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Helping Others

If you are looking for leads for a job or looking for ways to help members of our church and community, please let us know! If you have jobs that need to be done or are needing help, please let us know! We have a staff member who will be working to make those connections so that we can help one another! Please contact Chris Raley or any staff member if you have questions!

 

To the Southwest Park Family:    

Update:  July 3, 2020                

                                                                                                          Hebrews 10:23-25

 

I trust this update finds you and your family blessed.  I have continuously prayed for your health and safety as you navigate this pandemic.  But more importantly, I have prayed for your spiritual health during these abnormal times we have experienced.  The past few weeks have provided a window of opportunity for us to gather in-person and enjoy some sweet fellowship with a part of our congregation.  Not all have been able to participate as they have exercised wisdom given their own circumstances and have remained isolated.  But with the help of technology, we have all been afforded the opportunity to remain connected.  During these days, God has truly blessed our fellowship of faith. 

 

I want to remind you of the words I shared with you as we began to reopen our in-person gatherings:  “As we begin to reopen our church, we do so with great caution. We will continue to monitor the conditions in our community.  If we need to take further precautions, we will.”  As the conditions in our community have been rapidly changing and new restrictions are being put into place statewide, I engaged our deacon body to discuss the situation.  We have determined that it is wise for us to temporarily take a step back with our in-person gatherings.  We are planning a three-week break and then will re-evaluate the situation to move forward to resume Worship, as soon as it is safe to manage our gatherings.

 

It is more important than ever to be intentional about maintaining your connection with the SWP family.  All of our Sunday School departments have established a plan to remain connected with weekly zoom meetings.  These meetings will continue until we are all able to return to our regular space and time.  Our worship and prayer times with continue using live-streaming.  Our youth, CAs, and YAM groups will continue to meet remotely.  Again let me say we plan to return to in-person gathering as soon as possible.

 

These temporary sacrifices are intended to show our love to our community, as well as, our brothers and sisters in Christ.  I have given much thought to the fact that there are far more believers on the planet that have never had the freedoms and privileges to gather as we have known in this great country. Because of the persecutions they have faced or the lack of access to the gospel, the church has stubbornly grown faster in those conditions on many occasions than in our own gospel-rich environment.  Might we accept this season as a test of our own resolve to remain faithful even when it is difficult?  Might we find inspiration from others who have walked through much deeper waters?

 

The office will remain open and the staff will be available to serve you as you have need.  If you have prayer concerns, I remind you to direct them to our prayer team that continues to intercede on your behalf.  Soon, we will be sending you a year to date finance report.  We have collected all that we need to deal with the current AC emergency and the acoustic work in the fellowship hall.  You have been faithful and consistent with your financial stewardship and the church is able to continue to support the ministries of our mission partners.  Continue to remain faithful as we move forward on this journey together.     

 

I remain available to visit with you anytime you wish to reach out.  You can reach me by cell at 325-668-6586 or by email at mike@southwestpark.org.  Know you are loved and I can’t wait to SEE YOU!     

 

Blessings,

Bro. Mike

 

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25

To the Southwest Park Family:    

Update:  June 27, 2020                

                                                                                              Hebrews 10:23-25

 

I hope this message finds you and your family safe and sound.  These continue to be days of unique challenge that require a strong faith and deep abiding hope.  We have enjoyed the return to in-person worship over the past few weeks.  We have also had many who are still participating in worship from home, which is truly a blessing as we have remained connected.  We have started our Wednesday night gatherings in our large spaces maintaining social distancing practices while we have continued to utilize both social media and zoom meetings to stay in contact.  We were planning on returning to our regular Sunday School gathering on July 5th in the education building.  However, due to the newest guidance from our state leadership and our local trends we are going to wait.

