look to set aside money to be used in the event of an emergency. If you’re working, reduce your expenses and build up your savings. If you’re not getting an income, look at #6.

  8. Be generous and serve others. (Luke 12:16-21, 2 Corinthians 8:2-3, Galatians 6:9)
    God’s economy is often opposite of man’s economy. For example, being outwardly focused on blessing and serving others in a time of crisis brings us joy while hoarding does not. In scripture, we see the church of Corinth who, in a test of affliction and severe poverty, was generous out of an “abundance of joy.” Crown Financial has a list of ideas on how to give more of your time, talents, and treasures here.

  9. Avoid debt. (Proverbs 22:7, Deuteronomy 28:43-45)
    While the Bible never calls debt a sin, it discourages and equates it with being in bondage and a curse. Going into debt during a crisis through the use of credit cards or loans is done because it is often the simplest, easiest path to get money. However, it is short sighted and creates a larger obstacle which may harm you long after the crisis is over.

  10. Grow spiritually and practically. (1 Corinthians 3:18)
    Studies show that keeping yourself mentally, spiritually, and physically engaged during a stressful time improves your outlook and emotional response. Keep to a routine, get exercise, and stay connected with people. Replace mindless activities such as Netflix and social media with developmental ones such as Right Now Media Bible studies, or Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (free for the first 14-days), or do a Bible study by looking up all scripture references in this article.

  11. Help others. Ask for help. (Matthew 5:42, Acts 20:35, Galatians 6:2, Hebrews 13:16)
    It all belongs to God, so you should be rich toward Him by caring for and loving others with what He has blessed us. If you have extra, help others. If you are hurting, it is okay to ask for help. Reach out to CVC via email or call (440) 746-0404 for guidance or opportunity to serve.

  12. Be “one” with your spouse. (Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:28-33, Mark 10:8)
    Financial struggle and stress are an unhealthy combination for most marriages. Recognize your marriage is more important than any crisis and “lock arms” by loving and caring for each other, putting the other’s needs ahead of your own, and making thoughtful decisions together.

  13. Involve your children. (Proverbs 22:6)
    Explain and teach your children, at an age appropriate level, about God’s word and what activities you will do as a family during this time, i.e. – sacrifice, no cost family time, etc.

  14. Be honest and humble in dealing with creditors. (Proverbs 3:27-28, 1 Peter 5:6)
    It is tempting to “cheat on your taxes” or not give money owed to someone when you have it simply because you are anxious or fearful. As I was once told, it is always the right time to do the right thing. Do not avoid creditors, but call them and be honest about your situation.

  15. Trust in God’s promises. (Psalm 28:7, Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 15:13, Hebrews 13:8)
    John Piper once said, “You must cultivate and preserve a confidence in God when you are not in a crisis. If you wait until a crisis comes then you won’t have the resources or the depth necessary to maintain our faith well.” If your faith has no depth, you will struggle and want to rely on your own understanding and power. Focus on growing in this area each and every day.

  16. Praise God in the storm. (Psalm 9:9, Psalm 22:3, Psalm 59:16, Psalm 107:13)
    It’s easy to praise God when things are going well. Choosing to praise God through a crisis can be a challenge but the truth is that God is also present in our pain, our suffering, and our times of darkness. When you praise God, you acknowledge He is sovereign, faithful, and merciful among many other things. Praise gets our focus off ourselves and back on to God. It also invites His presence as He dwells close to us when we praise Him.

  17. Acknowledge God’s sovereignty. (Job 42:2, Luke 8:25, Matthew 10:29, Acts 4:27–28)
    Nature is not sovereign. Satan is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. A virus is not sovereign. God rules them all and only He is sovereign. Knowing this truth, we can say what Job said, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
  18. Focus on the eternal, not the temporary. (John 6:27, John 16:25-33, Colossians 3:1-2)
    When you are focused on the eternal, you are focused on the unchanging character of God. You are storing up treasures in Heaven. You are focused on the bread of life. All else is fleeting and fails. For some of us, this means limiting our exposure to social media and TV, which increases anxiety and worry, and increasing our time in the Bible.

