Updated March 27, 2020 3:46 P.M. – By now, I’m sure that almost all of you have heard of COVID-19 or the coronavirus. Just yesterday, the World Health Organization has declared that the virus has reached pandemic levels. As of this writing, there are just over 3,800 cases of the virus in the U.S.
It has been difficult to know how to process all the news concerning the virus. Some say it’s going to be a global catastrophe and have called for urgent and radical steps to prevent its spread. Others suggest it’s no worse than the typical flu and all the news surrounding it is overkill and unnecessary hype. I imagine the truth is somewhere in between. The thing is, none of us really know where things fall on this spectrum. So, we must proceed with wisdom and discernment.
It’s important for me to share with you how much I care for you as your pastor. I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility for each one of you and I would never want to endanger you in any way. Each of you are precious to me. And, along those lines, I can’t thank you enough for your prayers and concerns for my health through all of this.
We have been prayerfully considering how to respond to this virus for some time now. Conversations began weeks ago thinking through what we might need to do in the face of this disease. We consulted a number of our leaders, particularly those with medical backgrounds as well as a number of people outside the church, including doctors and other pastors.
At this time,
we have opted to continue our regular service schedule as normal. we have determined the best course of action is to cancel our Sunday and Wednesday activities through the April 10. We will live stream our services beginning at 10:30 on Sundays and offer a digital midweek gathering on Wednesdays at 7:00. We will be evaluating every practice in light of this virus over the next couple of weeks. I imagine we will see changes in our cleaning routines and our kitchen practices. We will continually be monitoring the situation and trying to do what is best for our people and our community. This situation is very fluid and things may change rapidly in the future. Remember that we do have a means to give financially online. It’s a simple process that I encourage you to use.
In the meantime, we continue to stress these things:
Do not give into fear. Paul tells us that we do not have a spirit of fear, but of love and power and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). Furthermore, we call for you to pray. Pray for our leaders. Pray for our medical personnel. Pray for our community and our church. Finally, love your neighbor. Let the light and love of Jesus shine through you.
Practically speaking, we ask that you do the following:
Pray for us all in this. This is a trying and difficult season, but it is also an opportunity for us to answer the world’s fears with the hope of Jesus. Let’s represent Him well.