July 17, 2020

Dear Koinonia Family,

On Monday, Governor Newsom announced that our county, among many others, was moving backwards once again in the reopening process due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and the reduction in available hospital beds. This means that church buildings are once again closed.

So, we continue to learn to pivot and dance in a challenging season! 

This is how we are responding:

  • Services will continue to be streamedat what has become our normal weekend schedule: Saturday at 6pm, Sunday at 9am, 11am, and 6pm. You can watch on YouTubecom, live on Facebookor you can search for the Koinonia Church App on Apple TV.
  • Children’s church will continueto be released on Saturday at com/parents. If you haven’t plugged your elementary kids into this, they’re missing something REALLY critical.
  • The Overflow worship series continues with an outdoor worship service planned for August 1st at 7am. If this is something that you are hungry for, please be there! It will help us know how often we should schedule these.
  • Our Neighbor to Neighbor initiative, which we began several months ago is needed more than ever! Your neighbors need you to be the light and share love and grace and the Gospel during this moment. Church at home doesn’t just have to be you and your family, it can be a ministry to and with others. For those of you that let us know that you wanted to be part of the initiative, expect a call this week as we seek to resource and encourage you to be the church in your neighborhood. If you want to jump on board and make your home available for this kind of ministry, join the team by texting “Neighbor” to 559-500-4830.
  • We are doubling our efforts to reach outto those who are going to be directly impacted by things shutting down once again. We’ll be calling through and praying with those who have once again had to stop work or may have lost their jobs altogether. If that is you or you know someone who would benefit from a call and encouragement, please let us know by calling our offices at 559-582-1528 or emailing chad@kchanford.com.

Now, there is also a question of how we should respond as individuals to this ever-changing environment. 

As a spiritual leader, I am concerned about how we carry and express our beliefs in this moment. I am freshly aware how the Enemy is using COVID and all the other issues we are facing as a nation to divide and destroy us. Many are playing right into his hands. Whether we are separated as the result of physical or ideological isolation, we seem to be moving farther apart, instead of seeking common ground and unity.

How is this not a work of the Enemy? Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” (Matt. 12:25).

I encourage you to maintain a higher perspective. Humility requires us to respect and love one another even if we disagree. It also mandates that we admit that we might not be right about all the things of which we are convinced. I find myself closing off to new information and have to choose to re-engage and listen constantly even though it is not my natural tendency. This work is worth it for all of us.

The way we respond to these challenging times is more about an opportunity for us to grow spiritually and to become more like Christ. The more angry and frustrated we are, the less we are full of the Spirit and the more time we must spend to get His heart before anything else. 

I implore you according to Colossians 3:12-14: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Church family, let our reputation in this community be that we found a way to navigate through this season with joy in our hearts and love on our lips. I am reminded of Jesus’ prayer in John 17, “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

We may be confused by many things, but we should never be confused about our calling to point to Jesus in the midst of every challenge. He is our hope in this hour. He is the one that can end COVID quicker than any vaccine. He is the one who can heal every division and repair every broken heart.

May He be glorified in and through us!
Pastor Andrew Cromwell
Lead Pastor
 

May 29, 2020
 
Dear Koinonia Church Family,

 

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster!
 
  • We were excited to receive the guidelines from the state on reopening the building (remember the church has never been closed, not even for a minute even though the building has been closed).
  • We were frustrated as we read what was actually in the guidelines because it really makes church weird.
 
Here’s the short story:

We will NOT be opening the building to public services until July when we hope to receive updated guidelines from the state that allows us to have a more normal service.
 
Here’s why:
  • The guidelines mandate that we can have only 100 people in the entire building for a service. This means that after we count the worship teams, tech teams, pastors and staff needed for a service, we will have perhaps 80 seats. Since 67% of you indicated that you would return as soon as you can, we would have to hold 8-10 services per weekend in order to accommodate the needs of our church. Honestly, we’re not able to do that right now.

  • We also are required to keep children with parents. That means no childcare and no kids classes. We are hoping this will change when we receive the next set of guidelines because we know that this is a HUGE part of going to church.

  • In addition, the guidelines include rearranging our seats so they are socially distanced, asking people to wear face masks, taking temperatures at the door, closing our lobby, reducing or eliminating singing, and more.
 
All of this adds up to a less than wonderful church experience! But that doesn’t mean we’re on pause.
 
During the month of June we will be getting ready for YOU! This means we are going to be testing our systems and growing our capacity right now so that we can be READY for larger gatherings (we expect in July)
.
  • We will be streaming our morning services live beginning on June 7. We would love to see you in our live Zoom room during services so we can interact with you (kchanford.com/lobby).
  • We will be inviting a small live audience to be in attendance during these recordings so that we can test and fine-tune the changes we are required to make. We wish we could invite everyone, but it’s not possible. We will begin by inviting people who are active in our serving teams. Online ticketing will be required and we’ll be socially distanced, wearing masks, and doing all the things.
  • As soon as we are able to add more people in the room or add more services, we will be opening this up to everyone.
 
