During this time of uncertainty, we are acutely aware of the role that Parkland plays as a host to so many other groups within our community. We recognize that what happens to Parkland also affects each of our long-term tenants and, through them, the greater community.
As Mark mentioned in his blog post last week, Parkland rents to a daycare, a preschool, a large choir, and four other churches. We are doing everything we can to keep our rental groups informed, and I continue to have regular communication with them as they ask questions and share their plans during this difficult time. We also want you to be informed about what’s happening with our renters so that you can join us in prayer for them.
At this point, only the daycare is still regularly using the Parkland facility (while sanitizing regularly and carefully following licensing protocols!), but even this is with minimal numbers, as many families have kept their children home. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty, and it’s difficult for those who are struggling not to worry. My prayer is that these families would find the source of our incredible peace and hope as they search for answers, and that Parkland can in some way be a blessing to them.
The preschool will not be in session again until schools are reopened. It’s sad that all those eager little people won’t be spending their days at Parkland learning a mix of preschool skills and biblical truths, but I’m praying that what they have learned at Parkland sticks.
The choir has cancelled all on-site training for the next number of weeks and expects to cancel more. I can only guess at the implications to their scheduled international performances. These women will need encouragement in the heart of this disappointment, and my prayer is that Parkland can be a light to them at this time. “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up” (Proverbs 12:25).
Typically, on a "normal" Sunday, there are four separate church services held on Parkland’s property; each service in a different language and each church with a unique vision of impacting the community around them for the glory of God. For the past six Sundays, Parkland has been a very quiet place--a scene that is becoming the new normal. This pandemic has not only changed what church looks like for the people of Parkland, but it has also had a drastic impact on the other groups of believers who also use our building. I’m glad that I can listen to Mark’s sermons on Sunday mornings, and I am very thankful that in this era of technology we can remain connected to Parkland and each other at the touch of a button. I am not certain if this is the case for every church.
My prayer is that churches will use this situation--one that could push believers apart--to instead take advantage of technology to reach out further than they ever could before, and that through these restrictions the church will, in actuality, be reaching our community in ways we couldn’t even imagine (Ephesians 3:14-21). The Ephesians prayer for spiritual strength is my prayer for Parkland, our tenants, and for our community. I encourage you to read it, and maybe it will become your prayer as well!
Talitha, Office Manager, Parkland Fellowship