  19. Pray. (Psalm 65:2, Psalm 66:19, Romans 12:12, Hebrews 13:21)
    God’s word call us to pray. Jesus prayed regularly. Prayer is saying that apart from Christ you can do nothing. Prayer keeps us humble before God. Prayer is an expression of faith in God’s power. Prayer is something that God uses to equip us and change our hearts. Prayer draws us closer to God and is a reminder that confidence in God trumps fear, thankfulness trumps selfishness, and understanding his love for us unleashes our love for others.

  20. Find rest in Jesus. (Psalm 23:1-2, John 10:27)
    Everyone needs rest. However, we encounter constant stress, anxiety, and fear due to the uncertainty of our financial situation which is exhausting and robs us of our peace. Still, we think we can find peace and rest if we can simply overcome our circumstances which is ultimately futile as the world’s idea of security is an ever-moving target. The world offers us many places to look for it, but it can never deliver on the rest our souls long for because it is our separation from God that ultimately fuels those feelings of unrest.

    Yet, we can still have hope as God invites us to rest through His Son, Jesus Christ. When the Lord is our shepherd, he leads us to the places of peace we need in spite of our circumstances. Consequently, if you find yourself in a need of rest or peace, look to the Lord. Allow him to lead you into green pastures and guide you alongside still waters. Trust him to take you where you need to go for the restoration of your soul. Trust in Jesus Christ, the good shepherd, as your Lord and Savior. In Him lies true rest.

If you would like to know more or need help with any of these topics, please reach out to the Generous Life ministry at Cuyahoga Valley Church. Generous Life provides opportunities for people to learn about and live a blessed life by embracing biblical financial and stewardship principles in order to become a Christ-centered steward who gives generously, saves regularly, lives debt free, and understands God’s perspective on money and possessions.

During these unprecedented and challenging times, our objective is to disciple and encourage those that are hurting, help all who are in a place of fear move to a place of faith through God’s unchanging truth, and unleash the generosity of time, talents, and treasure of the church as a witness to the world of the hope and grace found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

If you have feedback, financial questions or topics that you would like to see addressed in a future blog, please email us at generouslife@cvconline.org. We are here to serve you.

CVC Family Easter Project

Hi CVC Family!

We’re putting together a video montage for Easter Sunday and we need your help!  We want to hear from you about the hope you have because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Here are 3 easy steps for how you can participate:

  1. Get ready for your closeup!
    • Record yourself with your phone held HORIZONTALLY, not vertically, so your screen is the same orientation as your television.  Wide not tall.  
    • Medium shots are preferred, like head and torso or head and shoulders. Simple, horizontal, and selfie-sized.
    • Make sure you’re in a quiet space with good lighting.
  2. Finish this sentence…
    • “The resurrection of Jesus brings me hope because…”
      • Keep your response brief (5-7 seconds max) and succinct so we can include as many people as possible in our montage. 
  3. Submit your video
    • Send your video to us by Wednesday, April 8 at 7:00pm. 

We can’t wait to hear from you!

The CVC Team

April Updates!

Hi CVC Family!

How awesome to see more sunshine these days! We wanted to give you a few updates as we dive into April.

We have been so blessed by the stories within our church family of those who are finding ways to serve others.  Delivering food to single parents and others in need, making masks, helping with Meals on Wheels, and serving nursing homes are just a few of the ways that our church family is stepping up to help. 

Pastor Rick Eimers is continually looking for ways to help those in our church family and in the surrounding communities.

Want to help serve? If you are willing to pick up groceries, medications, do laundry, or even pray for someone in need, please text @cvcdr to the number 81010 to be added to our “CVC GO” group.

On that note, if you need help, please let us know!

We hope you’re finding ways to stay connected with your LifeGroup! If you’re not already in a LifeGroup, we encourage you to check out our CVC Group Finder or e-mail lifegroups@cvconline.org so we can help you plug in to a LifeGroup.

We’re so thankful for you. We’ve been talking more about online giving, and we’re so grateful that you’ve responded! We typically use our weekly Worship Guide (you know…the bulletins we hand out on Sundays) to give you financial updates periodically. Since we can’t do that right now, we figured we’d let you know this way that our contributions are currently coming in at 91% of our budget. As you hopefully know by now, we’ve been proactive in making adjustments to our budget so that our church can stay strong. For more information on how to give online, check out www.cvconline.org/give.

