Weekly Engagement Update

Create Normalcy and Control, Give Peace and Hope
From Pastor Derek


When all of the changes started a few weeks ago with the virus pandemic, I was amazed at how people started shopping and hoarding food, pasta, meat, and most of all cleansers and toilet paper. I didn’t fully understand the panic to stock up on things until I listened to a psychologist on the radio. She said (I am sorry that I didn’t catch her name) that people binge shop in times of crisis to feel a sense of control. This situation has created such a feeling of anxiety and loss of control/normalcy that hoarding gives the illusion that you are doing something to gain back control of your environment that appears to have no end in sight.

This observation got me to thinking...

What am I doing to create
a sense of normalcy and control
in such an unpredictable and ever-changing environment?

What am I doing to give
a sense of peace and hope
that things will eventually be ok?

I’ve noticed that being at home more has caused me to neglect some healthy routines that keep me from eating too much, watching too much TV, and binge-watching Netflix shows that I normally would not even be interested in. I don’t even have my usual “feel good” habit of watching sports, so I get bored and eat even more. After struggling with this situation, I made some changes a few weeks ago. Here is what is helping me when things seem so out of control.

  1. I read the Bible more and watch less TV less. Even watching the news can add stress, so I try to limit my screen time. What’s the point anyway if you can’t watch baseball and golf :)?  May I suggest reading the Gospel of John, and then Matthew, Mark, and Luke to connect with the life of Jesus during this Easter season.
  2. I try to get outside and walk every few hours. I am not very disciplined in exercise anyway, and this at least keeps me mobile and somewhat active.
  3. I try to talk with people electronically as much as I can. It is not the same as seeing people in person, but it helps to fulfill the relational desire that God has created in us. This virus has made loneliness and isolation worse, and we must fight to overcome these feelings.
  4. I have been reaching out to people and old friends that I have neglected to stay in touch with. I have more time to call and email, so why not use it to reconnect and encourage people from my past?
  5. Finally, I try to take one day at a time. I like dreaming about the future, setting goals, and making plans. But right now the future is uncertain, and it is hard to plan. So I try to live like the Israelites that received Manna and quail to eat for just one day at a time. If they panicked and stored up for the future, everything rotted and became inedible. The daily provision of God’s grace and love should be enough for that day. Why waste time and energy worrying about tomorrow?

Hopefully, these ideas can help encourage you during this season. Please continue to stay connected with us through chapelcares.com/online. And know that we are praying for you often.

God bless,

Pastor Derek

*You can watch Pastor Derek share this Pastoral Update on YouTube. Pastoral Updates premiere Wednesdays at 12 pm.

This Week's Online Services

Sunday's Service Information
This Sunday, April 5 is Palm Sunday!  We hope you join us for our Online Worship Service which will include receiving communion, so have your bread and juice handy. The service will premiere at 9:30 am but can be watched at any time following it.  In case you haven't seen it yet, you can watch last Sunday's service Jesus Is... The Absolute Authority (Part Two).

Even though we will not be meeting together face-to-face, we encourage you to continue to give your tithes and offerings either by mailing it to the church or through our online giving portal.  Though the facility may be closed, we continue to experience operational expenses, and the staff is working hard to serve God and you. Checks can be mailed to Chapel of the Cross, 160 Flanders Road, Westborough, MA 01581.

Update on Giving

During this time of uncertainty in the world, we wanted to thank you for your generosity to the church.  We were deeply encouraged by last week's giving and are touched by your faithfulness! As you are able, we ask you to please stay faithful and generous in giving. Though our facility may be closed, our ministries, operations, and outreach partners remain active.
  Actual Giving: 
  $184,152.28   Pathway to Play
  Actual Giving  
  Budget Plan:
  $211,496.96     Pathway to Play
  Difference     -$27,344.68   Difference   -$60,000.00

Do You Need Help?

At Chapel of the Cross, we want to know what your needs are.  Whether your needs are spiritual, emotional, or physical, we want to assist you.  While we must follow the visitation guidelines of other facilities, we want to be available to you as much as we are able for visits, phone calls, or to drop off essentials.  If you need help, please contact the main office by email or phone, 508.870.0001.  Prayer requests can also be submitted online.

Stay Connected

We encourage you to take advantage of various means of staying connected with your Chapel Family.
  • Connect at Chapel.
    View our schedule of "Chapel Online" opportunities to engage with God and others through online means. Click on the event name for details.
  • Help those in your community. 
    Our ministry partner, Provision Ministries, has created a Go Fund Me Campaign to help supply our homeless community with new essential items.  Tom Slicklen, founder and Chapel attendee, has had some exciting donations for this community which is at heightened risk during this time.
  • Engage in a daily devotional.
    Some popular online devotionals are:
  • Considering using social media.
    Though we know you may have reservations about social media, you may want to consider creating a Facebook account just for this season.
    • You can visit our Chapel's Facebook page and suggest you both "like" and "follow" our page to receive our updates.
    • Chapel Women also has a private Facebook page which is a help and encouragement to many.  Privacy settings are guarded, so you will need to request to join.
  • Reach out to others.
    We encourage you to be responsive to those whom God places on your heart. Does someone pop in your mind? Consider sending them a text, giving them a call, or mailing them a letter.
  • Connect with Chapel's leaders.
    Many groups, including students, kids, and life groups, are continuing to participate through online conferences. Contact leaders for details.

Chapel Online Schedule of Events

Visit Chapel's YouTube Channel for events that use that platform.

9:30 AM - Online Church Service Experience (YouTube)
6:30 PM - ReFuel for High School and Middle School (Zoom contact Josh King for access)

4:30 PM - Ignite Livestream for High School and Middle School (YouTube)

4:30 PM - Ignite Livestream for High School and Middle School (YouTube)
7:00 PM - Men's Remote Bible Study

10:00 am - Kids Grow (Zoom, contact Tanya Legro for access)
12:00 pm - Pastoral Update (YouTube)
4:30 PM - Ignite Livestream for High School and Middle School (YouTube)
6:30 PM - Ignite Middle School and High School (Zoom contact Josh King for access)
6:30 PM - Women's Remote Study

4:30 PM - Ignite Livestream for High School and Middle School (YouTube)

4:30 PM - Ignite Livestream for High School and Middle School (YouTube)
6:30 PM - Good Friday Online Service (details coming soon!)


Updates on Closings

Read our most recent Chapel COVID-19 Update from Wednesday, March 18th.

We appreciate your patience as we seek God's leading in making decisions about our programs and facility usage. You can keep up-to-date  in the following ways:
  • Email notification. 
  • Call the Chapel Cancellation Line: 508.870.0001 Ext. 4.
  • Visit our church website: chapelcares.com