Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.
Like you, we have been concerned about the growing significance of the Coronavirus issue. It is often difficult to know just how we are to deal with situations like this in our congregation. God has also blessed us with the common grace of science and medicine and so we must take the advice of the experts seriously. Our greatest confidence, however, is not in the CDC or a bottle of hand sanitizer (those things are great) but our trust must ultimately be in the Lord. In light of the growing concern over the Coronavirus, the following changes are being implemented.
First… All Sunday morning worship services and on-campus activities are canceled effective immediately. This decision was made along with consultation from local public health officials and with special consideration of the unique condition and needs of our congregation and community. Because of the ever-changing nature of COVID-19 and the recommended responses to it, we have no idea how long this cancellation will last. But we desire to restore our face to face fellowship as soon as it is safely possible. We will update you regularly with any changes as they develop. I would highly recommend listening to an interview with Bob Cutillo, MD. It presents a very thoughtful response from both a Biblical and a medical perspective. (Click here to listen)
Second… Just because we cannot meet in person does not mean we cannot stay connected or care for one another’s needs. In fact, due to the lack of face to face fellowship, staying in regular communication with one another will be more important than ever. Emails, phone calls, texts, cards, and more will become essential to encouraging others and staying encouraged ourselves. And, if you have any specific needs such as groceries, prescriptions that need to be picked up, or something that must be done around your home please do not hesitate to contact a deacon so we can make necessary arrangements to meet your needs. To be connected more effectively during this time I would like us to begin utilizing the community feature of our website. This is not something we have done before but now seems like the right time to begin. It is sort of like Facebook, but just for our church family. It is simple to get started from a computer or smartphone in just 4 easy steps.
Step 1: click on “Events & Resources” at the top of the page. From the drop-down menu click on “community”. This will open up another page.
Step 2: Sign up for a free Faithlife account. Once you are signed in you will be taken to Grace’s community page.
Step 3: Click the blue button in the middle of the page that says “ask to join”. I will approve requests once or twice a day.
Step 4: Click on “Notification Preferences” and set the top three lines to “immediately” (this can be changed at any time if you desire).
*Once your membership on the page is approved you can write posts, submit prayer requests, ask questions, and interact with other people on the page. If you want to use this feature but need some technical help just contact me. And once you have begun using the community page yourself and would be willing to assist others in joining, please let me know.
NOTE: THIS FEATURE IS ONLY FOR GRACE MEMBERS AND FRIENDS OF GRACE.
Third… Even though we will not be meeting for worship and study of God’s Word on Sunday mornings it is my goal to still provide a specific and focussed time of devotion, prayer, and Scripture study via live video. It will be a brief time, perhaps 30/45 minutes starting at 10am on Sunday mornings where those in both congregations at Grace and McCloud can log on for an informal time to focus on God’s glory, be reminded of our need for repentance and the promise of forgiveness through Christ, to pursue God in prayer, and stay connected to His truth through the teaching of the Scripture. We will continue to go through the current sermon series in the Sermon on the Mount. Just click "Join Us Online" at the top of this page and you will be able to join us Sunday mornings at 10am for the livestream directly from my home to yours. Below is a brief video about why and how we will be meeting online while Sunday morning worship services are cancelled due to COVID-19.
It is my hope that these efforts will be an encouragement to you all during this time of uncertainty as we focus our attention squarely on the Almighty God who works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. As always, if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact the church office or me directly by phone or email.
For further info about this virus please go to the Center for Disease Control's website: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Lastly, please take the time to pray for...
- God's mercy for those affected by this virus.
- God's protection for healthcare workers and first responders.
- God's wisdom for political and healthcare leaders.
- God's guidance for believers to respond with grace and truth in the face of people's fears and to bear witness to the hope of the Gospel.