We hope you’ve been able to jump into our 30 Day Challenge as well! The challenge follows along with our 2020 Bible Reading plan, but instead of just reading this month, we’ll be reading, writing, praying, and sharing from our time in the Word. We hope you’ll join us!

We look forward to “seeing” you Sunday morning for our Worship Services online at 9:30am and 11am.

Live New!

The CVC Team

30 Day Challenge

Hello CVC Family!

It’s April 1st.  How welcomed it would be if we all woke up today and the Coronavirus was just a bad April fools joke.  Unfortunately, it’s not.  But we do have a window of opportunity to be proactive and to grow and encourage others while we shelter in place and live in a way that helps love and protect the most vulnerable in our community.

Starting today, April 1, I’m inviting you into CVC’s 30 Day Challenge.  It’s simple and easy. If you participate, it can help you stay close to Christ, bring a daily growth goal to you, give you another touch point with our church family as you interact virtually, and God can use it to encourage others who are struggling or far from Christ as you share it.

Here are the basics of the 30 Day Challenge:

1. READ

Jump into our current Bible reading plan for the next 30 days and read the Bible chapter that is scheduled for the day.  We are going to mostly be in three books of the Bible traditionally known as “Wisdom Literature.”  God has given us the wisdom literature, rich in Hebrew poetry, to help us grow in our understanding of how to apply God’s available wisdom to all areas of life, especially our relationship with Him and with others.  The 30 day challenge will have you complete over three books of the Bible in your 30 days! 

2. CHOOSE

From the chapter you read, choose a verse that really stood out, convicted, encouraged, or impacted you in some way. 

3. WRITE

Using a journal, or another writing method or source that you like to use, write that Bible verse down along with any additional thoughts, commentary, or insights that you want to capture related to why that verse was meaningful to you.

4. PRAY

Now, pray out of that verse, using the content of the passage as a template or catapult for your prayer time.  To maximize your prayer experience, pray upward, downward, inward, then outward (taken from Daniel Henderson’s 4/4 prayer pattern).

  • Upward (Reverence): Begin with a focus on God, not self.  Start with God’s character and nature, “God You are…”
  • Downward (response):  What do we see in our character as a response to what we see in God’s character?  These prayers tend to be prayers of confession and surrender, “God, I admit that I…”
  • Inward (requests):  As beloved children of God, what can we ask of our Heavenly Father that will glorify Him and be in alignment with His will?  These are heartfelt requests often centering on that which impacts our relationships and resources – needs related to issues in our hearts, lives, families, church, nation, and world. “Father, I ask You to…”  “Lord, I pray for…”
  • Outward (Readiness) – Why are we praying?  What’s the hope of our requests?  So that some action, outcome, change, beneficial fruit will take place. We are reminded of the confidence we have through Christ and the spiritual resources God has given us to live this life and fight the battles we are in, especially the spiritual battle. “Father, I ask this SO THAT…”

5. SHARE

We are living in days of unprecedented opportunity and need.  We need to share the confidence we have in Christ and how His Word transforms, instructs, convicts, and transforms us.  Each day, I’m encouraging you to share your verse and a thought related to it.  You can post it on social media, text it to someone you think it can encourage, or share what you learned with those in your family, LifeGroup, neighborhood, workplace, or wherever else you have interaction with other people.

An example from Pastor Chad’s Day 1 of the 30 Day Challenge:

Proverbs 26:12 – Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (ESV)

Lord, You are eternally and perfectly wise.  What I think I know doesn’t even come close to Your perfect wisdom.  I am a mere man.  My understanding is flawed and contaminated by my pride, my flesh, and my sin.  I confess that I often see myself as wise in my own eyes and have been wrong and foolish more times than I can count. I ask that You please sift my thoughts with Your Spirit and reveal where my thoughts are foolish and replace them with your heavenly wisdom.  Generously give me the wisdom that You promise me in James 1:5 so that I can walk in a way more pleasing to You, so that I can lead my family on a godly path, so that I can encourage my fellow Christian brothers and sisters, and so that I can guide my lost friends into a relationship with Jesus.  Amen!

Read. Choose. Write. Pray. Share.

#cvc30

The 30 Day Challenge begins now!

