Christmas News from Harvester!A Letter from Pastor Nikomas
Hello Church Family,
Christmas is right around the corner, and we’re doing all we can to make church a great experience for you! So, here’s your need-to-know info on Christmas this year:
Christmas Theme: “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
This theme is a reflection of two things: 1) Many of you will be coming back to Harvester for the first time since March this Christmas season. We have some special things planned to welcome you home! 2) Many of you will be online at home for Christmas. And we have a special gift for you…
Christmas at Home Boxes
We want to bring a small part of our Christmas services to those of you online. So we’ve created a small Christmas Box for you that contains resources (and goodies!) that will help you connect to Sunday services in a tangible way. They will be delivered the last week of November, and quantities are limited so order yours (1 p/household) soon. Request a box here.
New Service Times Starting November 29th
The 9 AM service will shift to 9:30. Our evening, online services will shift from 5 & 7 PM to just one service at 5 PM. And we’re also adding a temporary 8 AM service to ease any congestion during the Christmas season. The temporary 8 AM service will run from November 29th to January 31st.
- TEMPORARY 8:00 AM (in-person only)
- 9:30 AM (in-person and online)
- 11:00 AM (in-person and online)
- 5:00 PM (online only)
Christmas Eve Services
Our Christmas Eve services will be at 2PM, 3:15PM, 4:30PM, 6PM and 11PM. Everyone will need to pre-register for this service to make sure we abide by distancing and capacity restrictions. Info on how to do that will be coming soon. Also, the 6PM service will be a Masks-Mandatory service.
December 27th will be Online Only
The last weekend of the year will be an online only, meaning we will not have service on campus. We realize many will be traveling and in contact with a lot of people the days just prior to Sunday. This makes the likelihood of spreading Covid (pre-symptom) on our campus greater that weekend. Having church at home that Sunday gives time for everyone in our church to discover symptoms before coming back to church. We have a special service planned for that weekend, and we hope that you’ll join us online!
St. Charles Campus Pastor
Harvester Christian Church
November 10, 2020St. Charles Campus Venues
We now have three venues on campus for you to participate in Sunday services! Each option provides a unique opportunity for worship and fellowship to best meet the needs of our community.
September 21, 2020Chapel Closed
With more of you coming back to campus each Sunday, we’re working hard to host you without overcrowding our spaces. So, we’ve been using our Chapel as a Video Venue where folks can gather together to watch the Live Stream on campus. It’s worked well so far! But we realize for it to work even better some room updates are needed. Here’s some info on what that’ll look like:
September 1, 2020Night of Worship Update: Postponed
We are postponing our Night of Worship that was scheduled for this Wednesday to a date later this Fall. A few key Tech team volunteers and staff members were in contact with an individual who has developed COVID-like symptoms. While we don’t have the results of that individual’s test yet, we have decided that it is in the best interest of our staff and church to postpone our Night of Worship. Be on the look out for the new, Fall date soon!
August 25, 2020A Letter from Pastor Nikomas
Hello Harvester Christians!
Our St. Charles Campus has been open for in-person gatherings for 2 months now! So I thought I’d give a short overview of how it’s going. For the most part, things have gone fairly smooth! Since reopening our campus, we are sitting at 60% of our “COVID capacity limit” in our auditorium (which is 29% of actual capacity). We’re also using the Chapel as a Live Stream venue to add extra space on campus so we don’t over fill the main auditorium.
It has been exciting to watch God do his thing. Over these last two months we are frequently seeing people receive Jesus. We’re also welcoming a lot of new guests to Harvester each weekend! Almost all of them started with our Online service.
Now, we realize that the spacing, masks and sanitation protocols make meeting together feel different. But we’re committed to doing what we can to make meeting together possible, while at the same time doing what we can to mitigate as much as risk as possible.
While we’re not through this yet, our team is cautiously optimistic after 8 weeks of being back on campus. Every week we are making adjustments to our on site protocols. We are also still highly invested in our online services for those of you who are not able to attend in person yet. We hope that online continues to be a worshipful and encouraging experience for you! And we also hope that you’ll keep sharing our online service with friends. It’s making a difference in our city!
As optimistic as we are about these last 8 weeks, we also realize that no matter how well you plan, COVID-19 can still find a way in. Mike Tyson once said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” So we’re preparing for that too! For example: in the event of a positive test on staff, we are prepared to quarantine individuals or staff teams to contain a spread without shutting down ministry. We are also prepared to postpone in-person gatherings for a weekend or two if we believe there is a heightened risk of spread. I hope we don’t get hit by COVID, but if we do we’re ready to roll with the punches.
