Changes at Sagemont Due to COVID-19
- All worship services through April 5 are ONLINE ONLY. Watch Sundays at 9:30 and 11:15 am and Wednesdays at 6:00 pm at sagemontchurch.churchonline.org or at facebook.com/sagemontchurch.
- There will be no group meetings at Sagemont Church at least through April 5. This includes iCONNECT Bible Studies, weekday Bible studies, Playschool, Recreation Ministry events, Counseling Support Groups, etc.
- Many of our iCONNECT Bible studies are now being facilitated online. Specific instructions will come from your iCONNECT leadership.
- The AdventureLand Children's Ministry has resources available for children through 5th grade. Each week new lessons and videos are available at https://www.sagemontchurch.org/connect/ministries/children/childrens-resources/.
- We have 3,000 archived messages and Bible studies on our website at https://www.sagemontchurch.org/learn/messages-media/. You will find studies on many books of the Bible and many different relevant topics there.
- Mission trips are postponed until further notice.
- If you need assistance from our Helping Hands Ministry, please call first at 281.922.6421. No walk-ins will be permitted at this time.
- Counseling sessions after March 24 will be conducted only in a tele-counseling format. On-site sessions are discontinued. Call 281.481.7133 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
- The church annually votes on a new budget this time of year, but due to the pandemic, that vote will have to be postponed. In the meantime, the proposed 2020-21 budget is on our website for your perusal as we await a proper time to vote. Click HERE to see the budget brochure.
- The church office is open during regular hours during this crisis. However, entrance into the building is restricted to those with appointments. Please call 281.481.8770 to make an appointment.
- Plans for summer activities are flexible at this time. Definite decisions about events such as Vacation Bible School, the Memorial Day flags, Patriotic Celebration, and summer camps will be forthcoming as the pandemic progresses in the weeks and months to come.
- While still practicing the guidelines of social distancing, use this time to minister to others around you. Check on your elderly neighbors to see how they are doing and if they need help. Be aware of those who are out of work and assist them when you can. Use this time to let our world see the church in action and be Living Proof of a loving God to a Watching World.
UPDATES Sent to the Sagemont Church Family:
Hello dearest Brothers and Sisters,
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has just issued a “stay at home” order closing businesses and restricting movement in Harris County effective at midnight tonight (Tuesday, March 24). Therefore, our church facility will be closed until April 3, 2020. However, ministry will still take place 24/7 as needed. If you are in need of a particular minister, you can call the church at 281.481.8770 and follow the prompts to reach the minister at his home! Texas Governor Greg Abbott has included church ministry as “essential,” and we will therefore have mobility in the midst of the shutdown. “Thank you,” church family, for your patience and support in what seems like “the valley of the shadow of death.” Remember David’s exhortation, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: FOR THOU ART WITH ME; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.”
In times like these, it’s very easy for us to be overwhelmed! I am reminded of the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice,” and in verse 6, “Be anxious for nothing: but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Max Lucado did a great sermonette on these verses on Fox News speaking/preaching to millions of Americans this past Sunday using the acrostic CALM.
C Celebrate God’s Goodness
A Ask God for Help
L Leave our Concerns with Him
M Meditate on Good Things
Brothers and Sisters, we can be calm in the chaos that the Coronavirus has created. In fact, it is in the midst of the chaos, confusion, anxiety, and darkness that the light of our glorious God shines brightest. Continue to “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
You are loved,
Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
The Coronavirus Pandemic has produced a “new normal” for all of us at Sagemont Church. The Word of God compels us to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25). We will ASSEMBLE AGAIN, just not right now…at least not in the traditional manner. As you already know, all of our worship services are being streamed. What you may not know is that we are gearing up to provide iCONNECT Bible studies in an alternate format as well. Some iCONNECT Bible studies will be available this Sunday, March 22. Others will come online next week. All of your staff are working creatively to explore ways and means to continue ministering while still practicing “social distancing.” Please keep checking our website to stay informed. Certainly, “none of us know what tomorrow might bring” (James 4:14). But, we do know that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). So, we will all take wise and warranted precautions in these perilous times; but we will not be given over to panic and fear.
