COVID-19 UPDATES

WELCOME BACK

Worship On Campus and Online

Beginning August 9

9:30 AM | 11:15 AM

We can't wait to see you on campus for worship again! Please note that our early service is moving back to its original time of 9:30 AM effective August 9.

Beginning August 9, ONLY our Sunday morning worship services are meeting on campus. iCONNECT Bible Studies and Wednesday evening services along with other activities will be phased in at a later time.

As we do gather together, we have some important information and procedures that we will follow for the safety of all of our members and guests.

  • If you are a guest, we encourage you to park in our First-Time Guest Parking Lot where you will be greeted by a friendly team member.
  • When you arrive on campus, go to the Worship Center Lobby.
  • Please maintain a six-foot safe distance at all times.
  • We encourage every member of your family to wear a mask. Some will be available if you do not have one.
  • Please refrain from handshakes, hugs, fist bumps, etc.
  • We will be observing social distancing guidelines in our seating. Family groups may sit together.
  • Childcare for children ages birth through 3 years is available. Older children are welcome to attend the service with their parents.
  • After the worship service, you will be escorted out to maintain proper social distancing.
  • Because of the reduced capacity of the Worship Center, we will utilize other areas of the church if needed to facilitate worship via video. The seating areas will be used in this order: Worship Center, Chapel (WC1113), and the Gym.
  • If anyone has had the following symptoms during the preceding two weeks, please worship with us online: Fever over 99.5, cough or sore throat, shortness of breath, contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19.

We will be making the public service seating areas as safe and secure and spacious as possible in accordance with CDC guidelines.

  • Every chair will be sanitized prior to each worship experience.
  • We will have hand sanitizer stations available around our campus.
  • Greeters and ushers will give a friendly greeting and smile rather than a handshake to help keep a contact-free experience.
  • Guests need to know that there are never any offering plates passed at Sagemont Church.
  • We will not open up our Welcome Center or Connection Center after worship services.
  • The Café will be open on Sunday mornings.
  • We will not have our Bookstore or Library open at this time.
  • Restrooms will be open, and they will be constantly monitored and sanitized by our ABM staff.

Changes at Sagemont Due to COVID-19

  • Sunday morning services are online only through August 2.  Watch Sundays at 9:00 and 11:15 am and Wednesdays at 6:00 pm at sagemontchurch.churchonline.org, Facebook, YouTube, Apple TV or Roku.
  • Wednesday night services will continue to be livestreamed.
  • There will be no group meetings at Sagemont Church until further notice. This includes iCONNECT Bible Studies, weekday Bible studies, Playschool, Recreation Ministry events, Counseling Support Groups, etc.
  • We are hopeful that iCONNECT Bible Studies can resume on campus on September 13.
  • 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.
  • If you are experiencing psychological stress related to the COVID-19 situation, our counselors are standing by ready to help. Tele-counseling sessions are available. Call 281.481.7133 to schedule an appointment.
  • Counseling sessions 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 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:

March 5, 2020

March 12, 2020

March 13, 2020

March 16, 2020

March 19, 2020

March 24, 2020

April 1, 2020

April 7, 2020

April 29, 2020

May 4, 2020

May 14, 2020

May 20, 2020

May 27, 2020

June 26, 2020


June 26, 2020

Dear Church Family,

I am SO SORRY for this second email of the day, but unfortunately I have some bad news. We have decided to cancel “in-person” worship for this Sunday. We made that decision for a couple of reasons. First, the mayor and county judge have specifically asked churches not to meet. The cases of COVID are rising dramatically in Houston and they’ve asked that we do all we can to help slow the spread. While we always have the RIGHT to meet, we are choosing not to in order to love and serve our city.

Second, I have talked to several pastors around the city who are doing the same thing. Houston’s First, Sugar Creek, Champion Forest and many others feel that this is the right course of action at this time. I know it stinks. I hate it. But I simply would never forgive myself if something happened to one of you. We trust the Lord, but at the same time we want to be wise as we possibly can.

So this Sunday we will streaming live at 9:00 and 11:15 am. Go to www.sagemontchurch.org and join us as we continue our series on the Beatitudes. The Senior Team and I will be meeting next Tuesday to discuss our plans for the following Sunday and we’ll let you know as soon as possible. Again, I’m so sorry for the mixed messages today. We are in uncharted waters. Thank you for your patience and understanding. I love you Church and I hope you join us Sunday morning online.

For His Glory,

Pastor Matt

May 27, 2020

Dearest Church Family,

This weekend, May 31, we are looking forward to having our first live service since March 8. We are all excited! So much has changed, and the exuberance created by the calling of our new pastor, Dr. Matt Carter, and the ability to finally “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together” have our church body on overload with anticipation.

