Dear Church Family,
After talking it over with the Elder team, our plan is to resume ministries as "normally" as we can, with cautionary caveats.
The normal means...
1. On Sundays we'll have two services at 9am and 10:30am. - This allows for those coming out of quarantine to attend again, plus it gives sufficient space for social distancing for all who are able to make it. (Mask and social distancing guidelines remain in effect.)
2. On Wednesday 11/18, as of right now, we'll resume kids and youth ministries. - This is contingent upon sufficient leaders in good health and pending no other swift spreading among families in our camp (BBC specifically).
The caveats mean...
1. We continue to strongly caution those who are at greater risk of complications from Covid-19 to consider staying home. - This is up to you entirely, since you have sufficient information about the virus to make an informed decision. If you are at all uncertain, please feel free to call me (Pastor Jeff - 417.412.0033), and I'd be happy to talk with you and offer further suggestion.- In an effort to exercise wisdom and discretion, furthermore, we very well may not resume Wed night adult bible study or the small group that meets at church on Sunday night. We've had nearly everyone get over this with little issue, but we've also had two that have been hit significantly harder. And it does seem to be the case that the older you are, the higher the risk of complication and hospitalization.
3. Please avoid gathering if you are sick. This applies to Sunday and Wednesday. - Shucks, we know that some of us might just have colds this time of year, and that's a bummer, to be sure. But out of concern for more compromised individuals, it's considerate to avoid the risk. Thanks for patiently bearing with Covid's impact on this year's cold and flu season.
I'd like to reiterate that we are aiming to take a reasonable perspective concerning Covid. We don't need to fear this virus because we don't fear even death; God is sovereignly in control of the lives of men, including mine and yours. On the other hand, we just want to be considerate of one another, and good citizens in our community to help avoid the spread if we can help it. With that said, none of this is easy because we certainly believe that we can't stop being the church. Bear with us as we lead you through an uncertain time. Also, I would like to personally thank you for, in spite of varying perspectives and even strong opinions, our church family has been, to a large degree, extremely unified and supportive of one another and our leadership.
I'm personally saddened that I can't be present with you on Sunday (in quarantine until at least next Saturday), but I'm deeply thankful that the Lord has provided us with a gifted and surrendered teacher in Matt Williamson. He'll be preaching again this Sunday. If you feel safe doing so, I encourage you not to miss it!
I love you guys, and am honored to serve you and to serve with you,
Many of you heard Pastor Jeff mention Sunday in church services that we had some pending cases of Covid among families in our church. It has been confirmed that a number of those are definitely Covid. We’ve had other cases of Covid before this, but they were few and far between, where containment was simple. What we have now is more an indication of quick community spread, however.
We do not at all want you to be alarmed, because God’s people most of all are not shrinking in fear because of Covid. Not even the most compromised among us need to fear, because death has lost its sting for those who know they’ll be in the presence of God when these bodies stop working. God is sovereign and we trust him completely.
But that also doesn’t mean that we throw caution to the wind and don’t exercise good judgment. We aim to be wise in this situation as in all situations.
Therefore, our elders have decided to postpone all “additional” activities for two weeks to stop community spread in our church and to let it catch up and see how much it has already spread. That would mean no midweek meetings at church (whether kids or adults), and a strong recommendation not to have small groups for that time as well. We hope this gives us the best chance to keep from spreading it to a more compromised demographic, and further allowing us to meet as “normally” as possible for Sunday gathering (continuing with all the recommended social distancing and masking guidelines).
We would ask you again to exercise wise precaution about two things: 1. If you have symptoms of any kind that *might* be Covid or flu-related, please choose to stay home (and those in the households exposed to it as well). 2. It’s up to you, for sure, but if you are at-risk of having complications from Covid-19, you might consider staying home from church for a couple of weeks to see which direction this trends.
While there are many more things that could probably be said, we think it best to keep this communication brief. Please feel free to call Jeff (417.412.0033) or any one of the other elders (Rich Toliver, Buzz Newton, Craig Cogdill, Ryan Toliver, & Paul Griffis) if you have further questions.
We thank the Lord for his goodness, and for placing us together in ministry,