LISTEN TO DIGITAL READING OF STATEMENT
March 12, 2020 (Updated March 13)
We are all aware of Coronavirus officially known as COVID-19. Actions are being taken to prevent the spread of the virus, which has resulted in cancellation of large events and closing of schools. Some have minimized the impact of the virus, while others have either been dismissive of this health threat or stirred up fear in people. If there seems to be an overreaction to this threat, it is because everyone wants to act in the interest of public health and safety.
I have been teaching on the topic, "We Have Come This Far by Faith" for the past several weeks (listen to teachings on the Firm Foundation podcast). Among many principles, we have learned that “[God’s] Perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18) and "Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26) We trust God and take corresponding action according to His Word and wisdom.
OUR POSITION IS: Have no fear. Practice faith in God, use wisdom, and exercise diligence. This will carry you through any crisis! Coronavirus has not changed how we walk with God.
As a pastor, it is my responsibility to “shepherd” God's people. This involves Bible instruction, encouraging a strong relationship with Christ, building up the community of believers, and protecting people from dangers, both spiritual and natural.
High profile actions have been taken such as suspending the NBA season, the cancellation of NCAA “March Madness,” and schools taking an extended spring break. These are all actions taken to prevent the spread of the virus, especially among people who do not know one another and come together from various places.
Big events involve people traveling by airline and using many forms of public transportation. It is well known that Coronavirus spread from China around the world by infected persons traveling on airlines, then on other forms of public/private transportation.
While there is currently no vaccine (and we pray one is developed soon), not everyone who is infected dies from COVID-19, most have recovered. The elderly and people with compromised immune systems are at greater risk not to survive an infection.
At New Covenant Church, we have taken the decision to not cancel Sunday service for the following reasons (which we will regularly re-evaluate):
1. We are a smaller church comprised of members and guests who know one another. We do not have the same risk as a large church with hundreds or thousands of people coming from everywhere. Our limited interaction on Sunday lasts about 1 1/2 hours and one hour on Wednesday.
2. We are following guidance provided by the Indiana Department of Health.
3. We are able to better manage "best practices" such as hand washing and sanitizing while holding one another accountable to do the same, including children and guests.
4. Our janitorial service and ushers regularly sanitize all surfaces which are touched such as door handles, and push plates/bars for interior and exterior doors.
5. We do not believe the Coronavirus health threat has yet risen to the level of needing to cancel services at New Covenant Church (we will weekly re-evaluate).
SOME BEST PRACTICES AT NEW COVENANT CHURCH:
1. We will refrain from shaking and holding hands or hugging, not because we fear others are infected, but this is a good general public practice until the virus threat is better understood. (This is not a rule, but a recommendation. We will not become fearful of shaking hands, holding hands, or hugging)
2. Upon entering the church, take a squirt of hand sanitizer or visit a restroom to wash your hands.
3. During service, try not to think about Coronavirus or talk about it. Cast that care on the Lord and focus on worship, prayer, and the Word of God!
4. If you are sick, don't come to church. Call your doctor if needed. Also call us and we will come to pray for you. You can watch the Live Stream and listen to messages on our podcast.
5. If you are uncomfortable with coming to service, you can watch the live stream from home and participate in prayer and giving online.
6. In your daily life, limit your exposure to crowds of people.
New Covenant Church member, Mrs. Joycell Ingram, is a nurse at an Indy public school. She has supplied the church with the latest information about Coronavirus COVID-19. We want to be protected and help protect others.
I would also like to share that we are blessed to be a debt-free ministry, so our motivation for holding services is not to raise funds.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact me by email: email@example.com
Let us agree in prayer that scientists, medical professionals, and career health service experts find a vaccine and treatments to stop the COVID-19 virus and treat persons affected. They are certainly working on it.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Pastor Bryan Hudson
NCC Board of Directors