First, let me just say “Thank You” to the host of volunteers who have come forward to make the transition safe and sanitized. We are able to showcase our core value of excellence because so many of you are willing to serve sacrificially.

Last week’s COVID-19 report created some concern as to who could actually attend the services. The answer is simple. Anyone who is not showing known symptoms of COVID-19 is welcome to attend. We encourage people who might be more vulnerable to the virus to make prayerful and wise decisions about their personal health. That applies to those 65 and older and those with underlying health issues.

The State of Texas Minimum Standard Health Protocols checklist for church/worship attendees states, “The virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill, or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing conditions that place them at higher risk. Because of the hidden nature of this threat, everyone should rigorously follow the practices specified in these protocols, all of which facilitate a safe and measured opening of Texas. The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities. We should continue to observe practices that protect everyone, including those who are most vulnerable.”

Therefore, the State of Texas and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have both urged great caution for senior adults in attending large gatherings.

All the churches I have been following throughout this quarantine have been trying to communicate this “caution reality” in the midst of the opening-up process. Ultimately, the decision to attend now or wait a little longer is up to the individual.

I too, am over 65 years of age; and I, too, have some underlying health conditions that make me more vulnerable than most. That having been said, even if I were not a “minister,” I would still be attending service this weekend. But that’s just me. I completely understand and respect the logic and wisdom of others who want to wait.

Finally, what I do want to communicate to all of those choosing to attend now is that the church is fully committed to trying to open up as safely as possible by applying all protocols prescribed by our great state. I look forward to worshipping with you soon!

Bless you, church family,

Brother Chuck

 

May 20, 2020

WORSHIP SERVICES ON MAY 31, 2020 WILL BE AT
**9:00 A.M.** and 11:15 A.M.

 

Hello Dearest Church Family,

These are incredibly exciting and challenging days at Sagemont Church.

We are all “over the top” excited about the calling of Dr. Matt Carter as our Pastor. The affirmation vote for Pastor Matt was 99.6% of the total vote. That is an incredible endorsement for our new shepherd. Please be in prayer for the Carter family as they begin the difficult process of selling their house in Austin and transitioning to Houston.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present a monumental challenge to our world, country, state, city, and church. Last week, I reported that there had been 4,312,968 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus and misquoted the number of confirmed deaths worldwide. To date, there have been 316, 898 deaths worldwide. These staggering numbers continue to evoke fear, anxiety, caution, and confusion for most people.

The Sagemont leadership has prayed and watched carefully as other sister churches have wrestled with the nuances of the opening up process.

We are trying to make the best decision we can with the information that is available. We desire to make the worship experience as safe and sanitized as possible. Therefore, this is what the opening up process will look like at Sagemont Church on Sunday, May 31.

  1. When you arrive, please make your way to the Worship Center Lobby. All first-time guests will park in first-time guest parking and be escorted into the building. Please maintain a six-foot safe distance at all times.
  2. At the check-in station your temperature will be scanned. Anyone who registers a temperature above 99.5 will be asked to not attend the service and instead worship with us online. At the check-in station we will also be spraying your hands with a sanitizer. We recommend that you bring a mask for each member of your family. If you forget, we will have one available for you. We are strongly “encouraging” all of our members and guests to wear a mask while on the Sagemont campus. All of the Sagemont volunteers and staff will be mandated to wear masks. We are “asking” that masks be worn, not out of fear, but out of love and concern for others. We are also asking that everyone refrain from all physical contact with their beloved friends and neighbors, i.e. no handshakes, fist bumps, hugs, or holy kisses. Let’s all embrace the new motto to “Give a look, a word, and a smile.”
  3. From the check-in station you will be personally escorted into the Worship Center. Due to the social distancing constraints, we are limited to the number of people who can be accommodated in our Worship Center. Every other row of seats will be blocked off, and there will be two empty seats between family units. Sagemont Church will not be providing childcare at this time. However, your children are welcome; and we encourage you to bring them to worship. Please remember if your child begins to cry or make excessive noise to take them out of the worship service in respect to others around you. Once in the Lobby, you will be directed to a special area where you and your child can be accommodated while you watch the service online. At the conclusion of the service, exiting procedures will be conducted by the ushers in order to maintain proper social distancing.
  4. When the Worship Center’s capacity has been reached according to the CDC guidelines, we will then begin to escort members and guests to other areas in order to experience the worship service via live streaming. The seating areas used for worship will be utilized in this order:
    1. Worship Center
    2. Gym
    3. Chapel (Room WC1113)
    4. Hughes Road Auditorium (HRA)
  1. We will be making the public service seating areas as safe and secure and spacious as prescribed by guidelines.
  • Every chair will be sanitized prior to each worship experience.
  • We will have hand sanitizer stations available around our campus.
  • Greeters and ushers will give a friendly greeting and smile rather than a handshake to help keep a “contact free” experience.
  • There will be no bulletins handed out or cards to sign throughout the entire worship experience.
  • Guests need to know that there are never any offering plates passed at Sagemont Church.
  • We will not open up our Welcome Center or Connection Center after worship services.
  • We will not be providing individual Lord’s Supper gatherings.
  • We will not have our Café, Bookstore, or Library open at this time.
  • Restrooms will be open, and they will be constantly monitored and sanitized by our ABM staff.
  1. We “encourage” all attendees over the age of 65 or those who have a compromised immune system to worship with us online. Also, if anyone has had the following symptoms during the preceding two weeks, please worship with us online:
  • Fever over 99.5
  • Cough or sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19

