New Location – Lexus Center Sundays @10:00 am

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Starting Sunday, January 10 @ 10:00 am – Lexus Center – 1205 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA directions

Once you enter the Lexus dealership just follow the signs and park on the third level. We will be easy to locate from there.

We will be gathering in an outdoor meeting center until Covid restrictions are lifted. There are lots of chairs so come and be part of our celebration.

Join us for pre-service prayer from 9:15 to 9:45 am

SCHEDULE
9:15-9:45 am Pre-service Prayer

10:00 am Worship
10:20 am Announcements, offering, God-Stories
10:30 am Message
10:50 am Breakout discussion groups/prayer groups
11:20 pm Finish

YOUR CHILDREN
For this Sunday your children will stay with you in the service. We will have activity bags for your kids so be sure to pick one up on the way into the park.

YOUTH
Our Youth Pastors will have a breakout session for your teens.

LIVESTREAM
We will Livestream the service so those of you who will not be joining us at the park can still worship and hear the message with us at home as usual. Go to our Facebook page at 11 am https://www.facebook.com/GatheringPlaceChurchSD

These are difficult times and finding consistency is something we all desire. Just know that the leadership team and a host of volunteers at GPC are working diligently to keep our church thriving this season.

I look forward to worshiping with you, hearing the Word, praying, and watching Jesus save, heal, and deliver this Sunday!

Please spread the news.

We will comply with all social gathering protocols as usual. 

 

John’s email to the church regarding Covid precautions:

Dear GPC Faith Family,

Social distancing is not only one of the things causing division in our nation, but also the Church at large. It is truly heart-breaking.

The Early Church had a similar situation. Theirs was not whether to wear a mask, but whether to eat meat offered to idols.

It was quite common back then for meat vendors to ask their gods to bless their products as they went to the marketplace. Some Christians felt it was dishonoring to Jesus to eat that meat. Other believers, like Paul, knew that there is only One true God, so their prayers to false gods were harmless.

This issue was not what we would call a Biblical Absolute, but rather a Personal Conviction, which, as Paul stated, was a “disputable matter”.

Wearing masks and social distancing is a disputable matter.

And yet, just as back then, followers of Christ are fighting over it as though it is a mandate from God. But it is not. It is a personal conviction based on how you interpret the science and politics surrounding it. And just as Christians back then were “judging” one another, so they are today.

The Bible tells us to,

“Endeavor (strain every nerve) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3 Unity.

We must do everything we can to always maintain it. Otherwise, we are doomed. Unifying around Biblical Absolutes is much easier than unifying around Personal Conviction.

The unifying factor around Biblical Absolutes is faith.

Biblical Absolutes + Faith = Unity.

We all believe the same basic truths about God: Jesus is the Son, He is the only way to heaven, salvation is by grace alone, Jesus was crucified, died, rose again, and is going to come back for His Church. These and other foundational truths unify us. But how do we unify around personal convictions? Well, let’s look at what Paul said to the first century Church. It applies to us today:

“So, stop being critical and condemning of other believers, but instead determine to never deliberately cause a brother or sister to stumble and fall because of your actions… If your brother or sister is offended because you insist on eating what you want, it is no longer love that rules your conduct. Why would you wound someone for whom the Messiah gave his life, just so you can eat what you want? …Consider it an act of love to refrain from eating meat or drinking wine or doing anything else that would cause a fellow believer to be offended or tempted to be weakened in his faith.”       Romans 14:13-22a TPT
Love.
Personal Convictions + Love = Unity

Some would say that by requiring social distancing policies to be followed at GPC we are not walking in faith. But the Bible is clear on what is greater than faith – love. (See 1 Corinthians 13)I am so thankful that due to our social distancing Marsha and Jeff Brown were able to be there, as well as Maru and Francisco, and others who are battling sickness and life-threatening diseases. These folks are part of our church family and love would say that if we have to inconvenience ourselves a bit for them so they can worship with us, so be it.

Others, like myself, who have loved ones at home who are immunocompromised were also able to be there.

Even if this virus is not as deadly as some say, or that the science and reporting is skewed, or that it is a government overreach or take-over, when we come together to worship, it isn’t about any of those things. Wearing a mask when we come together does not mean you are symbolically giving into a political agenda or a government overreach, it means we are operating in love.

For those of you who did not want to wear a mask, but did anyway, thank you.

For those who have a personal conviction that causes you not to wear a mask and so you won’t come, I pray you will read Romans chapter 14, pray about it, and hopefully join us.

Let’s live by the law of love!

John

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