To Harvester online: Thank you for logging in and sharing the link!
To Harvester on site: Thank you for embracing the awkwardness of our protocols!
To you all: Thank you for loving Jesus and each other in difficult times.
I hope to see you online or on site this weekend as I wrap up our “Separation of Church and Hate” series. And I also hope you’ll consider participating in our “It’s Complicated” relationship series that’s coming up next. For more info on the new series join this Facebook group. It’s where you can get all the info and resources for participating in an in-person or online group for the fall.
See you soon, Harvester!
St. Charles Campus Pastor
Harvester Christian Church
June 30, 2020
As we prepare to regather on the weekends, there are a few procedures that our Lead Team would like you to know and prepare for. Some of them are things that we have done to protect you. Others are recommendations that we hope you will consider to protect each other. Thank you for watching the entire video below before joining us this weekend.
A few of the most important bullet points from the video:
- Vulnerable & at-risk people should consider participating online.
- All are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines on face coverings while on campus.
- Avoid shaking hands and hugging those outside of your household.
- The Kids Ministry team has updated and implemented additional procedures (you can get even more info at this LINK).
- Practice physical distancing between households while on campus.
- All staff & volunteers will be temperature checked and required to wear face coverings while on campus.
June 16, 2020
Phase 3 of our reopening plan will officially start on Sunday, July 5, 2020. Specifically that means our St. Charles Campus, including Kids ministry programs, will be reopening with sanitation, physical distancing, and capacity protocols in place. Our team has been working hard to ensure our facilities and programs are ready for your return. However, we would still encourage any vulnerable or at-risk individuals to do what is best for their physical health, even if that means continued participation from a distance. Our online services will continue to be offered every week.
So what’s going to look different when we come back? Frankly, a lot will. We are working hard to retain the relational environment Harvester is known for, while aligning with CDC and local health authorities. You’ll notice differences with seating, communion, lobbies, and Kid’s checkin. And, you’ll notice our staff will be wearing masks. But I promise you, our smiles will be just as big. To get more insight on what a weekend will look like, be sure to tune into our upcoming “Online Family Meeting.”
“Online Family Meeting” | June 30th at 7:00PM
The Tuesday before we come back, Doyle and Nikomas will host an online family meeting to explain all of our protocols for the weekend and what you can expect the weekend to look like as we start Phase 3. The meeting will take place at harvesterchristian.org/live. A replay of the meeting will be available on this webpage soon after the meeting has concluded.
Download our App
One of the primary tools that will be important for you to have upon your return is the Harvester App. The Harvester app will have instructions for how we will take communion, offering, and dismiss. It’ll also be the primary way we collect the offering (along with the offering boxes) during service. If you haven’t already, be sure to download it before July 5th. Download it here: harvesterchristian.org/app
Daybreak and Journey to Bethlehem are Postponed
Our Daybreak Women’s Conference and Journey to Bethlehem teams have recommended, and our leadership team agrees, that these two events should be postponed until 2021.
(Note: Over the next two weekends there is a chance that you will see people on campus or on the live stream during the Sunday services. Don’t panic, we didn’t start church without you! Those are just a small group of staff and leaders training on procedures and protocols so our facilities are ready for your arrival on July 5th.)
June 1, 2020
We are pleased to announce that we are preparing to launch Phase 2 of our reopening plan on June 7th. In Phase 2 our Troy Campus will now be able to meet on Campus for live worship services. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for details on what that will involve. For other details on is involved in Phase 2, please see our May 19th update below.
While Phase 2 doesn’t include meeting on Campus for the St. Charles Campus, we thought it necessary to begin to make some tweaks to our St. Charles campus service times in preparation for reopening in Phase 3.
So, starting on June 21st our new St. Charles Campus service times will be:
Sundays 9am | 11am | 5pm | 7pm
A few questions you may have:
What? A 7pm service?!?!
This service will start as and remain an online-only service option. It will not be an on-campus service. Moving forward digital environments are going to be a large part of our strategy. And since 5-8pm is the peak time of day for social platforms we wanted to offer a playback of our service in that time frame.
Why change the 10:45am service time?
Pushing this service back to 11:00am will allow two things to happen. 1) It allows more time for the campus to clear before the next service, creating more social distancing in the halls. 2) It gives us time to clean and disinfect rooms, surfaces and seats between services.
What happened to the 4:30PM service?
A Sunday evening service is a valuable option for our city. We’re just backing it up 30 minutes to see if 5pm might be a more effective time slot.
Will all of our services be back on-campus when Phase 3 starts?