Please, if you don’t yet feel comfortable gathering together for worship, make sure to connect with us online for our live services at 9:00 and 11:15 a.m.

These are exciting days at Sagemont Church. The arrival of Dr. Matt Carter has overjoyed our church family and created quite a “buzz” in our community. As “lion chasers” we know that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Dearest church family, I can’t wait to once again “fellowship together.” In the process, let us practice the words of our Lord, “Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

You are loved,

Brother Chuck

May 14, 2020

Dearest Brothers & Sisters,

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a devastating toll. As of this writing there have been 4,312,969 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus and 1,379,756 confirmed deaths worldwide. Unfortunately, the scientists, politicians, and economists cannot seem to get on the “same page.” The resulting governmental mandates have been confusing for some and catastrophic for others.

As a church family, we have prayerfully tried to make good decisions which honor those in authority (Romans 13:1-4) and protect the welfare of the Sagemont body of Christ (Acts 20:28). That has not been easy because data, advice, and resulting mandates keep changing.

Ultimately, our accountability is to the Lord; and I am writing to you to let you know we are changing a few things that we announced last week. Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps.” So, in accordance to what we now believe “is right,” we are changing the direction of our steps.

On Sunday, May 31, we will have our first public worship services since the beginning of the pandemic when the state shutdown was mandated. We will practice appropriate social distancing, we will check temperatures as you enter the building, we will provide hand sanitizer, and we will encourage the wearing of masks. We will not be able to provide preschool care or children’s programming.

The additional CHANGE that I want all of you to be aware of is the TIME of the worship services. The first service will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will end at 10:15 a.m. The second service will begin at 11:15 a.m. and will end at 12:30 p.m. The reason for the one-hour break between services is to provide the time necessitated to practice social distancing for the crowd exiting the building and another crowd entering the building. It will also provide the time needed to sanitize the seating between services.

Another BIG change to our future steps has to do with the timing of opening all other programming, i.e. iCONNECT, Wednesday evenings, Women’s Ministry Bible studies, etc. Last week, I announced that all other programming outside of worship would resume the following week, June 7. “There is wisdom in a multitude of counsel,” and a large percentage of our laity who lead those ministries voiced their concern about opening up at that early date. Therefore, it has been determined that all other ministries where people congregate (outside of worship) will remain on hold for the time being. We are praying and desire to be back in “full swing” by Sunday, June 28. This is the date that we have planned for baptism at the cross, bluegrass music, carnival rides for the kids, food trucks, and fireworks.

I know you are as anxious as I am to get back to normal. But, the consensus of opinion is to be wise and go slow. Therefore, we will start with worship services on Sunday, May 31, and continue to evaluate as we look at “next steps.”

I hope and pray this change in plans resonates with what you are seeing and feeling. We are laboring to discern that which is “best” amongst all the options and opinions out in the marketplace.

Bless you, dear church family,

Brother Chuck

 

May 4, 2020

Dearest Church Family,


Sunday, May 17, 2020, is a historic day in the life of Sagemont Church. Dr. Matt Carter will be coming “in view of a call” to be our next Senior Pastor. We have prayerfully sought the Lord as to “how” to go about conducting the service. My heart desires to conduct the service live, but my head counsels great caution. After extensive deliberation with ministerial staff, deacons, Pastor Matt, and looking at the results of the online survey, it has been decided that we will stream the May 17 services at 9:30 and 11:15 am. Dr. Matt Carter will be preaching in both services that day.


