The following is a message I sent out to our church today regarding the current situation with COVID-19:
The situation with COVID-19 is developing quickly. I am glad that our authorities are taking this so seriously; a virus that threatens the most vulnerable in our society is something we should all care about deeply.
Confidence and Love
As Christians in these times, we are motivated by two things: confidence in the gospel, and love for our neighbors. In Jesus, we have confidence and security; we do not fear, because we know that even if our bodies are destroyed, we have a heavenly dwelling that awaits us because of what Jesus accomplished for us. Hebrews 2:14-15 tells us that because Jesus defeated death and the devil, we are free to no longer live in the fear of death.
Although we do not fear death, it is important that we love our neighbors by doing what we can to slow down the spread of this disease which is affecting vulnerable people, particularly the elderly and those whose immune systems are compromised.
Doing your part to minimize the spread of COVID-19 is not an act of fear, but of love for our neighbors.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help with shopping or errands, particularly if you/they are elderly, we want to help you with that so you don’t have to put yourself at risk. E-mail email@example.com with any needs, and we will make sure it gets done in a safe manner.
In this spirit of love, we ask that you respect the recommendations of the CDC and refrain from unnecessary gatherings and contact with others, until the risk goes down. If possible, please consider working from home.
Whereas last week, we recommended that Community Groups continue meeting, we are now leaving it up to individual groups to decide if you should meet, or consider a video chat instead. Shelby will be posting more information on possible ways to do that soon.
Sunday Church Services
For this Sunday, we will pre-record a video with worship and a Bible teaching, which we will then post on YouTube and Facebook for you and those in your household or family to watch together. On Sunday at 10:00 AM we will start a “watch party” on Facebook for those of you who use that platform. If you haven’t yet subscribed to our YouTube channel or followed us on Facebook, now is a good time to do that, and you will be alerted whenever we post a video or go live.
We are working on setting up the video system in our new building, so we can use that to film and broadcast our services, and we expect that to be ready soon. We are also working on a Church Online platform that we can use during this time.
We are waiting until it is safe and advisable for us to have physical gatherings before announcing our official Grand Opening in the new building.
Michelle Pearl, our NextGen Director, will be posting the weekly lesson so that you can go through them with your children at home on Sundays.
As we often say, giving financially to God’s work through the local church is an act of worship. Since in-person giving will not be possible until we can gather physically again as a church, we ask that you give online. That can be done on our website here, or on Realm.
Blog Posts and Devotional Thoughts
During this time, I will be posting more frequently on my blog with devotional thoughts and Bible studies. That might be one more way for you to engage with our community and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here’s the website: Longmont Pastor – and you can subscribe in order to get email updates of new posts.
Update on Pastors Nick and Mike
I just arrived back from Ukraine, where Pastor Mike and I were visiting our missionaries and teaching at a leadership conference. When we left, there was no recommendation against travel to Hungary or Ukraine, and there were no COVID-19 cases. When I arrived back in the US today, I was screened and tested for COVID-19 and the test came back negative. However, we are more than happy to comply with the protocol and self-quarantine for 14 days out of love for others and respect to the authorities.
In one of our recent studies from the Vision series, we looked at developing God’s vision for your situation – part of which is understanding that every situation presents us with opportunities to respond to the gospel and love our neighbors. That is true in this situation as well! Here is the link to that message: A Vision for Your Situation
It is important that we stick together in this time, as a community of people who love Jesus and love our neighbors. We want to continue growing in faith and looking for ways to serve those around us in Jesus’ name.