I understand that all of this is WEIRD and FRUSTRATING. Please hear our heart that we are trying to do the best thing for our entire church. The standard we are seeking to apply is driven by our LOVE and RESPONSIBILITY to our church family and community.
 
In the meantime:
  • Do church at home with your family and close friends! Remember to use recommended precautions. I believe this continues to be an EVEN BETTER option until things become less WEIRD at the church building. We are hearing about how many are doing this already and feeling the joy of fellowship with the people of God! Tune in at your home church at 9am and 11am on Sunday mornings so we can be TOGETHER!

  • Be a peacemaker in our church and community. There is so much polarity right now where people are strongly convinced in many different ways. Remember to offer LOADS and LOADS of grace during this season. As the Apostle Paul says in Colossians 4:6, Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

  • Guard your heart and don’t be offended at your church family or at us as your staff. This is a difficult season and it is easy to be hurt. We are doing our best to operate out of love, but we don’t always get it right! If you are feeling offended or hurt, please talk to us rather than stew or avoid. Our highest desire is unity and love, even if we don’t see eye to eye on every single thing.
 
What I am most excited about is that we are MOVING in the right direction and we will be EMBRACING soon!
 
In Him,

Pastor Andrew
Lead Pastor

May 23, 2020
 
Koinonia Church Family,

This Sunday will be the 11th Sunday since we moved services online and I miss you! I know that this has been a season of refraining from embracing (Ecclesiastes 3:5), but I’m ready for it to be a time to embrace once again! Like all seasons, it has come with both its own trouble (Matthew 6:34) as well as its blessings, and I am determined to allow the Lord to do all He desires. But, I’m ready for a season shift! 

As things do begin to move towards reopening, I want you to know what to expect as far as church gatherings are concerned. As a staff, as a board of elders, and as a community of Kings County pastors, we have been actively engaged in planning to return once again to our buildings. For Koinonia that means the following:

  • We will continue to move according to federal, state and local guidelines and work with local health officials as to when we can reopen again. President Trump has put this issue center stage and so we anticipate additional direction from our state governor in the coming days. We will not be opening this weekend and I anticipate we may still be several weeks out from beginning a phased reopening. As a church we have a large footprint in this community and that also means we have a large impact and we want to do this well. If you would like to read a statement that I put together explaining my reasoning further (written before President Trump’s statements), you can do so here
  • While the building may be closed, the church certainly isn’t! We believe that meeting in homes in small gatherings right now to worship is the first step towards gathering together. I would love to hear from you about how you will be doing this! Please be wise and careful to follow health guidelines (gatherings of 10 or less and protective measures in place) so that we can continue to protect those who are physically weak among us. Please see details on how you can do this on our Neighbor to Neighbor page.
  • Speaking of Neighbor to Neighbor, have you reached out to your neighbors and started building community intentionally? This intentional act of love for your neighbors will help us continue to be a church that is igniting contagious faith in the One God who restores all!
  • Part of the decision of when we reopen will be influenced by the quality of our fellowship together. Social distancing, sitting in family clumps separated from one another, face coverings, not being able to hug one another, not having children’s programs — all of these are very real possibilities for our gatherings, not to mention greatly reduced service sizes. Depending on how many of these things we must implement might mean us waiting a little bit longer to reopen. As one of our staff pastors said to me last week, “Meeting in homes for a while sounds MUCH better than doing all of those things!”
  • Ultimately, when we reopen will also be a matter of the Lord directing us. He is our leader first and while we are in submission to federal, state, and local officials, we are not driven by them. We will reopen when we feel He has given us the green light and not before.

We need your help during this planning process too! I need to know how you feel about coming back and under what circumstances. Would you please take a few minutes to help us know how you are feeling? Your voice is critical right now. Please fill out this questionnaire about reopening.

 

We will be together again!

 

Pax est Christus,


Pastor Andrew
Lead Pastor

When are we getting back together? 

How is the Church doing? 

How can I help? 

 

How are you doing?

 
 
 
March 19, 2020
 
Dear Koinonia family,
 
Our whole world it seems has been taken hostage by a plague. Plagues are not unfamiliar to the world, but they certainly are to us! I think it is safe to say that none of us have seen anything quite like this during our lifetime! 
 
But, never fear, this too shall pass! In the meantime, I want to encourage you to be a part of the solution and not the problem. Do this out of LOVE and not FEAR! We want to love our community well during this moment, this means helping flatten the infection rate by doing what we have been asked to do. A good friend and the Executive Director of Kings Partnership for Prevention, Julie LeFils, says it so well in the video that we were able to help produce for Kings County Public Health—“in Kings County we have one hospital and a limited number of resources…[dealing with many new infections] all at once is too much!” 
 
Remember, God will use this difficult situation for GOOD! He is removing distractions and reminding people that this world cannot be relied upon and that He is the only One who can be. People are looking for hope in this season and this is the hour for the church to be the light. So many people tuned in this weekend to our services and I believe we are going to see even more this weekend. People need HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT!
 