 

We have been studying the Proverbs in Sunday School and have been challenged to be wise in our actions.  As we seek so show respect and care for one another, we must be cautious when we assemble.  Currently, we plan to continue our present course.  I want to encourage you to listen for spiritual guidance as you choose how you will participate in worship and discipleship.  You can meet in-person or join via live streaming, but I want to encourage you to join your family of faith in worship. Remember if you are participating in-person, please help maintain social distancing practices.  Our volunteers are there to help keep us organized as we enter and exit the building.  We are filling the auditorium from the front to the back and exiting from the back to the front.  We are encouraging the fellowship to move out on to the front porch.   Remember to thank our volunteers for all they are doing to help us navigate this season.

 

Our adult Sunday School classes have been meeting in-person with a zoom option since May 18th and will continue to do so.  I want to encourage you to take advantage of these gatherings. We are working to improve the technology and the physical space.  We will be utilizing some temporary sound damping partitions in the fellowship hall while a permanent solution is in progress.  The zoom meetings will continue to improve so follow the link your class provides and join your class this week.

 

We can rejoice in the faithful financial support you have provided through this covid-19 crisis.  Our general fund giving has been strong and we are currently meeting all our obligations.  We are current with our budgeted mission support year to date. We have also collected capital improvement funds to address the acoustic issues in the fellowship hall.  As well, we are near collecting the funds to replace a failing AC unit in the office area.  This is an additional $10,000 over the general fund giving.  We are truly blessed.

 

Continue to stay connected and watch for current news about our next steps together.  I look forward to meeting you in the morning for worship.

 

I remain available to visit with you anytime you wish to reach out.  You can reach me by cell at 325-668-6586 or by email at mike@southwestpark.org.  Know you are loved and I can’t wait to SEE YOU!     

 

Blessings,

Bro. Mike

 

 

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25

To the Southwest Park Family:    

Update:  May 18, 2020                

                                                                                            Hebrews 10:23-25

Apostle Paul penned the words “I thank God for every remembrance of you.”  Covid-19 has given us a new appreciation for what those words mean.  The past two and a half months have been extraordinary.  This time has been difficult as our time of fellowship has been disrupted.  Two of the key ingredients to a healthy church are meaningful fellowship and the breaking of bread.  Social distancing and isolation has created a void that is not natural to our community of faith.  There is both power and peace in our assembly. 

 

As we begin to reopen our church, we do so with great caution. We will continue to monitor the conditions in our community.  If we need to take further precautions, we will.  We will maintain 25% occupancy levels in our facility as long as necessary to provide a safe place to gather.  We will continue to remain vigilant with the maintenance of our public spaces.  We will be using volunteers to help assist those who return to in-person worship.

 

If you would like to serve as a volunteer for Sunday Worship, you can register using the Church App. You can also register to volunteer by calling the church office or contacting anyone of our staff members.  If you have questions about helping you can contact Chris at chris@southwestpark.org or 325-668-3996.  There are a number of teams that will be working to facilitate safe gatherings.

 

The fellowship hall is now open for Sunday School classes to gather in groups of 15, initially.  The hall will be available on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Contact the church office for more details.

 

As we reopen, we will continue to do everything we are presently doing on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening.  We will continue to do the Zoom meetings and social posting.  We want to remain connected through the duration of this pandemic. 

 

You will find a brief video posted today.   The video will provide you with a sample of what an in-person worship experience might look like.  Again, I want to remind you that you do not need to return until you are ready.  IF you are not feeling well or have had symptoms of illness, please remain at home.  IF you have an underling condition that has your immune system compromised, consider staying home.  IF you do choose to return, know that we will do our best to exercise distancing guidelines but we will need your help.  Thank you in advance for your support and the grace you will demonstrate as we return.

 

I remain available to visit with you anytime you wish to reach out.  You can reach me by cell at 325-668-6586 or by email at mike@southwestpark.org.  Know you are loved and I can’t wait to SEE YOU!     