Live New,

Pastor Chad

Serving Our Neighbors

by CVC Serve Pastor Rick Eimers

CVC friends,

The coronavirus is causing a lot of scare in our community right now. As the body of Christ, this is an amazing opportunity to share the loveand hope of Jesus to the people who are most vulnerable and high risk to contracting this virus. With that in mind, here are a few practical ways to get the church out of the building and into the community!

Engage Your LifeHouse

Do you have a neighbor within your context that is more vulnerable to the coronavirus?

  • Can you pick up medications and place it on their front step?
  • Can you buy groceries and drop them off for them?
  • Do you have extra toilet paper in your house? Can you spare a square?

When you do, leave them an encouraging note letting them know you’re praying for them.

Engage “Your One”

Is the person you are praying for in 2020 more susceptible to contract this virus because of their stage of life or health complications? Give them a call and offer to pray for them over the phone. Ask them who they have concern for and offer to pray with them for that person.

Engage the Community

We have a texting service that attempts to mobilize people from within CVC to serve families in the community. Comment in the thread if you’d like to be added on that list. This will allow you to respond quickly to needs locally and in the community. I’ll send the needs out through the texting service and have you as the point person. I may post those on our missions page as well.

Simply Serve!

  • Give a gift card to a family that may not be able to afford lunches for their children.
  • Offer to go to the local store to sanitize grocery carts.
  • Call a nursing home to offer to pray with an elderly shut in who would like prayer.
  • Shop for a single mom in the area
  • Engage your teenagers to run errands for the elderly! They have time on their hands!

In all things, please be wise. Continue to follow all guidelines pertaining to safety and cleanliness. When there is fear in the community, God’s people can shine!

The church has left the building!

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  1 John 3:17-18

 

Being Infectious for Jesus

by Lead Pastor Chad Allen

As we reel from the effects of the Coronavirus and it’s global impact, we are shocked that one infectious virus can wield so much power, expose our weaknesses, and cause great fear.  But not everything that is infectious is bad.  God designed the church to be infectious.  As we take our service offsite and Live Stream today due to COVID-19 preventative measures, we are reminded of God’s intent for us, the church, the people of God, to be infectious.

It would be relationally and socially irresponsible to continue hosting large gatherings amid the rapidly spreading Coronavirus epidemic.  We are doing our part to heed and cooperate with the directives given by our local and national leaders as well as do our part to help protect and care for the vulnerable in our community.

So with that, we get the chance to leverage our tools, our homes, and our relationships to share a season being the church scattered all over northeast Ohio today, and in the next couple of weeks.  We get to worship, together, we get to share in God’s Word, we get to give online, for those on Facebook live, you get to interact a little bit with others, until we feel it is appropriate to gather together in a larger setting again.

My sermon today focused on how we can live out the Fruit of New Life during a time of crisis, such as what we see with the Coronavirus.

In times of crisis…

A Beloved Child responds by:

  • Exclusively trusting in their Heavenly Father
  • Walking in faith rather than fear knowing that their good and loving God is in full control and will provide and protect despite uncertainty and challenges

Matthew 6:25–27 [25] “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? [26] Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? [27] And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

A Self Feeder responds by:

  • Turning to prayer and time in God’s Word
  • Drawing on Scripture more than any other source of information, knowing that reading, internalizing, memorizing, praying, singing and sharing the truths of God’s Word will provide the supernatural wisdom, rest, comfort, and guidance they and others so desperately need.

Romans 15:4 – For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

A Servant responds by:

  • Humbly yet proactively looking for opportunities to be the hands of feet of Jesus by helping family, friends, and neighbors that have needs in the name of Christ.
  • Seeking out ways to use their time and abilities to lovingly help those who are fearful and vulnerable by offering prayer and tangible acts of care.

Galatians 5:13–14 [13] For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. [14] For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”  -Martin Luther

An Investor responds by:

  • Continuing to faithfully give, and to generously use (not hoard), the resources God provides
  • Contributing to His work through the church, knowing that in desperate times, the Gospel and God’s work is even more critical in times of crisis.  An investor doesn’t take their foot off the gas with giving, but remains devoted to glorifying God through their financial stewardship and looks for opportunities to use the resources God provides to help and bless others in the name of Christ.

