Response to COVID-19 (Corona Virus)
Update: Saturday, 03/14/2020
Worship Experience Cancellation
Hello, sisters and brothers,
This has been a very unique and challenging week. The news of the Covid-19 virus and its spread has been racing along with developments at a staggering pace. Public gatherings, sporting events, and even school classes are being postponed and canceled throughout our nation and within our community. The news can be distressing as we see these things unfold. We can thank our Lord that we are able to have the peace that passes all understanding knowing that our king, Jesus, is in charge of all things. Hallelujah!
Though fear can be a powerful force during such times as these, we can rest assured that our faith in Jesus conquers all fears. Be encouraged dear brothers and sisters on the truth that perfect love casts out ALL fears! With the onslaught of information spreading at a rapid pace we have two options during these times:
We can fall into the pandemic of fear; feeding into the very nature that has caused all of humanity to fall – self.
Or, we can look at this as an opportunity to join Jesus in being a light in the darkness, during a dark time. Besides the direct impact of the virus itself, with all the cancellations and closures many people will be struggling financially because of the economic impact of the hysteria. This is a time where we, as the body of Christ, can allow the love of Jesus to shine bright. The opportunity we are given is to tangibly move on our mission to love God, love people, and serve others.
Here are two ways –
- As we have stated in an earlier message (copied below), our church leadership team has continued to watch the developing situation and has been prayerfully considering our own gathering for our Sunday Worship Experience. We feel as a way to love people that we should take every precaution to ensure that any potential impact of the virus itself is minimized to the best of our ability. With this in mind and through the council of many other people, we have decided to cancel this week’s (March 15, 2020) Worship Experience.
- With the economic impact that will occur because of the multitude of event cancellations across our community, we want to be irrationally generous as our loving God is irrationally generous. Our desire is to help families that will be impacted by this trying time. We are still working out the logistics on how we can achieve this feat. However, we want to ask you to partner with us on this. Whatever financial donations received this week will go directly to helping those who will sustain financial hardships in the wake of this worldwide pandemic. Let’s join together as the body of Christ and love our neighbors through this crisis. You can send your generous donations in 2 easy ways: Text the amount you wish to give to 405-358-2121 or you can donate online here. Let’s come together and be irrationally generous together!
Furthermore, as we are encouraged by the writer of the book of Hebrews, we do not want to forsake gathering together in worship. Stay tuned for further announcements as we hope to provide a way for us to participate in worship and an inspiring message together online.
In the meantime, we wanted to let you know that we have updated our church website. You are now able to listen to all of the messages from each of the Worship Experiences for 2020 online. You can access them by going here at any time and listen to these messages with your phone, tablet or personal computer, and you can even download them to take them on the road!
We will continue to stay in touch with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local authorities in making decisions for future gatherings in the upcoming weeks.
We will miss gathering with each of you in person, but our hearts are always together through the love we share in Jesus through the Spirit. We pray for your health and joy in the days ahead and look forward to our next opportunity together.
Grace and peace,
PS: Watch for an announcement of an online Worship Experience
Update: Thursday, 03/12/2020
Dear Church Family:
We are all hearing much in the news regarding the rapid spread in the Corona Virus in various areas of the world and even now in some communities in our nation. Serious measures are being taken to stem the spread of the disease and especially to protect those most at risk which includes the elderly and those with health issues that make them more vulnerable (such as those with breathing problems, diabetes, or heart disease.)
Our GCI Home Office has forwarded information and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for consideration by our congregations. These include many common sense items such as:
- Regular handwashing and use of hand sanitizers especially after contact with people and surfaces which are touched by others
- Social distancing, avoiding contact in crowds. We are a hugging and handshaking church family, but in current circumstances, the “elbow bump” may be a better form of greeting
- Anyone who notices symptoms of cold or flu (sneezing, coughing, fever, aching, etc.) should stay at home for the benefit of all
These and other such recommendations are a matter of loving our neighbors as ourselves.
In light of the above recommendations and the developing situation (cases of the virus have now been reported in our city), we are closely monitoring the news and will be making decisions on whether to meet for our weekly Worship Experience or other gatherings. We do want to keep everyone safe and also help prevent any possible spread of the virus in our community.
A decision will be made regarding our gathering for Sunday over the coming days (and for each meeting until the situation passes.) Please watch your email and text messages for further updates.
If we do meet this week (or for any future gatherings), please feel free to make a personal decision on whether to participate based on safety for yourself, your family, and for our church family. If you or someone in your family has any symptoms or has been in contact with anyone showing symptoms, please stay at home.
We love and appreciate each of you and pray for your health and well-being.