Beloved family of God,
WE WILL CONTINUE HAVING WORSHIP FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 15- 21. Our leadership will be holding weekly meetings to discern what is happening around us as well as how we can best serve and protect our community.
WORSHIP The church Session has voted to continue all church-related services for the coming week. Our normal service will continue at 11a.m. Worship service will also be streamed on facebook live and later posted to the website. Thursday prayer group will go from 12 to 1 as will Friday Bible study at the same time. Now is a time to rise up in fervent prayer for our nation and the world!
HIGH RISK INDIVIDUALS
If you have been exposed to someone with coronavirus or the flu or have recently traveled by plane or other public means, please take a couple of Sundays off. If you or your family members are experiencing or have recently experienced symptoms associated with the flu or common cold (tightness in chest, fever, persistent cough, headache, chills, or unexplained rash), we ask that you take a couple of Sundays off as well. We encourage those who are in the “high risk” category to stay at home and join our church service online at.
Those who are at risk to have serious symptoms include the elderly and people with serious underlying medical conditions (like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes). According to the National Health Institute March 4th analysis, the average age of those who have died from COVID-19 is 81 years of age. Though we believe the media has blown the concerns of this virus out of proportion with regards to the general population, we also believe that this virus is extremely dangerous for our elderly and other “high risk” friends and family.
HELPING HIGH RISK INDIVIDUALS
We ask for your help. We are concerned that many people have not been able to get to the stores in time to get needed supplies (especially the elderly). If you have non-perishable food items (not beyond the expiration date), water, or toilet paper to share – can you bring them to church on Sunday? We will distribute to the church and our community as needed.
The church has toilet paper available for church members and their friends. If someone doesnt have TP or other basic necessities the church is going to provide for them. A sign up sheet will allow each family to receive six rolls of TP per week.
COMMUNICATION THROUGHOUT PANDEMIC PERIOD
We have asked our deacons to check in on everyone on their lists. They are being asked to call everyone on their list once per week to keep tabs on how everyone is doing. If you are in need of company or physical needs please contact your Deacon.
Our God is so powerful. We abide and reside in Him. He is sufficient and powerful. What an honor it is to serve Him!
SAFETY PROTOCOL & PROCEDURES The entire church has been sanitized and sanitization products have been supplied. EVERY GROUP that uses the building is required to sanitize the building both before and after their meeting. For those who are feeling well enough to come to church we will have several safety measures in line. The first of them being no physical contact. Instead of hugs or handshakes which are the norm for our church we will do something silly like an elbow slap, a salute, or the startrek hand sign, this will keep things lighthearted and prevent unnecessary contract. The second measure will be handsanitizer and hand washing signs placed around the building. The third will be a protocol for keeping people safe while doing communion prep. Your Session is planning to meet tomorrow morning at 9a.m. to discuss more detailed plans and strategies.
WHERE IS GOD IN ALL OF THIS?
God is good! There are a lot of people reacting around us, but let us not be overcome by a spirit fear. Let us act wisely and conscientiously. Let us act with love and confidence. Many are afraid, but we have comfort. Our comfort is not found in the stability around us but in the God who created and sustains all things.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to … the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
Right now there is a relative hysteria about the Coronavirus. But what many do not realize is what a powerful and unprecedented opportunity this is. Many people who usually have cold and closed off hearts are open to input right now. They are in a position where they might actually be willing to let us share about the hope that we have in Christ and the powerful God who has all of this and all of us in His hands. We must take advantage of this time in history to pray for others, to pray for those around us. For this reason, we will also be handing out small pocket sized prayer booklets at church. When we meet others we should be intentional and loving, taking advantage of this moment in history. We should write every name down of the people we meet, especially those who are afraid, and we should REALLY pray for them. We have been practicing prayer powerfully for over two years. Now is the chance to use it. Now is the chance when people are receptive to it and our nation is in need of it. Now is the time to RISE UP in prayer for our nation!
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.” – Psalm 91:1-3
WHAT IF CHURCH GETS “SHUT DOWN?” Many things are shutting down currently. For this reason, we are taking extra steps to keep everyone informed online as well as continue bringing messages of hope through our church’s Facebook page, email, and youtube channel. We will continue upping the output of online messages, encouragement, and communication. We are praying and believing that this time will draw out our intentionality. We don’t want shut in’s to just binge on netflix, we want this time to be as constructive and positive as possible. For this reason please keep up to date on church emails, phone calls, texts, website updates, FB posts, sermon uploads and more. We will be putting out loads of good stuff.
Church Website: www.afpres.com
Church Youtube: youtube.com/channel/UCOuYwoYLwUk3RgSL94VAhIQ
Church Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AFPresbyterian/
Many more words of encouragement will come through these links during this time. We will do our best to keep you encouraged and informed.
P.S.S. According to the CDC each year in America between 12,000 and 61,000 people die from the common flu. Right now Coronavirus has killed 39 people in America. These are real people and their lives are not to be belittled but I hope these statistics put things into perspective. The common flu has caused much more harm than Corona but we still must be careful!!
In Him, Pastor Michael Heil