Dear Church Family,
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church of Philippi in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
There is currently much anxiety in our country today concerning the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, or “Coronavirus”, and our church has not been exempt from this anxiety. Thus, we must, indeed, pray that the Lord would indeed “guard” our “hearts and…minds” through the glorious hope of the Gospel of Christ.
As part of seeking that “peace”, as Elders, we have been monitoring this situation closely and praying for God’s wisdom (James 1:5) in what to do in regard to how to guide our church in these matters. I have personally been in contact with local government officials, as well as Pastor Mike Moran of the Congregational Church of Eastford and other area pastors, seeking their wisdom (Proverbs 11:14) in order to determine the best course of action for our church.
The Elders met this morning to discuss these matters and, after much prayer and thought, we have determined that our church will be taking the following actions:
1.) Sunday School at 9:00am will be canceled this week (3/15/2020).
2.) PM Worship Service at 5:30pm will be canceled this month (3/15/2020).
3.) Men’s Breakfast at 7:00am tomorrow (3/14/2020) will be canceled for this month.
4.) Volleyball (3/16/2020) will be canceled this week.
5.) AM Worship Service at 10:30am (3/15/2020) WILL STILL BE HELD AS USUAL, however refreshments will be limited to coffee only.
We feel that while God’s Word is clear that we are not to live in fear, that we are also to utilize wisdom, acting in the most responsible and loving manner to our neighbors (see 2nd Tim. 1:7; Matt. 22:37-39). We are praying that the Lord would honor these decisions with love and understanding on your part as a church family, that we might together honor Christ and each other through this situation.
Thus, we want to encourage you that if you are sick, showing signs of sickness, or are prone to illness to please stay home this Sunday out of love and deference for one another, and instead plan to join us online at 10:30am on our live-steam at the following web address: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrgg7FbFbnagSLzu80Gsajg
Also, if you plan to attend the 10:30am service, I would encourage you to limit physical interactions (i.e. hand-shaking, hugging, etc.). I know this is difficult, as we are a very loving and affectionate church, but, again, we must be prudent at this time.
Also, for more information on the virus, I would recommend the Centers For Disease Control (CDC). You can find them at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov. The CDC is a great place to find valuable information, which will not be influenced by the hysteria we are seeing in the media at this point.
Please also check your emails, the church website, and our social medias regularly in order to stay up to date in regard to future decisions regarding activities.
Above all, we would ask you to commit this situation to prayer, specifically in the following areas:
– Pray for God’s gracious physical healing and protection for those who have been affected and are most vulnerable to this virus.
– Pray for wisdom for our federal, state, and local government officials, as they make difficult decisions.
– Pray that we, as God’s people, would see this trial as an opportunity from God for the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus, as we seek ways to bless our community and share the love of Christ.
Thank you all for your understanding in these matters. May God’s grace abound and may Christ be glorified through us as His people!
Grace and peace,
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” – Romans 8:35-39