COVID-19 - navigating our response to a growing national concern.
Where things currently stand...
This morning I woke to news of the NBA suspending its season, increasing travel restrictions, universities changing their instructional models and new cases of COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus, reported in our state. It’s all a bit surreal, to be honest. Even as of this post, that information seems so long ago or somehow outdated.
Last week we posted some increased safety measures that we should all consider in times of illness around our facility. However, it seems that it is time for some follow up to that for us as a local church.
First of all, I’m reminded of this for us as believers:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. (2 Timothy 1:7)
That is truth that we can lean on and into in circumstances that have so many unknown factors. I know that each one of us processes events and information differently and I’m comforted knowing that:
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
For he knows what we are made of,
remembering that we are dust. (Psalms 103:13-14)
No matter the manner we process information, breaking news or public bulletins from national, state or local leaders, these truths inform us all how to respond. What great news that we have a compassionate Father, who knows us, knows how we were formed and knows how we think through things. He offers us a Spirit of Power, Love and Sound Judgement as a gift. This gift is free to us at all times and especially on display in our lives during times of trouble.
On our campus and throughout our gatherings...
Here in the office, we are watching requests from our leaders at the national and state level. We are currently in contact with local county and city officials. We also are working through any additional steps that our facilities teams need to implement in addition to our normal care for the health, safety and wellbeing of all who come onto our property.
At this point, all of our normally scheduled gatherings will continue. We are also working through the following measures and ask that you be considerate of them when here in our facility:
- If you are feeling unwell, please stay home to recover, taking any medial steps or precautions as directed by your doctor.
- Please do not bring or check children into our children’s or youth ministries if they are not feeling well.
- Our facilities team is working diligently to keep high-contact surfaces clean and heavily trafficked areas disinfected throughout service times.
- We will utilize individual-serving communion containers.
- We will not be passing the offering, but will make the offering bags available as you leave. We also encourage you to consider online giving by visiting our website.
- We encourage any volunteers and staff members to stay home if they are not feeling well. We appreciate your grace for any lower coverage that may occur.
- We are a loving church which can, at times, be expressed through shaking hands or giving hugs. Please do so at your comfort level. When you greet others in services or in our lobby, we ask that you consider a smile and a wave rather than hugs or handshakes as our greeters will be doing the same.
- Our Students’ and Children’s Ministries are, as always, being diligent in their precautions (similar to the facility procedures) and will still be meeting.
If you are one in a “vulnerable” category for this illness, please let us know how we can specifically pray for you and serve you during this time. We don’t want anyone to have a sense of being isolated or abandoned.
What can we each do as believers?
For our national, state, county and city leaders
For medical staff and first responders
For our families, workplaces and campuses
For one another
Be good neighbors
Consider those most vulnerable. As followers of Jesus, we will always be committed to doing everything we can to protect and serve vulnerable people.
Consider the good or bad fruit of what we say or post throughout social media and what that most bears witness to at work in our lives.
Remind ourselves of the truth and share it with others
No one likes to be confronted with frailty, weakness or need. This is a shared human reality. We know our compassionate Father sees and knows this, even remembering the materials from which we were formed. Moments like these can provide unique open doors to share our faith in the One who is sovereign and our hope in a future beyond this present reality. This security is provided through Jesus Christ and empowered for life through the Holy Spirit. Let’s be prepared to share willingly with those around us of a reality that is to come in heaven.
We will continue to keep you all updated on ways that we are responding to (or adjusting to) best serve our local and church community.
on behalf of the