This Sunday we will be gathering together to celebrate the risen Christ in a space graciously provided for us by our new friends at New Hope Christian Fellowship. We thank God for his wonderful provision for us as a church family during this time.
The meeting space is in a warehouse near the new St. Pete police station currently under construction. If you’re putting an address in your phone to find the warehouse you’ll want to use 1330 Burlington Ave. N. however the entrance to the space we’ll be using is on the 2nd Ave. N. side of the building. The warehouse sits between 13th St. N. and 14th St. N. Look for our tent and sign outside along 2nd Ave. N. and you’ll know you’re in the right place!
We’ll have some coffee and breakfast snacks as usual ready at 10:00am and begin our service at 10:30.
With this different space we have a few things to adapt to for the day such as the following:
The parking near the warehouse is all street parking. The availalble parking is unmetered; some spaces have a 2 hour limit and others have no limit. Parking is available along 2nd Ave. N., Burlington Ave. N., 13th St. N., and north from the warehouse on 14th St. N.
The space we’ll be using is one large room meaning we’ll have no separate kids area. We’ll encourage parents to have their kids worship with them in our opening time of singing and then we will provide snacks, an activity, and a few helpers in the back of the room around tables. It will be a unique situation for us, and parents, we may need your help - having you sit with your child(ren) during the message. Having your kids worship with you following the message will also help make this different setup work well for everyone. Thank you ahead of time for your flexibility as together we endure the recent ubrupt changes in meeting space.
The restroom in the warehouse is out the door of the space we’ll be in and down a hallway making a few turns through an unfamiliar location for us. We will have some signs up to try and help make navigating this easier for everyone.
All in all these changes and challenges are short term in duration and facing them means that at the very least we still have the opportunity to worship together as a family even if it is in a new and different way.
Certainly this is a challenging time but the Lord is providing for us and even using this time to further connect us with other ministries and churches in St. Pete. The expression of love and care, the added prayers and supportive communication I’ve received from all over our city is evidence of God’s love toward us at Stonehouse Church. Rest assured church, our risen King is alive and by his Spirit he is leading all of the twists and turns of this time - he knows us, he loves us, he sees our labors in him and he hears our prayers. He is not slow to answer, nor powerless to help, he is working his will exactly according to his plan and though we may have our doubts “all things [are] working together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)
Finally, let us turn the eyes of our hearts toward the cross and the empty tomb, leading toward a deep contemplation of what Christ faced in being abandoned by all of his friends. He was left to face trial by his own people, turned over to Pilate and an angry mob of violent sinners all of whom he willing dihed for by hanging on that tree taking sin upon him as he humbled himself even to death on a cross. May the words of a hymn by Isaac Watts help us think on how great a love we’ve been shown:
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
We consider the cross and look forward to the celebration of resurrection together on Easter! We’ll see you Sunday at 10:30 in the warehouse!