 

Blessings,

Bro. Mike

 

 

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25

To the Southwest Park Family: 

Update: May 12, 2020                                                                          

                                                                                                   Hebrews 10:23-25   

To edit a phrase from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, these are days that will live in infamy. I’m sure you and your family have made a few memories while walking through the pandemic. It has been a meaningful time for so many to reconnect at home. If you have not seen the article in the Reporter News featuring the Bryan family, you will not want to miss it. We can find encouragement for the future from those who have learned to make the most of a difficult time. There are however many who have not weathered the storm so well. I trust you are maintaining your prayer vigil for those who are suffering from prolonged isolation.

  

I want to encourage you to pray for the Burn’s family in the loss of Elizabeth’s mother and father. Also, remember the family of Max Littlefield who passed in recent days. Many others with both spoken and unspoken needs request your support in prayer.  

  

As I have shared with you previously, we have been working on a plan to return to our building. We are ready to make our way back as safe as possible. We are going to make our fellowship hall available for our small groups to gather beginning May 18th.  Initially the size of the group will be limited to 15 and the length of the meeting will be held to one hour. You will be able to reserve the room through the office. Each group will participate in preparing the room for the next group. There will be clear instructions so that we can help each other. The hall will be available of Sunday evenings at 5pm and 7pm. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm and 8pm the hall will be available. If we need additional slots, we will add them. We are continuing to work on options that will include opportunities for our children.  

On May 24th, we will have two worship services. At 9am, our service will be for our senior members and those who are compromised and have remained distanced. At 11am, we will have our second service. Seating will be limited to 25% capacity allowing 6 feet of space between occupants. You will be asked to sit with the members of your household while leaving distance from others. There will be volunteers to help with the seating. You can register to help on our church app. There will be more detailed information about the reopening coming soon.   

If all of what you have just read sounds awkward and restrictive, it is because it is both. There are some who feel like this is happening too soon and some who feel like it is not soon enough. That said, we understand this will require a lot of grace toward one another. I want you to be at peace knowing I support your decision about when you will return. We are going to do our best at seeing to it that you have a safe place to return to when the time comes. We will continue to do everything we have been doing to keep you connected. Our services will continue to stream into the future. I look forward to seeing you soon.    

I remain available to visit with you anytime you wish to reach out. You can reach me by cell at 325-668-6586 or by email at mike@southwestpark.org. Know you are loved and I can’t wait to SEE YOU!   

Blessings, Bro. Mike      

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25  

To the Southwest Park Family: 

Update: April 14, 2020

   

Last week was truly special as we walked through the event of Passion Week together in a unique way. Although we were walking at a distance, we were given the opportunity to tap into our spiritual unity in a way we have not experienced before. As you continue your Covid-19 pilgrimage, you might let the journey improve your understanding of what other believers have endured for ages.  The global community faces an invisible enemy today that is common to all people. However, throughout the history of Christianity, believers have faced an enemy who has caused isolation and separation to be a part of the course of life. When believers are persecuted and cast away from society, they must learn to survive on the provision of God’s presence. This time might perhaps be a good opportunity for us to develop a deeper empathy for those brave souls who are remaining strong in their faith. Though our struggles pale in comparison, this might just be a moment where we can at least step into their shadow.   

 

I look forward to being together for our Wednesday Night Live service this week. It is a great time to join together to pray, sing and open God’s Word. We will continue to look to the 119th Psalm for encouragement and instruction. If you have missed any of our times together, you can go to our church’s Facebook and Instagram pages or to the Southwest Park channel on rightnowmedia.com.   

 

We will have a wonderful time of Bible Study and Worship on Sunday. Mike Ferry will be teaching our adult lesson, as he has been so faithful to do from the start of our distancing.   Carson will be joined by another guest or two to discuss the student lesson this week. These will be delivered live on Facebook and Instagram at 10:00 AM. The adult lesson will also be streaming live on the southwestpark.org website.   

 

At 11:00 AM, the worship service will stream live on all three platforms. All of these streams will remain posted on the sites for you to share with others. I want to encourage you to invite others to join us - it has never been easier to invite a friend to church than it is right now.   

