At the recommendation of medical professionals, including those at the Center for Disease Control, we will be modifying our schedule temporarily.
Until at least April 9, we will have no Wednesday evening service, no Sunday School or small groups, and no extra ministry gatherings. Most significantly, we will replace gathering for the main Sunday morning service with a regular online message from Pastor John leading us through the Word, accompanied by prayer points and related song links. We will release these on Sunday mornings. We hope this will feed you with the Word. As we approach April 9, we will re-evaluate the situation.
The livestream will become active at 10:30am and John's message will begin at 10:45am. You can find the link to the livestream and the Order of Service each Sunday by clicking here.
The principles that guided us to this decision are the following:
1. Gathering is essential to who the church is. We are people redeemed in Christ gathering under the Word of God. Gathering is irreplaceable to church life. We are committed to gather in the long term (Heb 10:24-25).
- The church through the ages has faced threats to life and liberty. Through them all, Christians entrust themselves to the providence of God while upholding the value of meeting to care for one another, pray with each another, and sit under the Word of God together.
- The life of the church requires presence, particularly in times of need, when the strong are told to uphold the weak.
This is our long term commitment, even when present factors may disrupt this for a brief time.
2. Loving one another is essential to who the church is. Love for one another is primarily expressed in building each other up in love, so that we are formed after Christ (Eph 4:15-16). It is also expressed in caring for the physical needs of one another (2 Cor 9:1-15).
- To love people is to consider how best to contribute to their good, based on the knowledge we have at time.
- What we currently know is that a novel virus is spreading quickly without widespread availability of competent testing, let alone treatment.
- Those who are most threatened by the virus are folks with weakened immune systems. Those who are most likely to introduce the virus to a new area are travelers. Those who are most likely vectors (bridges) of the virus, even without exhibiting many symptoms, are children.
- Our church is characterized by the combination of children, folks who travel for work or vacation, and folks with weaker immune systems from age or illness. We take this seriously. We want to love our people well.
3. Loving our community is essential to who the church is. We are told to respect those in authority over us and to be as courteous as we can be while upholding the often counter-cultural values of the Kingdom of Christ (Titus 3:1-2).
- The governor of Kentucky has asked churches not to gather. From the standpoint of seeking to reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread, this is a reasonable request. It is in keeping with the limited understanding we have of curtailing the spread of this particular virus. We also know there are confirmed cases in the city of Louisville. We respect the governor’s request.
- In addition, we have many public servants in our church. Educators, retailers, and especially healthcare providers. Compromising folks in such professions is more of a public health threat potential.
4. Trusting God sometimes means holding to your plans no matter what, and sometimes means holding your plans with an open hand. Setting a plan based on known factors at the time is a godly thing to do, but it is humility to adjust plans when the factors shift significantly (Prov 16:9; 19:21; 20:18; 21:5).
- This situation is extreme enough to indicate the latter. We can hold our plans with an open hand, confident that the Lord knows exactly what he’s doing in bringing this significant period of uncertainty into the lives of our people and community.
- Uncertainty is the lack of clarity that comes from inadequate knowledge of a situation. In this case, because so many of the assumptions we make about healthcare, market behavior, and community expectations has shifted suddenly.
- Even if we one day might retrospectively think of our society’s reaction to this as an overreaction, we are nevertheless in the moment of fresh, new urgencies still being figured out.
- In other words, only God understands this entirely. We are only able to act wisely with the level of understanding we have.