21 February, 2024

Coronavirus: “A Lot Changed [Thursday] Afternoon”

by | 13 March, 2020 | 0 comments

By Chris Moon

Rusty Carlson, lead executive pastor of Rainier View Christian Church in Tacoma, Wash., said he’ experienced a range emotions during the past few days as the church has sorted out its coronavirus plan.

“It’s kind of all the ‘feels,’ as our millennials say,” he told Christian Standard.

Rainier View is in the Seattle region, which is under a government-imposed ban on large gatherings. The church has announced it will hold online-only services this weekend.

Initially, Carlson said, he was excited for an opportunity to do some creative things in ministry. All of the church’s ministry teams are working to provide their services online, including the creation of material for parents to work through with their children at home.

It is a good opportunity to be innovative, Carlson said. But then reality began to set in on Thursday as major sports events were canceled—including the NCAA men’s basketball tournament—and schools and colleges made drastic changes to their spring operations.

“There’s a lot that changed yesterday [Thursday] afternoon,” Carlson said.

Then news emerged Friday morning that President Trump plans to declare a national emergency to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Rainier View Christian Church now is faced with the idea of not having onsite worship services until May. Easter activities would be drastically changed. Children’s and student ministry programs have been suspended, as have groups that meet in the church’s facilities.

The whole operation of the church may be different for the foreseeable future.

“This feels a little bit more like disaster and crisis relief,” Carlson said.

In that vein, the church is working on plans to match up senior citizens in the congregation with younger people in the church to make sure the elderly have all their needs met. Carlson said the church also has a “ton” of kids on free and reduced-price lunches in its neighborhood, and the church wants to care for them, as well.

“We’re in brand-new territory in terms of knowing how to handle this,” Carlson said.

Meanwhile, as a pastor of a large church, Carlson feels the weight of it. His parents attend his church. He has a child in college in California. He has a staff to care for. There’s a lot to think about.

He said he is thankful he is not in it alone.

“You bond together for sure,” Carlson said.

Chris Moon is a pastor and writer living in Redstone, Colorado.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

Hundreds of Guests Blessed at Ohio Church’s ‘Night to Shine’

Christ’s Church in Mason, Ohio, hosted “Night to Shine” for the 10th consecutive year on Feb. 9. Story pastor Dale Reeves writes, “After Christmas Eve, this is my second favorite night of the year!” Among the special guests this year were Tim Tebow and his wife, Demi. . . .

Ozark Christian College Preparing to Launch ‘Lincoln Seminary’ This Fall

Ozark Christian College is nearing approval from its accrediting organizations to open Lincoln Seminary at OCC this fall. The college in Joplin, Mo., already has received approval from The Association of Theological Schools to open Ozark’s new seminary. “For us to be able to open the doors of the seminary this fall, we need [our] three accrediting bodies to give us a thumbs-up,” Proctor said. , , ,

Christian Ham Radio: More Than Just a Hobby

The Christian Amateur Radio Fellowship (CARF) formed at the North American Christian Convention during the summer of 1966 as a way to promote fellowship among Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, our Christian colleges, and as a service to missionaries. CARF has a website but no headquarters. The fellowship has hundreds of members in North America and around the world. . . .

Ministry Help Wanted

Summit Christian College (Gering, Neb.) is accepting applications for the position of academic dean. Mulberry International is seeking a mission-minded marketing professional. Milligan University is accepting applications for assistant professor of worship leadership. Plus other listings. . . .

Lessons Learned on a Cruise Ship

Building community is essential to our spiritual journey in the church. We are called to be “family to each other.” On a recent cruise, I found hundreds of crew members from more than 75 nationalities building community and becoming family to one another. . . .

Follow Us