APC & COVID-19

July 31st Update

In light of the recent executive order that was put into effect last Saturday the Elders met to prayerfully consider the changes required and whether changes needed to be made or other actions considered. Below is the Elders response to many different questions and concerns raised. We pray the Lord's blessing on you and clear understanding from the Holy Spirit as you read, pray, and consider the things laid out below.

In these days, there is no shortage of debate or disagreement as it relates to the local, state, and federal governments restrictions of activities and placing limits on things. In fact, we cannot even agree what “the virus” should be called! Disunity, disagreement, and dissention are not difficult. Maintaining the unity of the body of Christ amid differing perspectives and opinions is and will forever be difficult until that great day that Jesus returns to set all things right once again! Because of that promise, “we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” 2 Peter 3:13, Amen?

As many of you know, the state of Minnesota currently requires that a mask be worn in any indoor public space unless you occupy said space alone. This type of government mandate typically causes us to bristle in the face of seeming infringement of rights granted U.S. citizens under our constitution. Is it allowable, right, or appropriate? These questions are not new and will be the subject of debate until there is only one ruling authority that can be confidently trusted in a holistic way. This is when world governments, kings, and other rulers are done away with at the time of Christ’s return as mentioned above.

So where does that leave us on the issue of being required to wear a mask when gathering? Should we do so or not? Is this moment a biblically defensible time of resistance to the authority placed over us? (Rom. 13, 1 Tim 2, 1 Peter 2) Is that even the point? We believe that the way ahead can be understood by reviewing the examples of resistance by those who proclaimed the truths of God in the scriptures. Two examples (among many) can be cited that we pray are helpful. Daniel (particularly chapter 6) is a great book to review, where we see Daniel refusing to obey the king when the order given was in direct disobedience to God’s command to worship Him alone. Another example is the one of Peter and John when they were commanded by the religious leaders to stop telling the people about the risen Christ and the salvation offered only in Him. (Acts 4) These two examples alone show something very clearly. That when disobedience and resistance to the governing authorities rule occurred, it was directly related to disobeying a command of God and/or being ordered not to proclaim the truth. In studying and praying about these things, It is our opinion that the order to wear a mask in any public space does not violate a command of God or remove our ability to proclaim the truth and worship Him alone.

In all of that as those charged with caring for your souls by God as Elders, we ask you to consider coming to assemble with the Saints. This is clearly a command given to us by our Sovereign Ruler. The book of Hebrews (where we “happen” to be studying currently) gives us a clear word on this. In chapter 10, verses 24-26, the writer talks about the importance of stirring one another up, to press one another toward love and good works. And he says, “not neglecting to meet together…” It seems that it is difficult to stir one another up, pressing each other toward loving and good works and in doing so to “encourage one another all the more as we see the Day drawing near”, if we are not meeting with one another.

Lastly, maintaining unity in the body does not mean that we always personally agree. None of the Elders personally like to wear a mask for example, but in our disagreement with the order, we see a greater need in gathering despite our preference.  Prayerfully consider the following from Romans 12:9-18 (ESV):
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

If you would like to discuss your thoughts about this or have further questions, the Elders are happy to meet with you as always. May the Lord bless you and guide you as you consider these things.

Elders of Anchor Point Church

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July 23rd Update

We hope and pray that you all have been encouraged and uplifted as we have been gathering together since our "extended break". I look forward to continuing to do so but need to share one update with you as it affects all of us.

Beginning July 25th, executive order 20-81 will go into effect. It requires the wearing of masks in all indoor public settings. What this means is that we will all need to wear masks while in the building. Some may see this as a great thing while others may disagree and believe they shouldn't be forced to wear one. Still others may believe that the church should have these things dictated to it in regards to how to worship. All these are valid but are not considerable in our current context. As a party that rents facility space from the school district, we must comply with the policies and guidelines that are deemed appropriate. W-K Schools will follow whatever mandate is given by the state and as a tenant, we will have to as well. If there are questions on compliance please call or email me back one on one and we can discuss any needed clarifications.

Here is a helpful link with a good bit of information.

We will get through this adjustment and will be able to still worship the Lord in spirit and in truth even through a mask, Amen! So let's let our light shine even brighter in the days ahead and I look forward to seeing all of your smiling (masked) faces this Sunday, Lord willing!