No, not to start off with. When we start Phase 3, only our 9am and 11am services will be live on-campus. The 5pm will be online-only until we believe that we can re-launch the 5pm service with critical mass and a good volunteer base. Once we reach that point we will relaunch it on-campus. Until then it will be online-only. And again, the 7PM service will start as and remain an online-only service.
Will we continue our Online Services?
Online environments will continue to be a big part of our strategy moving forward. All service times will be available online. Our 9am and 11am will be live-streamed. Our 5pm and 7pm services will be a playback-stream with live online volunteers.
May 19, 2020
We are excited for the day when we can all worship together again. At the same time, we don’t want to rush in, putting each other or our city at risk. Therefore, our campuses will open up little by little, over 3 phases. While everything in this plan is subject to change, we are happy to announce that Phase 1 will start on May 24th. Phases 2 and 3 will be decided on a week-to-week basis in conjunction with wise council, CDC advice, and prayer.
Please direct any questions or needed clarifications you have to your Campus Pastor or ministry leader.
April 29, 2020
After multiple weeks of being in lockdown mode, our leadership is looking forward to the day when we can be together again. With the size of our congregation, the first thing to reopen will not be our weekend worship services. Some of our smaller environments will likely open first. After that, we are hopeful that we will be able to reopen our campus fully, while still taking necessary precautions.
To prepare for that day, we are beginning to put together a multiple phase plan for what reopening our campus will look like and hope to unveil it here in the next few weeks. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us! We look forward to seeing you soon, friends.
March 31, 2020A Letter from Pastor Doyle
We miss gathering together as a family of believers but so thankful for the opportunity to connect online. It is exciting to see the numbers continue to grow as MANY are joining the live weekend worship times. The time of communion is always special, and even more so now. It is something that unites us as believers, as well as brothers and sisters around the world.
As a church, we respect our government leaders and follow their guidelines. We will continue to meet online and not gather in groups of more than 10. Our offices are now closed, and most of the staff is now working from home. I am proud of our staff and the many volunteers who continue to work hard to “lead people to find and follow JESUS.” I love the daily broadcasts that are being provided on-line. Thank you for creatively finding new ways to minister and serve in these difficult times. Special shout-out to Nikomas for championing this effort! I am thankful for the effort being made to care for children, teens, and parents by the Next Gen team. The daily devotions, lessons to adults, seniors, CR groups, worship, and the abundance of prayers going up is evidence the church continues to keep our focus on Jesus. Be sure to check the daily schedule for opportunities on-line to stay connected and to grow during this time.
Easter is coming soon and is a reminder to us of new life and new beginnings. It is hard to go through the valleys and dark seasons of life. As a country and world we are in one of those times. Our Easter celebrations will be broadcast online and will be a time to remember the hope that we have because of the Resurrection of Jesus. When everything around us is uncertain, our hope in Jesus is certain.
Thank you for giving faithfully during this season. We appreciate that many are now giving through our new giving platform. If you have done so yet, I encourage you to set that up now. Jean and I give online and we really like it. Go to Messages on your phone. Send “HARVESTERCC” to 77977. You will get a note back and follow the directions. It is safe, secure, and easy. Or you can visit our Giving page. Or, if you prefer, you can mail a check to the church office (2950 Kings Crossing, St Charles, MO 63303). Thank you for continuing to give your tithe and offering. As some in our church are going through unemployment and insecurity in their work, I appreciate the extra gifts that some of us can give during this time to help meet ministry needs.
In John 14:1 Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God trust also in Me.”
We will get through this season and come out with a new normal. At this time, turn to Jesus like never before. Seek His will and direction for your life.
We love you care deeply for your well being. Reach out if we can encourage you, dear friends. God bless you.
March 16, 2020
Things are changing so fast these days! Thank you for your patience as we do our best to follow new recommendations from local agencies and the CDC. We have a few updates to our current plans. These restrictions are in place until May 11th (8 weeks) unless the CDC’s recommendations are reduced or extended. If you have a question, feel free to contact your Campus Pastor.
Changes for the next 8 WEEKS (May 11th):
- WORSHIP SERVICES // Weekend services will be online only (Sundays @ 10:45am & 4:30pm)
- ON-CAMPUS GATHERINGS // All on-campus gatherings are still suspended with the exception of the Food Pantry and Monday night Assistance Ministry.
- CELEBRATE RECOVERY // Due to the latest recommendations, Celebrate Recovery we will no longer be held on campus.
- OFF-CAMPUS GATHERINGS // Off-campus meetings/groups smaller than 50 people may continue to meet until CDC changes their recommendation.