 

Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, we will be having another prayer time and fellowship on the parking lot while maintain our distancing rules. We ask that you please remain in your vehicles while taking advantage of spending a little time with the SWP family. This is a great to wave and see one another. There will be a live stream on our website that you can join to participate in the prayer time. There are some who are not receiving this information and we need you to reach out to others by phone or text to let them know. And don’t forget to remind one another as the week progresses.    

 

Keep one another in prayer and find new ways to encourage other to love and good deeds.      

 

Blessings, 

Bro. Mike   

To the Southwest Park Family:   

Update: April 6, 2020

As we enter Passion Week, I want to share an update about ways our fellowship can remain connected as we reflect on the events that led to the finished work of Christ on the cross that insured our salvation.  Some of you have already downloaded the “Easter Now” app and have begun your journey back in time tracing the steps of Jesus as He went to the cross.  If you have not, I recommend this as a great way of studying the scripture and sharing it with your family.  Thanks to Carson, who discovered the app and shared it with us.  I believe it would be a meaningful time for your family to share the Lord’s Supper together on Thursday evening.  We are going to post some helps for this activity on our website and our social networking sites on Tuesday afternoon.  This can be a time your family will never forget and we want to help you prepare.  After your family time, send me a short testimonial we can share on our website so it might be an encouragement to the whole SWP Fellowship.  

On Friday, we will have a time of prayer for our church and community.  We will meet at the church parking lot at 7:00 PM to pray for our church and it ministries.  We will go on Facebook and Instagram Live to share guidance to our prayer time.  There will be a prayer guide posted to our website as well.  The meeting will last for 15 minutes before we are dismissed.  You can remain as long as you feel the need.  We are asking that you follow the distancing rules that are in place.  Please travel to the church with only your household members, remain in your vehicles, and respect others by parking in every other space allowing you to roll down your windows.  When the parking lot fills and no empty spaces remain between cars, it will be time to roll the windows up.   

When prayer time is dismissed, we encourage you to do a prayer-drive back to your home.  We will post some suggestions of prayer destinations on our website and social media pages.  You can plan your route before the meeting if you choose.  This will be a time for our church family to shower this community in prayer.  It will also be a time for your family to share in powerful ministry together.  This is local missions in action.

You will soon receive an update regarding the ways we are trying to remain connected.  Please be patient with us as we have to learn new things every day to help keep you connected.  There will be time to recognize those who are working very hard behind the scenes to make this all work.  In the meantime, let us all remain vigilant in prayer and faithful in outreach to others during these unusual times.

Blessings,

Bro. Mike

 To the Southwest Park Family:

Update: March 31, 2020

 I trust this update finds you well. I know that many of you are dealing with difficult circumstances in your homes. Work schedules, home schooling, and family life have all melded into one big pot and the chaos has left a new tension few are prepared to face. It may feel like a dark cloud is hanging over your existence, but we have a God who does amazing things with dark clouds. The creation story in the book of Genesis begins with a dark cloud. “The earth was formless and void and darkness was over the surface of the deep.”  This is the picture of real chaos. It is the beginning condition of things that are going to change. What will come out of your chaos?  

God spoke light into our world when He sent His only Son to come and live among us, speaking our language. Jesus came to help us find order and meaning in a world that has collapsed back into a formless void. Those without Him are truly left to navigate the tensions of daily living in the dark. So out the darkness into the light, we came as new creations. This God, who has the power to deliver us into the light, is the same God who will make new things out of our current chaos. I can’t wait to see what new things He is going to do with you if you remain faithful to serve Him, regardless of how tough it might be. 

Ministry continues in new ways. We had a group that prepared and delivered about three dozen meals to our senior ladies group. The meals were delivered to their doors and received with great joy. There have been other provisions delivered to those in need. Our preschool and children ministries have been busy posting video encouragements, Bible stories and challenges that you can use in your home. We are working to help make you aware of Sunday School helps for the children that are being provided by Lifeway. RightNow Media is available to you and can provide a world of Biblical Study. Look to our church Facebook & Instagram pages for “A Proverb A Day” posts that we hope can be an encouragement to you and with those who you share them.  