Voting on Pastor Matt will take place in three ways:

  • First and foremost, all active members will receive an email from Sagemont Church on Sunday, May 17. Follow the easily explained prompts to cast your vote.
  • Second, for those who do not have email, you may cast your ballot in person through drive-by voting which will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This voting will take place under the porte-cochere at the south entrance.
  • Third, if you are a shut-in, don’t have an email address, and/or don’t drive, you will have the opportunity to cast your vote by calling in. Our phone banks will be staffed from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to extract a toll on our cities, states, country, and the world. We as a church family have never voted on a new pastor, much less operated during a national crisis. Thank you for gracing us through this trying process. We certainly believe that we have a right to publicly worship, and we certainly believe that we have a responsibility to do everything decently and in order.


Therefore, it has been determined that we will once again resume public worship on Sunday, May 31. There is still some ambiguity in the specific process. So, it has been decided that worship only will take place on May 31; and iCONNECT Bible studies and all other public functions will begin Sunday, June 7.


Again, “thank you” for your patience and support. I truly believe that the Sagemont Story, Part II, will be “exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.” Please commit now to “all hands on deck” starting June 7. We are expecting many visitors from the surrounding communities, and it is imperative that we “let our light so shine that men may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven.”

You are loved,
Brother Chuck


P.S. Thursday, May 7 is designated as the National Day of Prayer. Dr. Matt Carter will be on the program hosted by the Southern Baptist Convention in an online gathering at 1:30 pm on Thursday. Join the gathering on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SBCExecComm/ or https://www.facebook.com/BaptistPress/.

April 29, 2020

Hello Dearest Brothers and Sisters, 

We are living in a time frame that is unprecedented in the life of our country and indeed the world. Certainly, there have been many worldwide pandemics, but never have they had the capacity to spread so quickly and never has the world been so connected intellectually to know “what’s happening.” As a result, there are literally thousands of “experts” telling us what we should and should not be doing. 

Unfortunately, even the experts don’t always agree. Even as I write this letter, the experts are debating the timing of “opening up.” It’s a debate between life and livelihoods. The medial experts versus the economic experts.  

It seems to me that very few of the experts have sought wisdom that “comes from above,” and fewer still have declared the need for a national day of prayer.  

Our history is replete with many examples of the political leaders calling for a national time of prayer, but sadly the calls today are few and far between. 

Brothers and sisters, I am reminded of the words of our Lord from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” 

Brothers and sisters, in times of crisis, we are compelled to seek God and cast our cares to Him, for He cares for us! 

I want you to know that the Sagemont leadership has been seeking our Savior diligently in this time of distress. The Word says, “You have not because you ask not.” We are asking for wisdom in the midst of the COVID-19 storm. 

I have sought counsel from Sagemont ministers, deacons, and from our prospective future pastor, Dr. Matt Carter. I have been seeking the answer to when and how we best go about the “opening up” process as a church family. 

Certainly, you need to know that on April 27, Governor Abbott weighed in to give parameters to the opening up process. 

After much counsel with church leadership it has been determined that the Sagemont Church offices will be opened up on Monday, May 4. Please call and make an appointment if you desire to meet with a staff person. 

Also, after much prayer and discussion it has been decided that we will continue with our present worship format through at least Sunday, May 10, i.ewe will continue to stream our worship services. 

We are still prayerfully engaged in discerning the risk/rewards of opening up to a live service on Sunday, May 17. This is, of course, the day that is scheduled for Dr. Matt Carter to come to Sagemont “in view of a call” as our Senior Pastor. I want the church family to know that the desire from everyone that I have talked to is to do the service live. But, the consensus of opinion at this time is to go very slow and be patient, i.e. don’t open up too soon! 

At this writing, we are still making plans to go either way. We will either live stream the services with no congregation in the Worship Center (and we are prepared to vote electronically and by “drive-in” voting); or, we will be opened up as per the guidelines of the state. That will entail strict social distancing guidelines which would greatly reduce the number of people we would have in our Worship Center. Under this scenario, we would vote by ballot in person and still have drive-in voting for those who choose to not gather en masse. 

It has also been decided that we will not have live iCONNECT Bible study classes until at least May 31. Again, the consensus of opinion is to go slowly and open safely. 

To that end, I need to inform you that Vacation Bible School will not take place in its normal time frame of early June. VBS has been rescheduled for July 20-23, and the format is still being discussed. 

Brothers and sisters, please look at and responto the following links for your edification and for our ministerial staff insight. 

First, the survey below is VERY IMPORTANT! It will greatly help the ministerial staff as we make decisions for the future. CLICK HERE to complete the survey. 