While these changes are not ideal, they are creating unique opportunities for our church. For example: our first weekend of Online Only church reached 73% more people than a typical weekend! Thank you for inviting! We also saw a HUGE number of you use our online giving platform for the first time. Your generosity in these times is inspiring! And in the coming days our team will be rolling out some creative ways that you can still participate in the ministries you love and care for our city around us. We can’t wait to share them with you!
We love you and can’t wait to be back together. Until then, stay tuned at: harvesterchristian.org/updates
Harvester Christian Church Leadership Team
March 13, 2020
Out of concern for our city, Harvester Christian Church’s Coronavirus Response Team has made the decision to suspend this Sunday’s worship gatherings across all campuses. However, we would encourage you to join us Online at 10:45am and 4:30pm on Sunday. We will also suspend church sponsored programs and events effective immediately. The only exceptions for now are Celebrate Recovery, Food Pantry and Assistance Ministry so we can continue to care for our city. For questions on cancellations, feel free to contact your ministry leader or Campus Pastor.
Stay in the know on further decisions by visiting harvesterchristian.org/updates.
We may not see you face-to-face this weekend, BUT we hope you’ll join us online to worship! If you’ve never joined us online, I think you’ll find it very engaging! Here’s what you can expect:
1. Attend at www.HarvesterChristian.org/LIVE
Our online services start at 10:45AM and 4:30PM on Sunday. Log in a few minutes early so you can type in your name (or family name!) and be ready to chat with us! There will be worship, a message, prayer, scripture reading, communion and offering…all LIVE!
2. Prepare Communion before you log in.
Come prepared to take communion! Before the stream starts, grab some bread and juice and be ready to spend time remembering Jesus’ message of hope. We’ll direct you on when to take it.
3. Give Online
Your gifts bless people all around this world. Though we may not be gathering you can still give. You can give by texting “HARVESTERCC” to 77977 or by visiting harvesterchristian.org/give or mail a check to 2950 Kings Crossing, St. Charles MO 63303.
4. Invite, Invite, Invite!
This is a great opportunity to invite friends and family to join you online. While people are hunkered down, share hope with them! Before each service our Facebook page will share a post about our online service. When you see it, share it like crazy. Screenshot it, post it, email it or text it. Join us online, but don’t come alone!
The most spoken commandment in the Bible is “Do not fear!” Satan thinks he can use fear to stop us from loving God, loving people and gathering as the Church. We may show more caution, but we’re not going to stop. Thank you for loving God and for your continued love for our church, city and world.
If you have questions about what is or isn’t happening feel free to contact your ministry leader or Campus pastor.
March 12, 2020
(Note: Please see our latest update)
Because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and because our Elders and Staff are committed to your health and safety, you’ll notice a few precautionary changes at Harvester Christian Church in the coming days:
1. Cleaning and Disinfecting
Our facilities team is being vigilant about cleaning surfaces, doorknobs, and handrails all around the church including bringing in additional staff to assist with deep cleaning. You’ll also notice hand sanitizer stations throughout the building.
2. Communion & Offering
Starting this week, you’ll notice that communion & offering will look a little different. Instead of bread in the center tray during communion, it will be in a second cup stacked under your juice cup and available at tables, rather than being passed. Also, instead of passing offering bags, we encourage you to use the Offering Boxes by the Worship Center entrances or to give online at harvesterchristian.org/give.
3. If you’re sick, worship with us from home.
Whether you’re attending or scheduled to serve, it’s ok to miss church if you are feeling sick. In fact, it might be one of the most caring things you can do! The CDC even recommends that if you are an older adult or have underlying health concerns to stay home. If you do stay home, I would encourage you to join us at our Online Campus at the 10:45am or 4:30pm service. Simply log onto harvesterchristian.org/online and click “Watch Now” to join in.
4. We have suspended church sponsored travel outside of the St. Louis Region.
Out of an abundance of caution, we have suspended all church-sponsored travel outside of the St. Louis region for the next 30-45 days. This includes mission trips, conferences, and events led by Harvester staff and ministries.
As of right now, there are no cancellations to any weekly programming that happens on our campuses.
Our leadership is continually monitoring the situation in order to make the wisest decisions for our community. We will keep this page up-to-date with further decisions related to the Coronavirus.
While our in-person gatherings have been suspended you can access our weekend services on our ONLINE CAMPUS page:VISIT ONLINE CAMPUS
Thank you for your continued generosity. Your regular gifts, even when you’re not physically present, keeps essential ministries & programs possible all around our city and world. There are 2 great ways to give when you’re away:
- Give Online
- Text “HARVESTERCC” to 77977
We have assembled a response team comprised of Elders, Staff and Healthcare professionals who will make and communicate future changes based on wisdom informed by prayer, CDC recommendations, and local agencies.