We will continue to provide Wednesday Night Live at 6 PM and hope you will join us for some music and devotional time. On Sunday, we will have our Sunday School hour at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00. We are continuing to work out the bugs with our delivery system to Facebook and Instagram. Please be patient as we work to establish a better connection with each one of you. We are working on our plan for next week and I trust you are praying for all concerned. 

The office will continue to be open to receive you from 8:00 AM – Noon. If you have need of the staff, please do not hesitate to call. Online giving is available through the link on our website and using the Church App on your mobile device. You can also use the mail or stop by during office hours and drop it off. Thanks for the way you have supported the church during this time of chaos.  I am excited to see what God might be doing with His people as he brings us into His light and makes all things new. 

Blessings,    Bro. Mike  

To the Southwest Park Family:    

Update:  March 25, 2020

 

As I begin this message, my thoughts are focused on you and your families.  These are truly challenging times that demand our full attention.  The need for connection is more important now than ever before. It remains critical that as the Lord brings people to your mind and stirs your heart of compassion that you respond to His promptings.  Sometimes the right response is to pray.  Sometimes the correct response is to check on them personally.  Sometimes the response is to share that burden with others who are invited to pray with you.  I am encouraging you to take advantage of the prayer request form on our website (southwestpark.org).  You can enlist the partners in our Prayer Room to join you, praying for the needs God is making you aware of.  These are days to get outside of your own concerns and invest time and compassion into others.  

 

We are soon to open a photo gallery in the website where we will post pictures of your family doing fun things at home.  Please send your photos to paige@southwestpark.org and we will get them up as soon as possible.  We need to see each other and learn how others are managing this time. 

 

We are also being made aware of those in our fellowship who are looking for work and others who need work done during this time of social distancing.  In response, we have opened a “Members Connect” tab on our home page.  There will be forms to submit your request and then the request will be matched and you will be contacted by staff.  We are hoping to use this as a way of helping SWP families find connections that work.

 

We have several ministry groups that are still working on encouragement projects.  There are many who are seeing needs and working to meet needs through personal ministry.  There are new groups forming for Bible Study and encouragement.  We are continuing to develop more practical helps for our Children and Preschool ministries.  This said, the ministry goes on as the church remains mobilized beyond our walls.  Pray for each endeavor.  It is a time for the church to be the church.

 

We look forward to being together on Facebook and Instagram Live Wednesday evening @6PM and Sunday Morning @10AM and @11AM.  We are working to include some worship music during our time together.  Pray for those who are a part of our worship teams as they work on the best way to help make it happen.

 

Several of you have already taken advantage of sharing your tithes and offerings through a method that is different than your normal routine.  The office remains open from 8AM to Noon and you can drop off your gift if you are already out.  The door remains locked so you will need to use the doorbell to be greeted at a distance.  You can use the mail to send your gift.  You can use the online giving options.  On our website, there is a GIVE tab that will direct you to a giving portal which you can follow the steps and it is secure.  You can also go to the Church App and use the GIVE button and make your gift.  Continue to pray for our stewardship and for wisdom during this time.

 

I want to encourage you to find ways to remain connected with God’s Word.  It might be a good time to start a new reading plan and seek wisdom from the Word.  Know that Susan and I are praying for you and trust that even through this unusual time you will grow in grace as you continue to walk in His Way.

 

Blessings,

Brother Mike Woodard

To the Southwest Park Family:

Update: March 20, 2020 9:00pm

I trust this update finds you and your families well. We continue to watch with you as the world deals with the global pandemic. I am seeking to find ways to help keep our fellowship connected and encouraged. I know that you are finding new approaches to reaching out to friends and family, and I hope to find a way for you to share your discoveries with others. Though we are not able to physically gather, we are able to remain strong in spirit. I want to share with you our plans for Sunday. 

