March 17, 2020
Dear Church Family,
This morning in my quiet time, I was reminded of Isaiah 9:6:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be on His shoulders. And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
As our daily lives have been drastically changed over the last few days and weeks, may we never forget that the Son of God was given to us and for us! The Lord is on His throne, and He is not surprised by what tomorrow holds. If you are fearful, He is your Wonderful Counselor. If you feel weak, He is your Mighty God. If you feel alone during these days of “social distancing” and isolation, He is your Everlasting Father. If you are anxious for yourself, your family, or what tomorrow may bring, He is your Prince of Peace.
This morning our deacons and staff met to discuss our church’s response in the coming days, considering all possible measures to care for and keep our faith family safe. First let me say, I am so thankful for the heart of our deacons and staff! The discussion this morning was one we never thought we would have to have, but their heart for the Lord, church, and community was evident throughout our conversation.
There are many different opinions on the current state of the coronavirus and on what people’s responses have been or should have been. What we know is that the virus is real, it is spreading, and it is dangerous. Knowing these facts, it is our desire to be able to provide opportunities for worship while keeping people as safe as possible, for as long as possible, during this time. The steps we are implementing immediately are as follows:
- Sanitation: Our Building Superintendent is working diligently to sanitize all areas of the church. We will continue to have hand sanitizer readily available and to prop all doors open as weather permits.
- Technology: Beginning tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 18th) all worship services and one Sunday School session will be broadcast live on the church Facebook page. If you do not feel comfortable attending in person, we encourage you to join us online to worship together.
- Children & Youth: All children and youth activities and gatherings have been suspended until further notice. This includes but is not limited to: Sunday School, Nursery Care, Children’s Church, RA’s, GA’s, AWANA, Youth Crew Groups, and Wednesday night Youth.
- Sunday School: On Sunday mornings we will only have one adult Sunday School class. It will meet in the Sanctuary and will be broadcast live on our Facebook page for everyone to participate in. We will be following the Explore the Bible Curriculum during this time.
- Choir: Choir rehearsals and performances have been postponed.
- Facility Use: We will no longer take any reservations for outside events until further notice.
- Special Missions Account: During a time when finances could become constrained, we are freeing up our Special Missions Account to help any of our church family who may need assistance during this time. This assistance will continue to be kept confidential.
- Worship Services: At this time we are making every effort we can to keep the doors open for those who feel comfortable physically coming to worship. Sunday Morning Worship, Sunday Evening Worship, and Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting will continue. These services will look much differently than we are used to, but in an effort to provide an avenue for worship, we want to keep the doors open as long as we can. With that said, we need a commitment from our church family:
- If you are sick, have been around someone who is sick, or are concerned about getting sick, please stay home.
- If you have a compromised immune or respiratory system, please stay home.
- If you have young children who may be carriers of a virus, please stay home.
- If you have the capabilities to join our worship services online we strongly encourage you to take advantage of those opportunities and stay home.
These measures are only temporary, and we hope to resume normal activities as quickly as possible. With that said, it is also highly possible that our health care and government officials may mandate more stringent guidelines for preventing the spread of the virus, and we will alter our course of action as necessary.
These are uncharted waters for us all: as a church, at your workplaces, in our recreational activities, schools, and families. I encourage you to remember the words from this past Sunday—let us be practical, not fearful; prayerful, not anxious; and proclaim the Lord, not forget Him during these days. If you have any needs during these days that I or your deacon can assist you with, please do not hesitate to call on us. We will remain flexible during this season and put our trust in the Lord to see us through. I cannot wait for the day that we are back on a normal schedule again, but until then, God bless!