  • Parking: There is no change for parking. We will continue to park in the same spaces that we have used in the past and you can drop off at the drive-up area by the front door as normal. (If you are sick please stay home for the safety of others and yourself).
  • Entry: The interior vestibule doors will be propped open in order to help reduce hard surface contact. Please do not close them per the school's request. Please note the Covid-19 warnings posted. If you are experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath please do not enter the building.
  • Cafe/Fellowship Area: There will not be tables in this area as we will not have pre or post service fellowship time. The welcome table will not be out, and we will not be handing out paper bulletins at this time. Masks will be available in this area for use. Use of masks is required until further notice. Please keep the mask for weekly use. You are encouraged to bring your own mask if possible. Hand sanitizer will also be available in this area. Please note the Covid-19 info that is posted in this area.
  • Communion Table: Communion will be celebrated in the following manner. We have ordered self-contained and sealed communion cups and will celebrate the Lord's table together as long as we receive them on time. They have a wafer on top after initially opening, then you peel back the lower section to expose the juice. These will not be distributed by the Elders as is our custom, but will be available on a table for you to pick up on your way into the auditorium should you desire to take communion and are a believer. You do not need to be a member at APC to participate in communion, only a member of the body of Christ!
  • Children's Church/Nursery: This will be available as it has been in the past in the same room. Please use at your discretion and comfort level as a parent. As always, children of all ages are welcome in the main service in the auditorium.
  • Auditorium and Seating: Please enter and sit from front to back if you are able. If you become ill during or after the service, please notify an Elder immediately. An Elder will assist you in exiting the building and or contacting emergency services if needed.

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May 28th Update

We will be regathering as a church family on Sunday, June 7th at 10:00 am at the Wabasha-Kellogg High School Auditorium!

While we will be gathering at our normal location , many things that day will not seem or appear "normal". As always, if you have any questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected].

In all the below settings we are asking that 6ft. (about two arms length) social distancing be observed whenever possible. If you are ill, have a compromised immune system, or believe that you are at high risk, please stay home. Know that we who are able to gather love, miss, and will be praying for you. We also ask that you do the same.

Current Plans for Sunday Services:
  • Parking: There is no change for parking. We will continue to park in the same spaces that we have used in the past and you can drop off at the drive up area by the front door as normal.
  • Entry: The interior vestibule doors will be propped open in order to help reduce hard surface contact. Please do not close them per the school's request.
  • Cafe/Fellowship Area: There will not be tables in this area as we will not have pre or post service fellowship time. The welcome table will not be out and we will not be handing out paper bulletins at this time. Masks will be available in this area for use if you so desire or you are encouraged to bring your own. Hand sanitizer will also be available in this area.
  • Communion Table: Communion will be celebrated in the following manner. We have ordered self contained and sealed communion cups and will celebrate the Lord's table together as long as we receive them on time. They have a wafer on top after initially opening, then you peel back the lower section to expose the juice. These will not be distributed by the Elders as is our custom, but will be available on a table for you to pick up on your way into the auditorium should you desire to take communion and are a believer. You do not need to be a member at APC to participate in communion, only a member of the body of Christ!
  • Children's Church/Nursery: This will be available as it has been in the past in the same room. Please use at your discretion and comfort level as a parent. As always, children of all ages are welcome in the main service in the auditorium.
  • Auditorium and Seating: Please enter (doing your best to maintain social distancing recommendations) and sit from front to back if you are able. There are three areas of access to the auditorium and they will all be open and available for use. NOTE that all aisle seats are not available for use. You must sit at least one chair in from any aisle. You will notice that some rows are blocked with chairs or black boxes and have CLOSED signs on them. Please do not attempt to climb over or cross these obstructions. Some rows are completely closed and are labeled as such on both ends.In the center/middle section seating is staggered and only partial rows are available. Please do not sit beyond the "CLOSED Section" signs with directional arrows. These seats can not be used. All seats that are available for use have a piece of blue tape on the seat back and on the front of the seat base. Please do not use any unmarked seats. All aisle seats (even in open rows) are considered closed seating. Please try to take note of how many seats are available around you. There are some middle sections with between 2 and 5 seats in a row. Try to utilize the space as best we can so that there's room for everyone. It takes 3 empty seats to your left and right to create a 6ft. minimum of distance in the same row between non-family members. Please keep this in mind when choosing a seat. Rows are situated in the center section to try and eliminate the need to walk right in front of or right behind someone when possible.
  • Singing: We will sing as we usually do when we gather. All musical equipment will be sanitized between uses.
  • Offering box: The offering box will be available, but please avoid physically touching the box when dropping your offering in.
  • Conclusion of Service: At the conclusion of the service please exit the building as quickly as possible. Please exit from front to back as much as you are able. If you would like to visit with people (and I pray you do!) please do so outside of the building at the recommended social distance of 6ft.
  • Video Availability:The sermons will still be recorded as they have always been. We will do our best to post them as soon as possible for those that are not able to attend in person gatherings.