@10:00 AM  Mike Ferry will be sharing our Sunday School lesson on Facebook Live 

@10:00 AM Carson Burns will be leading a Sunday School Session for students on Instagram and  Facebook Live 

@11:00 AM I will be sharing a message of encouragement on Facebook live   

A new method of sharing your prayer concerns is by emailing them to pray@southwestpark.org. Your request will be received and passed on to those who will be joining our virtual prayer room. There will be more information coming soon about how you can join the group. You can begin sharing your concerns now and know that others are praying. As we continue to monitor the situation, we will be sharing new ways to connect. Be safe and know that you’re loved by a great big God and a faithful family of faith.

Brother Mike Woodard 

To the Southwest Park Family:

Update: March 17th   5:00 PM

I hope this message finds you and yours safe and healthy.  I am aware of the difficulties many of you are facing and the uncertainties around every corner.  It is times like these that we find comfort in a strong faith that is reliant on a loving God who has promised His presence.  We are to remain faithful to Him and remain willing to serve Him wherever doors are open.  Your staff is working to provide guidance as our fellowship continues to move forward.  You will find in the days to come many helpful suggestions about how you and your families can grow through the challenge we face.  We continue to monitor the recommendation from the federal, state and local authorities.  Through this guidance we are trying to adjust our program.  Things are changing quickly and we are trying to adapt. 

Changes:

  • We will suspend our Wednesday Night activities until April 1st.

  • We will suspend our His Little Kids program until further notice.  We will have a new cleaning and check-in protocol established when the program resumes. 

  • We will suspend our Sunday School hour until further notice.  We will provide a Facebook Live version at 9:15am on Sunday morning which will remain posted to our Southwest Park Facebook page for you to use at your convenience.  Mike Ferry has agreed to teach our lesson.  Chris is providing direction to resources that are being made available to you from Lifeway.

  • We will be making our 10:30am service a Senior Adult friendly service.  We are asking only those who are age 55 and up to participate.  There will be no childcare provided for this service as we will keep the facility available to only our seniors during this time.  There will be deep cleaning done before and after each use of the worship space. This service will be streamed on Facebook Live.

  • We will be making our 6:00pm service family friendly.  There will be a nursery provided. This service will also be on Facebook Live.

Be watching for more information and resource help at this new leg our journey continues.

Bro Mike Woodard

To the Southwest Park Family:

March 12, 2020

Our staff and deacon chair met to discuss the path forward as we deal with our response to the Coronavirus.  First, we are confident that we are securely held in the righteous right hand of our loving Lord. There is no need for anxiety over the circumstances we face. Second, we are aware the Lord’s work is not complete and we have much ministry yet to do. Finally, we are aware that our fellowship is being impacted in different ways and we will continue to seek new ways to “encourage one another to love and good deeds” as we ought.  

We will continue to have regular worship and small group Bible study at our scheduled times as long as it is permitted. We are planning to live stream our services via Facebook during this time.  This Sunday in our service we will provide more instruction about how to remain connected. If you are not feeling well or you have family members that are compromised, I am asking that you reconsider attending.  If you have concern about congregating please feel free to maintain your distance without guilt. If you have needs in your household, please let us know. 

We have some in our fellowship who will be self-quarantining due to travel over spring break. Included on that list are Chris Raley who led our team to Mexico and Carson & Stormy Burns who also just returned from Mexico. They will be working from home and can be contacted by phone anytime you need them. They will remain in contact with the church and will be working on ministry projects while they are away from the office. 

Changes to our regular course of action: 

 · We will suspend food service during the Sunday School hour as well as our Wednesday fellowship meal until further notice.

 · We will work hard to avoid the normal handshakes and hugs and try to find new ways to express our joy of greeting.

 · The offering will be collected through your small group meeting or at the designated drop off places in worship.  The online giving option is available on the Church App or our website.

 · Our staff will continue to monitor the situation and be prepared to adjust as needed. I want to remind you that in times like these it is easy to become so focused on yourself that you forget others. So, let us remain open to ministry opportunities that come our way as we remain the hands and feet of our Lord.  

 

 Brother Mike Woodard