Dear Brothers and Sisters:
As you know, the existence and spread of the Coronavirus and associated COVID-19 disease has been designated by the World Health Organization as a Pandemic—another word for an epidemic that has reached global proportions. This designation is not handed out lightly; it represents the science-based truth about how widespread the virus has become, and its potential lethality. Additionally, our national, state and county governments have issued guidance recommending a number of steps and actions to reduce the possibility of contracting or spreading the virus. These guidelines include recommendations for personal hygiene, social etiquette, and a variety of other considerations. The recommendations also address crowds and gatherings of various sizes.
As a result of reading through this information, and in conjunction with counsel and discussions with health-care professionals, other pastors, and members of our congregation—and with much prayer—I have decided that the correct course of action for our church to take at this time is to suspend our church services through the end of this month. The church will be open, and we plan to have a team of people to provide worship essentials (prayer, praise, and proclamation) during service times, but the general gatherings will be suspended for the next few weeks.
While it is true that we serve a God who can keep this illness at bay, we also know that when Jesus was challenged to throw himself from the Temple, rather than tempt God, he respected God’s law of gravity. These actions are similarly showing respect for God’s laws of microbiology. We will update you as more information becomes available. In the meantime, please check in with the church’s website for information updates, financial giving, and further instructions.
Pastor Tommy Smith