Philippians 4:14–20 [14] Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. [15] And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. [16] Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. [17] Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. [18] I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. [19] And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. [20] To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:16 – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

A Discipler responds by:

  • Intentionally and relationally teaching others that they are mentoring and shepherding in the faith, how to rely on and obey Christ in all circumstances, even a crisis.
  • Leading by example while seeking to build up the faith, hope and love of other believers through journeying together and relying on shared times in God’s Word, prayer and serving the community side by side.

1 Thessalonians 2:7–12 [7] But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. [8] So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. [9] For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. [10] You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. [11] For you know how, like a father with his children, [12] we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

A Missionary responds by:

  • Making the most of every opportunity to plant, water, and harvest seeds for the Gospel. Everyday missionaries will feel an increased sense of urgency in challenging times to engage family members, friends, neighbors, those they encounter in their community, and even those online, who are feeling fearful and vulnerable and who do not know Christ.
  • Confidently praying with others
  • Courageously caring for their needs
  • Boldly sharing the good news of Jesus as the source of our hope and faith, desiring that they come to know Christ, be connected to God in relationship, and start living for Jesus.

2 Timothy 4:5 – As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Ephesians 5:15–16 [15] Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, [16] making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

COVID-19 Response

Dear CVC Family,

As you know, the situation with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is fluid and changing rapidly.  We are committed to doing whatever we can to provide a safe environment for you and your family.  While God has not given us a spirit of fear, He has called us to love our neighbors and to contribute to the welfare of our community.  Exercising caution is not only wise, but it is a tangible way of expressing love toward others.

Toward that end, the following decisions are being made:

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES

We will NOT be gathering for services this Sunday, March 15 or next Sunday, March 22.  Instead, we will offer a video feed at 11:00AM on our website and on our CVC Facebook page.  We encourage you to worship at home with your family, friends, or small group.  As a LifeHouse, you can even invite a neighbor to join you. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and make a decision about Sunday, March 29 by Thursday, March 26. 

This was a very difficult decision for us, but we have been guided by two very important factors: (1) Honoring our governing officials and (2) loving our neighbors, especially those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

OTHER ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

We are cancelling all onsite activities effective immediately through Saturday, March 28.  This includes onsite classes and events such as Seek Week, the God Cares training, onsite LifeGroups, Explore CVC, Baptism class, and Planning for Your Future (Estate Planning) workshop.  This is not an exhaustive list.  If you have questions about a specific activity not listed here, please contact our front desk at 440.746.0404.  Many of these activities will be postponed to a later date.

Our building will remain open during regular office hours (9AM-4PM) for those needing care and support during this time.

As a church family, here’s what we can do in the meantime.

  1. Pray
  • Pray that God will intervene and stop the spread of this global pandemic.
  • Pray for those who have already been affected by this disease.
  • Pray for those who are working on a vaccination for this disease.
  • Pray for the ones who are caring for those affected by this disease.
  • Pray that CVC and churches worldwide would shine the light of Christ especially in the weeks and months to come.
  1. Watch our Live Stream service this Sunday morning at 11AM on our website or on our CVC Facebook page. If you miss the Live Stream, you can watch later on our CVC Facebook page or at cvconline.org/series/.
  2. Gather with your family and friends to pray, encourage one another, and worship together.
  3. Serve those who are in need! Be a LifeHouse to your neighbors—bless those who are experiencing unusual hardship because of this disease.  Do you know someone who could use a meal?  Are there single parents who need childcare while their child’s school is closed?  There are plenty of ways that we can bless those in need right now.
  4. Give your tithes and offerings online at cvconline.org, using our CVC App, by texting “Give” to 440.827.2454, or through the mail.
  5. Share your faith in Christ! People are fearful right now.  It’s understandable that people are anxious, but we as Christians can take comfort in knowing that God is in control.  We can have peace during these times because He is sovereign over ALL.  Be light, be salt.  People are more open to spiritual conversations when life is uncertain, and we have Good News to share!

Remember that WE are the church…church is not the building we gather in on Sundays.  This is a huge opportunity for us to show the world how and why we trust Jesus especially in dark times.  There is power in the church gathered AND there is power in the church scattered.

We’ll keep you updated at www.cvconline.org/coronavirus.

Live New,

Pastor Chad

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  John 14:27