The above measures are being taken in order to provide the safest environment possible while also coming together to gather as we both long to do and are commanded to do as followers of Christ. I anticipate it may feel a bit like a long overdue family reunion of sorts, Amen!

The things listed above will generate a whole host of emotions and thoughts in us. Some may agree. Others may think it's too much, while some may think it's not enough. This truly is a time that the enemy would love to sow seeds of disunity among the people of God. This is where we need to extend grace to one another. As your Pastor and one of the Elders among you,  I am confident that our church family will do this, so that we will be known by our love for one another. I am expectantly grateful to God as He works in and through us by His might, in the power of His Spirit! Looking forward to seeing you on June 7th, Lord willing!

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May 19th Update

First, please realize the "stay safe" order allows some resuming of activities (more about that below) but it does not allow for corporate gathering at this time. If things continue as planned it is likely that we will be able to gather corporately for worship as soon as Sunday, June 7th. That isn't definite but we are working under that possibility. The Elders will have future info coming related to how gathering together will in some ways look different than it has before so watch expectantly for updates along those lines, ok?

We are going to resume or plan for the following activities that will be open to "in-person" attendance beginning Sunday, May 24th (community group @ Fuhrman's will begin tonight):
  • Community group meetings (zoom will still be available as needed)
  • Men's Saturday bible study (currently based on John Piper's, "Don't Waste Your Life" book @ church office)
  • Scheduled meetings for ministry teams-Women's ministry events (planning)
  • Wed. night prayer (Church office)

Please note that we are asking that you contact your community group leaders to let them know if you will be attending in-person. As of right now, gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people so we will need to ensure that we are meeting that standard.

Prayer meeting and men's study can be divided into two groups if needed as we have two separate spaces available for use in the building. It would really say something about our faith family if we needed to divide prayer meeting on Wed. night into more than one group, Amen!?

If you have any questions or comments related to any of this please contact one of the Elders or simply respond to this email. Thank you for staying connected to and continuing to care for one another.

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April 17th Update

Community Groups will begin to meet virtually starting  Sunday, April 19th. Please see your email for more info.

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April 10th Update

All in-person events have been canceled in accordance to the Stay Home extension issued by Governor Walz. Sunday sermons will continue to be provided via YouTube.
March 30th Update

All in-person events have been canceled  in accordance to the Stay Home order issued by Governor Walz. Sunday sermons will continue to be provided via YouTube.
March 17th, 2020

APC Family,

The Elders met on Tuesday, March 17th to discuss the COVID-19 related concerns that have certainly commanded our attention not only as a nation but as a people worldwide. We have made the decision to suspend all church related activities until Monday, March 30th, as of today. As time progresses and more becomes known to all of us, this may be extended. Please keep a close watch on the webpage and Facebook as those will be our primary means of communicating any changes going forward. This announcement may be a surprise to many of you. Please know we have made this decision not because we are afraid but out of a sense of embracing the spirit of Philippians 2, as we look out for the interests of one another.

Here are some plans that we are making in the interim as we are not able to meet "face to face":

  • We will video a sermon each week with the intent to make the sermon available on the messages of our website, and at our Youtube channel, so that you can continue to be fed from the Word each week in addition to your own personal study. Our goal will be to have the sermon uploaded and available by Sunday morning. Please take the time to watch, take notes, and meditate on what you are given. Also remember to pray both prior to watching and after, asking the Spirit to work in you and through you! (Review last weeks sermon about the vertical and horizontal aspects of obedience to help in this)
  • The Elders will be developing a list of current attenders this week (to the best of our ability), so that we can reach out and connect with each of you individually as time progresses. Our goal is to speak with each person at minimum bi-weekly. We will also make the respective Elders contact information available to you so that you may call/contact them as you may need. If you don't hear from someone in a 2 week time period, please reach out to the office directly at [email protected] or 651-560-4880. Please know that your Elders are available and want to hear from you! We are a family and you need not endure anything alone. Simply stated, we love one another, Amen!
  • Please reach out to each other! Call, email, text each other and offer words of encouragement. Pray for and with one another often! Pray for our community, state, nation, and our world, as many have been impacted and many more may be in the days to come.

These are certainly strange times we know, but I want you to be encouraged by this, God's sovereignty remains firmly intact! Even in the event that the physical body may come under attack, in Christ we are eternally secure and need not fear! So in the days ahead, be sensible not fearful, gracious not hard hearted, selfless not selfish, and merciful and not judgmental. Speak and act as those whom are faithfully convinced and secure in the gospel that has been both planted in us and is still sanctifying us! (Hebrews 11:1)

Again, please reach out with any needs, questions, concerns, suggestions, or encouragements. In the days ahead may, "the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace,"

In Christ,
Pastor Jamie