Measures in Light of the Coronavirus

Dear Fourth Church Family,

I am sure all of you are keeping up with the rapidly developing situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). As national and local governments and individual citizens of many countries wrestle with how to respond and react to such news, it strikes me that Christians bring a unique perspective to such international concerns. We trust in the God who holds the whole world in his hands, and who knows all our days before one of them came to be (Psalm 95:4 , 139:16 ). “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8 ).

When we believe our help is in the name of the Lord, we affirm that he who made heaven and earth is absolutely sovereign over all the affairs of the world. God knows and governs at the macro and micro level, from the heights of heaven to the viruses of this fallen world. Therefore, we can rest confidently in him in these times and show the unbelieving world a composure and calm that is only found in Christ.

However, divine sovereignty does not contradict our human responsibility. Our responsibility is to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. Below, we want to provide some practical ways you can love your church family and ways your church family is striving to love you. These measures for mitigating the risk of transmission are not offered in a spirit of fear, but in a spirit of love for each other, especially for the most vulnerable among us, whom we are called to honor.

Measures you can take to love the body of Christ:

  • Please stay home and do not attend any church events (including the Men’s and Women’s retreats) or other large gatherings if you or your children are experiencing any signs of sickness.
  • Carefully follow the practical preventative measures offered by the CDC.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer if possible; we have hand sanitizer stations around the church as well.
  • Please do not place your bulletin where it might be picked up by others or reused by the next service. Recycle it or bring it home.
  • Bring your own Bibles to church.
  • Pray!

Measures Fourth Church is taking to love you:
We will continue to follow all the measures mentioned in our last email communication.

Additional measures will include:

  • Every pew back will be wiped down with sanitizer wipes between each service.
  • The Friendship Register and pens will be removed from the pew racks.
  • Offering plates will not be passed, instead the offering will be collected after the service at each exit. If you prefer to give online, please visit this link: https://4thpres.onlinegiving.org
  • The evening service this Sunday, March 15, will not include communion.
  • Individual communion kits have been purchased for Sunday mornings and logistics for their use are being worked out.
  • As an alternative to using pew Bibles and hymnals, we will provide a bulletin insert with the Scripture passages and hymn lyrics.
  • A live video stream of the 11:00 a.m. service will be available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FourthPresChurch) for those who find it most prudent to stay home. The page can be accessed whether you are a Facebook user or not. The video must be viewed in real time; it will not be available after the service has concluded.

One of the blessings we have as a warm fellowship of believers is the desire to be together and express our care and respect through hugs and handshakes. However, the experts tell us that we should avoid these practices as a way to stay healthy and to protect the health of others. Consider giving the “elbow bump” or the “toe tap” a try. Know your church loves you and is praying for you as we wait on and trust in our Sovereign Lord.

We will stay abreast of the ongoing public health updates and keep you informed of any changes in our plans as a church.

Grace and Peace,

Todd

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