From the Pastor-COVID-19 Update — March 14, 2020
What a week we all have experienced. It seems that things are changing every hour in our world and in our country. With the COVID-19 virus now impacting our daily lives, I want you to know that as a church we are very concerned about the safety of everyone in Speegleville.
As of today, we are still planning to have our regular Sunday schedule this Sunday, March 15. However, in light of the precautions that the CDC is asking us to follow, I am asking that we cease from physical contact (as much as possible) during these services, including no handshaking, hugs, or even holding hands at the end of the worship service. To some this might seem to be an overreaction to the news we are hearing today, but we prefer to err on the side of caution and listen to the experts (the doctors and scientists).
In addition, Shauna Suggs, our children’s ministry director, has asked that no personal toys be brought to the nursery until further notice. The toys in the nursery will all be cleaned after each service. Also, if your child has (or if you have!) a cough or fever, then please stay home. Finally, while we have all enjoyed being greeted by and receiving mints from our children during the welcome time, that practice will be suspended for now.
There is much that is unknown about this virus. However, we do know that older adults (defined as over 60) and people with pre-existing conditions are the most vulnerable. Thankfully, in general, children, youth, and young adults do not appear to be as drastically affected by this virus; however, they can be carriers of the COVID-19 virus.
In light of the fact that Waco and Midway schools have decided to extend spring break for two weeks, a decision has been made to suspend our Wednesday services (Wednesday night Bible studies for our children, youth, and adults as well as Wednesday night meals) for the two remaining Wednesdays in March.
If I could use one analogy, it would be this one: In the past, when it has snowed, we have cancelled church or encouraged people to stay at home if they felt safer there than getting out in the ice and snow. So, maybe considering this time as similar to a “snow day” would be helpful; if you feel more safe at home, then please stay home. Certainly, if you are not feeling well or if you have a fever, do stay home.
Thank you to Jordan Humler, our associate pastor, who is scheduled to preach for us this Sunday (March 15). I know his sermon will be a blessing to all who hear it. We are planning on returning early from our trip and hope to get back to Waco on Monday.
I am so glad of our assurance that God is still in control. Not one of us is alone in this or any circumstance. It is great to have a caring church family that is ready to help others in times of need. While it is possible that face-to-face communications may cease for a time, God is never absent from us, and we can rest in God’s promise found in Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”