Good afternoon Disciples Church,
Given the ever-changing information regarding the Coronavirus outbreak and spread I want to take a few minutes to update you on where we are at as a church family. A cross-section of our church met today to discuss the wisdom of moving forward gathering in person tomorrow as a church, Teachers, engineers, nurses, scientists, pastors, and entrepreneurs. 14 of us in all spent a few hours together today.
WE come to you with clear consensus in favor of meeting at our normal time and place tomorrow. However, significant measures are being taken to protect your health, and to protect against the spread of Covid-19. Tomorrow’s gathering will be altered in many ways, but more on that in a minute.
Let me first address three groups:
- If you are over 60 years of age
- If you work in the medical profession
- If you are living with illness or a weakened immune system
On wise counsel of doctors and request of governmental authorities, we encourage you to stay home.
For those who opt to remain at home, we will offer a livestream of the service on our YouTube channel, so take a minute today to subscribe and turn on notifications. We will notify you when we go live.
But for those who are generally healthy and not at high risk of spreading the virus, we encourage you to rise up in faith, and join us tomorrow for worship and prayer in an abbreviated 1-hour family worship experience.
Let me walk you through what you can expect tomorrow with regard to the measures we are taking to keep you safe:
- We will not have any printed programs or any other hand to hand contact. Bring your own coffee, and eat before you arrive. Greeters will be at the door to offer instructions, friendly waves, and love from afar. No hugs, no handshakes. This is a weird time, but we are going to reduce the weird with faith and wisdom.
- Because our littlest ones spread these things fastest, we also will not have any children’s ministry classes or nursery open tomorrow.
- The Cry room will be open as will the lobby, both with a live feed for those who want to be in person but remain at a safe distance.
What to expect in the Main Auditorium
- When you enter the Main Auditorium we will have chairs set up in a dozen or so small half circles with ample space between creating a semi-private space for your family. No rows or people outside your family sitting within 6 feet.
- Our service tomorrow will have worship led by Calvin and the full band and I will share a short word of encouragement before Dan, Vince, and myself lead us through a time of prayer as a congregation.
- For those needing prayer during our service -whether in person or via YouTube, we will be taking your prayer requests live via text, simply text your requests to 916-850-5655 And we will pray for you in service. For confidential prayer requests you can use the digital Feedback Card found in the YouVersion event for tomorrow.
These are indeed unique times in which we are living. But the church has a history of shining the brightest when times get weirdest.
2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that,
“God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity.”
So to that end we come together, those of us able, full of faith and hope. We need each other. We need an hour-long break from the self-centered hoarding and the fearful retreat. We need to intercede for the vulnerable and the poor.
But as 2 Timothy 1:7 goes on to say,
“God HAS GIVEN US power, love, and self-discipline.”
We believe our prayers tomorrow prayed together will change the course of history when prayed in faith.
Seriously, we believe it.
We believe in a world so divided and full of fear, the simple act of gathering together displays our faith in God’s goodness, our love for each other, and our commitment to be WITH and FOR the world.
So let’s be self-disciplined and wise tomorrow, if you’re in one of the high risk groups because of age, health, or occupation, stay home. But don’t merely sleep in and lounge, prepare yourself for worship and join us live on YouTube and with your YouVersion event in hand.
And if you’re at low risk, we will have done everything we can to mitigate the risk of spread so that you can be with us in person, full of faith believing our prayers shift the atmosphere.
May the LORD show us his special kindness as we gather tomorrow to lift his name in worship and His creation in prayer. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
With you in faith,