UPDATED 3/17/2020 at 9:35 CDT
Below is an important COVID-19 update as it relates to our church gatherings:
Unprecedented is a word that’s thrown around quite a bit these days. From the standpoint of viruses, this one isn’t really unprecedented, but from the standpoint of our own experience, it’s an apt word. My goal is not to flood your inbox with emails. But as I said in the email I sent out about an hour ago, this is a rapidly-evolving situation, and new information is coming out quickly.
I just watched a briefing from President Trump, Vice President Pence, and the task force with different medical professionals. In this meeting, President Trump recommended limiting meetings to 10 or fewer people. Another medical professional stepped forward to answer a question about that limitation of 10 and why they have so drastically differed from the CDC guidelines issued only yesterday. She said they have been running models through the night, and this seems to be the most effective way of slowing and stopping the transmission of this virus about which we still know so little. Given that it can be transmitted for two weeks before any symptoms show up, it is that much harder to contain.
So with that said, it grieves my heart to announce that we will be suspending all gatherings (Sunday school, Sunday mornings, LifeGroups, and prayer gatherings) until these recommendations are lifted (for at least 15 days, but probably for longer). This does not mean that you cannot gather in homes to pray. It does not mean you can’t have a meal with your neighbors. It does not mean you can’t pursue Bible reading times with your families. Men/husbands/fathers, let me especially encourage you to take leadership to shepherd (literally to pastor) your homes over the next couple of months. And everything else I said about ways that you can love your neighbor is still in effect. Out of our deep desire to see this virus contained, in trust of those with much more knowledge than we have of the spread of viruses, and out of love for our neighbors, especially those most vulnerable to this virus, we have made this decision, one of the most difficult that I’ve ever made.
I am going to be on the lookout for interesting and creative ways to maintain contact with you all and still progress in our growth in the Lord together. If you have ideas, please reach out and let me know! Please also pray for one another fervently, and pray that this virus will be contained and slowed to the point of being able to return to some sense of normalcy.