March 12, 2020
The pastors have been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, talking with the Leadership Team, and consulting our own public health professionals in our congregations. We think that for this week, our best course of action is to not have our Sunday meetings at our spaces. We want to be available to each other and our neighbors in other ways. We are trusting God to help us be as practical and present as possible to the needs we are anticipating.
Our decision comes with serious and sober discernment for the sake of love, not out of fear. We want to help keep transmission rates down if possible, and limiting social interaction at this point is the recommended way to do that. We are thinking of the vulnerable people among us and around us. We really do think this is the best way to love our neighbors.
Instead of our face-to-face meeting this Sunday, the pastors and Sunday meeting teams are inventing an online time for teaching and worship. We’re still figuring out exactly what that will look like, so stay tuned. In a moment of high anxiety, this could even be an opportunity for someone we don’t know yet to experience the peace of Christ. Share the link with them when we put it out there.
We’ve never been a church that’s reducible to “going to church” so we’re really built for this moment. We are the church, it’s not a building or a meeting. This virtual expression of our body may be a stretch for many, but let’s be as together as we can be in these circumstances. An online opportunity will probably be our most accessible Sunday meeting ever. It’s new territory and might not feel very natural, but let’s consider it as the opportunity it is — to include new friends who may be feeling extra isolated by this situation. We’re in it together!
We know the future is uncertain and you may be worried. Anxiety can bring up our most difficult stuff, and so we’re actively calling to mind that God is with us. Let’s look for ways to spread love, not fear.
Feel free to meet in smaller groups as you discern best (cells and team meetings), taking seriously the advice of public health officials concerning hand washing and limiting personal contact.
We’ll keep talking and discerning together for next Sunday. In the meantime, look out for one another, and pray for God’s protection for our region, and God’s love to permeate this difficult challenge.
Julie, Rachel, Ben, Jonny