Second, there is an interview between deacon Kyle Crowell and Dr. Matt Carter that will give you a great insight into Pastor Matt’s heart. It will prepare you for May 17. CLICK HERE to watch the video. 

In closing, let me just say “thank you” for your faithfulness and generosity during this time of pandemic and fear. David declared in Psalm 107:2, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” Sagemont family, you have been “saying so” loud and clear with your acts and actions. 

Bless you dearest faith family, 

Brother Chuck 

April 7, 2020

People are losing their jobs, bills are piling up, church buildings remain empty, and church finances are on shaky ground. President Donald Trump has said we are facing our “toughest week” in the fight against the pandemic. Some professional prognosticators are saying that our economy is headed for another “Great Depression,” this one worse than what our country experienced in the 1930s.

So…what GOOD NEWS can I share with you this week? Here it is: Our God is still on the throne! He is good all the time, all the time He is good! The gates of Hell shall NEVER prevail against this bride, the church!

It has been said by a fellow pastor, Andy Graham, “In a time of plenty, the prophetic voice of the church should bring challenge. But in a time of great crisis, the prophetic voice should bring great hope for the future.”

I agree! Brothers and Sisters, in this time, we have the greatest opportunity ever to reach our neighbors. We have the opportunity to BE the church and not simply to go to church. In the midst of all of the doom and gloom I received the following attachment that says it all!

Brothers and Sisters…”Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone!” And,

I serve a risen Savior,
He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say.

I see His hand of mercy,
I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him,
He’s always near.

He lives, He lives,
Christ Jesus lives TODAY.
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives,
SALVATION TO IMPART!
You ask me how I know He lives,
He lives within my heart!”

As you interact with your neighbors this week…Easter week…invite your neighbors to join in the streaming services. What a great nonconfrontational means to invite someone to church! (And they are pondering spiritual realities right now!)

Remember: No Saturday night service, sunrise service, or iCONNECT Bible studies this week. But we will have AWE-inspiring resurrection services on Easter Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. And in Spanish at 11:15 a.m. too!

Also, remember to join the streaming service Wednesday evening, April 8, at 6:00 p.m. The Pastor Search Team will be making an announcement that will put into motion “The Sagemont Story, Part II.” Our Lord is doing “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” Ephesians 3:20. You’ll not want to miss it!

 

You are loved,

Brother Chuck

 

April 1, 2020

Hello Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic continues to take lives and wreak havoc on what was “normal” life and living. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Tuesday announced the extension of the county’s stay-at-home order to April 30. Governor Greg Abbott has announced that Texas schools will stay closed until at least May 4. This is obviously an unprecedented situation, and we must do all we can to STOP the spreading of Covid-19. I noted with dismay that some churches have defied our government by choosing to stay open on Sundays. Some pastors have likened the interference to Nazi Germany’s closing of the churches in 1938. Brothers and sisters, I believe that analogy is “off base.” I am commanded by our Lord to love my neighbors as I love myself and to esteem others more valuable than myself. Therefore, I think the wisest course of action in this day of pandemic is to choose to distance ourselves for the sake of humanity…our neighbors.

I so look forward to the day when we can come back together again and worship our Lord collectively. But until that time, we will continue streaming our worship services and Bible studies.

Clearly, we will not be able to meet in the traditional manner for the entire month of April. We will reassess the situation as May approaches and communicate to you as we have a better insight as to “what to do.”

Please remember that the ministerial staff is available to you 24/7. If you don’t have their individual number, you can call the church (281.481.8770) and follow the prompts to get in contact with the minister you are seeking. They want to assist you in this day of need!

Let me encourage you to watch the streaming of the evening service on Wednesday, April 8, at 6:00 p.m.! This service will be given to the Pastor Search Team. They will update the entire church family on the GREAT THINGS that our Lord has been doing in the midst of this Coronavirus. Dr. Denny Autrey and the team will bring an exciting announcement of how our great Lord is working “exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think” Ephesians 3:20. I promise, you’ll not want to miss this service!

And finally, allow me to personally “thank you” for standing with your church financially in this unprecedented time. Certainly, in times past we’ve had hurricanes and floods that forced us to close temporarily…but never anything like this. Bless you, brothers and sisters, for standing strong with your worship in giving.

 I love you,

Brother Chuck

 

March 24, 2020

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, 

Brother Chuck

March 19, 2020

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,

Brother Chuck

March 16, 2020

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,

Brother Chuck

March 13, 2020

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,
Brother Chuck

March 12, 2020

​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.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

https://informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/covid-19-coronavirus-infographic-datapack/

 

You are loved,

Brother Chuck

 

March 5, 2020

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.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

Blessings,

Brother Chuck