Coronavirus & Schedule Update

Church Family,

This week the (COVID-19) Coronavirus crisis has overtaken the news.  As the week goes on, more information continues to pour in creating

opportunities to react with appropriately informed decisions.  The leadership of Townsend Church wants to be proactive in our efforts to do our part in educating and protecting our congregants.

 

What We Know

We know this is a real situation.  The magnitude of the situation is continuing to unfold, seemingly every hour.  We know there is information out there.  The accuracy of the information is what can be tough to weed through.  We are wading through information being made available form DEMA and the CDC.  We are attempting to not be swayed by media but to give an ear to the reported information.

We assume this is just the start.  To say for certain it’s only the flu or something far worse is a difficult position to take at this point.

 

We know there are specific actions we can all take to protect ourselves on certain levels. We should all be washing our hands regularly, cleaning all surfaces regularly, covering our sneezes and coughs either into a tissue or elbow, keeping your distance from people (suggested 6 feet) and staying home if you are sick. However, given the many unknowns of the virus and the varying ever-changing information being shared, the potential for hysteria and fear is very real. We know this has not surprised God nor is it out of His realm of power and control.  God is certainly able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we could ever ask or think.

 

Our Stance

Wednesday night my class and I spent time looking at the information available as well as the most important fact regarding this whole situation, which is found in 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul reminds us God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.  We are going to face stories both true and false with the potential and possibly the intention of creating fear, panic and anxiety. We must be very careful of this, taking every opportunity to turn our anxiousness into peace.  This can be done by taking our thoughts captive and laying them at the feet of Jesus.  Making our concerns known to Him allows His peace to fill our hearts and minds in times of distress.

 

At this time, we have no intention of suspending services but are planning for that possibility in case the situation changes.  We are quickly looking into ways to continue to have services even if we are unable to meet.

 

We will be doing what we can to clean throughout the week.  High traffic areas as well as surfaces with multiple uses will attract special attention by our staff and will receive disinfectant weekly. We are making available hand sanitizer to everyone as they enter the main foyer.  Additionally, we are closing our building to use of any new groups at this time. Existing groups are able to continue to meet as usual.

 

We are asking for ALL congregants to refrain from hugging and shaking hands.  I realize for many of you this is a warm way to great people, but we would ask you to show your care and concern for others by putting their needs in front of your own.

 

We also ask if you are experiencing even a slight symptom of any type of sickness, please simply stay at home.  This also includes our children.  

 

Finally

With all of this to think through, please be encouraged to:

1) Strive to not live in a spirit of fear but in the power, love and sound mind only offered through the Holy Spirit

2) Do what is reasonable –  practice strict hygiene, consideration for others and wisdom regarding your own health

3) Jesus said it best – Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid

4) Pray – for health, for those affected by the virus and for wisdom for our leaders and CDC officials

 

If you choose to stay at home this Sunday, we understand and appreciate your decision.  The sermon will be up on the website and the app by Monday at the latest.  We are also working on a livestream opportunity and will communicate this when it is available.  

 

You all are in my prayers for continued health and safety; God bless you. Let’s continue to love and support one another as we face these trying times together. I hope to see you Sunday at either the 8:30 or 10:30 service.

 

In Him,

Alan