The onset of the coronavirus has made it necessary for Grace Church and many other organizations to decide on a response. Based on guidance from the administration of President Trump and also at the urging of Governor Northam, we will scale back our large group gatherings in the near future. This includes not holding regular, on-site Sunday activities at least on March 15, and not holding any other kind of large group gathering at all from now into the beginning of April. We do plan to stream a service consisting of a sermon and prayer on Sunday morning and evening, however. (See details in the next paragraph.) We take these steps out of respect for the leadership of our government officials and in order to safeguard the health of our members and visitors. More generally, we want to make sure that we do our part to prevent the coronavirus from spreading to the point that it overwhelms health care facilities and puts many lives at risk.
We will stream scaled-back morning and evening services this coming Sunday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Go to the website and click on the box at the top that says Service Streaming. We encourage you, in addition to streaming the service, to sing together and also to pray for your family’s needs and the needs of our community, country, and world during this time of sickness and disruption. The bulletins that would have been used for this Sunday’s services are attached to this email; you can refer to the hymns in the bulletins for ideas about what to sing.
We will make a decision about whether to resume normal Sunday services on March 22 (and succeeding Sundays) by the Thursday prior and email the decision to the congregation as well as posting it on the church website.
Upcoming ministries and activities that are cancelled include the following:
- Game night (tonight, Friday, March 13)
- Men’s breakfast (Saturday, March 14)
- Sunday School and Membership Class (Sunday, March 15)
- Hymn sing (Sunday, March 15)
- Session retreat (Friday-Saturday, March 19-20)
- Iliff Nursing Home ministry (Sunday, March 22)
- Youth lunch (Sunday, March 22)
- Baby shower for Rob and Amanda Sallade (Friday, March 27)
- Fellowship lunch (Sunday, March 29)
- PRISM ministry visit (Sunday, March 29)
- Women’s retreat (Friday-Saturday, April 3-4)
Selected small groups or ministry teams may meet, or not, at the discretion of the group leaders. Group leaders should make sure that any meeting follows the CDC guidelines for hygiene. Serving food and drink is not recommended. Alternatively, groups may choose to meet by the videoconference service Zoom; email Kathy Hoisington ([email protected]) for help setting up a Zoom link. Groups that may meet, or not, at the discretion of group leaders, include the following:
- Bible studies
- Fellowship groups
- Young adult fellowship
- Other ministry teams or committees
Finally, please keep your eyes open for spiritual opportunities during this unusual season. We will need to respond to not only the health hazards of the coronavirus but also to its wide-ranging social and economic consequences that will bring hardship into the lives of many. Be alert to ways you can give spiritual, logistical, or financial support to others. Also, in the face of the temptation to grow fearful, remember Psalm 56:3: “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” God is good and Christ remains on his throne! Let this confidence reign in your hearts and let it be visible to others as well.
The elders of Grace