People are the priority of our ministries. We know that the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation has caused much confusion and anxiety, even some fear. Our pastors and deacons have been monitoring the developments and have come up with a plan to protect and care for our congregations and allow us to still worship, serve, and grow together. The church is taking prudent steps to safeguard our people, including alternatives to avoid face to face contact and suspending high risk meetings.
Before we get into the details of the plans, let us address how we should react as followers of Jesus Christ. First, do not let worry or fear take control. The Bible is full of verses of comfort and assurance that God is still in control. We have listed some of those verses at the end of this message. While we should all be smart and maintain good hygiene practices, we also need to keep our trust and faith in God’s direction and protection.
Second, look for where God is working in the midst of these troubling times. We have a hope through Christ that most of the world does not have. This can be our opportunity to speak faith, hope, and love into lives of people who are scared and hopeless. Find ways to comfort those around you and to minister to them.
After much deliberation and prayer, we have decided to temporarily suspend the AWANA program, fellowship meetings and choir practice, effective immediately. We will also suspend worship and Sunday School physically in the church after March 15 until it is safe for us to resume regular meetings. We believe that these are the programs that present the greatest risk for the possible spread of COVID-19. We will let you know through the church website and through emails or phone calls when we can resume these programs. Prayer meetings will continue on Saturday mornings in the church. We believe prayer ministry must continue, and there is no more critical time to go to the Lord in prayer than now. We will continue to monitor government directives and adjust church programs accordingly. We are working toward providing alternative ways for us to be together for worship and regular ministries. We will announce the specifics as they are set up. We value the physical health of all people but equally, we care for the spiritual needs of our community as well.
We will make some changes to help maintain healthy “social spacing” whenever we have church events and keep the facility sanitized. Limiting church facility use beyond prayer meetings means that the pastoral staff will work from home as often as practical. The staff will still be available by phone, text, and email and will respond in person whenever necessary.
Even with these steps, people who are ill or have compromised health should still self-quarantine. We respect, accept, and support each other, and especially during this trying time. We will provide live streaming or recording of the worship services. In addition, we are investigating options for video meetings for the fellowship groups. We take seriously our responsibility to provide both spiritual care and maintain spiritual growth for our congregation.
Finally, to the best of our knowledge, there have been no reports of COVID-19 in any of our regular attendees or guests. We have no reason to believe that our church is unsafe. We are simply being prudent and proactive.
If you need any help, physically or spiritually, your pastors, deacons, and church family will still respond to your needs.
Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor, with the Counseling Body
Philippians 4:6-8; 2 Timothy 1:7; Deuteronomy 31:8