In light of the growing public health concern with COVID-19 (Corona Virus) locally and regionally, we wanted to share with you two things:
We will NOT be gathering as a church this Sunday, March 15th. We will reassess future Sundays next week.
Making this decision may seem obvious to some, and extreme to others. This was not an easy decision for us to make. In this stormy moment of uncertainty we longed for our church gathering to be a place where the peace and security of our never changing, never surprised, always in control God could be a comfort and refuge for our family and others.
However, we also want to love our neighbors by honoring the requests of our public and public health leaders who have requested a suspension of non-essential gatherings. While we love the gathering of the saints on Sunday, it is not essential for us. We remain the church even though we may not gather this Sunday. God still reigns, we still believe in His goodness, and we are still brothers and sisters who can encourage and pray for one another.
On Sunday, our sister church, Terra Nova in Troy, NY will be releasing a short video (around 9am) which will include a few worship songs by Pastor Rob and a short sermon by Pastor Ed. You will be able to find that on their YouTube channel HERE. We encourage you to worship at home with your immediate families this Sunday by watching this video.
I want to pastorally encourage each of us to not make protecting ourselves and our health our only concern. Let us be servants in our neighborhoods & communities. Let us bring our anxieties, worries and fears to the Lord — and leave them there. Then let us turn, and move toward our community by seeking to serve our neighbors.
Can I encourage us all to consider over the coming days:
Reach out to a neighbor who may be stuck at home. When you go to the food store, buy some extra food and deliver it for them. Or, deliver food to your local food pantry.
Berkshire Food Project is staying open and serving community lunches in North Adams each weekday and they may need some volunteers. They are providing to-go meals to limit gathering sizes. But volunteering at this time is a great idea. Email Pastor Paul for more information and/or follow BFP on Facebook for their most recent communications
Check-in with your at risk neighbors, particularly the elderly. Offer to shop for them and/or pray with them.
Utilize technology well over these days. Be texting & calling each other to pray.
Utilize social media well over these days. There is a lot of ever-changing information out there. There is a lot of unknown, fear, & questions. Consider utilizing social media to post words of hope, the unchanging truth of scripture, or to write out prayers for people.
This is not just a communication about a cancelled church service, but an encouragement to be wise, to serve, to love, and to bring peace and hope in the midst of a storm. To move toward our neighbors, not retreat.