Faith CoronaVirus Update – March 14



coronavirus update - March 14

Everything Seems Like It’s Changing.
I don’t need to tell you how strange these past few weeks have been. In the last few days, we have seen the shutdown of entire institutions that have been constants in our lives. We have been bombarded by concern, worry, anxiety, fear, facts, statistics, and preventive measures all centered on this virus that has found its way to our doorstep. This has changed our lives and will continue to cause change as we move forward. That is unavoidable.

What won’t change?
You are people of Faith and hope and children of God! We rest upon His unchanging truths. In times like this, it is important to rest upon God’s unchanging nature and His promise of peace. In the next few weeks, your sense of peace will be challenged. Don’t take your eyes off the cross, your family, or your neighbors. Remember the words of Christ that you may echo to them:

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

I’m also reminded of the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 46,

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” – Psalm 46:1-3

We know the end of this. Regardless of what happens, I know my story ends in the arms of my savior. Yours does, too. That does not mean you go looking for trouble, it simply means trouble will never get the best of you. What you have before you is an opportunity; an opportunity to be that lighthouse of hope, the beacon of the Gospel, and the messenger of peace.

I encourage you in the coming weeks to be kind, compassionate, caring, and patient as you deal with your fellow brothers and sisters. Let people experience the risen Christ through your words, actions, and social media interactions.

Pandemic Devotional
Today, I have also posted a devotional which I encourage you to read. It deals with how we, as Christians, should respond to a viral outbreak like this. I hope that it will give you encouragement and guidance.

So, I am sure by now you are asking, how will this change things at Faith?

We are in a position of evaluation. Each event is being looked at and discussed and the safety concerns are being weighed.

That being said you will notice a few minor changes this weekend:

  1. If you are experiencing any sickness in your household, or just are not certain about your health, or are worried about your exposure, you are welcome to stay home. We do not believe in works righteousness, your absence will not be a black mark on your eternal record, and you are still assured God’s grace. I do ask that you let me know because I would like to make sure your spiritual needs are still taken care of. Please remember to tend to your prayer and devotional life and that the sermon is available online. We look forward to seeing you again as soon as you are feeling better and feel able to return.
  2. Greeting: This Sunday we will be handling the greeting time differently. You are encouraged to speak words of kindness to each other, but I would ask you to refrain from touching each other. I ask you to respect each other’s personal boundaries. You might be comfortable with your concept of personal space, another may not be, please show each other the respect due them as a brother or sister in Christ.
  3. Sanitizing: As always, I encourage the washing of hands and the use of hand sanitizer. I will bring sanitizer to have at the church on Sundays.
  4. Seating: If it would make you more comfortable, you are welcome to sit with a little more distance between you and others.
  5. Participating in Communion: As we practice Holy Communion we will be following our tradition of the weekly practice of the Sacrament. Just like church attendance, this isn’t mandatory, and your absence will not lead us to question your faith or commitment. If you are not comfortable coming up that is OK. If you simply want to receive a blessing, cross your arms over your chest and I will see that you are blessed. That said, know that studies have been done and show no evidence that Holy Communion contributes to the spread of disease.
  6. Communion Distribution: The one change that will be happening in Communion will be that I and whoever is assisting me with Communion will sanitize our hands before Communion.
  7. Offering: For the offering, you will find the plate on a table at the back of the rows. I ask you to place your offering there as you go by. The offering will be brought forward at its usual time.
  8. Visitations: Finally, I just want to assure you that visits from me where needed will continue. Please do not hesitate to contact me. You are important to me, and your spiritual needs are my priority.

There are two things I’d like you to do as well.

Stay in Touch with Your Fellow Faith Family
If you notice someone missing from church, reach out to them kindly to make sure they are ok and see if they need anything. If you aren’t going to be at church, let some people know.

Pray
We are a people of prayer and our God listens and answers. Pray that God would stop the spread of the virus. Pray that He would comfort His people. Pray that He would guide our leaders. Pray that He would ease our anxieties and give us His peace.

You can look for updates through all our usual means of communication. Thank you for being a wonderful family in Christ here at Faith. It is my distinct honor to be your pastor.

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Kurt

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” – Psalm 46:1-3

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