OUR CHURCH'S REPONSE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Greetings in the Name of our Glorious Lord and Blessed Redeemer – Jesus Christ!
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, things changed drastically causing hysteria and stress to many around the world, yet has caused a calm, reasonable, and courageous confidence in God’s goodness and power to Christ’s followers. It presents to us unique challenges and opportunities.
How do we get through this crisis victoriously?
1. Let’s use the power of prayer. Trusting in the goodness and power of God, our first response to any crises is prayer. God intervenes when we pray! Let’s keep praying for one another, for the Government and first responders, and for missionaries, church planters, and churches around the globe who are ministering the Gospel.
2. Let’s use the power of a Gospel community. Get closer to God and to one another. In these times of “social distancing” we can draw spiritually close to God and to one another in creative ways. We won’t allow a virus to distance us from our intimate communion with God, and from connecting with one another for fellowship, ministry, and edification (Hebrews 10:25). With wisdom and caution, we could increase engagement to our Online Church Community for worship, prayer meetings, small groups, Leadership Team meetings, and giving. We’ll activate every member to check on and care for one another’s well being (physical, emotional, and spiritual health). As we do these, out of love and not out of fear, we’ll shine for Jesus, keep growing, and we’ll rise up victoriously by the grace of God!
3. Let’s share Christ to the lost. As Christ’s ambassadors, we’ll share the love and message of Christ to unbelievers in appropriate ways. These are the times when our lost family members, friends and neighbors realize the brevity of life and the need for hope. We could show them the only cure for a greater disease of sin in the heart is Jesus Christ.
Our plans, for now:
1. We’ll be adopting with the news. Our Team will compile the most important and the most helpful information and pass them on to you: government directives, updates, and changes in plan. We’ll evaluate and respond on a week by week basis until we’re back to normal.
2. We’ll use the blessing of technology to continue our meeting together for worship, prayer, small groups, and Leadership Team chat. GBC has cancelled all their activities and prohibits use of the building facilities beginning this week until further notice. Starting this Sunday, March 22nd, we’ll gather as an Online Church Community or as a network of house churches for worship at 12:15 pm through Facebook Live. Our Tech Team will send you instructions on how to connect after we test it this Friday, March 20th, at 6:30 pm. You will also receive the schedules of our online gatherings as soon as we’ve finalized it by Saturday. For small groups, Sunday School, and Team Meetings, we recommend the use of Jitsi Meet. We’ll provide many other services during the week for your growth, encouragement, and equipping: Prayer Meetings, Devotionals, Bible Studies on special topics, Training Courses, Online Giving tools, and other resources your family can use.
3. We’ll maximize ministering to one another, to those who are at risk, and to those who are suffering through prayer, calls, sharing God’s Word, delivering care packages, and helping out in our communities as God enables us.
Brethren, since God got our backs and this pandemic, He will help us get through this together. Like Esther, this could be our finest hour to shine.
Our eyes are on Him,
Pastor Armando De La Merced