Church doors will be open for one service at 11:15 this Sunday
We will revisit the decision to assemble next week based on the city’s latest recommendation. We are preparing to offer live-streaming for those who remain home.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend canceling gatherings while the local community is in the ‘Preparation’ phase of community transmission of COVID-19, and recommends canceling gatherings greater than 250 people in the ‘Minimal to Moderate’ phase. Only when there is ‘Substantial’ community transmission are all gatherings to be canceled. We are currently in the ‘Preparation’ phase, with only one reported case in Stamford as of March 12, 2020, and four cases total in Fairfield County.
We want to play our part in the community and help to minimize people contact, and so, when the city of Stamford recommends no more public gatherings, we will suspend our corporate worship service. Until then, we will prepare the building according to the recommended preventative measures issued by the city of Stamford and the CDC.
If you are healthy and not showing any symptoms, and wish to attend, please join us in turning to God for help and hope. If you are sick, symptomatic, elderly, immune-compromised, or suspect you may have come into contact with someone else who has come into contact with the coronavirus, or have traveled internationally recently, then please exercise caution and remain home.
If you have any questions or concerns about potential contact or exposure, and want to know whether it is safe to attend a public gathering, please contact the Stamford Hospital hotline at 203-276-4111, 7am-7pm, 7 days/week.
For those who attend service, the guiding principle is to exercise an abundance of caution. This week communion will be served in the corporate worship service. Preparation will include handlers wearing gloves to prepare and distribute the elements. Coffee and refreshments will not be served. There will be no physical contact when greeting. There is no nursery or Kid’s Church classes being offered. Children will remain with parents. Ushers will encourage physical distancing in seating.
On a more pastoral note, Jesus is the Lord of the storm and sickness, so who else can we trust but him in this fearful time? We’re reminded of our vulnerability and fragility, but the Lord is sovereign, and he can keep calm our hearts with all the uncertainty. I’ve had to remind myself of this as I walked very briskly down the grocery store aisles, trying not to panic and hoard. As you pray in Jesus’ name, your prayers will be heard and answered.
Be reminded of the word of the Lord in Psalm 27:1, ‘The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?’ And then in closing, v14, ‘Wait for the LORD, be strong, and let your heart take courage, wait for the LORD.’ May these words, or other bible passages be your source of comfort at this time. God does not speak them in vain, but rather, because it is true.
We are committed to turning to the Lord, not away from him, and so the church doors will remain open for worship. Please do not feel compelled that you have to attend church to honor the Sabbath under these circumstances, but know that you can exercise the freedom of conscience and remain home. Instead, join us by livestream if you wish to stay connected to your spiritual family. This is a temporary and wise compromise for an extraordinary situation. I can’t wait for this to pass and we’re back together face to face!
In the meantime, stay in contact with the church community as to needs and help that you may require. We want to care for one another as best as we can, knowing that it is because the Lord Jesus cares for us.
And if I can encourage you in this, guard your heart against fear and blame. Be reminded that all our well-deserved blame fell on Jesus, so we could be freed from that burden, to be able to love one another.
Safe in His hands,
Pastor Danny and the Session