The Pastor Search Team continues their great work, and we are very excited about the wonderful prospects before us. Search Team Chairman Dr. Denny Autrey would want me to remind you that “we are one day closer to presenting our next senior pastor.”
Please pray for the church as we continue to navigate this uncharted season. And if you are able, please give as generously as possible. As you know, many of our faithful are unable to give as they would like as many industries are coming to a grinding halt.
And, finally, remember…“The gates of Hell shall not prevail against the church” (Matthew 16:18). Brothers and Sisters, we will be here for you through “thick or thin.” If you have a need, please call.
You are dearly loved,
Dearest Sagemont Family,
This morning (Monday, March 16) I called an emergency meeting of our ministerial staff. I also asked deacon chairman, Tony Banfield, and trustee, Jay Evers, to attend. We spent two hours discussing all of the ramifications of the Coronavirus outbreak as it relates to Sagemont Church. We spent the first quarter of the meeting just discussing the facts that have been presented to us.
The President has declared a state of emergency. The CDC has encouraged “social distancing.” The healthcare communities have declared their inability to adequately take care of the number of people who WILL contract the virus. All computer models show a “huge wave” of people who will need hospitalization in the immediate future. It is believed that “social distancing” will minimize the size and scope of the wave and therefore save lives.
As I have stated on a number of occasions, 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” We don’t have to be afraid of the future, for we know Who has our future welfare in HIS hands. That having been declared, we still need to make good, wise, and rational decisions about life and living given present realities.
Therefore, your Sagemont leadership has determined some new ministry paradigms for the immediate future. First and foremost, Sunday morning Worship, Praise, and iCONNECT Bible Study in their traditional format have been temporarily postponed for the next three weeks. Accordingly, the church doors will not be open on March 22, March 29, and April 5. But, just like last Sunday, you can still stream our services on all of those dates. Just go to our Sagemont Church website or Sagemont Facebook page to join the Sagemont family in worshipping God. The iCONNECT Team is working on alternate formats for our current Bible studies. Additionally, there are over 3,000 Bible studies archived on our website right now at https://www.sagemontchurch.org/learn/messages-media/. Our Wednesday night worship and Bible study with Bill Cole and Stuart Rothberg will also be streamed for the next three weeks.
Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17), ALL of our normal ministry and social programming will be temporarily suspended for at least the next three weeks. For instance, all ministries, such as Women’s Ministry Bible Studies, Men’s Bible Study Fellowship, WNKZ, Playschool, Precept Bible Studies, Student Midweek, Counseling Support Groups, etc. are taking an extended three-week “Spring Break”!
All mission trips are postponed until further notice. Our Helping Hands Ministry is still ministering, but you must call to make an appointment. Our Counseling Ministry, too, will maintain its one-on-one ministry with some “social distancing” guidelines implemented.
Overall, our church will remain open during this ongoing crisis. We ask that our church family and community call and make an appointment to see a member of the ministerial staff if needed. It is possible that some meetings will need to take place via phone call or video conferencing. We will still be planning a work and working a plan as we prepare for our late spring and summer activities, i.e. Memorial Day flags, VBS, Kids’ Camp, Student Camps, etc. Certainly, there are some questions, like the exact date of VBS, which cannot be answered at this time. We will continue to update you as information becomes available.
If you have questions that have not been answered, please call myself, Stuart Rothberg, Emory Gadd, Wes Holloman, or Freeman Tomlin. As the crisis unfolds, we are brainstorming ideas to initiate new ministries to an anxious and panicked society. I can think of no better time to be Living Proof of a Loving God to a Watching World. As I watch television, it seems to me that our world is panicked and grief stricken. But we, brothers and sisters, as Christians, are not like those who “grieve without hope.” We certainly do grieve when we see a panicked world and a death toll that is rising. BUT, because He lives, we can face tomorrow. Join me, as we give our world a look, a word, and a smile…and a reason to have HOPE!
