I pray this note finds you well. We had a wonderful time in worship last Sunday and preached on the subject “Faith Operates between Fear and Foolishness” Luke 10:1-3.
After having compassion on the people/world because they were like “sheep without a shepherd,” Jesus then prepares to send the disciples into the world of ministry, acknowledging that they will be like “lambs among wolves.” But, he sends them wisely and strategically with an understanding of the world around them. We do not operate out of fear and we don’t operate out foolishness. We walk by faith informed by wisdom.
It is with this combination of faith and wisdom that I share some important information with the family:
A. Spending All In-Person Ministry Activities. During worship last Sunday, I shared with the congregation that it might be our last in-person worship service for a while because of the rapidly changing and predictable effects of Coronavirus pandemic. And as expected — based on many discussions, prayer and a review of safety guidelines — we are going to suspend all in-person ministry events at the church starting this week. That includes Sunday worship and this evening’s lent service which has been cancelled. I expect this suspension to be as short as 3 weeks but it could be 1-2 months.
B. Worship Opportunities. We are working on being able to provide a variety of worship experiences and touch-points during the week including:
• Regular Call-In Prayer Lines
• Online Bible Studies
• Online Worship
We are working on a schedule and will get a first schedule out to you soon. Our first goal is to have:
church-wide prayer and an online bible study taught this evening.
• Fellowship and discuss 6:15-6:35 pm
• Prayer from 6:35-6:55 pm
• Bible Study lead by Rev. Woodard from 7-8 pm. Subject is the Church at Thyatira from Revelations 2:18-29 from 7-8 pm.
For those with smart phones or computers with cameras, we will use a service called zoom (https://zoom.us/j/791598197). For those who will call in, use one of these numbers — (312) 626-6799, Password 791598197# or (929) 436-2866, Password 791598197#. If you plan to participate, text or email me so we can send you the materials and add you the calendar. (email@example.com/414.690.2520)
C. Follow All Safety Precautions. Progressive is a wise church. We know that the current Coronavirus pandemic is very real and, unfortunately, the US government has done a poor job in being prepared. Because of that poor preparedness, it is even more important that we pay attention and follow all safety precautions including not gathering in large crowds. In doing so, we are taking care of ourselves and our neighbor.
It is not out of fear but out of wisdom; the number of cases is going to grow quickly just like in other countries. The quarantines, limitation on crowd sizes, and safety precautions need to be done on a local and national basis to slow the accelerated spread of the virus. Let us operate in the spirit of wisdom and follow all the guidelines.
D. Sick, Shut in, Struggling. We have members that might be particularly challenged during this time. I want us to do our best to help no one slip through the cracks. If you have needs or know someone who might need help please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; we are working on ways to identify needs and sources of support.
Family, this is a challenging time—unique in our history. We will walk by faith and wisdom. We will not panic and walk by fear—“God has not given us a spirit of fear but love, power and a sound mind.” We also will not walk by foolishness and pretend like we do not need to plan and prepare.
Let us walk together by faith and wisdom. We will follow up soon.
In love, in humble service, in Christ!
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
Questions, Concerns, Needs. If you have any questions, concerns, needs, want to volunteer to help, etc., please use this confidential link (http://bit.ly/PbcChurchResources)
Governor Andrew Cuomo. Public officials have been doing a poor job of explaining the nature of the crisis in plain language. This link is to a hour press conference by Governor Andrew Cuomo; he does a good job of “teaching” where we are: (https://youtu.be/JQEN0F07xIY)