Would you help get the word out about services this weekend? We are going to actually add services because we believe that more people need to hear about God’s goodness not less. We’re going to be streaming services on Saturday at 6pm, Sunday at 9am, 11am, and 6pm, Monday at 6pm. Here are the ways you can tune in:
 
I’m excited to talk with you about how to build a supernatural atmosphere in yourself. It is critical during this time!
 
We’re in this TOGETHER—do you need something, are you overwhelmed? Call or email us, we’re here for you!
 
Andrew Cromwell
Lead Pastor
 
P.S. Join us on our livestream channel on Friday night at 6:30pm for a time of focused prayer with local pastors. Let’s pray together! 
 
March 17, 2020
 
Koinonia Family,
 
We are continuing to adjust our weekend services to move online and also moving our small groups off campus for at least through the rest of March. Public health officials are doing their best to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that our healthcare system is not overwhelmed. We are going to help! We are not acting out of fear but are seeking to serve our elders and immuno-compromised church members during this time.
 
What does this mean for groups? While you won’t meet on campus, you have a variety of options for where and how you can meet. There are many tools you can use online. We are available to help set up these if you need them. The following are some we found that are easy to use:
 
Google Meet–this free tool works for up to 100 people. This video has helpful instructions on how to set it up.
 
Zoom–Click here for instructions on how to set up a meeting.
 
 
March 12, 2020

Dear Koinonia Family,

I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to update you on what’s happening at Koinonia as we navigate the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in this part of the world which we call home.  

I would first like to say how proud we are of our church and teams. Everyone has rallied together to communicate trust and confidence in a time of fear and rumors. We are brainstorming ways to bless our community and be a light of hope. So thank you Koinonia for your courage and input during this time!

Our governor and local health officials have asked large groups to not meet for the next few weeks in order to slow the spread of the virus. Having watched how quickly the virus spread in China and Italy, we have seen that the virus can quickly overwhelm the healthcare system. We do not want to either ignore this nor be driven by fear in our response. 

We believe that the best way to serve our community is to suspend our in-person meetings and to move what we can online. Twenty years ago, not meeting in person would have meant not being able to worship together. Today, we are incredibly blessed to have a fully functioning online church experience. Church does not have to happen in a building! 

We see this as an opportunity for families and small groups to lead each other in times of worship. God has actually prepared us for this moment to adapt how we do church together to meet the needs of our community and reach the hearts of our neighbors. 

So here’s what’s coming next. 

Online-Only Sunday Services
Beginning Sunday, March 15 and probably through March, our services will be held online only. Service times will remain the same at 9 and 11am for English services, and 2:00 for Spanish Service. Our hope is to be able to gather together on our church campus as soon as possible, but in the meantime, we believe we can continue to learn and grow together as a church by worshiping together in our homes with friends and family. And you can still invite your friends!  If you’ll be watching the live-stream on Facebook, we encourage you to share it on your feed. If you’ll be watching on our website, consider inviting someone to join you by sending them the link.

I want to encourage you to participate in the chat and make the service interactive! In this way we can build a community experience and inspire one another.

To watch the live-stream on our website, click here

To watch on Facebook, click here

For Families with Kids

Please know that each of your families will continue to be in our prayers as we navigate these circumstances together. We want to keep your kids engaged and provide ways for them to grow spiritually. We’re posting the curriculum that would typically be used on Sunday on campus for your kids through Right Now Media, which we highly encourage you to utilize. It’s super easy to register and is a great way for kids to do church online along with the rest of your family! We provide anyone who calls Koinonia home free access to this service. There are several videos for kids with optional discussion questions and activities that can be downloaded. 

To register for Right Now Media, click here

To login to your existing account, click here

Questions? Email: kchanford@kchanford.com

Mid-Week Programs 

We are suspending all on-campus ministries for the next 2 weeks.  We will evaluate this decision week to week as the situation around the outbreak continues to unfold.  In the meantime, we will be providing alternative ways for you to grow closer to God and learn more about Him.  

Future-Hope Preschool

We will be keeping our preschool doors open to our students and teachers. We are taking additional measures to ensure they are healthy and our facilities and processes stay as germ free as we can!  

King’s Pantry

Our food pantry will also continue to provide groceries for those who need it. We are evaluating our procedures to maximize safety and we are working hard to protect both our volunteers, staff, and patrons. 

Opportunities to Serve & Give

While the impacts of the coronavirus mean some changes to our daily lives, the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of people have not been put on hold and we must continue to care for those around us. We are currently looking for ways to be a support to our medical centers. As a need arises, we will communicate how you can get involved with donations. 

Even though we’re not gathering in-person for church, you still have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others by giving your tithes and offerings through our giving page. 

Final Thoughts

Even though our world has changed, the power of God has not changed. The truth of Scripture has not changed. The hope of Jesus has not changed. Our mission as a church has not changed. Let us not give in to fear. Rather, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Walk in wisdom, pray with diligence, and love your neighbor! 

In Christ,

Andrew Cromwell 
Lead Pastor
Fill out the form below if you are able to help during this time:
 
 
Quick Links:
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Online Meetings
Google Meet
 
Sunday School Resources for Kids on RightNow Media: