161 East Harper Avenue, Maryville, TN  865-984-0116

Grace Temporary Procedure

To access our livestream, please visit THIS LINK

Dear Faithful Church,

In light of the recent guidelines suggested by the federal government, it seems good to us to limit our Sunday morning service to live stream only and to cancel any church gatherings or events of more than ten people for the next two weeks.  Our reasons for taking this extreme step include:

  1. Submission to governing authorities.  Romans 13:1 states, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”  Although the government has not commanded us to stop meeting, we desire to demonstrate a spirit of submission by following their guidelines.  Additionally, while it is true that the government does not have the authority to tell the church of God when and where to meet – we do not believe there is, at this time, a desire to harm or silence the church and so we are willing to voluntarily suspend this God-given right for a period of time.
  2. Love for others.  Matthew 22:39 states that we are to, “Love our neighbor as ourselves,” and Romans 13:10 states that “Love does no wrong to a neighbor.”  In this case, for the short term, it may be more dangerous to others to meet together than not to meet. There is a very fine line here.  In nearly every case it is more loving for the church to meet together – to encourage and strengthen each other, to worship and honor our God, to offer hope and peace to those who are struggling with anxiety and fear, and to demonstrate to the world the honor and worth of Christ.  We have been very intentional about moving slowly in adopting this drastic measure.  We were spiritually designed to worship corporately and we must not neglect this vital exercise (Hebrews 10:24-25).  Only in the relatively short term do we think that love would dictate that we do not gather together.

The specifics of our Sunday, “live stream only,” meeting are as follows:

  1. We will have one service, at 10:30 am.
  2. The service will run exactly as a normal Sunday morning – one song, announcements, three songs, prayer, message, final song.
  3. The video of the service will remain available for up to a month afterward.
  4. We will do this for two weeks at a time, evaluating our options after each iteration.
  5. If you would like to continue give to the church during this time there are three options:
    1. Use our online giving option from the webpage
    2. Mail a check to the church
    3. Drop your check off with Kim at the church office

Instructions on how to view the live stream are:

  1. Go to the website: gracemaryville.org
  2. Mouse over the “media” tab and click on words “Church LIVE!”
  3. Press the play or arrow button on the video screen to begin watching
  4. If you are watching on a phone, a tablet or another portable device please remember that the audio will be muted when you first go to the live stream page.  You must find the little speaker icon at the bottom of the page and click on it in order to be able to get proper sound
  5. Be patient and keep trying if you can’t connect at first.  The entire country will be live streaming and this may cause issues we do not anticipate.

A few thoughts on how to get the most out of a “virtual” service.

  1. Gather around as a family
  2. Stand and sing together
  3. Perhaps choose not to be involved in other distractions (phones, projects, ect.) that you would not pursue if you were actually at the church!
  4. Take some time to discuss the message afterward

Finally, we would encourage and exhort you to be intentional about reaching out to the body of Christ in all ways that are appropriate during this time.  We live in an amazing world of technology in which we can call, text, facetime, skype, tweet, facebook, and Instagram (to name a few options!).  While these are in no way a substitute for being in the presence of other people, they at least allow us to minister to each other in this very unusual season.  Also, continue to pray for each other, for our community, for our leaders, and for the world. 

It is our prayer that this crisis would knit us together as a church, causing us to remember that we are truly fighting a spiritual battle every moment and that the gifts of every member of the body of Christ are necessary to accomplish the task God has given to us.  Instead of fear or relational apathy, we pray that our response would be joy and a depth of love which would overflow to the glory of God.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty ,dominion and authority before all time and now and forever.  Amen (Jude 24-25).”

Chris – for the elders.