You are loved,
Dearest church family,
The Coronavirus situation is changing daily, and now the President has declared a national emergency due to the health risks. In light of that decision, and in keeping with our sister churches in the area, we are making the decision now to move all of our services on Sunday, March 15, to an online format only.
We will still hold worship services Sunday at 9:30 and 11:15 at sagemontchurch.org and on Facebook Live. The church campus, however, will be closed in order to minimize health risk to our church family. There will be no iCONNECT Bible studies or other activities at the church on Sunday.
Join us in praying for wisdom for all decision makers and health officials as well as for healing for those directly affected by the virus. We know that our God is in full control even in the midst of this storm.
And join us online Sunday morning as we worship together from many locations!
You are loved,
I am once again writing to you to give an update on how we are handling the Coronavirus at Sagemont. Yesterday the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. A pandemic, in simplest terms, is the “worldwide spread of a new disease.” As a result, many government agencies and media outlets are calling for the cancellation of events where people are congregated in close proximity to one another. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Houston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the National Basketball Association season are all examples of public events that have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.
As a result of these actions, I called for a meeting of Sagemont leadership on Thursday morning, March 12. I also spoke with many lay leaders on the phone. (There is wisdom in a multitude of counsel - Proverbs 11:14.) The overwhelming consensus of opinion is that we still meet for worship, praise, and Bible study for the immediate future. However, there was a great note of pragmatic caution and concern that was voiced.
For many years at Sagemont we have had an unofficial motto to greet visitors and members with “a look, a word, and a touch.” For the time being, I would like to amend that motto. I suggest that we greet one another with “a look, a word, and a smile.” The CDC (The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has stated that “social distancing” measures are recommended to prevent transmission. It has been stated that shaking hands is a primary method of transmission. Therefore, for the sake of everyone’s “peace of mind,” let me encourage you to refrain from hand shaking, fist bumping, hugging, and even exchanging a holy kiss.
So, at this time, we will continue to gather together on the Lord’s day and worship the Lord Jesus Christ! Please exercise great wisdom in deciding whether to “come to church” or to “stay at home.”
We encourage all families to stay at home if there is any member of the family who is coughing, sneezing, or running a fever. And, of course, you can still join the Sagemont family in worship by streaming the live broadcast on our Sagemont website. Or, you can watch our television program, “Living Truth,” at 9:00 a.m. on Channel 20 KTXH.
Remember to pray without ceasing for those who are affected by the Coronavirus. As of this writing there have been 130,307 cases worldwide with 4,756 deaths. The United States has had 1,267 cases of Coronavirus, and the death toll is now at 38. As of Thursday morning, there were 34 cases of the virus in Texas, resulting in “0” deaths. Again, take to heart in 2 Timothy 1:7 which says, “God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Please exercise great prayerful discernment on what you and your family choose to do!
As we continue to monitor the spread of the virus, we will keep you informed and will respond with additional appropriate measures as the situation continues to change.
Here again are more websites for your edification.
You are loved,
As we continue to watch the spread of the Coronavirus around the world, we want you to be aware that your Sagemont Staff is monitoring the situation very closely. Your safety is of utmost importance to us. We are listening carefully to the advice from various governmental agencies, as well as medical authorities within our church.
Our medical personnel have reminded us that common sense goes a long way in preventing a typical cold and flu virus from spreading. They recommend proper handwashing with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. They also recommend that if you develop coughing and/or sneezing to please stay home from church and view our services online. And, if you develop a fever, please contact your primary care physician. We all want to err on the side of caution during this uncertain time.
Please note that as you enter the church, you will see hand sanitizer stations located throughout our church buildings. We encourage you to use them as frequently as needed. Our ABM (American Building Maintenance) facilities staff has been instructed to take extra precaution by sanitizing our classrooms and common areas to make sure we have gone the “second mile” in preventive caution.
As Christians, we know from 2 Timothy 1:7 that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Let us remember to pray earnestly for those who are affected by the Coronavirus. And, let us remember to also pray for our government and authorities who are helping those in need. As we continue to monitor the spread of this virus, we will keep you informed and will respond with appropriate measures if situations change significantly.
Please take the time to read from the websites below how to better protect yourself and your family.