March 13, 2020 | 7:00PM
As concerns increase this week surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are committed to doing whatever we can to provide a safe environment to our church family.
To that end, our pastoral staff has recently appointed a team, consisting of staff members and medical professionals from our church, to monitor this situation more directly. This team has been meeting to assess the current public health news and policy updates issued by the CDC and other appropriate agencies, applying their recommendations to our current situation.
While God has not given us a spirit of fear, he has called us to love our neighbors and to contribute to the welfare of our community. Exercising caution is not merely wise, but is a tangible way of expressing love toward others.
In light of the recommendations of our governing officials, Church of the Apostles is making the following decisions and recommendations:
- Weekend Services and Activities Cancelled – March 14, 15 and 22
All weekend activities on Saturday and Sunday (3/14, 3/15, 3/22) have been cancelled which includes the Heartbeat of Apostles gathering, worship services, Sunday school and The Deal. We are working on “at-home worship” resources which will be made available tomorrow (3/14).
Canceling these services was a difficult decision, but we have been guided by two principles: 1) Honoring our governing officials (Romans 13:1), who have urged extreme caution, and 2) loving our neighbors (Luke 10:27), many of whom, like the elderly or those with prior medical conditions, are particularly vulnerable.
We will continue to assess the situation throughout this week and will communicate a decision regarding worship gatherings on March 29th and beyond as new information comes to light.
- Other Gatherings and Events
Any communal gatherings of 25 people or more meeting at Apostles between today and Sunday, March 22 will not be meeting on-site as scheduled. Our staff will be contacting Bible study and other ministry leaders with alternative ways to stay in community, care for and pray with one another virtually or in smaller numbers.
Some of these events will be canceled altogether, while others will be postponed. We will continue to evaluate the situation to assess which events fall in which category.
We encourage our Community Groups to continue to meet. They may, for a while, be the frontline of our continuing to be the Body of Christ. Consider using the materials we provide to worship as a group. Spend extra time in prayer: for wise leadership, for compassion and creativity in loving our neighbors, for the health and safety of our church family, friends and family members. Encourage one another by reminding each other of God’s provision and promises.
Staff will continue to maintain normal office hours. We want to be available to address ministry needs and pastoral care concerns as they arise. If you need to contact one of our pastors for prayer or pastoral care, do not hesitate to do so. Pastoral Care Emergencies: 919-283-2682
We recognize that this is a dynamic situation with constant new information and updates. We will continue to provide updates on social media, via email, and on our website as needed.
We are actively discussing the best ways to love both our community and our people in this time.
Stay healthy! Please continue to follow guidelines set by the CDC to help prevent the spread of this illness including limiting contact and washing hands. CDC Coronavirus Guidelines
This is a time when it would be so easy to hunker down and think only of our own safety. We do need to be prudent and careful. We do need to care for our loved ones. But we are also cared to love our neighbors. Just in the last several hours opportunities for our church to serve have arisen. We will make you aware of those soon. And you may already be thinking of ways to reach out and to be the hands of Christ in this season.
Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy. Sustain and support the anxious, be with those who care for the sick, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may find comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.